By Corrine Luthy
Stephen Bess, a 1985 graduate of Williamston High School, has published “Liquid Lunch: Blues-Inspired Poetry”, a blues-inspired book of poetry. Bess said much of the poetry was inspired by his time spent in Williamston when he was growing up.
“These are my deepest roots,” he said of his family here, who has been in Martin County for more than 200 years.
He said during his time spent here he heard many stories from his grandparents, Tom and Eunice Best. These stories and his experiences with his family have influenced a lot of his poetry.
For example, his poem “Old Roanoke” is based on his memories of his grandmother’s cooking. He said he remembers his grandfather skinning catfish and his grandmother using it to make a large pot of stew for supper.
His poem “Faith” is also about his grandmother and his memories of her singing in the kitchen on Sundays.
“A lot of it is about food, drinking, and growing up in Southern culture,” Bess said.