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.
In Remembrance of David Treadway Manning 

I write this as a special tribute to David Treadway Manning, who was loved and admired by many. Unfortunately, he passed this past November 24 at the age of 93. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and all his loved ones.  

Based on an enthusiastic unanimous vote by the NCPS board, Sherry Pederson Thrasher, the editor, had the pleasure of honoring David Manning for the second time as our Pinesong dedicatee on the Sam Ragan Awards Day on May 8, 2021.

Malaika King Albrecht, my friend and predecessor stated, "I can't think of a more deserving and loyal NCPS member than him." David T. Manning was a North Carolina cultural gem. Based on his work, generosity in support of other poets, and the NC Poetry Society's mission, I'm sure we can agree that he was deserving of this honor. As modest as he was brilliant, he only responded with, "I am stunned and thankful beyond words." We thank you and salute you, David T. Manning.

I did not know him personally, as many of you did. However, I am still inspired by his adept fusing of poetry with real-life and powerful imaginings, the surprising ways his poetry allows us to see ourselves in those not like us, and how his poetry so deliciously captures truths and the unknowns of this thing called life.

His legacy is his poetry, but most importantly, it's the life he led. By all accounts, his leadership in all areas of life was steeped with wisdom, compassion, and grace. I remember reading in his bio that David was first an organic chemist, which I imagine takes a great deal of skill, intelligence, and dedication. However, I can't help but believe that discovering the poet within himself must have been both an exhilarating and humbling experience. 

Celestine Davis
President, NC Poetry Society

Poetry in Plain Sight Winners
I am pleased to announce the forty-eight poems to be featured in Poetry In Plain Sight 2022 and 2023 have been selected.
Eighty-one North Carolina poets submitted this year, with overall entries totaling two hundred and eleven.
The judges commented on the consistent quality of the poetry, and I applaud them for their judicious efforts and dedication.  In several cases, it was particularly hard to pick between entries from individuals because several poets had all three of their poems under consideration!
We are pleased to have poems from all five living NC Poets Laureate, of course including our current Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green.  Their poems will be highlighted in April of 2022 – Poetry Month – and continue in May.
This year, twenty-one poets will be featured on posters for their first time, which is always exciting.  Poetry In Plain Sight depends on fresh voices to share their unique perspectives.
Poetry In Plain Sight thanks the NC Writers Network, Winston-Salem Writers, and Press 53 for their support, both financial and in-kind; plus Friends of the Program for their direct donations and/or purchase of our vintage posters to keep the program viable.  (See current inventory of vintage poems on the link below.)
I thank all the poets who trusted us with their work.
Sam Barbee

And the Winners Are...

Chris Abbate, “A Defense of Poetry”; Rachel Baker, “Summer Side Dish”; Bartholomew Barker, “Mulberries of the Piedmont”; Jenny Bates, “Summer Fractions”; Joseph Bathanti, “Liberty”; Cathy Smith Bowers, “Words in the English Language”; Les Brown, “In Praise of Storms”;  Nickole Brown, “The Evolution of a Kiss”; Fred Chappell, “Threads”; Steve Cushman, “Family Tradition”; Sandra Dreis, “Ironology”; Joanne Durham, “Cake”; Christina Erickson, “Summer Thunder”; Terri Erickson, “My Mother’s Cookie Cutters”; Keith Flynn, “Writer’s Block”; Priscilla Frake, “Atlas”; Ed Garvey, “Spring”; Michael Gaspeny, “Little Gods”; Jaki Green, “wishing”; John Haugh, “Mother’s Mask”;  Mimi Herman, “How to Say No”; John Hoppenthaler, “The Weather Down Here”; Karen Jackson, “a god of little things”; Jessica Jacobs, “Sleepwalkers in the Garden”; Emily Jaeger, “Lichen”; Kelly Jones, “What I Learned from the Night Sky”; Joan Leotta, “I wish to wear Orion’s Belt”; Rita Lewis, “A Little Called Anything”; Joe Mills, “Rehearsal”; Ruth Moose, “Waiting”;  Laura Mullen, “Home”; Valerie Nieman, “Our Hands Were Once Webbed”; Dannye Powell, “Methodist Bells”; David Radavich, “Sun Lover”; Hannah Ringler, “Potter/Gardener”; Tim Rodriguez, “Sugar Maple”; Sherry Siddall, “Night Ship”; Shelby Stephenson, “Sheep”; C. G. Thompson, “Nature Takes Us to Task”; Melinda Thomsen, “Finding a Book You Love”; Lucinda Trew, “Sunday Morning”; Eric Weil, “The Rider”; Kathy Weisfeld, “Energy Field”; Jennifer Weiss, “Our Together”; Jacinta White, “Gumbo Soil”; Cheryl Wilder,” Ocean Affirmation”; Katherine Wolfe, “The Girl with the Amethyst Ring”; and Nancy Martin-Young, “In Deed.”

Don't forget! There's still time to enter the North Carolina Poetry Society's Adult Contests 
Submission Period: November 3, 2021 through January 12, 202
Visit the Adult Contests page on the NCPS website to read the complete submission details.

  • Poet Laureate Award
  • Alice Osborn Award
  • Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award
  • Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award
  • Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award
  • Poetry of Courage Award
  • Bruce Lader Poetry of Witness Award
  • Bloodroot Haiku Award
  • Joanna Catherine Scott Award
  • Thomas H. McDill Award

All submissions will be judged blind: the judges will not know the identity of the poems’ authors.


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!

Waterbean Poetry Night at the Mic 
This is a face-to face event. Be sure to contact host for details and COVID-19 protocols

Short Bios from Waterbean Poetry Night at the Mic Event on Facebook

Michael Gaspeny’s novella in verse, The Tyranny of Questions (Unicorn Press, 2020), dramatizes a suburban mother’s struggle to save her soul in the 1960s. It has been praised for “its narrative arc and the self-destructive glory of its main character.” Gaspeny’s chapbooks are Re-Write Men (2017) and Vocation (2013). He has won the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. His novel about blues, football, and racial discord, A Postcard from the Delta, is forthcoming from The Livingston Press. Gaspeny lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Joyce Compton Brown grew up in western North Carolina in a small farm and mill community. After earning her doctorate, she began teaching, continuing her interests in social history, Appalachian lore, and roots music. Upon retirement, Brown expanded her focus on poetry, with subjects in the foothills and deep, shifting landscape of the upcountry American South. Brown’s chapbooks are Bequest (Finishing Line Press) and Singing with Jarred Edges (Main Street Rag). Her full-length collection, Standing on the Outcrop, is new from Redhawk Publications.

Teacher/Poet: Poets on Teaching
A virtual reading
Sunday, January 16th, 3:00-4:00 pm

Zoom link:
It is commonplace to say that teachers learn from their students. As so many poets double as teachers, whether of children, young adults, or adults, it follows that an exchange of knowledge and a flow of education has been documented in the poetry of many teachers. Four teacher-poets, Gideon Young, Beth Copeland, Don Ball, and Jane Shlensky, will take you into a variety of classrooms and call forth the twin miracles of education and poetry.
Clockwise from upper right: Beth Copeland, Jane Shlensky, Don Ball, Gideon Young.


Backbone Press 
Featured Contest

2021 Haiku Book Contest: Now open for submissions!

From Backbone Press: The 2021 Backbone Press Haiku Book Contest is open for submissions. Poets in the Continental US. Poets and Canada with or without previously published books of haiku are welcome to submit. A prize of $100 and 20 author copies will be awarded to one winner. A submission of 40-60 haiku via our Submittable Page is recommended. The author’s name and contact information must be omitted from the manuscript. A fee of $20 per submission is required and multiple submissions are permitted. Previous winner, Susan Antolin, will judge. Deadline is December 21st.

More New Books from our Members
Joan Barasovska's new book, Carrying Clare, is available for preorder 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 and 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.”
The book, which will be published in early 2022, is available for preorder now at a discount. Please click on the link below to order:

Showing Face by Nancy Dew Taylor –

Part memoir, part local history, part heartfelt apology, Showing Face tells a vital story that our nation would rather forget. Electric poems fix on two deeply sympathetic figures—crusading preacher Joseph Armstrong De Laine, zealously committed to action against oppression, and Belle, Mabelle Hanna McCray, Taylor’s family’s maid, forced to suppress her tormented soul in order to survive. Their ordeals intersect when De Laine, fleeing vicious bigotry in one town, becomes Belle’s minister in Lake City, SC, where terrorism against Black citizens explodes. Taylor’s lean, sculpted lines will have you smelling the lunatic smoke of burning crosses. Too many readers will admit to similar ignorance during the era of segregation, when Black lives didn’t matter to Night Riders and their protectors and didn’t matter enough to us in the pitiful middle. In the resonant title poem, Taylor captures how much Caucasians can learn from Blacks. In many ways, you will live and re-live this incandescent story.  To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at

Down the Grassy Aisles is a collection of prose poems weaving through the richness of life and positivity, where nature knows no bounds, innocence sees no seams. From dripping pink raincoats, to birthing courage, to dipping into the unknown, these poems are a fanciful splash of the tales of travel, joys of infancy, and subtlety of human emotion as the reader jumps over unseen realms of imagination.
Down the Grassy Aisles is an interplay: a tribute to motherhood in "The Embrace" sprinkled with the resplendence of romantic and familial love in "Musings," "Infant's Masterpiece," "Green Bean Mash," bathed in the reminiscence of travel in "London Bridge" and poured with hope in "The Downpour". My poems suffuse the reader with a flavor of positive aura and the life that beckons."
Available from your local bookstore or

Long Rain (Wet Cement, 2021) is an exquisite collection of five-line poems (tanka) and short prose (haibun), organized around the elements: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Here, Moore expands on the rich history of African-American writers such as Richard Wright, Sonia Sanchez and James Emanuel, creating a masterful transformation of the Japanese tradition into a sharply observant and quietly defiant poetry of the Black experience in America.
Melinda Thomsen's first full-length collection of poems, Armature, was released in September 2021 from Hermit Feathers Press. Armature was selected by Allison Joseph for honorable mention in the North Carolina Poetry Society's 2019 Lena Shull Book Award Contest. Please visit Melinda's webpage for more information: .
"Thank you to the North Carolina Poetry Society & Angell Caudill for believing in these poems!" ~Melinda Thomsen
"There’s such intimacy and such depth of feeling in Crystal Simone Smith’s remarkable book, Down to Earth (Long Leaf Press), that one could almost overlook the incredible formal rigor that also guides and holds these poems. Where a lesser poet would make an airless box, Smith uses her deep understanding of both human and poetic form to make a world. People live, love, and struggle within the formal confines of a brutal world that is also luminous beyond all our expectations. I aspire to Smith’s mastery of line and clarity of vision. In this book, the past is always rising up to meet us and remind us that the past really isn’t past at all. We are always making and remaking it." -Gaby Calvocoressi
Paul Jones salutes the world with Something Wonderful. This big book sings lyrical commentaries in sometimes lulls, courting parody; yet every poem retains a sensibility of good humor. Syllables bloop and loop and make light where a bird might plop or a snake might leave an empty nest. Every image shines, turning dross to sheen, as tinctures of evil sway unknown Truths among Wonder’s residue. Jones brings on the cicada’s song, turns the radio off to hear tunes in his head, offers bright sounds in strains stars shine like skulls of ghosts. Humor? An ode to Krispy Kreme Donuts, plus a hymn to okra. Something Wonderful is just that!
—Shelby Stephenson, poet laureate, North Carolina, 2015-18. His current books are More and Shelby’s Lady: The Hog Poems.
Readings, Workshops and Forthcoming Events

Pat Riviere-Seel
Featured Poet for January

This hybrid event will be live on Zoom and face-to-face at the Universal Unitarian Church Fellowship at 308 Meadows Street in New Bern, NC. Get on their email list to receive the link by contacting them at 

Visit this Link for Special Events:

Winston Salem Writers Workshops
 Three-In-A-Row Writers' Workshops in January

All workshops will be held via Zoom. January workshops are free to Winston-Salem Writers’ members and $25/workshop for non-members. To register for the workshop(s), email and indicate which workshop(s) you will attend. To join or renew membership, go to Participation for each workshop is limited to the first 40 registrants.

Turning Fact into Fiction
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Workshop: 10:0 0am-NOON (EST)
Presented by Whitney Scharer

Mining Your Life Story for Memoir and Fiction
Saturday, January 22, 2022
Workshop: 10:00 am-NOON (EST)
Presented by Kris Spisak

Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Workshop: 10:00 am-NOON (EST)
Presented by Rebecca McClanahan


Tenth Annual Frost Place Chapbook Competition sponsored by Bull City Press.

Currently accepting submissions through January 5, 2022

The Frost Place, a nonprofit center for poetry and the arts at Robert Frost’s old homestead in Franconia, NH, in partnership with Bull City Press, has established a poetry chapbook fellowship. We invite submissions to the Tenth Annual Frost Place Chapbook Competition sponsored by Bull City Press.

In summer 2022, the winner’s chapbook will be published by Bull City Press, and the winner will receive 10 complimentary copies (from a print run of 300), and a $250.00 stipend. The winner will also receive a full fellowship to attend the five-and-a-half-day Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place in August 2022, including room and board (a cash value of approximately $1,500.00), and will give a featured reading from the chapbook at the Seminar. In addition, the chapbook fellow will have the option to spend one week living and writing in The Frost Place House-Museum in September 2022 (peak leaf season in the White Mountains), at a time agreed upon by the fellow and The Frost Place.*

For further details on submission guidelines, visit Bull City Press:
CRAFT TIP for the December issue? - Our new eMuse editor and VP of Communications,  Kasheia Williams, is looking for next month's craft tip.  Will you submit one?  While you consider it, please welcome Kasheia and congratulate her on her new position on the NCPS Board.  Kasheia brings considerable graphic design and social media experience -- and a host of other talents -- with her that will enhance our internal and external communications.  We are so delighted to have her among us!
With gratitude and thanks, we would like to recognize the stellar service of Preston Martin for his excellent work as the NC Poetry Society's Brockman-Campbell Book Award Coordinator! Although he will not be in that role, we look forward to seeing him in all the poetry circles. 

Welcome and thank Earl Huband for agreeing to serve as the Brockman-Campbell Book Award Coordinator! Brockman-Campbell 2022 Book Competition. The poems of Earl Carlton Huband have appeared in journals such as America, Iodine Poetry Journal, The Main Street Rag, The Road Not Taken, and Visions International. His works have also appeared in anthologies such as Earth and Soul, Heron Clan, Kakalak, and Pinesong, and in the textbook Unlocking the Poem. In addition, the Innocence of Education, based on Huband's experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Sultanate of Oman, won Longleaf Press at Methodist University's 2018 chapbook contest.

Earl is also the Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award for his book In the Coral Reef of the Market. We are appreciative and look forward to his contribution to NCPS. 


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 -- includiong 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.

If you are an NCPS member in good standing and would like your free copy of Pinesong 2021 with this year's winning poems, write to Joan at No charge for mailing.
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 to attend virtually.

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!

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. 

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


Running Water by Alfonsino Storni
translated by Muna Lee


Yes, I move, I live, I wander astray—
   Water running, intermingling, over the sands.
I know the passionate pleasure of motion;
   I taste the forests; I touch strange lands.
Yes, I move—perhaps I am seeking
   Storms, suns, dawns, a place to hide.
What are you doing here, pale and polished—
   You, the stone in the path of the tide?

From Poets.Org

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