Photography Credit: Bill Griffin

 NCPS 90th Anniversary Celebration  1932 – 2022


90th Anniversary Celebration 1932 – 2022


Sereena Kumar
My daughter Sereena Kumar was in 4th Grade in 2017 when she participated in the NCPS competition. Sereena was awarded an honorable mention for her poem “ Spring” for the Travis Tuck Jordan award.

Kay Nelson Cheshire
In 1995, when I became president of the NC Poetry Society, I prayed I would be up to the task. I knew I would follow a legacy of remarkable presidents who I admired (Margaret Baddour, Leon Hinton, Gladys Hughes, Lois Holt Wistrand, Marie Gilbert), and I would need to fill some mighty big shoes. The day Bob Collins handed me the gavel, there was such an outpouring of support, encouragement and offers of help, that immediately I felt surrounded by an amazing group of people. To me that is what the NC Poetry Society has always signified. Whether a beginner or a seasoned poet, all are accepted, encouraged, and celebrated. Through the years, others have come and gone, but the spirit of
comradery, the sharing of the written word and the hope that all succeed continues to this day.

Diana Pinckney
I remember taking a poetry class in the early 90s in beautiful Little Switzerland, NC, with Gladys Hughes who took me under her generous wing and told me about the NCPS. She also told me to send poems to Sam Ragan, NC's Poet Laureate at that time. He was also generous in publishing some of the first poems I had ever written! I was thrilled. Again, Sam urged me to join the NCPS. I did and I have never looked back. I entered their contests (won a few) and attended as many meetings as I could, (bringing wonderful Katherine Kennedy McIntytre when she was able) and for years I sponsored a contest in her name. Making the drive from Charlotte and back in one day from those meetings, poems danced in my head. I will never forget any of it. I no longer can make that drive, but will always treasure these memories, and hope to always be a member of NCPS.

Not to forget -- I loved attending the 90th celebration in Charlotte at the Mint Museum!

Joan Barasovska
In May of 2013 I drove to Southern Pines for my first visit to Weymouth because a poem of mine had won honorable mention in one of the annual contests. I had never entered a poetry contest before. I hadn’t submitted a poem anywhere for over thirty years. That day, those kind, welcoming people I met, who talked to me about poetry--some of those people are now dear friends. That one day in May, when a poem took me on a trip, has led me far. But it began with affirmation.


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

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

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

Poetry In Plain Sight, Going Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

“One of the things that happens when you give yourself permission to start writing is that you
start thinking like a writer. You start seeing everything as material. Sometimes you’ll sit down or
go walking and your thoughts will be on one aspect of your work…or you’ll just be completely
blocked and hopeless and wondering why you shouldn’t just go in the kitchen and have a nice
glass of warm gin straight out of the cat dish. And then, unbidden, seemingly out of nowhere, a
thought or image arrives. Some will float into your head like goldfish, lovely, bright orange, and
weightless, and you follow them like a child looking at an aquarium that was thought to be
without fish. Others will step out of the shadows like Boo Radley and make you catch you catch
your breath or take a step backward. They’re often so rich, these unbidden thoughts, and so clear
that they feel indelible. But I say write them down anyway.”

Ann Lamott, Bird by Bird (Anchor Books, 1995)
eMuse Seeking Your Poetic Writing Expertise for Craft Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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


❦ ❦ ❦


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

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


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

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

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


Haiku Society of America 2022 Contests and Deadlines

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

For guidelines and information:

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



Poets & Poetry Matters (PPM) include interviews and readings with poets whose body of work answers the question, can poetry matter or do poets matter with a resounding, "Yes!" It was created and is hosted by the current NCPS president, Celestine Davis, in honor of the NC Poetry Society's 90th anniversary. Her other objectives are to highlight the poets as people behind the poetry we love and to promote greater awareness of poets' motivations, inspirations, and aspirations for their works. Finally, she hoped to build greater awareness of poets and the power of poetry within the communities we all live. You are not going to want to miss the final segments for 2022.  
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
Saturday, October 22 at 2 PM
Meeting ID: 830 8648 7158

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke's books include The Year of the Rat, Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Blood Run, Burn and Streaming as well as a memoir, Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer. She is the editor of the anthologies Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas, Effigies and Effigies II and is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Riverside. Hedge Coke came of age working fields, factories, and waters and is currently at work on a film, Red Dust: resiliency in the dirty thirties, a new CD, and new poems. (From the poets website at

Hedge Coke is a Fulbright scholar, First Jade Nurtured SiHui Female International Poetry Award recipient, recent Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals, and U.S. Library of Congress Witter Bynner fellow. She is the editor of 10 anthologies and her most recent book, Look at this Blue by Coffee House Press was released in March 2022. (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE)

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke was born in Texas raised in North Carolina, Canada, and on the Great Plains. Of mixed heritage, she is a poet, writer, and educator. Though she left school to work in the fields as a child, she later took advantage of tuition-free community ed classes North Carolina State University while a field worker. She left North Carolina, escaping domestic violence as a young mother, and enrolled in former field worker retraining on the West coast when leaving manual labor due to disability. She then studied script, performance and sound/light/film tech at Estelle Harmon's Actor's Workshop, earned an AFAW in creative writing on the old Institute for American Indian Arts campus in Santa Fe, attended two Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Summer Writing Programs, and earned an MFA from Vermont College (1995), where she stayed for post-grad work. (From the Poetry Foundation website at
Monday, November 14 at 3 PM
Meeting ID: 841 9281 5002

Sam Love
Sam, a former environmental activist, freelance writer, and documentary filmmaker transitioned from producing video to poetry where readers can make the movie in their heads.
He lives in New Bern, N.C. and has published three poetry books: Awakening: Musings on Planetary Survival  by Fly on the Wall Press, Manchester, England: Cogitation by Unsolicited Press: and Earth Resonance: Poems for a Viable Future, a collection of his environmental poems will be published this year by Poetry Box in Portland Oregon.

Sam's award-winning self-published illustrated children’s book My Little Plastic Bag is available in Spanish and English.
In 1970 Sam worked on the national staff of the first Earth Day. Over the years he published articles in mass circulation magazines including Washingtonian and Smithsonian. His poems have appeared in Kakalak, Slippery Elm, Voices on the Wind, The Lyricist, Flying South, Sleet and other publications. Eno, published by Duke University, has published seven of his environmental poems. Sam is also the President of Nexus Poets of New Bern, NC.
You can see Sam read poetry selections at
Saturday, December 10th at 7 PM

Featured Poets to be announced but we will include a Free-For-All Open Mic!


Tuesday, October 4th
7 - 8:30 p.m.

This event is both virtual and in-person
The event is an in-person meeting with room for social distancing and it is also webcast on Zoom. The free event at 308 Meadows Street in New Bern is open to the public and there is plenty of free parking. After the Featured Poet reads in person the mic is open for original poems from other poets who sign up.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 850 2645 3814

For more information, visit:
First Friday ArtWalk Reception
November 4, 2022, 5-8 PM

Open Mic at the Greenville Museum of Art on November 4th at the Greenville Museum of Art. Nathan Black and Susan Luddeke are reading from their published works but the first 45 minutes of the event is an open mic.
802 South Evans Street
Greenville, NC 27834


Poetry, Prose, and Sermon Night at NC Museum of HIstory

This is a free on-site program.

6–8:30 p.m.: Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest exhibit and the Museum Shop open

7–8:30 p.m.: Poetry, Prose, and Sermon Night in the lobby

Adults only, please.

Don’t miss an especially artistic Museum After Dark as we welcome a lineup of North Carolina written word artists who will share their pieces as part of the Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest exhibition currently on view at the museum. While you’re here, grab a beer or glass of wine from Harlem Brewing Company, and check out the exhibit and browse through the Museum Shop—both of which will be open late!

Reading at So and So Books with Maria Rouphail, Joan Barasovska and Tony Reevy

SO & SO Books Downtown Raleigh, NC

Join us as we celebrate the release of three new collections of poetry!!!

Joan Barasovska lives in Orange County, North Carolina. She is the author of Birthing Age (Finishing Line Press, 2018), Carrying Clare (Main Street Rag, 2022), and now Orange Tulips (RedHawk Publications, 2022). Beginning  in January, Joan will host a monthly poetry series at McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro. She serves on the Board of the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Tony Reevy’s previous publications include poetry, non-fiction and short fiction, including the non-fiction books Ghost Train!; O. Winston Link: Life Along the Line; The Railroad Photography of Jack Delano; The Railroad Photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg; and the full books of poetry, Old North, Passage, Socorro, and Turbulence. He resides in Durham, North Carolina.

Maria Rouphail, PhD, is Senior Lecturer Emerita from North Carolina State University. She is Poetry Editor of Main Street Rag. Maria has published three collections of poetry: Apertures; Second Skin; and All the Way to China, a 2020 finalist in both the University of Wisconsin Brittingham Poetry and the Blue Light Press competitions. She lives in Raleigh.


The MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro and The Greensboro Review will host an alumni poetry reading by James Jabar and Sarah Rose Nordgren on Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 PM at Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm Street. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing.


Hermit Feathers Press, in collaboration with the Stokes County Arts Council will present 2022 Poetry Palooza on October 29 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Arts Place of Stokes at 502 Main Street in Danbury. Admission is free. Poets from North Carolina and South Carolina will share their published and new work from the Three Sisters Stage. Readings will be followed by book signings and sales.



The worlds largest poetry tour and event is BACK! Come out for Poets In Autumn 2022, a riveting spoken word production featuring the nations best inspirational artists.

Performers: Lo Alaman, Jasmine Sims, A.Ward, Loso, Street Hymns, Jazer Willis
7224 Park Road Charlotte, NC, 28210
Date: Fri Oct 7, 2022
Time: 6:00pm VIP Starts|7:00pm GA Doors|7:30pm Start

VIP - $45 - Includes Early Access for best seating, Exclusive T-Shirt - Pre-show Game Night + Artists Meet & Greet

VIP will have the option to participate in exhilarating and interactive games with the PIA artists. Reimagined versions of “Shark Tank”, “Mafia” and more! Never before have our artists been so engaged with VIP guests, you’ll get to know them and attendees around you for an unforgettable experience!

General Admission - $30 - Standard Ticket to View The Show
Seating is open / No reserved seats

Come out for the largest poetry event in the the world. Poets in Autumn 2022.

What is Poets in Autumn?
Poets In Autumn is the premiere poetry tour in the world and the largest poetry event in the U.S. Using the art of spoken word, The PIA Tour inspires and empowers attendees with riveting punch lines and production that makes the show come to life.
After consecutive years of touring with over 120 dates (domestic and international), 47 total cities and over 90,000 total attendees; this amazing theatrical production continues to exceed expectations and captivate crowds worldwide.
The purpose of Poets in Autumn is to engage millennial in The PIA Tour addresses culturally relevant topics with from a biblical view.

Charlotte Lit’s Poetry Nightclub
is new way to engage with the world’s oldest form of storytelling. Each quarter, Charlotte Lit will host a critically acclaimed poet for an evening performance that goes beyond traditional reading and book signing events.

Imagine soft lighting, café tables, live music, adult beverages, including a specialty cocktail. In addition to reading from their work, our poets—old stars and new!—will take us beyond the words on the page to share poems by poets who have shaped their work, show us how life has shaped their vocations and how being a poet has shaped their lives, and engage the audience in conversations about the ways poetry intersects with other aspects of culture.

Poetry Nightclub will be held at a great new venue, Starlight on 22nd in NoDa, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, and your first drink is on us.

Chen Chen

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m
Location: Starlight on 22nd, NoDa
Get Tickets

Chen Chen’s second book, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in September 2022. His debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. His work appears in many publications, including Poetry and three editions of The Best American Poetry. He has received two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from Kundiman, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He was the 2018-2022 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University and currently teaches for the low-residency MFA programs at New England College and Stonecoast.


Visiting Writers Series: An Evening with Poet torrin a. greathouse
October 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

UNC Asheville welcomes transgender punk poet and essayist torrin a. greathouse for an evening of poetry.

torrin received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and has been featured in Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and The Kenyon Review. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Zoeglossia, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Her debut poetry collection, Wound from the Mouth of a Wound (Milkweed Editions, 2020), was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, CLMP Firecracker Award, and winner of the 2022 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.

This is the second of five events in the 2022-23 Visiting Writers Series presented by the UNC Asheville English Department. Additional events in 2022 included an evening with UNC Asheville Alumna and New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen on Monday, Aug. 30; and an evening with award-winning essayist John Jeremiah Sullivan on Tuesday, Nov. 8. In 2023, UNC Asheville welcomes U.S. poet laureate Ada Limón on Monday, Mar. 20 and fiction writer Jamel Brinkley on Thursday, Apr. 6.

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

October Readings for Orange Tulips by Joan Barasovska

October 6, Thursday, 7:00, virtual book launch with JS Absher

October 11, Tuesday, 6:30, Taste Full Beans, Hickory
October 15, Saturday, 1:30, West End Poetry Festival, Carrboro
October 19, Wednesday, 7:00, So&So Books, Raleigh, with Maria Rouphail and Tony Reevy
October 30, Sunday, 2:00, McIntyre’s Books, Pittsboro, with Maria Rouphail and Tony Reevy
for more information
Poet Maureen Sherbondy has had enough. Her eleventh collection, Lines in Opposition, explores our need to set limits in times of conflict and confusion. These poems of defiance range from the artistic to the political to the familial, from Basho to Godot, Gretel to Ashbery, the Rockettes to Bubble Yum. At times wry and whimsical, at other times acutely serious, Sherbondy's poems testify to the importance of knowing when and how to draw the line.

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

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

Black Fire -- This Time, may be purchased from Willow Books, at THIS LINK.
In this stunning sequence of sonnets—a sequence that reads like a novel—Janis Harrington spins a narrative of intergenerational family tragedy, but also of sisterly devotion and resilience. The whole sweep of it is so compelling that once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. How to Cut a Woman in Half takes the reader through shock and grief and then, very subtly and tenderly, back from the edge of an abyss. —Cecilia Woloch, author of Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem and Earth

Finalist for the 2020 Able Muse Book Award
Available from Able Muse Press:

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copies of the 2022 Pinesong Anthology Available

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

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

Nothing Gold Can Stay


Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
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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