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.

Nexus Poets'
Third Annual Rob
ert Golden Poetry Contest

Our Third Annual Robert Golden Poetry Contest is now open for submissions! Find the details and the required entry form on our web site. Cash prizes in adult AND student categories. The judge is Ross White, director of Bull City Press and author of the full-length collection Charm Offense (winner of the 2019 Sexton Prize) as well as three chapbooks. Deadline: October 15.

Announcement of Poetry in Plain Sight (PiPS) Winners
Forthcoming in December 2021

The Poetry In Plain Sight program is a unique community outreach that connects poets, poetry, and new audiences in select cities across the state. The 2021 season, our most successful year to date, saw 260 entries by 92 North Carolina poets, including four of North Carolina’s living Poets Laureate.

Four poems will be chosen for each of the twelve months and displayed on posters displayed in street-visible locations throughout arts districts and downtown areas and in bookstores in Winston-Salem, New Bern, Burnsville, Wilmington and Greenville.

Poetry In Plain Sight is a collaborative effort of the North Carolina Poetry Society, North Carolina Writers' Network, Winston-Salem Writers, and Press 53 of Winston-Salem.  Funding is through sponsorships and donations, and this year, direct sales of our stock of vintage PIPS posters.

The judges for the 2022 poems are be Malaika King Albrecht, Scott Owens, and Crystal Simone Smith.  They will select 48 poems to be announced on the NCPS website in December 2021, along with other state sites. Poets will receive 2 copies of their selected poem when printed, through the year beginning in April 2022.

PiPS is an important NCPS Initiative. Sam Barbee is stepping down from the position.  Contact Sam at

Poetry In Plain Sight (PIPS)

Thanks to so many North Carolina poets, the NCPS Poetry In Plain Sight project has been successful in reducing our cache of vintage poetry posters.  Our inventory of PIPS posters in January was over a 1000. The reserve is now around 650.  We sell more every month.

Poets and poetry lovers have purchased many posters and we have donated others to public schools in the state.  I have disposed of a few in poor condition so I can assure that you receive posters in good condition, some pristine. Remember, you can purchase any 2 posters for $10.00, plus additional posters (up to 8) for $1.00 each.  Please take a look at the inventory list attached, and contact me at

Here is the current inventory of posters:

We thank you for your support of PIPS and the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Sam Barbee

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 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:

            Stan Absher
            Jack Coulehan
            Jaki Shelton Green
            Shelby Stephenson
            Joseph Bathanti
            Crystal Simone Smith
            Nathaniel Perry
            Maryann Corbett
            Cathryn Essinger
Also featured is a 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 me know! And please send me your own favored journal information for me to add to the next update!

Singer Chanda Branch opened the book launch for Crossing the Rift: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 and Its Aftermath (Press 53, 2021) on September 12 in Winston-Salem. Editors Joseph Bathanti and David Potorti shared the vision that led them to create this anthology of North Carolina poets writing on 9/11 and its aftermath. About a hundred persons gathered in the breezeway at Bookmarks on 4th St. to listen, to remember, to witness, to heal. Listen to the interview shared by PBS North Carolina. Pictured below are Chandra Branch; Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate 2012-2014; Jackie Shelton Green, our current Poet Laureate; bottom row:  Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate, 2015-2017; bottom right, David Potorti, Co-Editor and and Co-Founder of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.  Read more about this organization, here: With appreciation to Bill Griffin for photographs and text. For ordering and further information, visit:
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:
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.
"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
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!
Readings, Workshops and Forthcoming Events


Join us for our monthly poetry event featuring three poets. This month, we welcome Meghan Sterling, Sandra Meek, and Gaylord Brewer.

Click here to RSVP.
On the day of the event, we will send a reminder email with the link required to attend.

Like most of our events, this event is free. If you decide to attend and purchase the authors' books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop's. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!

Poetry Open Mic with Featured Poet Melinda ThomsenNexus Poets - Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of New Bern

To get on mailing list for ZOOM Link and Open Mic, write to:
When There Were Horses - 
A New Book from Pat Riviere-Seel

“I choose this earth that breaks / my heart again and again,” Pat Riviere-Seel writes. When There Were Horses addresses the ways in which we can do that, while acknowledging that, “it cannot last, of course.” Circling around “what to tell” and “the truth we didn’t dare” in quiet, beautifully-honed lines, Riviere-Seel brings readers with her through loss after loss to the knowledge that “further out is the only way back.” –Catherine Carter

For more information on the release of Pat Riviere-Seel's newest book or to purchase, visit:

October 7 ~ 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Book Release Reading
Redheaded Stepchild Zoom event
The online book release reading from When There Were Horses. Free and open to the public. Connect here:

October 8 ~ 4:30–6:30 pm Book Signing
Burnsville Wine and… 525 W Main Street, Burnsville, NC
"I’ll be on the patio signing copies of When There Were Horses and will have books available for sale. The wine tasting will be inside, so enjoy a glass of wine, come out and get your book signed. Maybe I’ll read a poem or two."  Visit Pat's website for complete information:

Poetry and Space: Poems Crafted with an Architectural Perspective
with Cheryl Wilder
Thursday, October 7, 6-7:30PM EST

In this seminar, Cheryl Wilder, poet and architectural enthusiast, will draw from her MFA studies to explore poetry and space—the space we live in and the space we create on the page. What happens when we think of the beginning of a poem as a threshold? A line break as a boundary—both a beginning and an end? What is “prospect refuge theory” and how does it apply to poetry? We will explore poems through an architectural lens with time for questions at the end.
The Flying South 2021 official launch is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 10th at 3:00 PM at Bookmarks Bookstore, 634 W 4th St #110, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.
The four readers will be Sam Barbee, Shannon Kawalec, Sharon Presnell and Howard Pearre.  Copies will also be available through most online sources. This year's issue is again a wonderful collection of beautifully crafted stories, poems and creative non-fiction. It is our most international issue, including work by writers from France, Singapore and Australia. Flying South will be available shortly from your independent bookseller. 
Another Country: The Poetry of Disability and Illness
Virtual reading:

Sunday, October 10, 3:00 pm
Featuring poets Priscilla Webster-Williams, David Radavich, Joanie McLean,
Amir Rabiyah,
and Judith Ferster (pictured below, as shown); hosted by Joan Barasovska 
Disability and illness are another country, one with its own language and culture. Whether they are visitors, newcomers, or have spent a lifetime there, these five poets write from lived experience. We invite you to join us for this unique virtual reading.

City Soul Cafe Open Mic

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021
  • 7:30 PM 9:00 PM
  • Transfer Co. Food Hall 500 East Davie Street Raleigh, NC, 27601
The 2021 West End Poetry Festival is both virtual and in-person. Check it out! 

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Poetry Writing Workshop
with Crystal Simone Smith

Sign up and get the ZOOM link here:

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2021 AT 3 PM – 4:45 PM

Poetry in the Round

Carrboro Town Commons

FORTHCOMING CONFERENCE FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA WRITERS' NETWORK'S FORTHCOMING CONFERENCE Author Daniel Wallace, who directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lead the session "Adaptation" (all genre) at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2021 Fall Conference, November 19-21, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham/RTP.

Conference registration open now.  Volunteer opportunities.

Daniel Wallace is the author of six novels, including Big Fish and, most recently, Extraordinary Adventures. He directs the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill

To purchase or for more information, visit: and/or

For poet bio and book description, visit:


Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series

Deadline November 15, 2021

The Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series links established poets in three regions of North Carolina with emerging poets, enabling the poets to develop and perfect their lyric craft.  Students in middle school, high school, and college, and adults not in school may apply to work with and mentor our Distinguished Poet during the winter months.

For 2021-22 our Distinguished Poets are Anna Lena Phillips Bell in the eastern region, Jessica Jacobs in the western region, and Grace Ocasio, our
new Distinguished Poet for the central regionGrace replaces Dasan Ahanu, who we thank for his dedicated service these past two years. Grace, an accomplished poet and active participant in the literary community, will serve from 2021-23.

Administering the program are Regional Coordinators Janis Harrington for the central region, Kelly Jones for the eastern region, and Caleb Beissert for the Western region. 

To apply for the program 
The upcoming deadline is November 15, 2021.

All middle school, high school, college or university students and any adult poet not currently enrolled in an academic program may apply. Neither adult nor student poets need to submit instructor recommendations; the application requirements are essentially the same.

2020 Gilbert-Chappell Anthology Now Available
The 2020 Gilbert-Chappell anthology, Witness: Appalachia to Hatteras, is now available, thanks to the dedicated work of Supermensch Kelly Jones, aka Gilbert-Chappell Coordinator of the Eastern Region.  Copies are available at and at other outlets in coming weeks.  Click here for a direct link to the fine poetry our Gilbert-Chappell poets have created in the past year.  Thanks so much, Kelly, for your efforts.

For brochure go to: 

For additional information, contact David Radavich, Administrator of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series, at
Visit this Link for Special Events:

4X4CLT Poetry Master Class: The Multitudes of “I”

Taught by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Saturday, December 4, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Studio Two (in person)

"Poets, essayists, fiction writers have sought lovely affairs with the “I,” and here by lovely I take it to mean Adam Smith’s definition, which is not just being loved, but being worthy of that love. And yet, wanting to be loved frequently becomes wanting to be a hero, or at least not wanting to be the one who was wrong. Of all the forms, fiction permits the writer to more easily duck this dilemma, because when it comes to deciding which character is the writer – there are choices. But the poet and essayist feel deeply entangled with the I. How to still be an artist given this dilemma? How to ensure that everything you write isn’t a desire to be loved?

In this class we’ll rap about that. We’ll talk about some essays, some poems, and a handful of lines from novels that make me believe honesty is an art form that can be delivered with elegance and wit and maybe the sheer astonishment that one person can be so horrible to those they love."

This master class is part of Charlotte Lit’s 4X4CLT Poetry+Art series. Betts reads from his work at the Midwood International & Cultural Center auditorium on December 3 at 6 p.m. Tickets for this event available soon.

Cost: $65 members, $95 non-members • Register:

Writers/South Awards & Journal
Submission Deadline December 1st

Writers/South Awards & Journal from Charlotte Center for Literary Arts ("Charlotte Lit”).
$10,000 in total prizes ($1500 first, $500 second, $250 third) plus publication in four categories: poetry (1-3 poems), fiction (4000 words), nonfiction (4000 words), and flash (500 words).
Open to current/past residents of NC, SC, GA, TN, VA. Submit Sept. 1 to Dec.1.
Poetry judges: Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs. Entry fee $15 includes print journal.
Guidelines and entry:

POETRY SUBMISSION CALENDAR – GRIFFINPOETRY.COM every week posts a new essay, photography, and poems by featured poets – over 100 poets are indexed on the site’s home page. In the past few months featured poets have included:

J.S. Absher
Becky Gould Gibson
Robert Frost
Yusef Komunyakaa
Galway Kinnell
Denise Levertov
Shelby Stephenson 
Ross Gay

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 130 journals and contests, with a web address or other contact information. It indicates by month when submissions open and close. This helpful resource is available as a .PDF for download from

Bill frequently adds to the table 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! 
THE SONG HOME SINGS: Think back to the first place you remember living. The smells, the wallpaper in your room, what the sunlight landed on as it came in the front window, the first thing you saw from your bed when you woke. Sit quietly for a while with these details. Most of all, try to remember the music of that place: the front door shutting, the clatter of pans, the creak of the stairs, the drip of a faucet, the starlings in the tree outside your window, the dog’s nails clicking on the floor. Once when I was new to living away, feeling homesick, I lay in my bed trying to recall the separate sound of every door in my house shutting. Interesting exercise. I tried to write a poem around that, but it was pretty bad. No reason why yours shouldn’t be better. Write a poem about your first home, whatever you want to express about it, but base the poem on concrete, sensory -- especially auditory -- detail.   
Submitted by Florence Nash 
The following is the third Tech Tips for Poets in a series of three,  Tech Tips 1 and 2 were published in the Pine Whispers; because of a shortage of space, the editors print Part 3 in the October eMuse.
Paul Reali, is the Co-Founder of Charlotte Lit and can be reached as follows: • 336-926-8833

We arrive today at the final of three articles on tech tools for poets. Previously we looked at capturing, editing, and keeping the work safe. In this issue we move to the next step, submitting.
Finding and Entering Contests, and Submitting to Journals
There are roughly three steps here, after the writing of a great poem, of course.
• Find Places to Submit. Of the hundreds of ways to do this, there’s one you must know: Duotrope. Five bucks per month. Done.
• Decide What to Send (aka Research, aka “read a few of our issues”). The best way to know what to submit where is to read what a journal or magazine is publishing, but as much as we’d like to subscribe to them all, we can’t. So, point your browser to their websites and read all the samples they’ll allow.
• Submit Properly. Getting your work into the hands of editors and contest judges means knowledge of two tools: Microsoft Word, the standard for submitting writing to anyone anywhere; and Submittable, the preferred website for most contents and many journals. It’s worth your time to learn more of Word than you likely know now, so that you can follow the rules for how to format your poems. Not following the rules makes it simple for the editor or contest to disqualify you without reading your poems. You’re unique, but this is not the place to assert it. Submittable is easy to use, but again, follow the rules.
Thank you for taking this tour of tech for poets with me! Email your additions and questions to We’ll keep this list up to date, with links, on our blog at

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

    a sonnet by William Cullen Bryant

    Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath,
    When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
    And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
    Wind of the sunny south! oh still delay
    In the gay woods and in the golden air,
    Like to a good old age released from care,
    Journeying, in long serenity, away.
    In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
    Might wear out life like thee, mid bowers and brooks,     
    And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
    And music of kind voices ever nigh;
    And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
    Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.


    poem is in the public domain


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