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  • NCPS Poet Laureate Award Winner

    "We collected our evenings in jars,
    fireflies skeletons of light
    shimmering in the night."

    -from Marty Silverthorne's Testimonial of Jars

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Brockman-Campbell Book Award

With deepest thanks to this year’s judge, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Ph.D., we congratulate the 2015 Brockman-Campbell Book Award winners!


Her Small Hands Were Not Beautiful by Kathryn Kirkpatrick

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).

The judge’s comments:

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Gonne, whose personality comes to life through a dramatic rendering of voices, fine-tuned and sculpted from snippets of unpublished interviews.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.”

Honorable Mention

The Angel Dialogues by Anthony S. Abbott

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.”

Honorable Mention

Day of the Border Guards by Katherine E. Young

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. A dual-language iPad edition of Kabysh’s poetry that includes both text and audio, Two Poems, was published by Artist’s Proof Editions in 2014. Young’s translations of Vladimir Kornilov appear in The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. In 2015 she was named a Hawthornden Fellow. Her translations have been read in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Serbia, and Macedonia.

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. This debut collection is a standout for a writer who is well-versed in the art of observation.”

All three winners will read at our Fall Meeting on September 19th.  Please make plans to join us!

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