Spartanburg's bearded poets give second annual reading: Eric Kocher, John Lane, and Patrick Whitfill to read

February 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm

What:  The Bearded Men Poetry Reading
When:  Fri., Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.
Where:  Hub City Bookshop, 186 W. Main St. in downtown Spartanburg
Extra: Free and open to the public.
For more information:  Kari Jackson, 864.577.9349,

There’s a history of beards and bearded poets in Spartanburg, and the Hub City Bookshop is celebrating this tradition with the second annual Bearded Men poetry reading on Fri., Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.

Former HUB-BUB writers-in-residence Eric Kocher and Patrick Whitfill will read alongside resident Spartanburg poet John Lane. They all just happen to have beards, and they all just happen to write poetry. Local historian Brad Steinecke, also bearded, will give an introduction about the history of bearded men in Spartanburg.

Eric Kocher received a B.A. in English Literature from Binghamton University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Houston where he was an assistant poetry editor for Gulf Coast. Some of his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, DIAGRAM, Octopus, The Offending Adam, and Washington Square Review. In 2011, he was named one of the fifty Best New Poets in America. Eric teaches writing at USC Upstate and the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate.

Patrick Whitfill was the 2008-09 writer-in-residence and was a Best New Poet in 2009. He holds a Ph.D. in poetry from Texas Tech University. He currently teaches writing at USC Upstate and Wofford College and sells books at the Hub City Bookshop when he’s not writing poetry.

John Lane is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry and prose, including Abandoned Quarry: New and Selected Poems. Among his many awards, he has received an NEA Poetry Apprenticeship Grant and a Hoyns Fellowship in Poetry from the University of Virginia. He is a co-founder of the Hub City Writers Project and teaches Environmental Literature and Creative Writing at Wofford College.

For more information, call 577-9349 or visit