NCPS Events

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North Carolina Society Meetings

are held at beautiful Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, in Southern Pines, NC.  For Directions to Weymouth, see our directions page.

Awards Day on May 12!

NCPS MeetingSam Ragan Day on Saturday, March 10, 2018

Join us once again at Weymouth for the March meeting of the North Carolina Poetry Society.  In the morning we will hear readings by Steve Cushman and Ashley R. “Milli” Lumpkin, followed by open mic.  After lunch and tours of the gardens, Keith Flynn will conduct a workshop on poetry and music.
You won’t want to miss another remarkable day of poetry.


9:15      Registration
Order a box lunch if not paid in advance ($10, cash or check) until 10:10 a.m.

10:00   Business Meeting
Sam Barbee, presiding.

10:25   A Tribute to Sally Buckner
We will offer a tribute to Sally Buckner, a talented poet and staunch supporter of the literary arts in North Carolina.

10:35    A Reading by Steve Cushman
Steve Cushman, winner of the 1018 Lena Shull Book Award, sponsored by the NC Poetry Society for the best unpublished book manuscript, reads excerpts from his collection How Birds Fly, selected by judge Patricia Fargnioli, former Poet Laureate of New Hampshire.

10:45   A Reading by Ashley R. “Milli” Lumpkin

11: 15   Open Mic
All attendees are encouraged to sign up to read a one-page poem and to support their fellow poets.

12:00   Lunch
Socializing, walking in the gardens, perusing the book room.

1:00   A Workshop Led by Keith Flynn: How to Build a Poem’s Sonic Architecture
This workshop will focus on rhythm and sound, the components of language that make a poem flow with authority, how to muscle up with action verbs, sharpen your power of condensation, and build on the organic principle of beautiful accidents.

Biographies of the Presenters

Steve Cushman earned his M.A. from Hollins University and M.F.A. from UNC-Greensboro.  He has published four works of fiction, including the 2004 Novello Literary Award-winning novel, Portisville, and most recently the novel, Hopscotch.  His first full-length poetry collection, How Birds Fly, is the winner of the 2018 Lena Shull Book Award.  After working as an X-ray Technologist for twenty years, he currently works in the IT Department at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital.  Cushman lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with his family.

Ashley R. “Milli” Lumpkin will read several selections from her latest collection #AshleyLumpkin, as well as some new pieces that that she will be taking to the Women of The World Poetry Slam (WOWps) in March.  She will showcase pieces that blur the line between what is poetry for the page and poetry for the stage.  She was born on Juneteenth in Arizona and leaves it to you to draw conclusions about freedom and fire.  She is the author of two chapbooks, {} At First Sight and Terrorism and Other Topics for Tea, and one full length collection, #AshleyLumpkin.  She has been a competing member of Piedmont SLAM, Scuppernong Slammers, and the Bull City Slam team.  She hosts the open mic series, “Untitled: New Works and Works in Progress.”

Keith Flynn is the award-winning author of seven books, including five collections of poetry and a collection of essays entitled The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007).  His latest book is a collaboration with photographer Charter Weeks, entitled Prosperity Gospel: Portraits of the Great Recession.  From 1984-1999, he was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, The Crystal Zoo, which produced three albums.  He has been awarded the Sandburg Prize for poetry, a 2013 NC Literary Fellowship, the ASCAP Emerging Songwriter Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award and was twice named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for NC.  Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, which began publishing in 1994.



January 13, 2018
Our winter meeting featured a tribute to Sally Bruckner, a beloved literary figure in North Carolina who passed way recently, followed by a presentation on the newly established Susan Laughter Meyers Poetry Fellowship by Pat Riviere-Seel and by Meyers’ sister, Janice Laughter Sullivan.  Adrian Rice gave a lively reading in the morning, followed after lunch by a sestina workshop led by Mimi Herman.

September 16, 2017
On this beautiful fall day, we heard Alice Osborn read Lisa Zerkle’s Randall Jarrell Prize-winning poem, followed by readings by Alan Michael Parker and Julie Funderburk, winners of this year’s Brockman-Campbell Award.  North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson and Michael Beadle delivered a tribute to the late Kathryn Stripling Byer, first female poet laureate of North Carolina.  Five poets–Bill Blackley, David Manning, Alan Michael Parker, Barbara Presnell, and David Radavich–offered a tribute to Susan Laughter Meyers, a beloved former NCPS president.  After lunch, Philip Shabazz gave an energetic reading to conclude a truly memorable day.

May 27, 2017 Awards Day
Our annual Awards Day featured students and adults reading their prize-winning poems, featured in this year’s issue of Pinesong, edited by Leslie Rupracht.  Michael Beadle presented the student prizes, while Richard Alley Taylor emceed the adult awards.  This year’s Pinesong is dedicated to Kathryn Stripling Byer, our wonderful former NC Poet Laureate, who unfortunately passed away only a week later.  We were fortunate to hear Susan Lefler’s stirring tribute and Kay’s own greetings to the Society.  What a memorable celebration of a poetic soul who will be sorely missed.

March 18, 2017 Sam Ragan Day
Peter Makuck and Marjory Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina, gave wonderful readings of their poetry and participated in spirited discussion afterward.  The open mic session once again featured accomplished poetry and a wide variety of expression.   Lots of camaraderie and sense of community.

January 21, 2017 Meeting
Maureen Sherbondy read her poetry and Michael McFee presented a mix of poetry and discussion of careful revision at this delightful meeting that also included a particularly rewarding variety of poets at open mic.  Jan Harrington was celebrated at this year’s winner of the Lena Shull Book Contest for a new poetry collection to be published by Saint Andrews University Press.

September 17, 2016 Meeting
Our meeting on September 17 offered a feast of varied poetic tastes, with the winners of the Randall Jarrell Poetry Contest and the winners of the Brockman-Campbell Book Award all sharing their work.  After a high-quality open mic and lunch on the beautiful grounds of Weymouth, Alice Osborn suggested ways to launch our poetry out in the world with a workshop on social media and marketing.

May 28, 2016 Awards Day
Thanks to everyone who participated in our May 28 annual Awards Day!  It was a festive occasion for poetry written by our student and adult prize winners.  Special thanks to Michael Beadle, our Student Contests Coordinator, and to Richard Allen Taylor, our Adult Contests Coordinator, for doing a splendid job organizing and presenting the prizes.  The Weymouth gardens were at their finest on a gorgeous day perfect for good poetry and fellowship.