Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series | Guidelines

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1. The Coordinating Group will:

•   Provide support and backup for the three Regional Groups and the North Carolina Center for the Book (NCCB).

•   Coordinate activities with and report directly to the NCPS Board. Should questions arise, the Regional Groups and the NCCB will address these to the Coordinating Group, which will present all matters not covered in the guidelines to the NCPS Board for final approval.

•   Ensure that money flows to each Regional Group yearly.

•   Evaluate the success of each program yearly by reviewing the annual report of the Regional Groups.

•   Produce a brochure to promote the GCDPS.

•   Write a general press release announcing the GCDPS.

•   Write general articles for the North Carolina Writers’ Network newsletter, as well as the NCPS newsletter and Website.

•   Assist in promoting the GCDPS, wherever possible.

•   Prepare a standard application form for Student Poets and make copies available to the Regional Groups an NCCB, who will distribute them as widely as possible in the regions. The Coordinating Group will also work with the NCPS’s VP for Student Contests to provide a GCDPS application form to every winner (including honorable mention recipients) in the NCPS’s annual Student Contests, as announced in May and indicated in Pinesong (the NCPS’s annual publication of winning poems in the Adult and Student Contests).

•   Prepare a standard application form for Distinguished Poets and make copies available to the Regional Groups and NCCB who will distribute them as widely as possible in the regions. See new form composed by NCCB.

•   Review the Regional Group’s annual report received by December 1 and include that review in an annual written report to the NCPS Board submitted via email to the board members by at least one week before the January Board meeting. The written report will include but not be limited to:

•   Written summaries from Regional Groups

•   Written evaluations from the DP and Students

•   Coordinating Group’s evaluation and recommendations for action

•   Appoint as publicity person who will forward advance publicity for each regional event as received from the regional publicity person and sent it to the NCPS Newsletter, web site and NCPS publicity chair in time to meet publication deadlines.

2. Each Regional Group will:

• Be composed of three to five members selected from the region. The Coordinating Group will help establish Regional Groups by initially inviting some members, who will in turn select the remaining members. The Coordinating Group may thereafter suggest names of members to the Regional Groups, but it will be the responsibility of the local poets to select their own members and chairperson. The qualifications of these members will be up to the Regional Group. Membership in the NCPS will not be required for participation.

• Ensure that, during any given year, no more than two of the Regional Group’s members are from a single institution.

•   Invite a Distinguished Poet yearly, based on the standard application forms submitted.

•   Review with the invited Distinguished Poet the particulars of the program, including planned dates for the regional reading, local readings (where the NCCB will pay the Distinguished Poets to read in the local libraries), the NCCB contract includes mentoring as well as reading at programs and the reading at the Weymouth Center, should that be funded. The primary selection criterion for the Distinguished Poets is that each one be an established poet.

•   Announce the GCDPS and distribute Student Poet application as widely as possible throughout the region.

•   Seek recommendations regarding potential Student Poets from the NCPS’s 2nd VP of Student Contests, teachers, local poetry groups, poets, community leaders, and public libraries for middle and high school students and, whenever possible, give application forms to those students.

•   Based on the standard application forms submitted, invite four student poets yearly to participate: one from a middle school, one from a high school, one from a college or university and one out-of-school adult student. Home school children are eligible.  If no qualified student is identified in one of these categories, then an additional student may be chosen from either of the other three categories, however, all the absolute goal is to have one student from each category.

•   Annually select the site for the regional reading.

•   Promptly notify student poets of the results of the selection process.

•   Promptly after selecting the Student Poets, send the Coordinating Group a list of these poets and any particular criteria for selection that were applied (e.g., wide geographic representation throughout the region).

•   Help arrange, if necessary, the initial meeting between the Distinguished Poet and each Student Poet, and, if need be, help identify an appropriate location for the subsequent one-on-one meetings. We suggest that the local public library would be a very appropriate location to meet.  Please contact the local librarian to arrange a suitable space.

•    Manage expense money sent by the NCPS treasurer and send an annual expense report to the GCDPS Chairperson.

•   Work with the Student Poets and Distinguished Poet to present a regional reading.

•   Set up and run the regional reading at the location selected by the NCPS Board, with input from the Coordinating Group and the Regional Group.

•   Help Student Poets set up their local readings in conjunction with a local public library.

•   Write a yearly summary of the regional program and send it to the Coordinating Group by December 1. This summary will be included in the January report to the NCPS Board.

•   Appoint as publicity person who will write advance publicity for each regional event and sent it to the Gilbert Chappell Coordinating Group publicity person by mid October.

3.  The NC Carolina Center for the Book will:

·   Supply information about the GCDPS to NC public library directors as well as adult service and youth services staff to enable them to refer interested student poets in each category (but particularly middle and high school students) to the appropriate Regional Committee

·   Support public libraries as necessary to increase the number of applicants to the GCDP Series mentorships.

·   Supply each Distinguished Poet with a set of guidelines for holding a public library reading including how to contact the local librarian.

·   Supply each Distinguished Poet with a set of instructions on how to complete their contract and any necessary forms with the NCCB.

·   Answer questions and provide other assistance as necessary.

4. Each Distinguished Poet will:

•   Have substantial teaching experience and have published (not self-published) at least one book of poetry.

•   Review a total of approximately one dozen pages of poetry for each Student Poet.

•   Provide written comments to the Student Poets about the poetry they submit for critiquing.

•   Meet at least twice face-to-face with each Student Poet.

•   Coach each Student Poet in public reading.

•   Read with the Student Poets at the regional site.

•   Attend the local readings by the Student Poets and read their own poetry according to the contract with the NCCB.

•   Comply with the requirements of the NCCB to obtain an honorarium for each of four public reading.  An honorarium will be given for each separate public library reading.

•   At the end of his or her term, provide the Regional Group with a written summary of interaction with the Student Poets. This written summary will be included in the annual report to the NCPS Board in January.

•   Provide a safe environment for meeting with each Student Poet.

5. Each Student Poet will:

•   Send approximately one dozen pages of poetry to the Distinguished Poet, on a schedule to be determined by the Distinguished Poet.

•   Respond in writing to suggestions made by the Distinguished Poet

•   Attend at least two face-to-face meetings with the Distinguished Poet.

•   Read poetry with the Distinguished Poet and the two other Student Poets at the regional reading.

•   Read poetry at one local public library in conjunction with their Distinguished Poet and in cooperation with the NCCB.

6.   Selection of the Distinguished Poet will:

•   Ensure selection of a poet that meets the established guidelines.

•   Follow a process of application and selection that will include widespread notices in the NCPS newsletter and on the Website, as well as in the North Carolina Writers’ Network newsletter and other publicity routes. The notices will include the name of each Regional Group’s chairperson and will give directions for applying. A standard application form will be given to all poets expressing interest in the program.

•   Be the choice of the Regional Group, with equal opportunity given to all applicants (i.e., without regard to race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, etc.). After having selected a Distinguished Poet, the Regional Group will send the Coordinating Group a copy of the poet’s application form, plus a full listing of that year’s applicants. The Coordinating Group will present these materials at the NCPS’s January Board meeting.

•   Allow for a specific Distinguished Poet to serve for two consecutive years.

•   Not include a poet currently serving on a Regional Committee or the Coordinating Committee.  The regional group cannot choose one of its own members as the Distinguished Poet.

7.   Selection of the Student Poets will:

•   Begin with a review of all of the standard application forms submitted to each Regional Group.

•   Be the choice of the Regional Group, based on criteria established by the Regional Group (see earlier points).

•   Be made after the selection of student winners of the annual NCPS Student Contests.

•   Include for each region one middle school, one high school, one college or university student and an adult not currently enrolled in a graduate program.

8.   Time Line for Actions:

Regional Groups Will:

•   Select the Distinguished Poet for the year as soon as possible.

•   Begin selecting Student Poets soon after the May announcement of student winners of the NCPS Student Contests and complete the process by November 1.

•   Promptly notify student poets of the results of the selection process.

•   Select regional reading sites and submit publicity articles regarding the regional reading to the Coordinating Group by Mid October.

•   Arrange and conduct the regional reading.

•   Coordinate with the NCCB when ever necessary.

•   Assist the Distinguished Poet and Student Poet in establishing local public library readings. Coordinate with the NCCB. Present a written summary of their programs to the Coordinating Group by December 1 of each year.

9. Coordinating Group Will:

•   Have articles written by Regional Groups in the hands of the Newsletter Editor, web master and NCPS Publicity Chair by November 1.

•   Forward a written report via email to the NCPS Board at least one week in advance of the January Board meeting.

10. Distinguished Poets Will:

•   Begin work with students after November 1.

•   Conduct a Regional Reading with the Student Poets as coordinated by the Regional Group.

•   Conduct a local library reading with the individual students as coordinated by the Regional Group and in conjunction with the NCCB.

11.   Finances:

The NCPS treasurer will pay each Distinguished Poet $800 after that poet’s regional reading with the Student Poets. The check will be sent to the Regional Group chairperson, who will present it to the Distinguished Poet.

•   Each Regional Group will be given $250 for expense money by the NCPS treasurer.   This money is for expenses such as mailing application forms, printing flyers, publicizing events, and purchasing a poetry book (by the Regional DP) to be given to each Student Poet by the Distinguished Poet.

•   The Coordinating Committee may request up to $250 annually for expenses like printing, mailing, etc.

•   The Regional Coordinating Chairperson will receive an honorarium of $200.

•   The Coordinating Group Chairperson will receive an honorarium $500 from the NCPS and $500 for expenses when appropriate.

•   The NCPS Treasurer will manage monies held by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to ensure all payments.

•   The NCPS Treasurer will complete appropriate tax forms.

•   The NCPS Treasurer will maintain a line item on the budget for the GCDPS.

•   The DP must complete all NCCB contracts and forms in a timely manner in order to receive an honorarium from the NCCB.     Each DP will receive a set of instruction from the NCCB on how to complete contracts and forms in a timely manner.

•   The North Carolina Center for the Book will pay each Distinguished Poet a $200 honorarium for each separate public library reading.  There will be a maximum of four public library readings ($800) maximum per Distinguished Poet.  A set of instruction on how to apply for the honorarium and contract will be provided by the NC Center for the Book to each Regional Poet.

12. The North Carolina Poetry Society Board will:

•   Have final authority over the GCDPS guidelines and their implementation.

•   Will review the program at the January Board meeting.

13.  Presbyterian University Press will print an annual publication of select poems written by the student poets and Distinguished Poets of each region.

14.  Definitions for the Series

  • Coordinating Group:
    The first-year Coordinating Group has been composed of the persons listed previously, plus ex officio member Fred Chappell. After the program’s first year, the NCPS president will seek recommendations from the Board, the Coordinating Group, and the Regional Groups about people to serve on the Coordinating Group for the next year. At the January Board meeting, the president will recommend, for the Board’s approval, the Coordinating Group’s members for the coming year.
  • Regional Groups:
    Three Regional Groups will be formed, one each in the east, central, and west regions of the state. The Coordinating Group will create the opportunity for the regions to develop this program and, thereafter, provide ongoing oversight and feedback. The Regional Groups will include three to five poets in each region who are interested in advancing the goals of the GCDPS. The Regional Groups will be self selecting, but each group will not include more than two members from a single institution. The Distinguished Poet for that region cannot also serve on the Regional Group or the Coordinating Group during his or her tenure as Distinguished Poet. The regional group cannot choose one of its own members as the Distinguished Poet. If no group forms in a region, that region will not have a Distinguished Poet program for the year in question.


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