MAY 2022 eMUSE

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

Sam Ragan Awards Day

MAY 21, 2022  

Zoom Meeting Info
Meeting ID: 838 1049 5990

Schedule of Events
10:00 AM - Business Meeting: Celestine Davis, President

10:10 AM - Pinesong Dedicatee announcement and tributes

10: 30 AM - Jonathan Giles, Student Contests Director: Student Winners
11:30 AM - Open Mic  (time permitting)

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM - Lunch

1:00 PM - Ashley Lumpkin, Adult Contests Director : Adult Winners

2:00 PM - Closing

We look forward to seeing you for our return to Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC, in September!  We will celebrate our 90th Anniversary both in-person and via ZOOM with readings, refreshments and reflections.  Look for forthcoming details in eMuse. 

submitted by Ann Garbett

Years ago in a workshop, the poet Paul Zimmer instructed us to pick out what we considered the best one of the poems we’d submitted and reduce it to half its original words. It was torture! I suppose we all thought our original versions were beyond improvement. I certainly did. So it was torture again to realize that the reduced version was actually better than the original. Hard to admit, but useful advice.

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.

Open this email in your browser and click the following links to navigate the newsletter
The Susan Laughter Meyers Poetry Fellowship at Weymouth
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 2022 Susan Laughter Meyers Poetry Fellowship at Weymouth welcomes submissions beginning on May 1, 2022.

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 submission period opens May 1 and closes July 31, 2022.  Applicants must submit a manuscript of five pages of poetry and all submissions are read “blind.”

For detailed information on submission guidelines, please visit

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 200 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

Every Friday Morning posts a new microessay, 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:

Joyce Compton Brown
Alana Dagenhart
James Dickey
Robert Frost
Jane Mead
John Morgan
Scott Owens
William Stafford
Anne McCrary Sullivan
William Carlos Williams
Also featured is a “how to” page about formatting 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 me know! And please send me your own favored journal information for me to add to the next update!

Haiku Society of America 2022 Contests and Deadlines

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.

For guidelines and information:

Please submit your upcoming events to
Open this email in your browser and click the following links to find events near you!


When: June 7 | 7p (Every First Tuesday)
Where: UU Fellowship 308 Meadows Street in New Bern, NC and Zoom

June's featured poet is Joe Mills

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.

For more detailed information about this monthly event and the open mic opportunity, VISIT THE WEBSITE.

Light at the Seam, a new collection from North Carolina poet Joseph Bathanti, is an exploration of mountaintop removal in southern Appalachian coal country. The volume illuminates and champions often invisible people residing, in a precarious moment in time, on the glorious, yet besieged, Appalachian earth. Their call to defend it, as well as their faith that the land will exact its own reckoning, constitutes a sacred as well as existential quest. Rooted in social and restorative justice, Light at the Seam contemplates the earth as fundamentally sacramental, a crucible of awe and mystery, able to regenerate itself and its people even as it succumbs to them. More than mere cautionary tale, this is a volume of hope and wonder.

FLYLEAF BOOKS, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514


When: May 15, 2022 at 2 pm
Where: Quail Ridge Books 

                4209 Lassiter Mill Road
                Raleigh, NC 27609
Join Quail Ridge Books, located in North Hills, Raleigh, for an afternoon of poetry featuring local contributors, including several members of the NC Poetry Society, for a reading from Kakalak 2022, a collection of poetry and art about or in the spirit of the Carolinas.

Participating authors include Jane Seitel, Nancy Martin-Young, Janis Harrington, Alice Osborne, Joan Barasovska, Earl Carlton Huband, Cordelia M. Hanemann, Eric Weil, Jennifer Weiss, Preston Martin, Priscilla Webster-Williams, Michael Beadle, Jane Shlensky, and Marjorie Schratz McNamara.

Poetry Reading: Abbate, Barasovska, & Siddall

When: Thursday, May 26, 7pm
Where: So & So Books
719 Person Street
Raleigh, NC 27604

Chris Abbate’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Connecticut River Review, Cider Press Review, and Comstock Review. 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 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.

Joan Barasovska lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She co-hosts a poetry series at the independent bookstore Flyleaf Books and serves on the Board of the North Carolina Poetry Society. For thirty years, Joan has been an academic therapist in private practice. Her poems have appeared in Kakalak, San Pedro River Review, Flying South, Madness Muse Press, Red Fez, Speckled Trout Review, and Main Street Rag. In 2020 Joan was nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize. Birthing Age (Finishing Line Press, 2018) was her first book of poetry; Carrying Clare (Main Street Rag, 2022) is her second.

Sherry Siddall studied creative writing at Oberlin College as an undergrad. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Kakalak, Pinesong, Poetry in Plain Sight, and elsewhere, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sweet Land, published by Finishing Line Press, is her first book
Presented by Greensboro Public Library
When: May 13, 2022 | 12p - 1p
Where: Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch
1420 Price Park Drive
 Greensboro, NC
Green Reads Book Club invites adults for a Zoom/in-person (hybrid) discussion of nature poetry. Use your favorite nature poetry book or choose from a nature poetry selection available from the branch. Dress in layers and join us for an outdoor discussion or via Zoom. To register, e-mail

May 19 - 22, 2022
We are beyond excited to return to downtown Greensboro for a live, in-person festival May 19-22, 2022!  This year's Festival brings you an array of authors writing about everything from romance and sci-fi to memoir and personal experience to social justice and prison reform, and all the things in between!   As always we pay homage to North Carolina’s rich literary history, while broadening our tent to welcome in voices from outside of our own microcosm of experience. And we have renewed our goal to present at least 50% authors of color as part of our Festival line-up.
We believe that stories are the tie that binds us together, so we have gathered nearly 50 authors from across the country and right here at home in a series of delightful, thought provoking conversations that highlight the range of human experience and literary creativity.

We can't wait to see your smiling faces in May!
Important Things to Know
  • All author events are FREE*.
  • Complete Festival schedule (dates and times) will be announced on April 1.
  • RSVP ticketing will be made available when the schedule is announced (April 1.)
  • At this time Festival events will not be live-streamed or recorded.
  • Vaccine verification and masks may be required. Our policy will be determined by public health guidelines and conditions at the time of the Festival. [read more]
*workshops are paid events

For much more detailed information, visit the Greensboro Bound Festival website.
When: May 19, 2022 | 7p - 9p
Where: Center for Visual Artists
200 N. Davie St. #13
 Greensboro, NC
Located in Greensboro Cultural Center 

CNOM is monthly event where poets, singers, musicians, rappers, and all artist come to share their gifts and catch a vibe.

When: May 23, 2022 | 7:30p
Where: QC Social Lounge
300 N College St #105
 Charlotte, NC

A FREE night of fun, blending regional comedians with some of the best poets and spoken word artists in the country for one amazing night of soul-stirring poetry and side-splitting comedy, hosted by Bluz Rogers & Joe Hunsaker.

When: Every Second Monday (next date: May 9) | 7:30p
The Peace Pipe | 204 West Woodlawn Road #H in Charlotte, NC

The Cookie Jar is a safe space for all art forms. Come out every second Monday and enjoy poetry, spoken word, singers, a great vibe and more.

To purchase tickets ($5), visit the event page HERE.

Waterbean Poetry Night at the Mic

When: May 25, 2022 | 7p - 9p
Where: Waterbean Coffee #2
9705 Sam Furr Rd
 Huntersville, NC

Hello, Poets & Friends!

Please join me at Waterbean Poetry Night on Wednesday, MAY 25th when I'll present readings by this month’s Featured Poets: MALAIKA KING ALBRECHT + SAM BARBEE!

Pandemic-postponed, Malaika King Albrecht will finally read at Waterbean this month! And Waterbean Poetry alum Sam Barbee returns with his new book!

When: May 19, 2022 @ 12p to May 23, 2022 @ 1p
Where: Brevard College in Brevard NC

Exploring the theme “A Sense of Place," small select groups of conference attendees experience working under the guidance of notable writers. Founded in 2016 as a partnership between the Transylvania County Library and Brevard College, the annual conference consists of writing workshops for select participants and public readings by the workshop leaders. Free to the community.

The Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference is sponsored by the Transylvania County Library Foundation and Brevard College.


Poetry Night at Adventure Bound Books

When: May 13, 2022 | 6p - 7:30p
Where: Adventure Bound Books in Morganton, NC

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.
Any Dumb Animal (Main Street Rag, 2021), the debut poetry collection by AE Hines, presents a memoir-in-verse as told by a gay man raised in rural North Carolina who comes of age during the AIDS crisis. Flashing back and forth in time, a cast of recurring characters and circumstances are woven into a rich tale of survival and redemption, exploring one man's life as a queer son, father, and husband, over a span of more than thirty years. Purchasing information at or
BleakHouse Publishing is proud to announce the publication of Interface, George T. Wilkerson’s debut poetry collection, which he wrote from his cell on Death Row in Raleigh, North Carolina. In raw and accessible poems, Wilkerson wrestles with his past and present relationships and his experiences of loss and violence, finally winning hard-earned growth by transforming himself from a reckless, drug-addicted adolescent to a man of conviction, compassion, and creativity.

N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green calls this collection “a generous and compassionate account of a man on death row using poetry to measure what it means, in his own truth-telling, to have spent ‘longer getting / born than being alive’….George T. Wilkerson ushers us into a dark, fertile, and visceral body of aliveness with language that becomes weapon, testimony, penitence, and benediction.”

Interface is available for purchase on Amazon and on
"Asylum evokes a family’s veiled history, shaken into finely etched poems of restraint and elegance. Poetic devises, including short imaginative Obits of the poet’s father, form connective tissue. The book is perfectly arced, the poems linked and speaking to each other. Here is depth: of emotion, family, and landscape. 'My ghosts are slender reeds, / my family’s bodies sinewy / from hoeing and picking / —cotton bits caught / on stubbled stalks.' Here is beauty." ~Veronica Golos, author of Girl

"In this trenchant and deftly crafted collection, Caroline Cottom plays psychopomp to the shattered denizens of the asylum, only to realize that she has her own repressed narrative of sexual abuse to unravel. One stands to learn much from Cottom’s testimony that manages to marry the narrow path of poetry with a psychologically adept portrait of the survivor. Asylum serves the turn of truth and transcendence equally, and we are lucky to have it". ~Lise Goett, author of Leprosarium

To order from the publisher:
Peter Venable, a WSW and NCPS member, plans a book launch for his free-verse poetry book, Jesus Through A Poet’s Lens (75 pages.) Over decades he composed Jesus’ words and life through fresh ideas and poetical images. The book highlights philosophical, existential, and Christological themes, and invites the reader to ponder the challenges of human existence in light of Christian faith. A preview is at his site

Where: Maple Springs United Methodist Church, at Craven Hall by the lower parking lot, 2569 Reynolda Rd, Winston-Salem 
When: May 22, 2022 | 3p to 4p.
Copies will be for sale at $12.00 each. 50% will go into the Maple Springs Mission account.
Words for Flying, Chris Abbate’s new, full-length collection of poetry explores life’s biggest questions through the lens of ordinary people, objects, and experiences. The poet Paul Hostovsky writes about Words for Flying, “Why do the best of Chris Abbate’s poems make me cry? Could it be envy, because they’re so good they make me wish I’d written them? Could it be the sadness, vulnerability, and love mixed in with the playfulness of these poems? Or maybe their numinousness, which is also always somehow subtly part of the mix? Or is it simply that voice, finally, of “an ache of a boy,” its honesty, its accessibility, its tenderness, speaking a sort of “unspoken language of boys,” especially to those of us who most needed a voice like Abbate’s back in our own boyhoods, and still sorely need it today? It’s all these things. And it’s also because, as with any great music, beautiful singing can have that effect on us. And we wipe our eyes so that we may keep on reading.”

To order a copy, visit Chris’ website,
Still your mind and sense the quietness of Spirit. Picture the silver thread connecting all living things. Hear the silence within, the Source of Creation bubbling up like a spring in that quiet space between thoughts. Learn to observe Life around you in a way you may never have thought of before. Let this serve as a guide to help train your mind to see the hidden beauty and perfect order all around you.
A lifelong Nature enthusiast, Dr. O’Quinn’s decades observing and interacting with Nature and Nature’s Source have given him unique insight into the deeper realities underlying the mysteries of Life that surround us all. A member of the medical profession by training, Dr. O’Quinn has had a number of unique experiences that confirmed to him that there is so much more to Life than what may appear at the surface upon a casual glance.

Available for purchase on Amazon.
David Radavich's new dual-language lyric collection, Unter der Sonne / Under the Sun, features the author's German poems with English translations, along with four English poems translated into German by leading scholars and writers.  He exhibits a kinship with German writers such as Friedrich Hölderlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Hilde Domin, whom he knew personally.  This collection represents a departure from his earlier work—into another language, another lyric sensibility, and a dual perspective that opens readers to a literary tradition beyond American shores.  The book is available from or from the author.

Joanne Durham’s poetry book, To Drink from a Wider Bowl, (Honorable Mention winner in the 2021
Lena Shull Book Contest), has won Evening Street Press’ Sinclair Prize.

James Crews writes about To Drink from a Wider Bowl, “What she has drawn for us here is nothing less
than a map of how to navigate our days with honesty, grace, and a deep mindfulness that leaves nothing
unnoticed. Her richly layered and musical poems bear the contours of every phase of life…”

Click on the link below for more information and to pre-order:
Photo from April 30th Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet group reading in Chapel Hill. 
Pictured from left are Amber Watson, Grace Ocasio (Distinguished Poet), Isabella F. Kang, and Kenna Zhang.

Lavonne J. Adams conducted a follow-up workshop to her program on Poetry of Place, presented as part of the March, 2022 NCPS members' gathering. Each poet brought a poem in which place played a significant role.  Poems were shared with the group for revision. The workshop was held virtually on April 9th. For interest in a related workshop, contact Lavonne at


Pictured:  Top row:  Lavonne Adams, Instructor; Lynda Myers; middle:  Sandra Dreis; Jan Comfort; bottom:  Jonathan Giles; John Haugh


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.

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.

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Month
We celebrate the history, culture and achievements of all Asian Americans and stand in solidarity with efforts to #StopAsianHate

And I Was Alive
By Osip Mandelstam

And I was alive in the blizzard of the blossoming pear,
Myself I stood in the storm of the bird-cherry tree.
It was all leaflike and starshower, unerring, self-shattering power,
And it was all aimed at me.

What is this dire delight flowering fleeing always earth?
What is being? What is truth?

Blossoms rupture and rapture the air,
All hover and hammer,
Time intensified and time intolerable, sweetness raveling rot.
It is now. It is not.

(4 May 1937)
Translated from the Russian by Christian Wiman.

Osip Mandlestam was tortured because of a poem he wrote ridiculing Joseph Stalin. "And I Was Alive" was one of the last poems he wrote before his death at age 47 from typhoid fever in a transit camp.
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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