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

Announcement for the January 21, 2017  meeting

Join us for our winter meeting at beautiful Weymouth Center for the Arts.  Weymouth is enchanting any time of the year.

After a continental breakfast and socializing, we will hear Maureen Sherbondy read her poetry in the morning, followed by open mic.  After lunch, Michael McFee will read his poetry and talk about elements of poetic craft.  (For further information about the authors, see below.)  Don’t miss another opportunity to hear great poetry and socialize with fellow poets!


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

David Radavich, presiding.

10:30   Maureen Sherbondy reads her poetry.

11:15     Open Mic

12:00   Lunch

Socializing, walking in the gardens, perusing the book room.

1:00     Michael McFee reads his work and talks about poetic craft.



Maureen Sherbondy has published eight collections of poetry: After the Fairy Tale (2007), Praying at Coffee Shops (2008), Weary Blues (2010), Scar Girl (2011), The Year of Dead Fathers (2012), Eulogy for an Imperfect Man (2013), Beyond Fairy Tales, and The Art of Departure (2015).  Individual poems have appeared in over one hundred literary journals, including Calyx, Roanoke Review, Upstreet, Feminist Studies, 13th Moon, and Cairn.  Her collection of short stories, The Slow Vanishing, was published in 2009, and her stories have appeared in many journals, including The North Carolina Literary Review, Southeast Review, and moonShine Review.  She served as editor of Best of the Royal Bean (2011).  Her essays have appeared in a variety of magazines, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  She has won numerous literary prizes and served as a poet-in-residence and contest judge in many locations.  Maureen graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in psychology and received an M.F.A. from Queens University of Charlotte in 2012.  She lives in Raleigh with her three sons and teaches at Alamance Community College.


Michael McFee has published ten collections of poetry to date, including Shinemaster (2006), The Smallest Talk (2007), and most recently, That Was Oasis (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012).  We Were Once There is forthcoming next year.  In 2006, he published his first collection of essays, The Napkin Manuscripts: Selected Essays and an Interview (University of Tennessee Press).  McFee has also edited This is Where We Live: Short Stories by 25 Contemporary North Carolina Writers, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2000, a companion anthology to his The Language They Speak is Things to Eat: Poems by Fifteen Contemporary North Carolina Poets, published by UNC Press in 1994.  He has written extensively about the link between food and writing and has celebrated Appalachian culture.  Among his many awards are the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for Literary Achievement, the 2010 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South, the Thomas Wolfe Literary Award, and the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry.


September 17 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 Meeting

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.


Poetry Day Hickory, April 2

The North Carolina Poetry Society and Lenoir Rhyne University invite you to our Annual Poetry Day 2016 on Saturday, April 2, from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Featuring workshops and readings by Kathryn Kirkpatrick and Stan (JS) Absher, this will be a wonderful day of poetry and craft.  Contact Scott Owens for directions, details, and registration.



Sam Ragan Day |Saturday, March 19th, 2016

9:15 – Registration begins. Order a box lunch ($10, cash or check) until 10:10 am. Pay your annual dues, browse the displays of 8 North Carolina literary presses.

10:00 Business Meeting. David Radavitch, President, presides.

10:20   Learners and Mentors
Current students, and those who have graduated, from area campus-based MFA programs will read from their work. Programs represented will be – the North Carolina State University MFA program, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro MFA program, and the University of Wilmington MFA program.

Two featured students from each program will read from their poetry. The readings will be followed by a discussion among the students and audience about the value of MFA programs and working with established poets to hone one’s craft.

11:40 – MFA student open mic. Other MFA students from these 3 programs who come for the event will be offered an opportunity to share their work.

12:00 Eat lunch! Buy books, socialize, and enjoy the gardens. Also, speak informally with the students and teachers from the MFA programs 

1:00 Announcements

1:15   Readings from MFA poets

2:00 Book signing by featured poets.

2:15  Open mic

John Balaban is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, which have won The Academy of American Poets’ Lamont Prize and a National Poetry Series Selection. His poetry has received two nominations for the National Book Award.  His Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems won the 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.   Balaban is Emeritus Professor of English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.



Ansel Elkins is the author of Blue Yodel, winner of the 2014 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. Her poems have appeared in The American Scholar, The Believer, Oxford American, Parnassus, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the American Antiquarian Society, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, as well as a Discovery/Boston Review Prize. She is currently visiting assistant professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Michael White has taught at UNCW since 1994, and currently chairs the Creative Writing Department. His four prize-winning poetry collections are The Island, Palma Cathedral, Re-entry, and Vermeer in Hell. His memoir, Travels in Vermeer, was longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award.


“When I first moved to North Carolina, I was working on a novel that would later be published by Viking Penguin, but at the time, I’d only had a few short stories published. I came to the Weymouth Center to display a Traveling Literary Magazine Festival funded by the NCAC.  It was here that I first met Sam Ragan, who invited me to visit him at The Pilot.

Sam was — along with people like Lee Smith, Reynolds Price, Fred Chappell, and others — one of the state’s best-known writers. He made it a point to welcome younger writers, those still learning their craft, into the writing community.

Those of us still learning were honored to be encouraged by those we respected for being more experienced and more skilled than us. It is in the spirit of Sam Ragan’s welcoming nature that we have organized this program today.”

Richard Krawiec




Join us at beautiful Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities for a special day of contemporary poetry and storied history. 

Learners & Mentors 

A special note from NCPS 1st Vice President of Programming, Richard Krawiec:

“When I first moved to North Carolina,  I was working on a novel that would later be published by Viking Penguin, but at the time, I’d only had a few short stories published. I came to the Weymouth Center to display a Traveling Literary Magazine Festival funded by the NCAC.  It was here that I first met Sam Ragan, who invited me to visit him at The Pilot.

Sam was — along with people like Lee Smith, Reynolds Price, Fred Chappell, Ron Bayes,  Shelby Stephenson and others — one of the state’s best and most established writers who made it a point to make younger writers, those still learning their craft, feel welcome into the writing community.

Those of us still learning were honored to be encouraged by those we respected for being more experienced and more skilled than us.” 

In the spirit of Sam Ragan’s generosity and support, we present Learners & Mentors, a program that will feature teachers and students from three of North Carolina’s most respected campus-based MFA programs: North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. John Balaban will be bringing students from NCSU; Ansel Elkins, from UNC-Greensboro; and Michael White will be bringing his students from UNC-Wilmington.

Students will read from their work in the morning, then form a panel to discuss writing and learning poetry, and working with a teacher or mentor.  John, Ansel, and Michael will read in the afternoon.We hope you will join us for this day of mentoring, teaching, learning, and sharing — all under the celebration of the man and the day that has inspired us: Sam Ragan Day.

Saturday, January 16, 2016



 9:15 – Registration begins. Order a box lunch ($10, cash or check) until 10:10 am. Pay your annual dues, browse the displays of eight North Carolina literary presses.

10:00 Business Meeting. David Radavich, President, presides.

10:20   Metta Sama will offer a presentation and writing activity on “Hands in the Air:  Surrender & Resistance.” Metta will discuss the ways in which poetry acts as both resistance and surrender, how poets enact activism in their art, and the importance of poetry in times of turmoil. A writing prompt will close her session.

11:30 – NCPS members will read their poems started from the workshop prompt.

12:00 Eat lunch! Buy books, socialize, and enjoy the gardens.

Also, visit the Publisher displays from Backbone Press, Carolina Wren Press, Horse and Buggy Press, Jacar Press, Longleaf Press, Sable Books, St. Andrews University Press, Unicorn Press.

1:00 Announcements

1:15   Shadab Zeest Hashmi – Middle Eastern Poetic Forms. Pakistani-American poet Shadab Zeest Hashmi will read from her own work, and the work of other poets, as she discusses a variety of forms originally created or used by poets from the Middle East.

2:00 Book signing by featured poets. Browse the North Carolina publisher tables.

2:15  Open mic


Featured presenters, Metta Sáma & Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Metta SamaMetta Sáma is author of le animal & other creatures (Miel Books), After “Sleeping to Dream”/After After (Nous-Zot), Nocturne Trio (YesYes Books) & South of Here, published under her legal name, Lydia Melvin, by New Issues Press. Her poems, fiction, and creative nonfiction essays have been published in Heir ApparentValley VoicesPuerto del Sol’s Black Voices Series, Literary HubKwelibluestemApogeeAll About Skin (edited by Jina Ortiz & Rochelle Spencer), Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation(edited by Lynn Melnick & Brett Fletcher Lauer), among others. She has served as special guest editor for ReverieBlack CameraRedLeaf Poetry Journal and North American Review. She serves on the board of Cave Canem and VIDA and is a Fellow at Black Earth Institute. Sáma is the director of Center for Women Writers and an Assistant Professor and Director of Creative Writing at Salem College.


img_5513Shadab Zeest Hashmi, winner of the the San Diego Book Award and the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times. Her work has been translated into Spanish and Urdu, and has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poetry International, The Cortland Review, Vallum, Nimrod, Atlanta Review, The Bitter Oleander, RHINO, Journal of Postcolonial Writings, Spillway, The Adirondack Review, and Drunken Boat among other journals and anthologies. She represents Pakistan on the website UniVerse: A United Nations of Poetry, and has taught in the MFA program at San Diego State University as a writer-in-residence. She is a guest columnist for 3 Quarks DailyKohl and Chalk is her latest book.



Saturday, September 19, 2015


9:15  Welcome!  Registration begins. Don’t forget to order a boxed lunch ($10, cash or check) until 10:10 am. Pay your annual dues.

10:00  Business  Meeting. David Radavich, president of the North Carolina Poetry Society presiding.

10:20  Readings by winners of the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, introduced by Charles Fiore, Communications Director for the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Gabrielle Freeman of Greenville, NC, is the winner for her poem, “Failure to Obliterate.”
Ann Deagon of Greensboro, was the first runner-up for her poem “Testimony.”
Ralph Earle of Apex was second runner-up for “Every Field of Paradise.”

Honorable Mentions went to  Michael White for “Blackout”; Malaika King Albrecht for “The Way Desire Touches”; and Luke Hankins for “Divided.”

Gabrielle Freeman, Ann Deagon, and Michael White will be present to read.

10:40  Readings by winners of the Brockman-Campbell Book Award

WINNER: Her Small Hands Were Not Beautiful by Kathryn Kirkpatrick
Honorable Mentions:
Day of the Border Guards by Katherine E. Young and The Angel Dialogues by Anthony S. Abbott

11:45    Questions  & book signing

12:00  Eat lunch! Buy books, socialize, and enjoy the gardens.

1:00    Announcements

1:15   The Road to the NC Literary Hall of Fame. Reading and discussion by Jaki Shelton Green. 

2:00  Book signing by all featured poets

2:15  Open mic

Featured Presenter, Jaki Shelton Green:



Jaki Shelton Green is a poet, cultural activist, creativity coach, teacher, founder of SistaWRITE and 2014 inductee into the NC Literary Hall of Fame. Jaki’s books include Feeding the Light (Jacar Press), Dead on Arrival, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, and breath of the song (all published by Carolina Wren Press).

She received the 2010 Fine Arts Emerald Award (Raleigh LINKS), and in 2009, was selected first NC Piedmont Laureate. She was honored with the Sam Ragan Award for contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina in 2007. In 2003, she received the North Carolina Award for Literature and was inducted into the North Caroliniana Society.

As community arts advocate, Jaki Shelton Green creates and facilitates programs that serve diverse audiences and populations: incarcerated, homeless, chronically and mentally ill, survivors, elderly, public and private schools, teachers, hospice care providers, substance abuse counselors, literacy programs, libraries, universities, humanities councils, community economic development, social justice nonprofits, and libraries.

Her poetry has been widely choreographed by numerous dance companies including Danca Nova at Naropa Institute for the Arts, The Chuck Davis African-American Dance Company at The Kennedy Center, Miami City Ballet, Two Near the Edge, and Choreo Dance.


Kathryn Kirkpatrick is a Professor of English at Appalachian State University where she teaches environmental literature, creative writing, and Irish studies. She has a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Emory University, where she received an Academy of American Poets poetry prize.  Her poetry collections include The Body’s Horizon (1996), which was selected by Alicia Ostriker for the Brockman-Campbell award; Beyond Reason (2004), which was awarded the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association; Out of the Garden (2007), which was a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Association poetry award; Unaccountable Weather (2011); Our Held Animal Breath (2012) which was selected by Chard DeNiord for the Brockman-Campbell Award; and Her Small Hands Were Not Beautiful (2014).  She has held writing residencies at Norton Island in Maine and the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland. As a literary scholar in Irish studies and the environmental humanities, she has published essays on class trauma, eco-feminist poetics, and animal studies.  She is the editor of Border Crossings: Irish Women Writers and National Identities and co-editor with Borbala Farago of Animals in Irish Literature and Culture (2015).

Comments from Final Judge Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

In Her Small Hands Were Not Beautiful, Kathryn Kirkpatrick relies on impeccable research and a keen insight into the intricacies of form to enliven figures as engaging as William Butler Yeats, the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, and Queen Maeve. Especially laudatory is the author’s typographical arrangement in the artistic rendering of Maud Gonne, whose personality comes to life through a dramatic rendering of voices, fine-tuned and sculpted from snippets of unpublished interviews. Kirkpatrick possesses the mental acumen to pace this perceptive poem so that it skillfully illuminates Gonne’s traits as viewed by family, friends, and others. Throughout the book, the author enthralls the reader with well-honed gems that sing of her familiar connections to Ireland while revealing a masterful command of language.”


Katherine E. Young is the author of Day of the Border Guards (University of Arkansas Miller Williams Prize Series, 2014), one of Split This Rock’s “eagerly anticipated” picks for 2014 and one of Beltway Poetry‘s “Best Books of 2014″; she has also published two chapbooks. Young’s poems, translations, and reviews have appeared in Prairie SchoonerShenandoahThe Iowa Review, and many others. Her translation of Russian poet Xenia Emelyanova won third place in the 2014 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender Prize competition. Her translations of Inna Kabysh won third place in the 2011 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender Prize competition and were commended by the judges of the 2012 Brodsky-Spender Prize. Young’s translations of Vladimir Kornilov appear in The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. In 2015 she was named a Hawthornden Fellow.

 The judge’s comments:

“Katherine E. Young’s Day of the Border Guards is a commendable book reflecting an astute understanding of Russia, its history, and countrymen. A skilled craftsperson, the author ingeniously creates poems that bear witness to a compelling past. Here is a poet capable of unveiling humanity with a vibrancy that lingers. Even a dezhurnaya—or museum docent/guard—gains relevance alongside figures as eminent as Osip Mandelstam and Mikhail Lermontov.  Here is a writer, whose lyricism resonates in the reader’s mind long after closing the book..”


Anthony S. Abbott has published  7 books of poetry, most recently The Angel Dialogues. The Man Who, won the 2005 Oscar Arnold Young Award of the N.C. Poetry.  If Words Could Save Us, was the 2011 co-winner of the Brockman-Campbell Award.  He is past President of the Charlotte Writers Club and the North Carolina Writers Network and also past Chairman of the North Carolina Writers Conference. He served from 2009-2011 as the President of the NC Poetry Society.  He and his wife Susan live in Davidson. They have three sons and seven grandchildren.

The judge’s comments:

“A first-rate narrator, Anthony Abbott offers his readers a bounty of wisdom in his cleverly designed book, The Angel Dialogues.  Early on, he introduces an angel, or heavenly guide, whose witty retorts contain valuable lessons that stare us in the face with truths about humankind.  I applaud Abbott for employing humor and a unique structure as well as for incorporating an ingenious muse, who addresses an array of concerns that apply to those of us easily disrupted by the dailiness of life. This is an admirable collection worthy of praise.”


Gabrielle Freeman‘s poetry has been published in many journals including Hobart, Shenandoah, storySouth, and Waxwing. She is the winner of the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, she has been nominated twice for the Best of the Net, and she was a finalist in 2014. Gabrielle lives with her family in Eastern North Carolina.

 Well known to the NC Poetry Society, Ann Deagon has published many poetry collections, including Carbon 14, Poetics South, There Is No Balm in Birmingham, and The Polo Poems. She also writes fiction and drama. Among her awards, in 2011 she was the honoree of the North Carolina Writers Conference Ashville meeting and was named Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for 2012 and 2013.

In 2015, Ralph Earle won the Sable Books chapbook contest for his manuscript, The Way the Rain Works. His work has also been published in The Sun, Sufi Magazine, Tar River Poetry, Carolina Quarterly, as well as numerous anthologies. He is a poet, teacher, and software developer, and currently resides in Apex, N.C., where he finds much of his inspiration.




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