NCPS 90th Anniversary Celebration — 1932 – 2022
We begin 2022 by launching a yearlong celebration of nine decades of  supporting and valuing what poets bring to the culture of North Carolina. We  honor the immeasurable contribution that poetry makes to our lives. With great joy and gratitude, we thank you in advance for participating in this yearlong celebration of our history and future. Use the link below if you have a favorite anecdote or image documenting your experience with NCPS. 
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.

New is Old Is New
Blog post by Bill Griffin

2022 is the 90th anniversary of the North Carolina Poetry Society.
This week I’ve been given a book written by a NCPS charter member, Augusta Wray. Travel back to 1932 with me and let’s see what she’s up to!

The soul is loosed and on unweary wings
takes leave of what was once its mortal home.
                                              Release August Wray

Read the full blog post here:
FEBRUARY CRAFT TIP: Getting More from Line Breaks

Craft Tip submitted by Judith Ferster

Line breaks are great for turning ambiguity into certainty or vice versa; creating surprise; and not just expressing, but enacting and embodying downward motion.

Language is linear, but line breaks can send you back to reconsider the line before. The end of the first line creates expectations, conscious or not. The beginning of the following line can throw the reader off balance by withholding the expected word or phrase and separating the poem from ordinary language.

For example, Joshua Coben’s line “What a son owes a father” might lead a reader struggling to come to terms with filial obligations to hope for clarity—hope dashed by the next line, “is left unsaid.”

A surprising line break occurs at the end of James Wright’s “A Blessing.”
“…That if I stepped out of my body I would break / Into blossom.”

An example of enacting downward motion with a line break is Milton’s depiction of God’s anger at Satan in Paradise Lost, hurling him “with hideous ruin and combustion down…” “Down” seems to be the destination of Satan’s fall, but the next line undoes the reader’s sense of arrival: “…to bottomless perdition.“ We can’t rest in hell—bottomless perdition keeps Satan falling, making us feel the fall viscerally as the floor drops away.

Wringing more use from line breaks is an invaluable tool for both revision and fresh writing.

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.

Let’s celebrate Poetry Month together! 
Weymouth Center plans to post a poem by a North Carolina poet each day of April on our Facebook page to celebrate National Poetry Month, and we would like for NCPS members to help us select the poems. Pat Riviere-Seel, Friends of Weymouth Board member and past NCPS President, will curate this event.

Here are the guidelines:
  1. Send a poem (up to 3 poems/3 poets) by a North Carolina poet to Pat at:
  2. Include 3-line or 50-word bio for the poet, where the poem was published and the publication date 
  3. Poems should be a maximum of one page (printed in a book)
  4. Deadline: March 15, 2022
  5. Poems will be considered for posting as they are received
  6. Questions? Contact Pat at
Although the pandemic has prevented the NCPS from meeting at Weymouth, we’re ready to welcome you back when it’s safe to gather in person. This year, as the NCPS celebrates its 90th birthday, Weymouth is celebrating 100 years of the historic Boyd House. Weymouth has been the permanent home for the NCPS for 35 years – since 1987. Let’s celebrate together on Facebook with 30 poems by NC poets.
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North Carolina Poetry Society
 2022 Brockman-Campbell Book Award Competition
Submission Period Ends May 1, 2022

Old fashioned typewriterThe contest is open to poets who published a book-length volume of poetry in 2021. Entrants must be native-born North Carolinians or current residents who have lived in North Carolina for at least three years at the time of their book’s publication. An entry must be a first edition by a single author. It must contain 20 or more pages of poetry, and it must have a 2021 copyright date. Poets may submit their own books, or publishers may submit books on behalf of the poets. Visit our website for full details.

The deadline for entering is May 1, 2022. Members of the North Carolina Poetry Society pay $10.00 to enter; non-members pay $20.00. Multiple entries are allowed, but a separate fee is required for each entry. Make checks payable to the NCPS and include them with each entry.

A cash prize of $200 will be presented to one winner only. The winner and the recipients of any honorable mentions will be invited to read at the fall meeting of the NCPS in 2022. Mail contest entries to: Earl Huband, 3814 Hulon Drive, Durham, NC. If you wish to be notified of the receipt of an entry, include an email address or a self-addressed, stamped postcard. Also, to receive notification of the contest results, please include an email address or a SASE.

The 2021 Brockman-Campbell Award was won by Dave Manning for Sailing the Bright Stream: New & Selected Poems.Two books were recognized for Honorable Mention: In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver by Dannye Romine Powell, and The Tyranny of Questions by Michael Gaspeny. Visit our website for a list of previous winners. 

Black Oak Society Open Call for Pitches and Submissions!

We are doing it big for the new year! This spring, Black Oak Society will be publishing its sixth issue of BOS Magazine, a twice-yearly literary magazine with a mission to “give Black Raleigh her flowers now.”

The theme of our Spring/Summer 2022 issue is “Black Power/Black Politics.” 2022 is a big election year and we want to highlight the political and activist leaders and movements that helped shape North Carolina into what it is today.

The types of submissions we accept are:
- Creative nonfiction (essays, articles, and creative prose)
- Poetry
- Short Stories
- Photography and photo-essays
- Visual art that can be represented well on the page
- Comics

Compensation begins at $50 per accepted piece.

All submissions must be received by March 1st.

For extensive detail about Black Oak Society's open call, please see this Facebook post. You can also visit BOS's submission guidelines page.
Wondering where to submit your poems for publication? Bill Griffin invites you to share the latest update of the submissions calendar he has compiled over the past several years:

The table lists over 160 journals and contests, with a web address or other contact information, and indicates by month when submissions open and close. It is available as a .PDF for download from See link above.

Every week posts a new micro-essay, photographs, and poems by featured poets – over 100 poets are indexed on the site’s home page. In the past few weeks featured poets have included:
            Stan Absher
            Jack Coulehan
            Jaki Shelton Green
            Shelby Stephenson
            Joseph Bathanti
            Crystal Simone Smith
            Nathaniel Perry
            Maryann Corbett
            Cathryn Essinger
Also featured is a “how to” post about publishing poetry on a WordPress site.

Bill frequently adds 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 Bill know! And please send Bill your own favored journal information for him to add to the next update!

Haiku Society of America 2022 Contests and Deadlines

HSA Merit Book Awards: submit by February 15, 2022.
Opened January 1, 2022 for books published in 2021.

Virgilio Student Haiku Contest:
Opens February 1, 2022 and closes March 21, 2022.

HSA Rengay Award Contest:
Opens April 1, 2022 and closes May 31, 2022.

HSA Haiku Award Contest:
Opens June 1, 2022 and closes August 1, 2022.

HSA Senryu Award Contest:
Opens June 1, 2022 and closes August 1, 2022.

HSA Haibun Award Contest:
Opens June 1, 2022 and closes August 1, 2022.

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


FlowerSong Press is now accepting full length manuscript submissions for poetry, prose, short stories, and more for 2023-2024

FlowerSong Press nurtures essential verse from, about, and through the borderlands with
voices from Latin America, the United States, and all over the world.
We are Literary, Lyrical, Boundless, and we welcome allies who understand and join in the voices of people of color and our struggle, truth, and hope.
We will publish novice, emerging, and established writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children´s books. We are open to submissions all year long and will make it a goal to have a rapid response to every submission.
Check out our catalog of published works at:

Thank you,

Edward Vidaurre, Editor-in-Chief

For more information, please visit:

Please submit your upcoming events to
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WHEN: Sunday, February 6 at 3pm
Sherry Siddall (Sweet Land) and Joan Barasovska (Carrying Clare) are North Carolina poets launching books at a time when technology permits a far-reaching audience. Join to hear a selection of compelling poems and to talk to the writers. Beth Copeland writes of Sweet Land, “The elegant, elegiac poems in Sweet Land are rooted in—but also transcend—the natural world.” Bill Griffin writes of Carrying Clare, “In the end the family, and the reader, is refined and redeemed, as Joan puts it, in the crucible of fear and love.” An open mic will follow the reading, one poem one page.
NEW NCPS Facebook Live Series:
Poets & Poetry Matters

Poets & Poetry Matters debuts Monday, February 7 at 1 PM with Glenis Redmond. Look for another guest later in the month of February. PPM entails monthly interviews and readings with poets whose body of work answers the questions, Can poetry matter? and Do poets matter? with a resounding "Yes!" Audiences will be able to view it on the NCPS Facebook page on Live and on YouTube. We will also feature updates for our 90th Anniversary celebration. Celestine Davis, NCPS President, will host the series.

Glenis Redmond is a nationally renowned award-winning poet and teaching artist who travels the world sharing and teaching poetry. She writes about the strength of her Afro-Carolinian roots, while exploring their weighted and palpable histories. Glenis is a literary community leader. She is dedicated to coaching and uplifting youth poets' voices. She co-founded a literary program called Peace Voices in her hometown of Greenville, SC from 2012-2019. Glenis is also a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and a Cave Canem poet.


#ObsidianVoices | Black Futures
A Reading and Conversation

When: Friday, February 11, 2022 | 7:00pm ET
Where: Virtual on Zoom

Black Futures is a celebration of Obsidian issue 47.1, featuring award-winning authors, poets, and community organizers Trace DePass, Aris Kian, MARS Marshall, Olufunke Ogundimu and Ronda Racha Penrice. Moderated by Sheree Renée Thomas & Nandi Comer.

About #ObsidianVoices
Celebrating over forty-seven years of continuous publication, Obsidian supports—through publication and critical inquiry—the contemporary poetry, fiction, drama/performance, visual and media art of Africans globally. A premier platform dedicated to African and African Diaspora Literatures, Obsidian is published biannually in print, and year round online.

Click here to register for this event and learn more about #ObsidianVoices.

45th Annual Writers Week Festival 2022

Please scan the QR Code on the image above for complete details about featured guests, session times, and registration information.


When: February 12, and 14-18, 2021 | Multiple sessions and start times
Cost: FREE, registration required

Entering its 45th year, UCR’s Writers Week is the longest-running free literary event in California and features the most renowned authors of our day alongside those at the start of promising careers. The week of events is open to the public and includes readings, conversations, panels, and social activities focused on the varied and exciting work of our participants, many of them among UCR’s powerhouse Creative Writing faculty.

Each year we honor distinguished writers for lifetime achievement, celebrating the ways they contribute to and change contemporary writing through their fearless originality. In February 2022 we will honor three internationally renowned literary giants: Sandra Cisneros, Linda Hogan, and Ishmael Reed.


Sam Barbee
Featured Poet for February
 Tuesday, February 1st, 7:00 pm
Includes open mic
Meeting ID: 889 8507 7041

Beat cabin fever and travel to England through the poetry of Sam Barbee.
Sam will be reading from his book, Uncommon Book of Prayer, described as "...not just a beautifully descriptive travel journal; it’s a veritable love-letter to England," writes Irish exile poet, Adrian Rice.

The free, hybrid event will take place online via Zoom and in-person at 308 Meadows Street in New Bern. The location is open to the public and there is plenty of free parking. After the featured poet reads, the mic is open for original poems from other poets who sign up. The first open mic readers will be those in the audience.  If you want to be listed to read you can email If there is enough time you can also sign up to read during the event.

You can purchase a copy of Sam's book HERE.

Onslow County NAACP FIRST Black History Month Festival

When: February 12, 2021 | 3p - 6p
Where: 1121 Commons Drive North | Jacksonville, NC
The first event of its kind in Jacksonville, the festival will focus on bringing together surrounding communities in an effort to promote education through the use of entertainment.

There will be live entertainment, including poetry from Bri Esoteric and Mariah McClain and singing by Lillian McNeil and Lolly Jackson. Dance performances include the Jacksonville Soul Steppers. Mack Bedard will be a guest speaker, and expect more.

City Soul Cafe

When: February 2, 2022 | 8p - 11p (arrive early if you want an open mic spot)
Where: Terminal-8 Bar & Lounge in Raleigh
Cost: $7 at the door

City Soul Cafe is a local, recurring event, founded by award-winning NCPS member Dasan Ahanu. The weekly show serves as a platform for poets, giving them a chance to not only hone their art, but to expand their visibility in the poetry community.

City Soul Cafe will be hosting weekly shows starting this month. You can catch a show every 2nd Wednesday at Transfer Co. The event will be held at Terminal-8 Bar and Lounge on all other Wednesdays of the month.

Text CITYSOUL to 888-549-0199 to get reminders for City Soul and other area events
The Poetry Lounge Presents: Melanin Verses
The Celebration of Black History to Power, Growth, and Positivity

When: February 25th, 2022 @ 8p
Where: GPazz Lounge in Durham
Cost: $10 - $20

As a celebration of Black history and culture, Melanin Verses will feature poets, Jenn, EndlessWill, and The Poet Has Spoken. Enjoy Guyanese cuisine and drinks while soaking in the artistry of the evening.

This is also an open mic event. Poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, musicians, singers, and even comedians are encouraged to sign up for a spot on the stage by texting 202-596-8627.

More information about the event, including pricing, open mic requirements, and other show details are available on the event page.

Southern (Dis)Comfort: A Screening and Poetry Discussion with Johnny Lee Chapman II

When: February 10, 2022 | 6p to 7:30p
Where: Glenn McNairy Branch Library in Greensboro

Come celebrate Black History month as we screen Southern (Dis)Comfort, a poetry short film by Johnny Lee Chapman III, with a discussion on his influences, his career, and Black North Carolina History. There will also be a Q & A session, and a short poetry writing session where you can try your hand at a poem or two, mentored by Johnny Lee Chapman III!

Seating is limited, so registration is required. To register call 336-373-2015, visit this link, or visit the front desk at the Glenn McNairy Branch.
An Evening with Natasha Trethewey: Former U.S. Poet Laureate and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
When: March 17, 2022 | 7p -8p
Where: UNCG
Elliott University Center Auditorium
507 Stirling Street
Greensboro, NC
Cost: FREE

The UNCG Graduate Program in Creative Writing will host a reading by former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). She is the author of five collections of poetry, Monument (2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award; Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000), which was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet and won both the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. She is also the author of the memoir Memorial Drive (2020). Her book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. At Northwestern University she is a Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. In 2012 she was named Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi and and in 2013 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Please visit this link for more information.

One Mic Stand
Open Mic Every 4th Thursday
When: February 24, 2022 | 7:30p - 10p
Where: Wired Coffee Espress in Kannapolis, NC

Open mic that welcomes music, poetry, comedy, magic, and coffee drinkers. Come out every 4th Thursday of every month and enjoy the local artistry.

Wired Coffee Espress and Guerilla Poets invites you to share a song, story, poetry, comedy, reading, music, or just come out and join the party.

Tell your friends, Put it on your calendar, Save the date and be here for a great night of fun.

For more information or to contact event organizer, please visit the event page.

Master Class: Writing Beyond Ourselves: On Integrating Research & Poetry


NEW DATE: Saturday, March 5, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Studio Two (in-person)

1817 Central Avenue, Room 208

Charlotte, NC 28205


Based in the experience of researching and writing Pelvis with Distance, a biography-in-poems of the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and a forthcoming collection engaging with stories from the book of Genesis, Jessica Jacobs will discuss the practices that were most useful in finding her way into this world, finding the permission needed to inhabit her voice, as well as the voices of others, and how to break free from the straightjacket of facts to allow your poems to live and breathe on the page. As time allows, there will also be deep-reading of representative poems and generative exercises to get you writing.


This is one of four master classes with the 2021-22 Chapbook Lab faculty. There may be a few seats available for non-Lab participants. Members can email if interested in the waiting list.

Write Queerly!

When: February 3, 2022 (and every 1st Thursday of the month)
Where: Odd's Cafe in Asheville, NC

Write Queerly is a chance to celebrate our unique perspectives and experiences through writing. We'll start with a warmup activity such as a poetry reading/quote to reflect on, or with a queer writing prompt. Then we'll have free-writing time; you can work on your novel, write a poem, journal—write anything you like! We'll close with sharing our writing (if you want to) and our plans for writing until we meet again next month!

This event is for people of all skill levels, whether you're a Poet Laureate or a grocery list savant, all are welcome!

Write Queerly is an event hosted by Asheville-based Meetup group, Queers to the Front!, an LGBTQIA+ social group.

Poetry Night at Adventure Bound Books

When: Friday, February 11, 2022 | 6p - 7:30p
Adventure Bound Books in Morganton, NC

After a brief hiatus during the chaotic holiday month of December and inventory and planning tasks of January, our monthly Poetry Nights are back beginning in February! This month is a special one since it’s also part of our Book Fair for Grown Folks event Feb. 7th-12th.

Poetry Night is open to all ages. Come and share your own poetry, read a favorite poet’s work, or come to enjoy poetry shared by others. While it is a free event, we are limiting the number in attendance to make sure we’re being as COVID-safe as possible. Reserve your spot in the link provided.

Masks are required throughout the event.

This event is FREE and tickets are available on Eventbrite. Visit the event page on Facebook for further details.

Redhawk Publications is pleased to announce the publication of Yellow Leaves, a poetry collection by Alana Dagenhart this coming February. Dagenhart, an English professor at Johnson & Wales University, has been writing for practically her whole life. Dagenhart’s first publication was a poem she wrote in elementary school, which was published in the local newspaper. She also published a chapbook titled Blood in 2016.

To purchase Yellow Leaves, visit  

Joan Barasovska's new book, Carrying Clare, is available from Main Street Rag at the link below. Joseph Mills writes about Carrying Clare, "...the author takes us into hospitals and bedrooms and kitchens as she examines hard truths about parenting and family, including the fear, despair and difficulties that are sometimes involved. Barasovska is unflinching, and therefore trustworthy. These are not poems of easy sentiment, but ones of attention and honesty and love.”

Look for Joan’s virtual book launch information for Sunday, February 6 at 3:00 in this newsletter!

Click on the link below to order:
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.
Yearly 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.

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 are an NCPS member in good standing and would like your free copy of Pinesong 2021 with last year's winning poems, write to Joan at

No charge for mailing.

Want to develop a better work routine? Discover how some of the world's greatest minds organized their days.
Click image to see the interactive version (via Podio).
Excerpt from “Ode to a Book II” by Pablo Neruda
translated by Edward Hirsch

Book of poetry
come back again
to hold snow or moss
in your pages
so that the footsteps
or the eyes
can leave
their traces;
once again
describe the world for us
of freshwater springs
in the thickets,
groves of tall trees,
the polar
and human beings
on the roads,
in the jungle,
on the water,
in the sky,
in the naked solitude of the sea,
human beings
the ultimate secrets,
human beings
with a book

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)
Copyright © 2022 North Carolina Poetry Society, All rights reserved.

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