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Sam Ragan Poetry Festival
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

On Sam Ragan Day we welcome former North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell and his wife Susan, who will read antiphonally from a selection of Chappell’s recent poems, and in the afternoon, Sacrificial Poets, an award-winning spoken-word poetry group will perform.

Born in Canton, North Carolina, Fred Chappell earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Duke University and taught for 40 years at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where he helped establish the M.F.A. Writing Program. In 1999 UNC Greensboro established the Fred Chappell Creative Writing Fellowship. He retired from teaching in 2004. Over the years Chappell has published some 26 books of poetry, fiction, and critical commentary. He has received numerous literary awards, including the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize, the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Étrangers (Best Foreign Book Prize) from the Académie Française, and the North Carolina Award in Literature.

From 1997-2002 Chappell served as Poet Laureate of North Carolina and visited some 250 or so schools, colleges, retirement homes, churches, and other venues. In 2006 he was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Acclaimed writer Lee Smith has called Chappell “our resident genius, our shining light.” Chappell’s latest book of poetry is Shadow Box from LSU Press (2009); his latest fiction, Ancestors and others: New and Selected Stories from St. Martin’s Press, New York (2009). Chappell’s wife Susan and his son Heath have made gratitude one of the healthier parts of his life. Fred and Susan still live in Greensboro, tending cats, plants, and (mostly) their own business.

Following our lunch break, we welcome Sacrificial Poets. a.k.a. SacPoe, an award-winning spoken word poetry organization that serves middle, high school, and college-aged youth in the Triangle Area of North Carolina. The organization facilitates writing and performance workshops throughout the state and hosts regular youth poetry events.

This dynamic team uses the spoken and written word to activate, nurture, and amplify youth voices through creative expression, self-exploration, and the cultivation of safe spaces. They seek to elevate a lasting youth arts movement that builds community and reaches across lines of difference to provide all youth a space to feel welcome, be heard, foster strong relationships, and become voices of change.

Established in 2005, Sacrificial Poets was formerly known as the Chapel Hill Slam Team. However, the name was changed after the tragic murder of Irina “Ira” Yarmolenko on May 5, 2008. Ira was one of the founding team members. Ira set the tone, not only through her spoken word, but also as a team leader and inspiration to all of those around her. She demonstrated unrelenting commitment and sacrifice to the success of the team and to the spoken word movement. Therefore, the team decided to change its name to the “Sacrificial Poets” to commemorate her legacy and contribution.

Tentative Schedule:

9:15 Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am—or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks
10:00 Business meeting with Carolyn York, president, presiding
10:30 Reading by Fred Chappell, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, and Susan Chappell
11:15 Open mic
12:00 Lunch, socializing, walking in the gardens, and perusing the book room
1:00 Announcements
1:15 Performance by Sacrificial Poets
2:15 Socializing and book signing


NCPS Winter Meeting
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

Our next NCPS meeting on January 18, 2014 will feature an exciting mix of the young and the young in spirit. In the morning, L. Lamar Wilson will read from his prize-winning first collection, Sacrilegion, chosen by Carolina Wren Press for its Poetry Series in 2012. According to Lee Ann Brown, “Sacrilegion chants new songlines of the sacred and profane, radiating legions of regions we must all negotiate together. Love, life, identity and language wrestle and riff here with pure expressive power.” A number of well-known poets have commented favorably on this book, which recently won an “IPPY” Bronze Medal in Poetry from the Independent Publishers Group.

Following Open Mic and informal lunch at Weymouth house and gardens, young-at-heart William Harmon will conduct a workshop, “Revising the Poem,” using his recent portfolio edition of “Buzzard’s Luck” as a launching-off point. This beautiful folio edition, published by Larch Tree Press of Ithaca, New York in 2012, contains four successive versions of this single poem, including the very first draft, two intermediate drafts, and the finished poem. It is a journey many of our best poets undertake, trying to find the “real expression” under the rough exterior of the first draft. Harmon will broaden the discussion from his own experience to discuss ways poets can tease out the better words and images of their natures and help the poem evolve into its best form.

As always, attendance at our meetings is free and open to the public, and we welcome you to join us! See below for a full schedule of events.

L. Lamar Wilson is an up-and-coming poet whose first collection, Sacrilegion, was selected by Lee Ann Brown for the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series in 2012. He has poems in or forthcoming in African American Review, Los Angeles Review, jubilat, The 100 Best African American Poems, The New Sound, Black Gay Genius, and other journals and anthologies. Individual poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won the 2011 Beau Boudreaux Poetry Prize. Wilson has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Callaloo Workshops, the Alfred E. Knobler Scholarship Fund, and the Arts and Sciences Foundation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is pursuing a doctorate in African American and multi-ethnic American poetics.

L. Lamar Wilson

William Harmon has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in writing and teaching. Born in Concord, NC, he graduated from the University of Chicago in 1958. He has published five books of poetry, including Treasury Holiday, which won the distinguished Lamont Poetry Prize in 1970. Mutatis Mutandis: 27 Voices won the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Prize in 1985. He has published four anthologies, a guide to poetry, and eight editions of A Handbook to Literature (1985 continuing). He has also written scholarly articles in literary and anthropological journals, reviews, essays, notes, satires, and jokes. Along with Louis Rubin and Lee Smith, he wrote the parodic Uneeda Review (1984). He taught at UNC Chapel Hill for forty years, most recently as James Gordon Hanes Professor Emeritus in the Humanities.

Bill Harmon

Tentative schedule:

9:15 Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am—or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks
10:00 Business meeting with Carolyn York, president, presiding
10:30 Reading by L. Lamar Wilson, author of Sacrilegion, winner of the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series 2012
11:15 Open mic
12:00 Lunch, socializing, walking in the gardens, and perusing the book room
1:00 Announcements
1:15 Workshop: Revising the Poem by William Harmon
2:15 Socializing and book signing



NCPS Fall Meeting
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

Join us for our annual Fall Meeting! An exciting day filled with readings by award-winning poets, including a reading by Joseph Bathanti, current Poet Laureate of North Carolina.

In the morning, we’ll first hear from the winners of the NCWN Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, Joseph Mills, Ross White, and Katherine Soniat. Then, the winners of the Brockman-Campbell Book Award read: Kathryn Kirkpatrick and Katherine Soniat.

In the afternoon, we get quite a treat: a poetry reading from the current Poet Laureate of our state: Joseph Bathanti is an award-winning poet and novelist with a robust commitment to social causes.

His books of poetry include This Metal (1996 & 2012), Restoring Sacred Art (2010), Land of Amnesia (2009), Anson County (1989 & 2005), The Feast of All Saints (1994) and Communion Partners (1986). He has published two novels, Coventry (2006) and East Liberty (2001), along with a book of short stories, The High Heart (2007).

Bathanti is professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University, where he also serves as Director of Writing in the Field and Writer-in-Residence in the University’s Watauga Global Community. He has taught writing workshops in prisons for more than three decades and is former chair of the N.C. Writers’ Network Prison project.

Bathanti: “I can’t imagine a better place in the United States to be a writer than North Carolina. There is no place richer in literature and no place that has celebrated writers in quite the same way as our state does.”

Kathryn Kirkpatrick has won this year’s Brockman-Campbell Award. According to judge Chard deNiord, “the particular magic in Kathryn Kirkpatrick’s new book of poems, Our Held Animal Breath, emanates from a courageously mature voice that speaks memorably about ordinary subjects—a subfloor, a dog’s seizures, mole removal, a colleague’s hatred, the ache of midlife, the loss of American democracy, the murder of a friend… with explosive insight into the sprung particulars of her ordinary subject matter.”

Katherine Soniat’s new book, A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge, recently published by Dream Horse Press, received Honorable Mention in the 2013 Brockman- Campell Award. Award judge Chard deNiord noted that “the poems in Katherine Soniat’s new book of poems reverberate with personal and global threnodies, apocalyptic alarms, romantic philippics, and marital myths, all of which, like ‘the dust and air’ Cassandra is given to see through, Soniat also divines with stunning verbal velocity.”

Tentative Schedule:

9:15 Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am—or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks
10:00 Business meeting with Carolyn York, president, presiding
10:20 Readings by winners of the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition
Intro by Charles Fiore
Katherine Soniat
Ross White
Joseph Mills
10:40 Readings by winners of the Brockman-Campbell Award
Katherine Soniat
Kathryn Kirkpatrick
11:15 Open mic
12:00 Lunch, socializing, walking in the gardens, and perusing the book room
1:00 Announcements
1:15 Reading by Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of North Carolina
2:00 Socializing and book signing


Awards Day Meeting
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

All year long, all over the state, poets are hard at work putting words to paper and screen. On Awards Day, we’ll recognize some of these fine poets. 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. Please join us!

Tentative schedule:

9:15 – Register. Order a box lunch until 10:15 am ($10, cash or check payable to 195) if not paid in advance (see pre-ordering information below). Enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks. Buy the 2013 Pinesong (members and winners receive one free copy). Student contest winners meet upstairs.

10:00 – Lisa Zerkle, president, presides at the business meeting in the great room.

10:15 – Pinesong 2013 dedication

10:30 – Winner of the Poet Laureate Award reads, followed by the finalists. Student contest winners read. Adult contest winners read (Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award, Lyman Haiku Award, and possibly others).

12:00 – Enjoy lunch, socialize, walk in the gardens (weather cooperating!), and peruse the book room.

1:15 – Remaining adult contest winners read

(Schedule subject to change)


Sam Ragan Day Meeting
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

An exciting day of music and words, featuring a performance by a humorist, a musical performance, and a workshop on craft.

PROGRAM UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, our first speaker Laura Moore has had to withdraw. Instead, we will have a great time with Terri Kirby Erickson! Terri will read from all three of her books, Thread Count, Telling Tales of Dusk, and In the Palms of Angels, and tell a few stories about the poems in between. Thanks, Terri, for stepping up to the plate and I’m sure it will be a fun time hearing her talk.

Also, we are delighted to welcome Katie Oates (guitar, vocals) and Cheryl Hoover (bass, vocals) to this year’s Sam Ragan Day. Katie recently released her first studio recording of classical arias, spirituals and folk songs entitled “Going Over Home” and an original single Laughin Through My Tears.” Physical CDs are available directly from her at performances, or digital downloads can be made from
www.katieoates.com. Cheryl plays bass and sings in the Crossroads band and the Covenant Presbyterian Church’s praise band. Email them at: ktcottenoates@gmail.com or chhoover@carolina.rr.com.

The Poetry Society welcomes poet and novelist Victoria Redel, who is the 2012–13 McGee Professor of Writing at Davidson College and the author of three books of poetry, including Woman Without Umbrella (Four Way Books, 2012), and three works of fiction. Her novel, Loverboy, was a 2001 LA Times Best Book, and adapted for a feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. Redel is on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia University. She holds degrees from Dartmouth and Columbia.

The program begins at 10 am, with lunch registration and snacks available starting around 9:00. We look forward to seeing you there!


NCPS Winter Meeting
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

During our January meeting, we’ll reprise the 80th Anniversary Readings with guests Betty Adcock, Tony Abbott, Peter Makuck and Shelby Stephenson. They’ll share work from the span of their careers and tell us a bit about the readings they hosted on December 1st.

In the afternoon, our featured guest, Alan Michael Parker, will read from his latest book, Long Division and discuss the following:

14 Ways to Sing: A Reading and Talk with Alan Michael Parker

Writers such as Richard Hugo and Donald Justice often mention the bargain a poem’s beginning makes with the reader—but what about the lyricism, the song-form, or the anti-material of the prosaic? What do poems do to sing through their titles and opening lines? In this session, poet Alan Michael Parker will consider how titles and opening lines make evident a poem’s aesthetic ambitions, both by reading his own work and by poring with delight over the works of others.

Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English at Davidson College, Alan Michael Parker has written three novels, Cry Uncle, Whale Man (WordFarm, 2011) and The Committee on Town Happiness (Dzanc Books, 2014), along with seven collections of poems: Days Like Prose, The Vandals, Love Song with Motor Vehicles, A Peal of Sonnets, Elephants & Butterflies, Ten Days (with painter Herb Jackson), and Long Division (Tupelo Press, June, 2012). He served as Editor of The Imaginary Poets, and co-editor of two other volumes of scholarship. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Pleiades, and The Yale Review, among other magazines, and in 2011 were anthologized in The Best American Poetry as well as The Pushcart Prize; his prose has appeared in journals including The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Yorker.

Please mark your calendars and plan to ring in the new year with an illuminating day of poetry!

Schedule:

9:15 am – Registration & lunch orders ($10 cash or check payable to 195) or bring your own; coffee, tea & light breakfast in the kitchen
10:00 am – Business meeting, Lisa Zerkle, presiding
10:15 am – Anniversary of Verse: 80 Years of the North Carolina Poetry Society Anniversary readings revisited with: Tony Abbott, Betty Adcock, Peter Makuck, Shelby Stephenson
11:20 pm – Open mic
12:00 pm – Lunch, perusing book room, socializing
1:00 pm – 14 Ways to Sing: A Reading and Talk with Alan Michael Parker, Roanoke-Chowan Award winner for his book Long Division
2:00 pm – Break
2:10 pm – Open mic
2:30 pm – Adjourn


NCPS Fall Meeting
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

Come join us at the annual Fall Meeting of the Poetry Society! Featuring the Brockman-Campbell Book Award winners and the North Carolina Writers’ Network Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition winners, as well as a lecture from poet Sarah Lindsay.

A Voice of Flawless Grace: Sarah Lindsay, Our Guest for September.

“Her voice in Twigs & Knucklebones is omniscient yet intimate, super-literate and flawlessly graceful, like a really good lecturer who knows how to entertain an audience while speaking on complex subject matters.” This is how Daisy Fried’s review in Poetry describes the work of Sarah Lindsay, our guest presenter for the September meeting. During her visit, she’ll read from her work and discuss her process for revision. Lindsay is primarily a narrative poet; one who seamlessly blends history and science (whether fabricated or true) into her verse.

In addition to the talk by Sarah Lindsay, winners of the Brockman Campbell Book Award will read from their award-winning books: Co-winners Tony Abbott (If Words Could Save Us) and Joanna Catherine Scott (An Innocent in the House of the Dead), along with Honorable Mention Steve Lautermilch (Rim).

Of Abbott’s book, If Words Could Save Us, judge Norbert Krapf said, “the scope of his concerns is wide; the depth of his feeling, great. Loss begets birth and rebirth in love. To echo one title, the gifts of his heart are holy, the grace of his words heals, and he makes us believers and communicants in the shared kingdom of poetry.”

Joanna Catherine Scott’s book, An Innocent in the House of the Dead, “demonstrates the miraculous power of excellent poetry,” says Krapf, “The poet and her subject, strangers at first, unite in the darkness of prison and find a “Light Within” to give hope.” She wrote the book along with former death row inmate, John Lee Conaway.

Krapf also chose an honorable mention in the Brockman Campbell Award, Steve Lautermilch’s chapbook, Rim. The judge called it, “that rich and rare chapbook with the depth and vision of an outstanding full-length collection.”

Also, the winner and runners up of the North Carolina Writing Network’s Randall Jarrell Prize will read their prize-winning poems, after being introduced by NCWN Communications Director Charles Fiore: winner Michael Gaspeny (“Shore Drive”) and runners up Sandra Ann Winters (“My Kitchen”) and Dannye Romine Powell (“Then Wear the Gold Hat If That Will Move Her”).

Judge Maria Hummel chose “Shore Drive” from over 100 entries. “It’s hard to say what I liked more about this poem: the surprising and tender characterizations of speaker and subject or its gorgeous, slant-rhyming musicality,” she said.

Lunch in the Gardens

Lunch with friends in the Weymouth gardens is a highlight of any NCPS meeting. You may order a lunch between 9:15 and 10 am or bring your own. If you prefer to pre-order your lunch, please send a check made out to 195 for $10 to Lisa Zerkle, 2420 Danbury St, Charlotte, NC 28211 by September 1, and let us know if you would like the Tuna, Chicken, or Vegetarian option.

Let’s Clear the Air for Everyone

To prevent harm to members who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities, please refrain from using scented products while attending NCPS meetings. Artificial scents in deodorant, aftershave, hair products, cologne, shampoo, laundry detergents or other personal care and cleaning products release chemicals into the air, causing breathing difficulty and other adverse reactions for some people.

Schedule:

9:15 – Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am—or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks
10:00 – Business meeting with Priscilla Webster-Williams, president, presiding
10:10 – Reading by Tony Abbott- Brockman-Campbell Book Award winner
Reading by Joanna Catherine Scott Brockman-Campbell Book Award winner
Reading of work by Steve Lautermilch Brockman-Campbell Honorable Mention
11:10 – Comments from Charles Fiore, NCWN representative
Reading by Michael Gaspeny- Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition winner
Reading by Sandra Ann Winters – Randall Jarrell honorable mention
11:30 – Open mic
12:00 – Lunch, socializing, walking in the gardens (weather cooperating!), and perusing the book room
1:00 – Reading and Workshop: a discussion with Sarah Lindsay
2:00 – Open mic
2:30 – Reception and book signing
(Schedule subject to change)

Presenter Bios:

Tony Abbott, a native of San Francisco, received his A.B. from Princeton University, and his A.M. and Ph.D from Harvard University. He is Professor Emeritus of English at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, where he served as Department Chair from 1989 to 1996. He is the author of six books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize nominated The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat. If Words Could Save Us was published in 2011 by Lorimer Press. In 2011 he edited the anthology What Writers Do, a collection of essays, short stories and poetry by distinguished alumni of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Visiting Writers Series. Tony is past President of the North Carolina Poetry Society and the North Carolina Writers Network, and a recipient of the Sam Ragan Award for his writing and service to the literary community of North Carolina.

Michael Gaspeny is a poet and fiction writer living in Greensboro. His work has appeared in Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature, Cave Wall, and The Main Street Rag. He won the O. Henry Short Story competition in 1998. For many years, he reviewed books for The (Greensboro) News & Record. A former reporter and English teacher, he’s retired from High Point University. A hospice volunteer for ten years, he has received the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Volunteer Excellence. He’s married to the novelist and essayist Lee Zacharias; they have two sons, Al and Max. Michael’s pleasures include jazz, jogging, the Detroit Tigers, and Arkansas Razorbacks.

A poet and photographer, for many years Steve Lautermilch has traveled in the far west, exploring the landscapes of the first peoples. Recent solo exhibits have been held at the Festival Park Gallery in Manteo, North Carolina and the Getchell Library Gallery of the University of Nevada, Reno. Recent poems and photographs appear in The Antigonish Review, Nimrod International Journal, and Prairie Schooner. Rim, his 13th chapbook, won the 2010 Sow’s Ear Poetry Press Award. He lives on the Outer Banks and offers workshops in writing, meditation, and creative dreaming.

Sarah Lindsay’s latest book Twigs and Knucklebones (Copper Canyon Press) was chosen as one of the best books of the year by Poetry in 2008. In 2009, she was awarded the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry and the M. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood prize from the Poetry Foundation. She was nominated for the 2010 PEN/Voelker Prize for Poetry. Her other books include Primate Behavior (Grove Press, 1997) and Mount Clutter (Grove Press, 2002), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Lindsay holds an MFA from UNC-Greensboro and works as a copy editor for Pace Communications.

Dannye Romine Powell is a two-time winner of the Brockman-Campbell Award and the author of three collections of poetry, the most recent, A Necklace of Bees, from the University of Arkansas Press. She’s won fellowships in poetry from the NEA and the N.C. Arts Council. Her poems have appeared in such magazines as The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, The New Republic, Poetry Daily, The Writers’ Almanac and Field. She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers.

Joanna Catherine Scott is the author of the prizewinning poetry collections Breakfast at the Shangri-la, Fainting at the Uffizi, and Night Huntress; the prizewinning chapbooks Birth Mother and Coming Down from Bata’an; the novels Child of the South, The Road from Chapel Hill, The Lucky Gourd Shop, Charlie, and Cassandra, Lost; and the nonfiction Indochina’s Refugees: Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Scott is a graduate of Adelaide and Duke Universities and lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her website is www.joannacatherinescott.com.

Sandra Ann Winters has received a variety of awards and commendations for her poems. Most recently her poem “Talking to Okra” won first place in the 2012 Carteret Writers 21st Annual Writing Contest, and was a finalist for the 2012 Rita Dove Poetry Award. “Still Life” received an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Deane Ritch Lomax Poetry Competition. Her poems have been finalists in the 2011 Press 53 Open Poetry Award, and the Rita Dove Poetry Award in 2009 and 2010. “Death of Alaska” won the 2011 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre in Ireland. The editors of the North Carolina Literary Review nominated “Water Signs” for the 2011 Pushcart Prize.


NCPS Awards Day
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

Featuring readings from all of the winners of the 2012 NCPS Contests, adults and students. This meeting is always lively and fun; be sure to attend and hear some great poetry!

Lunch Pre-Orders: This meeting brings a large number of people from all across the state, and the morning registration process can be hectic. In order to give our caterer sufficient prior notice and to make the day easier for participants, we would appreciate knowing in advance how many lunches to order. You are welcome to bring your own lunch, but if you would like to order one, consider ordering and paying for your meal now to avoid the rush! See details on our order-form, which you can simply print out and send to us with your check, here: http://www.ncpoetrysociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/NCPS-Lunch-Preorder-Form.pdf.


Sam Ragan Day
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

The Sam Ragan Festival continues the celebration of the Poetry Society’s 80th year with readings and workshops from poets Diana Pinckney (Green Daughters) and Katherine Soniat (Swing Girl), and an a capella performance from the trip Fleur-de-Lisa. During open mic, we’ll honor instrumental NCPS members by reading their poems. We hope you’ll join us for the fun!

Fleur-de-Lisa, a Durham-based a cappella trio comprised of Sarah Kenan Shunk, Deborah Stewart, and Sylvia Freeman, will perform. They write all their own music using lyrics by published poets, many of them North Carolina poets. Since they come from different musical backgrounds, they bring many disciplines together in their music, including jazz, rock, classical and country.

Their first CD Willow Songs was based on haiku by North Carolina poets from a book Underneath the Willow Tree. Since then they have used longer poems in their music and have a second CD The Unworn Necklace available for purchase. In 2010 they won a best original song award in the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes competition. The winning song was written by Sarah Kenan Shunk to words by haiku poet Roberta Beary. You can find out more and hear samples of their work at www.haikusongs.com.

Afternoon Workshops with Diana Pinckney and Katherine Soniat

Members will have the choice of two workshops featuring acclaimed poets Diana Pinckney and Katherine Soniat. Read on to learn which program will best jumpstart your writing.

  • Workshop for the Persona Poem – Diana Pinckney

    Whether we call this type of poem persona or dramatic monologue, we will explore the ways to create other worlds by writing in the voice of another. Using hand-outs and examples from master poets of earlier eras, contemporary writers of today and various drafts of her own poems,
    Diana looks forward to an exchange of ideas in finding the different ways to create poems that allow the voices of others to speak through us and us through them.

  • What We Write About When We Look at War and Peace – Katherine Soniat

    These two words are huge concepts which can encompass our personal lives and also refer to the world at large. Using a selection of appropriate poems from The Swing Girl, we will determine ways in which you can write a poem about chaos or calm. The technique of using quick intense imagery to create poetry offers your reader both panorama and startling invention. Come join in this exciting process!

    • Diana Pinckney has published poetry and prose in such journals and magazines as Southern Poetry Review, Cream City Review, Tar River Poetry, Cave Wall, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Icarus International, Atlanta Review, Green Mountains Review, Main Street Rag, Kalliope, Iodine, Asheville Poetry Review, Calyx, RHINO, Charlotte Viewpoint Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine.com, Creative Loafing and many others. Her chapbook, Fishing With Tall Women, won North Carolina’s 1996 Persephone Press Book Award and South Carolina’s Kinlock Rivers Memorial Chapbook Contest. Nightshade Press, Troy, Maine, published her second book of poems, White Linen, in 1998. Alchemy, the third collection was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Co., Charlotte, N.C. in 2004. Her full-length collection, Green Daughters, was released by Lorimer Press, Davidson, N.C. in April, 2011.
    • Katherine Soniat is originally from New Orleans and has taught at the University of New Orleans, Hollins University, and for 20 years as a member of the faculty at Virginia Tech. Now a resident of Asheville, she teaches in the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She is a widely-published and widely-traveled poet in whose work a sense of place and an immersion in a variety of cultures are central. She has published work in such journals as the Iowa Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, New Letters, and Quarterly West. THE SWING GIRL is her fifth collection of poems and was published earlier this year; it will be followed in 2012 by a sixth, A RAFT, A BOAT, A BRIDGE.

Schedule:
9:15 Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am — or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks. Sign up for afternoon workshops.
10:00 Business meeting with Priscilla Webster-Williams, President, presiding
10:15 Fleur de Lisa performance
11:15 Break
11:20 Commemorative open mic – read a poem from an NCPS member you’d like to honor
12:00 Lunch & socializing, enjoy the gardens and book room
1:00 Reading – Katherine Soniat
1:15 Poetry & Music – Diana Pinckney and Bill Blackley
1:30 Workshops
2:30 Open Mic
3:00 Announcements/adjourn


NCPS Winter Meeting
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities
Southern Pines, NC
For directions to the Weymouth Center, see this page.

Winter Readings and Workshops

Come join us at the annual Winter Meeting of the Poetry Society! Our VP of Programs Lisa Zerkle has a nice write-up about our readers and workshop leaders for January. See her article at this page.

In the morning we will be delighted to present Lola Haskins as our featured reader, who will read from her collection called Still, The Mountain. Haskins will then lead a workshop in the afternoon, where, as Lisa Zerkle wrote in her article linked above, “she will use examples from her own rough drafts to show us how to best navigate into the current in our poetry.”

Later in the afternoon, publisher extraordinaire Kevin Watson of Press 53 will lead a workshop entitled “Creative Strategies for Poets”, where he will discuss the many opportunities writers have to be seen and heard, such as in social media on the internet.

Tentative Schedule:

9:15 Registration & lunch orders ($10 cash or check payable to 195) or bring your own; coffee, tea & light breakfast in the kitchen
10:00 Business meeting (Priscilla Webster-Williams presiding)
10:15 Reading by Lola Haskins
11:15 Open mic
12:00 Lunch, perusing book room, socializing
1 pm Workshop by Lola Haskins
2 pm Break
2:15 pm Workshop by Kevin Watson, Press 53
3 pm Adjourn


NCPS Fall Meeting
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities
Southern Pines, NC
For directions to the Weymouth Center, see this page.

Come join us at the annual Fall Meeting of the Poetry Society! Featuring the Brockman-Campbell Book Award winners and the North Carolina Writers’ Network Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition winners, and an afternoon talk from Keith Flynn.

Tentative Schedule

9:15 Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am—or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks
10:00 Business meeting with Priscilla Webster-Williams, president, presiding
10:15 Reading by Peter Makuck – Brockman-Campbell Book Award winner, and honorable mentions
11:15 Comments from NCWN representative, Reading by Dannye Romine Powell – Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition winner, and honorable mentions
11:45 Open mic
12:00 Lunch, socializing, walking in the gardens (weather cooperating!), and perusing the book room
1:00 Poetry and the Role of New Media: a discussion with Keith Flynn
2:00 More open mic
2:15 Reception and book signing

The morning will feature readings by the 2011 Brockman-Campbell Book Award winner, Peter Makuck, and Malaika King Albrecht and Joe Mills, two of the poets selected as honorable mentions.

We’ve also invited the winner and honorable mentions in the 2011 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN), to read. The poem “I Am the Girl” by Dannye Romine Powell was chosen, from almost 100 entries, as the winning poem by acclaimed poet Dan Albergotti. Poet Mary Jo Amani was selected as runner-up for the honor. Terri Kirby Erickson, Maureen Sherbondy, and Nancy Martin Young were selected for honorable mentions.

After lunch, Keith Flynn will lead a discussion about the evolving ole of new media as it relates to the poetry world. How is the advent of e-books changing publishing? What are the pros and cons of social media? What can we learn from the retooling of independent music stores in the face of iTunes and other digital powerhouses? In short, how can we as poets harness the power of new technology to connect with our audience, “ the immense minority” in the words of Octavio Paz. As a publisher, editor, poet and musician, Flynn is uniquely suited to address this topic.

Keith Flynn (www.keithflynn.net) is the author of five books, ncluding four collections of poetry: The Talking Drum (1991), The Book of Monsters (1994), The Lost Sea (2000), and The Golden Ratio (Iris Press, 2007), and a collection of essays, entitled The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007). From 1987-1998, he was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, The Crystal Zoo, which produced three albums: Swimming Through Lake Eerie (1992), Pouch (1996), and the spoken-word and music compilation, Nervous Splendor (2003). He is currently touring with a supporting combo, The Holy Men, whose live album was released in April, 2011. His poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies around the world, including The Colorado Review, Poetry Wales, The Cuirt Journal (Ireland), Takahe (New Zealand), Poetry East, The Southern Poetry Review, Margie,
Rattle, Shenandoah, Word and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry, Crazyhorse, and many others. He has been awarded the Sandburg Prize for poetry, 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. For more information, please visit: www.ashevillepoetryreview.com.

Before and after lunch, we’ll continue the open mic tradition. Please remember the one-page, one-poem policy—each person participating in open mic reads or recites one poem up to one page in length.

We’ll end the day with a reception and book signing for the Brockman-Campbell Book Award and Randall Jarrell honorees and Keith Flynn.

And after the meeting, Keith Flynn is giving a workshop in nearby Aberdeen, NC. Check out the local events page for more information about this event.



Awards Day
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities
Southern Pines, NC

We’ll honor the latest student and adult winners of the North Carolina Poetry Society’s annual competitions and release the 2011 Pinesong (edited by Debra Kaufman).

Tentative schedule:

  • 9:15 Register. Order a box lunch until 10:15 am ($10, cash or check payable to 195). Enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks. Buy the 2011 Pinesong (members and winners receive one free copy). Student contest winners meet upstairs.
  • 10:00 Tony Abbott, president, presides at the business meeting in the great room.
  • 10:15 Pinesong 2011 is dedicated to Bill Griffin.
  • 10:30 Winner of the Poet Laureate Award reads, followed by the finalists. Student contest winners read. Annalee Kwochka reads, with an introduction by Libby Campbell on the role NCPS plays in fostering young poets. Adult contest winners read (Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award, Lyman Haiku Award, and possibly others).
  • 12:00 Enjoy lunch, socialize, walk in the gardens (weather cooperating!), and peruse the book room.
  • 1:15 Remaining adult contest winners read (Poetry of Courage Award, Poetry of Love Award, Thomas H. McDill Award, Joanna Catherine Scott Award, Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award, and Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award, if they don’t read before lunch).

Sam Ragan Poetry Festival
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities
Southern Pines, NC

Saturday, March 12, 2011, will see the North Carolina Poetry Society (NCPS) celebrating poetry, music, and Sam Ragan at Weymouth.

This meeting features a very special event! We’ll enjoy a staged reading of the short play Sam Ragan: A Celebration, directed by Worth Keeter, a writer, director and producer with over 25 years experience in the motion picture and television business. Steve Bouser, editor of the The Pilot (http://www.thepilot.com), will play Sam Ragan. Lois Holt, Stephen Smith, Shelby Stephenson, and Talmadge Ragan will round out the cast. See below for full bios.

And at the end of the day, Shelby and Linda Stephenson, along with Stephen Smith, will entertain with music and poetry.

Before and after lunch there should be ample time for open mic and recitations. If you have a new book out and you’ve not yet had the chance to read a poem from it at a Poetry Society Meeting, use the colored paper to sign up for open mic, as we’ll invite those with new books to go first. Whether you’re reciting from memory or reading your own work, reading from a newly published book or sharing your latest creative efforts, please adhere to our one-poem-or-one-page-whichever-is-shorter rule, and keep comments to a minimum so we’ll be able to hear from as many of our talented members and guests as possible.

Bios:

  • Worth Keeter has 23 feature films to his credit as well as over 100 television credits. He has directed projects for Disney, Fox, CBS, SciFi Channel, and USA Network in addition to his directorial contributions to the tremendously successful Power Rangers series.
  • Lois Holt is an award-winning poet, freelance writer, and regular columnist for The Pilot. A past president of the North Carolina Poetry Society, she received a 2009 Sam Ragan Award presented by St. Andrews Presbyterian College.
  • Stephen Smith is a columnist for The Pilot and teaches at Sandhills Community College. He is the author of a book of stories, The Great Saturday Night Swindle; a novella, The Honeysuckle Shower and Other Parables; a book of creative nonfiction, Worst I Ever Had Was Wonderful; and six books of poetry, including A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths, Most of What We Take Is Given, Loose Talk, and The Complete Bushnell Hamp Poems.

    Photo by Glenn Dickerson
  • Talmadge Ragan is a professional actor. She moved to Los Angeles in 1989 where she worked in television and films and, with Worth Keeter, started Blue Kiss Media (http://www.bluekissmedia.com), a production company for films, commercials, and audio books. Their first audio book, The Sign of the Salamander, produced by Keeter and narrated by Ragan won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in 2008. She and Keeter have recently returned to North Carolina and now reside in Charlotte.
  • Shelby Stephenson’s Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Prize for poetry from Bellday Books and the 2009 Oscar Arnold Young Prize from the Poetry Council of North Carolina. For more about his poetry and music, visit http://www.shelbystephenson.com.

    Photo of Shelby and Linda Stephenson by Jan Hensley

Schedule:

  • 9:15 Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am—or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks
  • 10:00 Business meeting with Tony Abbott, president, presiding
  • 10:30 A staged reading of Sam Ragan: A Celebration
  • 11:15 Open mic and recitation
  • 12:00 Lunch, socializing, and perusing the book room
  • 1:00 Open mic and recitation
  • 2:00 Music and poetry by Shelby and Linda Stephenson and Stephen Smith
  • 3:00 Adjourn

NCPS Winter Meeting
Saturday, January 22, 2011 Weymouth Center Southern Pines
Winter Readings and Workshops at Weymouth
With generous financial support from Weymouth, the Poetry Society will welcome John Balaban, Morri Creech, and Dorianne Laux on Saturday, January 22, 2010.

Laux, Balaban, and Creech

Please note this is the fourth Saturday in January, rather than the usual third Saturday. After a short business meeting at 10:00 am, we’ ll hear our three featured poets read from their own work. In the afternoon, you’ll attend one of three 90-minute morning workshops with the poets.

“The Building Blocks of Poetic Structure” with Dorianne Laux In this process workshop, participants will review work by Ruth Stone, Mark Doty, B.H. Fairchild, Belle Waring, and others and then write their own poems based on these models.

Laux teaches poetry in the MFA program at North Carolina State University. Her book of poems Facts about the Moon received the Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry (finalist for the National Book Critic’ s Circle Award), and Smoke, as well as two fine small press editions, Superman: The Chapbook and Dark Charms. Co-author of The Poet’ s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry, she’ s the recipient of two Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Recent poems by Laux appear in The American Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Cerise Press, Margie, The Seattle Review, Tin House, and The Valparaiso Review. W.W. Norton will publish Laux’ s fifth collection of poems, The Book of Men, in February 2011. For more, see http://doriannelauxpoet.com.

“Poetcraft” with John Balaban Whether writing in traditional verse or free verse, poets are makers. Indeed, before the word “ poets” came into English, they were called “ makers” or “ shapers.” In this workshop, participants will look at poets’ varied means of making, using examples from Balaban’ s essay called “ Poetcraft.”

Balaban is poet-in-residence and professor of English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he also serves as the director of the Creative Writing Program. He is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, including four volumes, which together have won the Academy of American Poets’ Lamont prize, a National Poetry Series Selection, and 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. In 2003, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2005, he was a judge for the National Book Awards. His latest books of poetry are Path, Crooked Path (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) and Like Family (Red Dragonfly Press, 2009). In addition to writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, he is a translator of Vietnamese poetry. For more, see http://www.johnbalaban.com.

“Metrical Tools, Free Verse Contexts” with Morri Creech This workshop will briefly define elements of prosody and look at how their application can lend texture, tension, and expressiveness to free verse composition.

Creech teaches in the undergraduate and graduate writing programs at Queens University of Charlotte. He is the author of two collections of poetry—Field Knowledge (Waywiser, 2006) and Paper Cathedrals (Kent University Press, 2001)—as well as two collaborative, museum-quality editions with the photographers Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Criterion, The New Republic, The Southwest Review, The Hudson Review, Crazyhorse, Critical Quarterly, Sewanee Review, Southern Review, and elsewhere. He has received the Stan and Tom Wick Award from Kent State University Press, a $15,000 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry Magazine and the Modern Poetry Foundation, and an artist’s fellowship from the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

Before and after lunch, we’ ll enjoy open mic and recitation. Remember the one-page, one-poem policy—each person participating in open mic reads or recites one poem up to one page in length.

Tentative Schedule
Registration; lunch orders ($10, cash or check payable to 195) until 10:15 am—or bring your own lunch; coffee, tea, and snacks
10:00 — Business meeting with Tony Abbott, president, presiding
10:30 — Readings by John Balaban, Morri Creech, and Dorianne Laux
11:30 — Open mic and recitation
12:00 — Lunch, socializing, and perusing the book room
1:00 — Open mic and recitation
1:15 — Workshop with Balaban, Creech, or Laux
2:45 — Adjourn


First (hopefully) Annual Arts-Crafts-Poetry Festival

23 October 2010 at FlyLeaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC
10 am until 3:30 pm

ARTISTS and CRAFTERS: Do not let this opportunity to be showcased by the NCPS go by just because you are not in the Triangle area.

  • 9 artists and crafters have reserved tables already. There is room for 15 vendors; members of NCPS will not pay a fee to set up (non-members will pay $20.00).
  • NCPS provides 8-foot tables and tablecloths. There will be room to lean framework against the walls to increase display space. Let us know what you need! Reserve space now! Vendors will handle their own money.
  • POETS: Open mic for poets will be part of the mixture of the day. Poets who have books to sell and want to read, will sign up for 15 minutes at the top of an hour. For open mic, poets without books can sign up for 5 minutes at a time, but only once per hour. There will be a table devoted to members’ books; books will be sold through FlyLeaf. Choose your mic time now!

To reserve your space for vending or reading, email Jo Taylor at paintedangels@bellsouth.net with contact information and a description of your wares.

Added attraction: From 1:30-3:30 John Amen will hold a workshop in which participants will explore the art of energetically and creatively presenting poetry to an audience. We will explore various techniques to “juice up” delivery of poems, including breathing, pacing, articulation, and “targeting.” We will also discuss the similarities between public presentation and acting, exploring ways to both strategically and playfully step into desired roles. In addition, we will consider the usefulness of props: Each participant should consider bringing fun and inspiring clothes—jackets, shirts, dresses, shoes—as well as make-up, masks, and/or musical instruments, elements that can distinguish and expand your presence as a reader. Each participant should also bring 1-2 poems for possible presentation. Cost: $15, checks payable to NCPS and send to Alice Osborn, 9660-138 Falls of Neuse #294, Raleigh, NC 27615. The workshop will be followed by a Pedestal Magazine Reading Event from 4-6 pm


Fall Meeting

18 September 2010 at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, NC.
Featuring the Brockman-Campbell Book Award winners and the North Carolina Writers’ Network Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition winners.
Schedule:
9:15 Registration.

  • Order a box lunch ($10, cash or check payable to I95) until 10:15 (or bring your own lunch).
  • Enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks.

10:00 Business Meeting, Tony Abbott, presiding
10:15 New Website
10:30 Randall Jarrell winners read
11:15 Open mic
12:00 Enjoy lunch, socialize, walk in the gardens, peruse the book room
1:00 Brockman-Campbell winners read
2:00 Reception, book signing
2:30 Open Mic
Also, read about this event on Eventbrite here: http://ncps2010fall.eventbrite.com/

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