I was born with the name Riviere which means river in French.  When I married Ed Seel, I took him and his name as a part of myself.  Seel means soul in German.  I am, indeed, a river soul.  

Pat Riviere-Seel is the author of two chapbooks: No Turning Back Now (2004) and The Serial Killer’s Daughter (2009). Her most recent poetry collection, Nothing Below but Air (2014), was a semifinalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. The Serial Killer’s Daughter has been staged by several theatrical groups. Pat teaches in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program and in 2012 was poet-in-residence at the NC Zoo. She was a co-editor of Kakalak 2016. Before earning her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, she worked as a newspaper journalist, publicist, and lobbyist. 

The Charlie Award 2017

Every September, the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville, NC honors an author who exemplifies fine writing and works to build community. The Charlie Award is named to honor author Charles Price, a festival founder.

   The 2017 Charlie Award was presented to Asheville poet, Pat Riviere-Seel. She is the author of two chapbooks, No Turning Back and The Serial Killer's Daughter which was made into a play.

Her most recent poetry collection, Nothing Below But Air (2014) was a semi-finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Riviere-Seel was a co-editor of Kakalak 2016. She was a Poet-in-Residence at the North Carolina Zoo where her poem, "Summer Solstice", is on permanent display at the bear exhibit. She has mentored and taught myriads of poets, privately and through the Great Smokies Writing Program and the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series.

New Poetry Class for Spring, 2019

I'm delighted to be teaching the class "The Poet as Witness" as part of the UNC Asheville's Great Smokies Writing Program. 

The Poet as Withness: A Poetry Workshop 

Instructor: Pat Riviere-Seel
Location: First Baptist Church, Burnsville, NC
Dates/time: Tuesday afternoons, 4:00-6:30pm, Feb. 19-April 23
Description: Throughout history, poets have written poems that address - and often offer resistance to – social, cultural, and political events. What can we learn from poets such as Anna Akhmatova and Carolyn Forché about how to craft poems for the zeitgeist of the early 21stcentury? What is the poet’s role and the poet’s obligation in making art? How do our poems bear witness? We will look at examples of a wide variety of poems of witness and discuss strategies, techniques and craft elements for writing our own poems. We’ll use prompts to write a poem each week and discuss the work in class. This class is appropriate for beginning as well as experienced poets. Handouts of poems will be provided.

Check out all the Great Smokies Writing Program offerings at the Great Smokies website: www.unca.edu/gswp or call 828-250-2353 or 251-6099.


From Nothing Below but Air:

Letting Go

Today the trees release their leaves. The wind
a breath that calls the colors down to earth -- 
wild dance with crimson, gold, and brown
aloft in death, unfurling flaming fields
and forest floor. If I could hurl myself
like this into each ending, long for nothing 
sure or safe,

        descend, a woman trusting the fall,
I'd release all claim to expectation,
breathe the air of possibility,
find beginnings everywhere.
I'd settle down to loamy earth long enough
to nourish what waits, growing still
in the summons from a savage world.
                                -- Pat Riviere-Seel