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Ceille Baird Welch Collection: Biography
Ceille Baird Welch
"What I know of writing poetry is the same as what I know of writing anything, because I'll never understand just where the evasive lines between poetry, prose, dialogue and song ought to be drawn. What I know of writing poetry is simply what I know of putting the rhythms of voices onto paper. I am a long ago child of the South Carolina low country and it seems no matter where I find myself since, it is always those colloquial voices of that time and place, those myriad dialects and patters, all uniquely Southern that haunt me and compel me to write."- Ceille Baird Welch

Ceille Baird Welch is from the South Carolina low country but has lived her adult life, with exception of several years on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, in the outskirts of Columbia on a rambling homestead she shares with her husband Jim. When her children, Kerri and James, left the nest, Welch resumed a long lost writing hobby that, to her surprise, took flight.

"The Very First Milo Moose Day Celebration," her children’s story in rhyme and song, was produced by SCETV as an animated musical and carried by satellite to PBS stations nationally. It is still being marketed by SCETV, and has become a Christmas tradition in schools and libraries across the country. Her play, "Dayporch at East Jesus," enjoyed a premier run at the William Redfield Theatre on W 45th St. just off Broadway, before being picked up by Actors Theatre of South Carolina for a South Carolina, Georgia tour. Her long children’s poem, "A Rainbow of a Different Color," received a SC Arts Commission grant, was re-written as a musical for families, toured SC and Georgia, and was performed at Spoleto’s International Children’s Festival.

Her play, "The Snakehandler," was a winner of the Savannah Playwright’s Festival and premiered in that city as a one act. It was rewritten into a full length play, was performed by Lander University who took it on tour. Her play, "On Wings like a Paper Crane," premiered at the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center, was taken on tour and became a vehicle for that theater to garner the SC Theater Conference Award for Community Theater. “Perceptions from a Porch” which premiered with Actors Theatre at the Bostick Auditorium in Columbia is a play made up of a dozen sonnets.

Welch’s poetry has been performed in numerous public settings and examples can be found in A Millennial Sampler of South Carolina Poetry and A Southern Poetry Anthology, South Carolina. >Welch has been recognized for her short fiction and has won multiple fiction writing competitions including the South Carolina Fiction Project and the Spoleto Short Fiction Open. Her short story “City Bus” is included in Jannette Hospital’s anthology, Inheritance, showcasing the best of the SC Fiction Project. She has written numerous other plays, poems, songs and short stories, newspaper and magazine articles and received a South Carolina Press Association award for Critical Writing with her newspaper series, “The Witches of Salem.”

Ceille Baird Welch and her husband Jim received the 2010 Lucy Hampton Bostick Award from Richland County’s Friends of the Library. Both have been named Literary Residents for the Richland County Public Libraries. In 1998, Ceille Baird Welch and Jim Welch delivered the Commencement Address for Lander University. At that commencement she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts for her distinguished writing career and her patronage of the arts. Ceille Baird Welch is listed on South Carolina’s Literary Map and is profiled in Edwin Epps Literary South Carolina. She holds earned degrees from the University of South Carolina in Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling. By profession, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a 33 year career in community and clinical Mental Health and Rehabilitation settings.

Since retirement, Welch has served the South Carolina Arts Commission and the South Carolina Public Schools as a Literary artist in Residence.