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  • NCPS Poet Laureate Award Winner

    "…you say aloud
    to the road, I can never forget this,
    by which, of course, you mean you’ll never remember. "

    -from Catherine Carter's 'Day of the Dead'

Annual NCPS Contests Now Open!

It’s that time again! Time to submit your poems to the annual NCPS contests, for both adults and students!

And for the adult contests, we have exciting news! You can now submit your poems electronically instead of sending them in by mail.

Submit your poems today! Winners of our contests are published in our yearly winning poems anthology, Pinesong, win cash prizes, and are invited to read their work at our Awards Day Meeting in May.

In addition, for those with a full-length manuscript, consider submitting it to our Brockman-Campbell Award, which is also open for submissions.

For more information about all of our contests, including contest guidelines, visit our page at You can’t win if you don’t submit!

Brockman-Campbell Winner

This year’s winner of the Brockman-Campbell Award for books published in 2012 is Our Held Animal Breath by Kathryn Kirkpatrick.

Books recognized for Honorable Mention are A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge by Katherine Soniat and Long Division by Alan Michael Parker.

The judge was Chard DeNiord; he is the co-founder of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry and professor of English at Providence College. He lives in Putney, Vermont. He is the author of four books of poetry and a collection of interviews with senior American poets.

Please join us at Weymouth in Southern Pines for the Brockman-Campbell awards meeting on September 21!

Contest Winners!

We are happy to announce the winners of the 2013 NCPS Contests! We had many great entries, and the names on these lists are the best of the best this year. Thanks for all of your entries, and congratulations to the winners!

To see the winners of the adult contests, visit

For the winners of the student contests, see

Come and visit us on Awards Day, this Saturday May 11 in Southern Pines (more info:

Awards Day 2013

All year long, all over the state, poets are hard at work putting words to paper and screen. In May, we’ll recognize some of these fine poets during our Awards Day celebration. Please join us to hear award-winning poetry from writers of all ages. In our largest meeting of the year, we’ll honor the latest student and adult winners of the North Carolina Poetry Society’s annual competitions and release the 2013
Pinesong (edited by Claudine Moreau and Chelsea Krieg) on Saturday May 11 at Weymouth.

After a brief business meeting, we’ll dedicate this year’s Pinesong to Bill Blackley.

After the dedication, Susan Lefler — winner of the Poet Laureate Award (final judge Joseph Bathanti)—has been invited to read, followed by the finalists for the Poet Laureate Award. Then we’ll hear the student winners of the Travis Tuck Jordan Award (for students in grades 3 through 5), the Joan Scott Memorial Award (for poems about the environment by students in grades 3 through 8), the Mary Chilton Award (for students in grades 6 through 8), the Sherry Pruitt Award (for students in grade 9 through undergraduate), and the Farlow-Griffin Haiku Award (for students in grade 9 through undergraduate).

We’ll then continue with the adult winners of the Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award for poems written by adults for children and the Griffin-Farlow Haiku Award, and possibly others, depending on time.

After a break for lunch around noon, we’ll resume readings by the remaining adult winners at 1:15 pm: winners of the Poetry of Courage Award ; the Poetry of Love Award ; the Thomas H. McDill Award for a poem of any form, any style, with a maximum of 70 lines ; the Joanna Catherine Scott Award for traditional forms ; the Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award ; the Ruth Moose Sestina Award; and the Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award.

May is a perfect time to enjoy poetry and the beautiful gardens and house at Weymouth. Please join us! For more information, including a tentative schedule, visit our Events page.

Poetry Council of NC

Thanks to the Poetry Council of North Carolina

The recent meeting of the NCPS Board was an eventful one. The Poetry Council of NC has decided that after its April 20 Poetry Day event at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, it will cease operation and transfer its assets to NCPS.

PCNC requested that NCPS use these assets create an endowed annual contest to select and publish a new book of poetry by a NC poet. PCNC also requested that the contest be named after Lena M. Shull, poet and founder of PCNC. The board voted to honor both of these requests. The board also approved guidelines for the contest which will be available in time for the mid-September through mid-November submission dates. The NCPS Nominating Committee has been tasked with nominating a Director for this contest.

PCNC also requested that NCPS assume management of Poetry Day which will be co-sponsored by NCPS and Catawba Valley Community College and will serve as a spring event focused on the Lena Shull Award winner and poets from western NC. Scott Owens was appointed Chair of the Poetry Day Committee. Michael Beadle of Waynesville, Pat Riviere-Seel of Asheville, and Dr. Ramona Fletcher, English Department Chair at CVCC, have already agreed to join that committee, and others have been asked from other parts of western NC.

Finally, PCNC requested that NCPS assume management of its NC Poetry Collection housed at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. This collection features more than 1000 books of NC poetry, including many of historical significance. The Board is working to identify a NCPS liaison for the collection, preferably someone living near Salisbury with interest or experience in NC
literary history.

Additional details regarding each of these additions to the NCPS programs will be forthcoming over the next few months. The NCPS Board is grateful to the Poetry Council for its generosity and for its 61 years of supporting poetry in NC.

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