“The poets of the world occupy a place of high honor in my city of books.”—Pat Conroy, My Reading Life

In honor of National Poetry Month, join Pat Conroy Literary Center executive director Jonathan Haupt and Beaufort High School students Holland Perryman, Alisha Arora, and Millie Bennett as they explore Conroy’s lifelong relationship with poetry as reader and writer. Pat Conroy’s Great Love of Poetry will be presently freely on Tuesday, April 26, at 4:30 p.m., at and in partnership with the Beaufort County Library, 311 Scott Street.

As a reader of poetry and a self-described “failed poet,” Conroy found over time a creative outlet for his Great Love of poetry in his lyrical and descriptive prose. Through discussion of Pat’s teachers, mentors, and favorite poets, and through published and unpublished writings spanning the breadth of his life, this discussion fosters a new appreciation for Conroy’s admiration of poetry, his dedication to the writing craft, and the myriad ways in which poetry shines through his storied prose. This presentation was originally created in collaboration with poet and retired educator Tim Conroy, author of Theologies of Terrain.


Jonathan Haupt, Alisha Arora, Holland Perryman, and Millie Bennett

Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Conroy Center, the former director of the University of South Carolina Press, and coeditor of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, winner of 17 book awards.

The first intern of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center and of the Friends of South Carolina Libraries, Beaufort High School senior and student body president Holland Perryman is an award-winning young writer whose work has been featured in the Charleston Post and Courier, Lowcountry Weekly, and Southern Review of Books. The founder of DAYLO: Diversity Awareness Youth Literacy Organization, Perryman is also the first writer of any age to be twice featured in the Lowcountry Poets Corner segment of ETV’s TELLY Award-winning author interview series By the River.

Beaufort County Library volunteer and Beaufort High School senior Alisha Arora is vice president of the BHS chapter of the National Honor Society, a board member of DAYLO: Diversity Awareness Youth Literacy Organization, an AP Capstone scholar, and Conroy Center. Arora is also a competitive dancer and captain of the BHS Girls Varsity Tennis Team.

Beaufort High School junior and Conroy Center intern Millie Bennett is a writer, visual artist, singer, and actress. An AP Capstone scholar at BHS, she is also a founding member of the BHS chapter of Letters for Rose, dedicated to reducing loneliness in nursing homes and assisted living residents during the pandemic. In 2020, Bennett was selected for the SC Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities Summer Program for Visual Arts, and in 2021, she participated in the SCAD Summer Sessions for Visual Art, Animation, and Character Development.


Learn more about the Pat Conroy Literary Center at www.patconroyliterarycenter.org, and learn more about the Beaufort County Library at www.beaufortcountylibrary.org.