NCPS 90th Anniversary Celebration  1932 – 2022
As we continue to celebrate our 90th Anniversary, CLICK HERE TO SHARE AND REFLECT WITH US

If you have pictures, memories, words from your time with NCPS, consider sharing them with us as we approach the September member's meeting at Weymouth to celebrate 90 years of poetry in person.



NCPS 90th Anniversary Celebration 1932 – 2022


Saturday, September 17, 2022
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.



Please save the date! It will be a time for celebration and sharing. We will honor our rich heritage of voices from the past, the present, and the bright future we are creating together in one of the richest literary states. This will be a day you will not want to miss. Specific details will be available in the September eMuse and on social media. So, stay tuned!


The NCPS Board is committed to providing safe spaces for meeting together and to protecting the vulnerable. We will follow all COVID precautions required by the Weymouth facility; we also request that everyone wear a mask for all indoor activities at Weymouth. There will be outdoor or patio space for eating.


Seating space in Weymouth’s ballroom is limited to 65 persons. We may need to restrict numbers further if high COVID rates require greater distancing.

So that we can accommodate all who wish to attend, please consider visiting our FaceBook EVENTS ( page to indicate that you are coming.

Instructions for virtual viewing or attendance will soon be available.

The NCPS Board also encourages everyone in attendance to be fully vaccinated for COVID and influenza.

Vitality. Fellowship. Healing. These are the qualities the arts spark, and they are what North Carolina needs to rebuild its economy and emerge resiliently from the pandemic. This is why the North Carolina Arts Council created Spark the Arts.  Arts organizations of all sorts may download the pdf here:  http://SparkTheArts_Logo_Guide.pdf

SPARK THE ARTS is an awareness campaign designed to inspire public participation in the arts -- including poetry events -- across North Carolina by highlighting the unique way the arts lift spirits, bring people together, and heal. Our goal is to ignite the resurgence of North Carolina’s arts sector from the pandemic by connecting residents and visitors to arts experiences and arts stories across our state.

The hashtag #SparkTheArtsNC hashtag promotes in-person arts events now. In-person poetry events, even those that are ZOOMED simultaneously, are invited to use the logos and the hashtag.

Poetry In Plain Sight, Going Forward

The North Carolina Poetry Society's program Poetry In Plain Sight will be paused for 2023.

The NCPS Board wants to renew PIPS in the near future. Current State Coordinator, Sam Barbee, will be stepping down after March 2023 after all the 2022-23 poster poems have been distributed to the Host Cities per the established monthly schedule. Host Cites are: Winston- Salem, Greensboro, Burnsville, Greenville and Wilmington.

The program has been a vital statewide poetry initiative for thirteen years. Special thanks go to Press 53, NC Writers’ Network, Winston-Salem Writers, Nexus Poets and others; countless volunteers; and all the merchants and venues who have supported the program so dependably.

Most of all, our honors and thanks go to the hundreds of North Carolina poets who supported and participated year after year.

If an intern steps forward to take Sam's role, and the numerous responsibilities that go with it, NCPS will happily announce it in the newsletter, and other outlets.

Also there will be several hundred vintage poster poems available at the Sept 17 NCPS Members’ Gathering at Weymouth Center. They will be free to attendees (donations welcome).

The poster inventory is listed at the link below. They are available now if you wish to order a few, but there will be a charge of $6 for up to ten (10) posters to cover postage. Place orders at

2022 Susan Laugher Meyers/Weymouth Residency 


In honor of the life and work of Susan Laughter Meyers, the North Carolina Poetry Society (NCPS) and Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities co-sponsor this annual residential fellowship for one North or South Carolina writer. 


The fellowship winner receives a week-long writing residency at Weymouth Center in Southern Pines and a $500 stipend.  Each year the merit-based fellowship is awarded to one North or South Carolina poet.


The Judges for 2022 were Fred Joiner, Pat Rivière-Seel, and Gideon Young.



Winner of the 2022 Susan Laugher Meyers/Weymouth Residency


Yvette Murray of Charleston, SC


Yvette R. Murray received her B.A. in English from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania She has been published in Emrys Journal, The Petigru Review, Catfish Stew, A Gathering Together, Kakalak and others. She is a 2021 Best New Poet selection, a Watering Hole Fellow, and a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. She is a board member of the South Carolina Writer’s Association and the Poetry Society of South Carolina, and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Ms Murray lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Find her on Twitter @MissYvettewrites.





Susan Finch Stevens of Isle of Palms, SC


Susan Finch Stevens’ poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, including Connecticut River Review, One, Kakalak, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: South Carolina. Her chapbook, Lettered Bones, was selected by Kwame Dawes as a winner in the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Chapbook Competition. She is a past president of the Poetry Society of South Carolina and served a number of years as the society’s Recording Secretary. She has been a featured reader in Piccolo Spoleto’s Sundown Poetry Reading Series, served as poet-in-residence at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, and was a Pushcart nominee. A member of Richard Garcia’s Long Table Poets, Susan lives on the Isle of Palms, SC with her husband David.




Honorable Mentions


Kimberly Diggers of Asheville NC/Charleston, SC


Kimberly Driggers is from Charleston, South Carolina. She completed her undergraduate degree at the College of Charleston, with a BA in English, and her MFA in Poetry from the University of Arkansas. She made Asheville her home after years of traveling the Western North Carolina region with family, friends, and her loving dog. Her poems have appeared in Southeast Review, Mid-American Review, Salamander, and elsewhere.



Chris Abbate of Apex, NC


Chris Abbate’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Connecticut River Review, Cider Press Review, and Prime Number Magazine. He is a two-time nominee for a Pushcart Prize, has been nominated for a Best of the Net award, and has received awards in the Nazim Hikmet and North Carolina Poetry Society poetry contests. His poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and has been selected multiple times for the NCPS Poetry In Plain Sight program. His first book, Talk About God, was published by Main Street Rag in 2017. His full-length collection, Words for Flying, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2022. Visit him at




About the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities:


Weymouth Center, a Georgian manor, gardens, and grounds located in Southern Pines, NC, was the home of James Boyd, author of Drums and other novels, and his wife Katharine.  Weymouth hosts writers’ residencies, concerts, readings, and other cultural events and is the home of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.


For more information on the Weymouth Center, see


Potential applicants, please note that the Weymouth Center is an historic building and is not ADA compliant.  All rooms for writers are on the second floor, accessible only by stairs.


Susan Laughter Meyers (1945-2017) served as President of both the North Carolina Poetry Society and the Poetry Society of South Carolina.  A North Carolina native, Susan lived much of her adult life in South Carolina.  She was an award-winning poet and teacher.  A welcoming presence to all she encountered, Susan was an enthusiastic supporter of other poets.


The North Carolina Poetry Society is grateful to Blue Meyers, husband of Susan Laughter Meyers, for his generous donation of copies of Susan’s posthumous poetry collection, Self-Portrait in the River of Déjà Vu, published in March 2019 by Press 53.


Copies are available for purchase at quarterly NCPS meetings at Weymouth and other NCPS events and by mail.


All proceeds from book sales support the Fellowship.


DONATE: Your donation will help endow the Susan Laughter Meyers Poetry Fellowship at Weymouth.  Donations of $15 or more will receive a copy of Susan’s posthumous poetry collection, Self-Portrait in the River of Déjà Vu.


Send checks made out to NCPS to: Bill Griffin, NCPS Treasurer, 131 Bon Aire Road, Elkin, NC 28621 or donate online at and designate your gift for the Fellowship.

Brockman-Campbell Book Award
2022 Contest Winners

On May 22, 2022, Jeff Worley, the judge of this year’s Brockman-Campbell Book Award
contest, emailed me that, from the seventeen books entered, he selected these three:

Winner: White Lung by Kimberly O'Connor
Honorable Mention: Anything That Happens by Cheryl Wilder
Honorable Mention: Any Dumb Animal by AE Hines

Mr. Worley’s initial comment was “Terrific books, all three.” Worley was until recently Poet
Laureate of Kentucky. His bio, plus those of all three authors, will be in the fall Pine Whispers.


Congratulations to each winner!

Be sure to look for detailed information about each winner and their prize-winning selections in the upcoming Fall 2022 issue of Pine Whipsers

Consider Prose

There are times when we begin a poem with a particular form in mind: Sonnet for love poems;
Nonce sonnet for poems about love at a slant/gone wrong; ghazal mystical/spiritual poems;
sestina, pantoum, or villanelle for poem dealing with obsession of some sort (consider the
repetition inherent with those forms), etc. Perhaps the first draft is written as a paragraph,
allowing us to focus on content and imagery before attempting line and stanza breaks. We allow
the process to lead us toward form.

But perhaps the poem works best in the prose format, settles comfortably into the garb of a
paragraph. One of the best definitions I’ve heard of a prose poem is a paragraph with the soul of
a poem.

I’ve noticed that prose poems may take intuitive leaps which seem disjointed when cast in a free
verse poem, but that the prose format is able to contain them. In some poems, the subject itself is
too dark for the beautification and gracefulness provided by line breaks (think of Carolyn
Forché’s “The Colonel”).

Ray Gonzalez, editor of the prose poem anthology No Boundaries states that “[t]he prose poem
shrinks what is visually seen on the page, but as the tension between lines and words build upon
each other, what arises goes beyond traditional ideas of a uniform, sacred, and ordered space for

Don’t hesitate to leave your poem in a prose format. Don’t hesitate to change it to another form.
There’s no right or wrong, just choice.

Submitted by Lavonne Adams

eMuse Seeking Your Poetic Writing Expertise for Craft Tips

If you have advice and tips to share with your fellow NCPS members, consider submitting them to be featured in eMuse.

Your craft tip should be submitted in a Word doc of no more than 250 words. Please include a title and your name.

Please use
THIS GOOGLE FORM to submit your craft tip.
Open this email in your browser and click the following links to navigate the newsletter

Have you been wondering where to submit your poems for publication? Bill
Griffin invites you to explore his blog for the August update of the –
SUBMISSIONS CALENDAR – which he has compiled over the past several

The table lists over 250 journals and contests, with web address or other
contact information, and indicates by month when submissions open and
close. It is available as a .PDF for download from

Also featured is a "how to" page about formatting poetry on a WordPress site.
Bill adds frequently to the submissions calendar and posts an updated version
two or three times a year. Bill requests:
If you find any information in the table that has changed or is incorrect
please let me know! And please send your own favored journal information
for me to add to the next update to:


❦ ❦ ❦


Every Friday Morning Bill Griffin posts at VERSE & IMAGE: new
microessays, nature photography, and poems by featured poets. Around 150
poets are indexed on the site’s home page, many from North Carolina and the
Southeast. In the past few weeks featured poets have included:

John Hoppenthaler
M. Scott Douglass
Ellen Bass
Linda Hogan
Maria Rouphail
Shuly Xóchitl Cawood
Denton Loving
Keri Gunter-Seymour
Pam Baggett
Rebecca Baggett
Please visit and leave a comment!


The contest opens September 1, 2022 and runs through October 16, 2022.

For detailed information about submission guidelines, please visit the content page HERE.

$1,500 FIRST PRIZES. Lit/South Awards from Charlotte Lit. Prizes: $1500, $500, $250 plus publication in Litmosphere journal, in poetry (3 poems), fiction (4000 words) and nonfiction (4000 words). Open to current/past residents of NC, SC, GA, TN, VA. Open September 1 to November 1. Entry fee $15 includes print journal.


Haiku Society of America 2022 Contests and Deadlines

HSA Renku Award Contest:
Opens September 1, 2022 and closes October 31, 2022.

For guidelines and information:

Please use THIS LINK to submit your events.
DEADLINE for October eMUSE IS September 15th
Open this email in your browser and click the following links to find events near you!


NCPS invites members and guests to attend our virtual Poets & Poetry Matter Interviews and Reading Series featuring:
Allison Hedge Coke on October 22, 2022 at 2 pm

Join us on  ZOOM: or on Facebook Live


About the poet:

Allison Hedge Coke was elected into the Texas Institute of Letters, awarded the AWP George Garret Award for field service in 2021 and honored with a Legacy Artist Individual Artist Fellowship by the California Arts Council for 2021-2022. (Poetry Foundation)

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke was born in Amarillo, Texas and grew up in North Carolina, Canada, and on the Great Plains. In her initial days of high school, Hedge Coke dropped out and went to work sharecropping tobacco, working fields and waters to support herself. She had already been working in factories, fields, and food service on a North Carolina child work permit since early youth. She finished her GED at sixteen years old and went on to study photography, traditional arts, and writing in community education classes at North Carolina State University. Hedge Coke moved to Tennessee and then California, where she participated in retraining for former field workers, studied performing arts, and completed a play, Icicles. She received an AFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and then took the GRE, skipping her bachelor’s degree to earn an MFA in poetry from Vermont College.

Find out more about the poet at:

Tuesday, September 6th
7 - 8:30 p.m.

This event is both virtual and in-person

Award-winning poet Suzannah L. Cockerille is setting aside her Nexus Poets Vice President's hat and stepping up to the podium as our Featured Poet at the Nexus Poets’ Poetry Open Mic at 7 pm, Tuesday, September 6th.
The event is an in-person meeting with room for social distancing and it is also webcast on Zoom. The free event at 308 Meadows Street in New Bern is open to the public and there is plenty of free parking. After the Featured Poet reads in person the mic is open for original poems from other poets who sign up.
Suzannah's the winner of last year's (2021) NC Writers Network Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize for her poem "Aproned Literacy," of which contest judge Jennifer Militello said, “I loved its expansive use of a seemingly every day subject, its textured treatment of language, and its measured pacing and music, as well as the sense it gave me as a reader of being in a church of comfort, worshipping at the altar of physical and emotional sustenance."

Suzannah has won the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Thomas H. McDill Award, and has twice been a finalist for the Society’s prestigious Poet Laureate Award. She's also been both a semi-finalist and finalist for the North Carolina Literary Review's James Applewhite Prize. Her poems have been published in a host of literary journals and have been featured in the statewide Poetry in Plain Sight initiative. Suzannah is bringing her poems together in a chapbook tentatively titled either The House is a Wreck or The Biscuit Maker’s Theorem.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 850 2645 3814

For more information, visit:
Maria Rouphail’s eye is unflinching yet her voice is forgiving as she recalls the lyric memories of a family’s history of trauma. From the title poem that takes the reader to “a dark river hauling out of a glacier in Tibet, / all dragon sheen and muscle moving” to “an orange sky” over LA where “freeways writhe like ropes of fire,” Maria Rouphail explores the landscapes of longing and loss between mothers and daughters. The poems are like trees that bloom and burn with each turn of the page."
Beth Copeland, author of Blue Honey, recipient of the 2017 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize.
Maria Rouphail is the 2022 winner of NCPS’s Pinesong Awards Poet Laureate Contest.
Preorder at:

“'Nothing lifts the darkness she’s in,” says the poet of her eleven-year-old self. Ultimately victorious, the emergent woman comes to 'love this world [she] yearned to shed.' From the bravura realism of “The Penn Fruit” to the Dickinsonesque lyricism of “Romance,” Orange Tulips reminds us that a full life is always a story of valor and generous love."

—Maria Rouphail, Ph.D., author of All the Way to China; poetry editor at Main Street Rag, winner, 2022 Pinesong Awards Poet Laureate Contest

Poet Maureen Sherbondy has had enough. Her eleventh collection, Lines in Opposition, explores our need to set limits in times of conflict and confusion. These poems of defiance range from the artistic to the political to the familial, from Basho to Godot, Gretel to Ashbery, the Rockettes to Bubble Yum. At times wry and whimsical, at other times acutely serious, Sherbondy's poems testify to the importance of knowing when and how to draw the line.

Available for purchase:
A new anthology on the history and legacy of the Black Arts Movement. In a Foreword by Ishmael Reed, Black Fire—This Time is described as a 21st century “update” that builds upon the traditions of Alain Locke’s The New Negro (1920) and Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal’s Black Fire: an anthology of Afro-American Writing (1968).

The anthology also features work from Pinesong 2022 dedicatee Lenard Moore.

Black Fire -- This Time, may be purchased from Willow Books, at THIS LINK.
Redhawk Publications is happy to announce the publication of Apertures of
Voluptuous Force, Sam Barbee’s fourth poetry collection; his others are Book of
Uncommon Prayer, That Rain We Needed, and Changes of Venue.

Barbee comments, “Apertures of Voluptuous Force has a different tone than my previous
collections. I wrote Apertures of Voluptuous Force for people like me, who are attempting to answer
our bewildering questions with positivity and hope.”

To purchase Apertures of Voluptuous Force, visit

Want to make a difference in communities across the state? Do you have great communication and organizational skills? Then we are looking for you! NC Poetry Society is looking for an Assistant State Coordinator for our Poetry In Plain Sight (PIPS) program who is interested in becoming the State Coordinator beginning mid-2023. Support will be provided by the current State Coordinator as needed. 


The State Coordinator for the Poetry In Plain Sight program reports to the current NCPS President and Board.


The State Coordinator should possess effective organizational and management skills; good written and verbal communication skills; willingness to travel on a limited basis; be capable of maintaining good records; and the ability to lift up to 20 lbs. This is a volunteer position but reasonable personal expenses are reimbursed.


Responsibilities for coordinating all aspects of the program include the annual call for NC poets to submit poems for consideration; recruiting three annual judges and providing them all entries; assimilating their choices into 48 poems (4 per calendar month throughout the contest year) and settling ties; notifying all participants of the judges' decisions; determining the monthly sequence of the 48 poems, and announcing the selections in NCPS media sites and other statewide outlets. The State Coordinator should be willing to accept other necessary responsibilities for the program's success. 


The State Coordinator also communicates with the Host City coordinators about hanging poster poems in their hometown (currently 5 cities), encourages the monthly rotation to hang the next month's 4 posters in a timely manner, and advises how to address local obstacles.

You may view the further details about the job description Here: PiPS Assistant State Coordinator


If you are ready for a rewarding role with the NC Poetry Society and have the time and energy to devote to this critical NC Poetry Society position, email us at Please use "PIPS Coordinator" in the subject line.


Posters from past years of the Poetry in Plain Sight program are still available!  $10 for the first two posters and $1 for each additional poster up to 10.  Contact Sam Barbee at for an up-to-date count and list of posters.
NCPS Dues Scholarship Program

A member or potential new member can write to Joan Barasovska, Sr. VP of Membership, at to ask about obtaining a dues scholarship.

Scholarships are funded by member donations. Confidentiality is central to this program. If you are on a limited income and paying NCPS dues presents a hardship, or you know a poet who would benefit from joining but is held back by tight finances, please write to Joan at

If you are interested in being added to the list of dues sponsors, write to Bill Griffin, You would not be asked to pay until a scholarship is requested.
NCPS Dues Reminder

Quarterly meetings, readings, workshops, contests, fellowships, publications, and collaborations keep the North Carolina poetry community connected and vibrant. We invite you to renew your involvement and take advantage of all that the NCPS offers its members. During this season of online meetings and readings we have continued our quarterly meetings on Zoom, allowing members from all locations, including out of state, to attend virtually.

While dues were once paid in May, we have converted to a simpler rolling system. The day your payment to renew membership is recorded will become your new due date the following year. Your due date is on the mailing label of your copies of Pine Whispers, the paper newsletter.

There are two ways to pay the $30 annual dues ($10 for students): Pay by check (for mailing address click on link below for downloadable form); PayPal, either in a one-time payment (no need for a PayPal account to use your credit card), or the easy option of an automatic annual payment with a PayPal account. The link below will guide you.

Here is the link to the NCPS website Membership page. Please explore the entire website and see what’s new!

If you have questions about membership, please write to Joan Barasovska at

If you would like to receive a copy of the newly published 2022 Pinesong, the anthology of winning poetry from the Pinesong Awards contests, please write to Joan at There will be no charge for mailing.

This offer is for members in good standing. If you're uncertain about your dues status, Joan can help you.

 Photo by Olivier Guillard on Unsplash

The Lake Isle of Innisfree


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

The North Carolina Poetry Society is an inclusive, welcoming community that does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age, political preference, or any other category that has been used to divide human beings from each other and the natural world.  We value diverse voices and varieties of expression.
Copyright © 2022 North Carolina Poetry Society, All rights reserved.

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