Beth Copeland has lived in Japan, India, and North Carolina as a child. Her book Traveling Through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her poems have been widely published in literary journals and have received awards from Atlanta Review, North American Review, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and Peregrine. Her work has been featured in MotionPoems, and two of her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is an English instructor at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She lives in a log cabin in the country with her husband, Phil Reich. Learn more at her website: http://bethcopeland-writing.com/.
Beth served briefly as 1st Vice President. We thank you, Beth, for your extraordinary talent, your heart — so evident in your work and everything you do — and your many and ongoing contributions to the NCPS.
Joanna Imogen Davidson, native of Wilkes County, NC, currently lives in Hillsborough, NC. She is a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society and the North Carolina Writers’ Network. In 2015 she was a student in the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series under Lynn Veach Sadler and participated in a workshop led by Jaki Shelton Green. A 1995 graduate of Salisbury High School, Davidson then attended Catawba College studying Political Science and Communication Arts. She worked at Rowan Public Library for many years and has since worked as an Support Specialist for the past decade. Davidson is a transgender woman who has become more active in political activism along with her writing career. She writes poems and short stories with the expectation that she will actually finish a novel someday.
Joanna served briefly as our secretary. We appreciate her courage, her gifts, her activism, and her passion for justice.
Thank you, Joanna, for your longtime and ongoing support of the North Carolina Poetry Society.
June Milby started her professional life as a news person, then television reporter, then served as press secretary for McNeill Smith’s campaign for Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Jesse Helms.Later, she worked in all of Governor Jim Hunt’s administrations. She ended her career with a stint in the Federal Government working with the national children’s health insurance program. Throughout her varied jobs, June wrote poetry and published some poems in Corradi, The Southern Pines Pilot, The Greensboro Review and St. Andrews Review. St. Andrews Press published a chapbook of June’s poems, The Jade Frog.
June served as an impeccable secretary to the Board and the extraordinary span of her career echoes her commitment to the arts and progress. June, you will be missed, and we thank you for your ongoing support.
Of Richard Krawiec, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green says, “Rich Krawiec is always on the right side when it comes to issues of inclusion, fairness, and professionalism.” May, 2016.
Richard Krawiec has spent his life advocating for the rights of, and teaching writing to sexually abused children, abused women, refugees, people in homeless shelters, prisoners, including women on Death Row, literacy classes, low-income communities, public schools, and universities — he was honored with an Excellence in Teaching Award from UNC Chapel Hill. In addition to teaching, he is widely published, and has won him many awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, 2 fellowships from the NC Arts Council fellowships, the Katherine H. Wallace Award for Artists in Community Service from the Triangle Community Foundation, and the Indies Art Award from The Independent in Durham.
Recently he was engaged by the U.S. State Department to meet with and provide workshops, through their International Visitor Leadership Program, for educators and artists from Armenia, Bolivia, Niger, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. As the publisher of Jacar Press, he combines writing and advocacy – this year alone Jacar has supported #BlackLivesMatter, Syrian refugee relief, Transgender advocacy, and proceeds from sales of Resisting Arrest (which features 3 Pulitzer Prize winners, among others) will go to a scholarship fund for low-income students administered by the Urban League. Jacar sponsors low-cost community writing workshops in Cary, featuring National Book Award finalists, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and others.
He brings this same attitude of impassioned advocacy and inclusion in every facet of his work, and his work on behalf of the general membership of the NCPS is no exception. When it was discovered a ‘winning’ poem in one competition was clearly plagiarized by a poet who had been stripped of other awards for plagiarism, Richard was steadfast in insisting the award be rescinded. Richard also spearheaded the move to adopt a sexual harassment policy as part of our by-laws when it came to light that several women disclosed they had been victimized. The Publisher Display, first hosted last January, which allowed members to browse and speak with many NC publishers was his concept, as was the Publisher Membership category as a way to build a closer bridge between membership and potential places they may have their work published. From welcoming students and teachers from three of North Carolina’s most prestigious MFA programs, to highlighting social justice with a program featuring Metta Sáma, poet and Director of the The Center for Women Writers of Salem College, to developing a partnership that allowed the NCPS to help bring Pakistani-American poet Shadab Zeest Hashmi from California to discuss Middle Eastern poetic forms, his programs have enriched the society.
Whether taking care of featured poets and guests — even bringing one award-winner to lunch when her order never showed up — or finding judges for the adult contests when others were having difficulty, Richard is always the first to answer and even anticipate a call for help. He advocates for the need to to ask questions about, and have conversations around, difficult but important issues — such as inclusive hiring practices, like making sure women and people of color are openly considered for paid positions in NCPS-supported programs, and our financial integrity as a nonprofit by voicing the need for a professional audit, as required per our by-laws.
In serving the general membership, he has always been impassioned in his advocacy for inclusion, fairness and professionalism.
For this, and so much more, Richard, you have our deepest thanks.