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Dr. Tonya Locklear: a writer’s life is never done

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Biology
Dr. Tonya Locklear
Dr. Tonya Locklear

A writer’s life is never done; there’s always more stories to pen and share.

Only one year after graduation, I’ve continued joyously sharing my passion as a poet and facilitator as I travel at night and on the weekends conducting writing workshops and submitting work for publication. I’ve had the pleasure to present six Creative Writing workshops in our community, participate in author discussions as well as become a council member with the Scotland County Arts Council. I was honored to receive this call to collaborate with the Arts Center and Indigenous communities in order to present events that will increase a native presence in the area. The first “Storytelling Sunday” event happened on April 9, 2022, at the Scotland County Storytelling Center in Laurinburg, which showcased local youth writers and celebrated National Poetry Month. In October 2022, the Storytelling Center is planning to host another storytelling event to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day and will introduce Indigenous author Brittany Hunt, who will discuss her children’s book “Whoz Ya People?” and attendees can enjoy some fry bread after the event.

In addition to facilitating workshops, I’ve been a contributing writer in five publications, Yellow Medicine Review: An Indigenous Journal of Literature, Art and Thought; Crossing the Rift: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 & Its Aftermath, and Thoughts on the Power of Goodness edited by Timothy F Crowley and Jaki Shelton Green. Three of the five publications were in different editions of Yellow Medicine Review: An Indigenous Journal of Literature, Art and Thought. I also submitted my full poetry manuscript Soul Food, to That Painted Pony Press for review and possible publication (fingers crossed).

My next adventure includes participating with the program director at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, NC, as the staff begins to collaborate with the Indigenous communities to plan various events at the art center starting in June 2022. Lots of fun and exciting things are happening!

Web manager’s note: Tonya Locklear earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from Oklahoma City University in 2021. By day, she works as administrative assistant for the UNCP Department of Biology.