Category Archives: Events

Ridgeline Writers Conference Program

Here is the program for the upcoming Ridgeline Literary Alliance Workshop where I’ll be teaching a workshop along with Michael Diebert, Steven Harvey, and Darnell Arnoult. Should be lots of fun!

Ridgeline 2013_Conference_Program

NC Poetry Society Fall Meeting

The new issue of the e-Muse arrived today with news about readings, contests, and publication opportunities around the state. The highlight, though, is this announcement of the NC Poetry Society’s Fall Meeting.

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

Please mark your calendars! 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.Featuring a reading from current NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti, Also, the winners of the Randall Jarrell and Brockman-Campbell Book Awards will read.

To find out more about the program, visit

Get Your Manuscript Ready

(This article appeared in the Outlook newspaper and my online blog “Musings” a few weeks ago. I’m running it again here for anyone who didn’t see it before because the entry period for the inaugural Lena Shull Poetry Manuscript Award is barely more than a month away and because the next NCPS meeting comes up in September as well).


Poetry is alive and well, and speaks to a multiplicity of voices out of an ever-changing culture. Thus concluded national Poet Laureates Howard Nemerov and Richard Wilbur and NC Poet Laureate Sam Ragan at the Duke University Poet Laureate Festival in 1989. Then, as now, one of the primary forces behind the vibrancy of poetry in NC, was the NC Poetry Society, co-sponsor of that festival and many similar landmark poetry events before and since.

The NC Poetry Society was founded in 1932, having at that time only 6 members, one of whom was Zoe Kincaid Brockman, editor of The Gastonia Gazette. The next year, the following objectives were officially adopted by the society:

to foster the writing of poetry; to bring together in meetings of mutual interest and fellowship the poets of North Carolina; to encourage the study, writing, and publication of poetry; and to develop a public taste for the reading and appreciation of poetry.

For the past 81 years, the members of the society, having grown now to 370 in number, have strived to achieve those objectives by coordinating meetings, workshops, readings, contests, and publication opportunities for poets young and old, new and renowned, across the state.

The Society’s 17 annual contests provide opportunities for poets from a wide range of backgrounds and interests to receive recognition for their work. All contests are judged anonymously by renowned poets and scholars to maintain objectivity. Current contests include the following:
Lena Shull Award – new manuscript of poetry by a NC resident;
Brockman-Kincaid Award – best published book of poetry by a NC resident from previous year;
Poet Laureate Award – single poem by NC resident; judged by NC Poet Laureate;
Thomas H. McDill Award – any subject, any form, 70 lines maximum;
Caldwell W. Nixon, Jr. – poem written for children 2-12 years of age;
Joanna Catherine Scott Award – any poem in a traditional form;
Ruth Morris Moose Award – sestina;
Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award – poem on the theme of American heritage, brotherhood/sisterhood, or nature;
Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award;
Griffin-Farlow Haiku Award;
Poetry of Courage Award;
Poetry of Love Award;
Travis Tuck Jordan Award – students grades 3-5;
Joan Scott Award – poems about the environment from students grades 3-8;
Mary Chilton Award – students grades 6-8;
Sherry Pruitt Award – students grades 9-undergraduate;
Farlow-Griffin Haiku Award – students grades 9-undergraduate.

Most Society members consider the 6 annual events sponsored by the Society to be the highlights of its work. Meetings are held the third Saturdays of January, May, and September at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines. The May meeting features presentation of awards and readings by winning poets from the Society’s annual contests. The September meeting is highlighted by recognition of the Brockman-Kincaid NC Poetry Book Award winner. The January meeting includes readings and workshops.

Weymouth is also the setting for the annual Sam Ragan Poetry Festival in March, where participants wear bow ties in the tradition of Sam Ragan. This event typically includes live music as well as poetry.

The other two annual events take place in the eastern and western parts of the state, both in April, and include readings, workshops, and roundtable discussions. Walking Into April is held annually at Barton College in Wilson, NC, and Poetry Day is held at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory. Poetry Day is highlighted by recognition of the Lena Shull Award winner.

Other regularly scheduled events sponsored by the NC Poetry Society include monthly readings at McIntyre’s Fine Books at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, and the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series. Since 2003, the Gilbert-Chappell series has matched a successful North Carolina poet with as many as three student mentees and one adult in each of the three designated geographical regions in the state. The pairs work together for the year, and at its conclusion, give a public reading in each student’s home library.

The Society’s regular publications include the annual awards anthology, Pinesong; its monthly online newsletter of opportunities and announcements, eMuse; and its print newsletter, Pine Whispers, published 3 times a year to keep members informed about issues under discussion, upcoming contests and workshops, and other poetry-related news and opportunities.

Additionally, over the years, the Society has published 4 anthologies of NC poetry: A Time for Poetry (1966); Soundings in Poetry (1981); Here’s to the Land (1992); and Word and Witness: 100 Years of North Carolina Poetry (1999). Publication of Word and Witness was followed by a Touring Theatre of North Carolina production of over 50 of the poems combined with original songs, adapted by TTNC founding director Brenda Schleunes. Titled This Is the Place Where I Live, the production was performed 38 times in 26 cities.

Anyone with an interest in writing, reading, or supporting poetry in NC should visit the Society’s website at Membership is only $25 per year and is undoubtedly the best way to both support and participate in our state’s rich poetic heritage.

Guidelines for NC Poetry Society’s New Lena M. Shull Book Contest
Lena Shull Book Award

The Lena M. Shull Book Contest is an annual contest for a full length poetry manuscript written by a resident of North Carolina. The manuscript must not have been previously published, although individual poems within the collection may have been published elsewhere.

The entry fee is $25. Entrants may submit more than one manuscript, with a fee of $25 for each. The submission period opens September 16, 2013 with a deadline for receipt of manuscripts of November 15, 2013.

The winning manuscript will be published by a NC press, and the poet will receive $250, 50 copies of the book, and a reading at Poetry Day at Catawba Valley Community College in April 2014.

When you submit, please include the following:

Two copies of your manuscript (your name should NOT appear on any page of the manuscript).
Two copies of a separate cover page which must include your: name, address, phone number, email address, manuscript title, number of pages of manuscript.

Please send submissions to:

Malaika Albrecht,
2547 Doc Loftin Rd.
Ayden, NC 28513

The contest judge (non-NC resident) will be announced after the winner is chosen.

For more information, please contact Malaika King Albrecht at [email protected]

4 Poems & A Party

My poem “Used” has been chosen for the August Poetry in Plain Sight program in Winston-Salem along with poems by Ross White, Joe Morris, and LeeAnn Patrick. The poems will be printed on posters and placed around Winston-Salem. Their website says they will be in sixteen shop windows throughout Winston-Salem’s Arts and Entertainment District, but they also have directions for how to get the posters displayed “in your office,” so perhaps they will be in more than 16 shop windows. Let me know if you see one of them.

To kick off the month, they will hold 4 Poems & A Party at Barnhill’s Books at 1:00 on Aug 3. I’ll be there and will read “Used” and a couple of other poems as well. Hopefully the other poets for August will be there too, and I hope you’ll be able to join us. Here is a link to the Poetry in Plain Sight website: Poetry in Plain Sight

NC Poetry Society Fall Meeting

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

Readings by Joseph Bathanti, current Poet Laureate of North Carolina, and 2013 Brockman-Campbell Book Award winners Kathryn Kirkpatrick and Katherine Sonial.

Recognition of the winners of the NCWN Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, Joseph Mills, Ross White, and Katherine Soniat; and the Brockman-Campbell Book Award read: Kathryn Kirkpatrick and Katherine Soniat.

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