A native of South Carolina, poet Cathy Smith Bowers earned a BA and an MAT at Winthrop University. As a high-school English teacher, she discovered her urge to write. In an interview, she noted of that time, “I stayed one lesson ahead of my students. I had to do that to be a writer. It was huge.” For many years the poet-in-residence at Queens University of Charlotte, Bowers currently teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens, as well as at Wofford College. From 2010 to 2012, she was poet laureate of North Carolina.