NCPS 90th Anniversary Celebration — 1932 – 2022
NCPS Celebrates 90 Years of Poetic Power
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Registration opens at 9:15 AM
10:AM-2 PM

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Meeting ID: 824 1300 4190
Join us in person at the Weymouth Center of the Humanities
555 East Connecticut Avenue
Southern Pines, NC

We are meeting face-to-face at Weymouth Center for the Humanities for the first time since March 2020 for our September North Carolina Poetry Society meeting! We welcome our members, poetry friends, and poetry lovers to help us celebrate 90 years of our rich heritage of supporting and promoting poetry in North Carolina and beyond. We will begin with readings from NC Writers' Network's Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize. Readings from winners of NC Poetry Society include those from the Brockman-Campbell Book Award, Lena Shull Poetry Book Contest, and the Susan Myers Fellowship will follow.

In the morning, we will also present a special presentation in honor of our 90th-year celebration, "Clarion Voices-Then, Now, and Evermore," facilitated by Regina YC Garcia.

After lunch, award-winning poet, essayist, and storyteller Joan Leotta will lead a generative workshop on The Art of Poetic Storytelling. So have your pen and paper ready! Never fear; we may have some on hand.

When you enter, don't forget to register for gift basket giveaways, visit the book room, and take the time to walk around the lovely grounds before you leave. Please plan to attend our next NCPS gathering, the Winter Meeting, on Saturday, January 14, 2020. Our very own NC Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton, will join us for the morning session. More details to come.

The NCPS Board is committed to providing safe spaces for meeting together and to protecting the vulnerable. We strongly recommend indoor masking for all, regardless of vaccination status. If you do not wear a mask, please act responsibly and compassionately. Some attendees may be at high risk. There will be outdoor or patio space for eating.
Please do not attend in person events if you have had fever, COVID symptoms, or a positive test within the past 5 days.


Pick up your schedule of events, tickets for give-away drawings, and evaluation forms.
Lunch choice and payment will be taken at meeting check-in.
Box lunch orders with a vegetarian option ($12) will be taken until 10:10 a.m. We offer this as courtesy.  
*Lunch purchase is not required. Participants may feel free to bring their own lunch.
Luncheon will be provided by 195 American Fusion
Box Lunch Sandwich Choices:
Chicken Salad
Tuna Salad
Vegetarian Option:
Fresh Salad


Celestine Davis, President presiding.
NCPS News. Introduction of new slate for the NCPS Board.
Special Welcome to Weymouth Center, Executive Director, Katie Wyatt 

Lynda Rush-Myers, VP of Programming

Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize | Deonna Kelli Sayed, NCWN Membership Coordinator
Final Judge: Maria Hummel 

Winner: John Haugh for “Consider the word pursuit on the Winter Solstice.”
Runner-Up: Aruna Gurumurthy for “Madras”
Honorable Mentions:  Jeff Miles for “Michael”  and Vivian Bikulege for “Asymptomatic”
NCPS Brockman-Campbell Book Award | Ed Huband, Contest Coordinator
Contest Judge: Jeff Worley, recent past Poet Laureate of Kentucky
Winner: Kimberly O’Connor for White Lung
Honorable Mentions: Cheryl Wilder for Anything That Happens and AE Hines 
for Any Dumb Animal
NCPS Lena Shull Poetry Book Contest | Alana Dagenhart, Contest Coordinator
Contest Judge: Ray McManus

Winner: Ana Pugatch for Seven years in Asia 
Honorable Mentions: Maureen Sherbondy of Durham for The Body Remembers and David Poston of Gastonia for Letting Go
NCPS Susan Myers Poetry Fellowship at Weymouth Winners |Paul Jones, Fellowship Administrator - Outgoing.
Presenter will be Steve Cushman, Fellowship Administrator -Incoming
Contest Judges: Fred Joiner, Pat Riviere-Seel, and Gideon Young. 

Winner: Yvette Murray

Clarion Voices-Then, Now, and Evermore
Moderator- Regina Garcia, NCPS External Programs  (Regional Workshops)
7th NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti, 8th NC Poet Laureate Shelby Stepheson, and NCPS Past President David Radavich.  Also including widely celebrated NC Poets A.E. Hines and Ashley Lumpkin.


11:30  OPEN MIC
Joan Barasovka, VP Of Membership, Moderating.

12:00  Lunch & Music in the Garden
Featuring Vocalist-Performer
RaSheeda Waddell

Feel free to socialize, walk in the gardens, and peruse the book room.

The Art of Poetic Storytelling
Featuring award-winning Poet, Author, and Story Performer
Joan Leotta

2:00  Adjournment  
Take a final opportunity to find some good reading or snag PIPS poster and tour the grounds. See you in January!
Optional After-Meeting Tour Offered by Weymouth Center from 2:15 - 2:45 PM
Objects, Artifacts, Furnishings and More.
Interested guests must RSVP to Marianna Grasso at (910) 692-6261.
Limited to 7 persons.
Please Note: Persons with mobility challenges may have accessibility issues on this tour.

About Our Featured Poet-Workshop Leader

 The Art of Poetic Storytelling
Joan LeottaJoan Leotta has been playing with words on the page and stage since childhood. In addition to her ten published books, her varied writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Ekphrastic Review, Pinesong, The Sun, Brass Bell, Verse-Visual, Anti-Heroin Chic, Gargoyle, Silver Birch, Ovunque Siamo, Poetry in Plain Sight, Punk Noir, Yellow Mama, and othersShe is a 2021 Pushcart nominee and received Best of Micro Fiction in 2021 from Haunted Waters. In early 2022, Joan was named a runner-up in the Frost Foundation Poetry Competition. In addition, Joan was nominated Best of the Net for 2023 by The Ekphrastic Review. Her next chapbook, Feathers on Stone, is due at the end of 2022 from Main Street Rag. She is a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society, a member and area representative for North Carolina Writers' Network, and on the stage side of her work, a member of and the coastal area representative for NC's Tar Heel Tellers. Joan performs tales featuring food, family, nature, and strong women as a traditional teller and as several costumed characters. Having worked as a journalist, novelist, essayist, playwright, and poet, Joan has developed a keen awareness of audience-sensitive narrative styles.                                
Feathers on Stone is available for pre-order from Main Street Rag at, While she revamps her website, find Joan on Facebook at


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.  

Saturday, September 24 at 2 PM
Meeting ID: 832 2138 2950Malaika Albrecht King

Malaika King Albrecht & Friends

Malaika King Albrecht served as the inaugural Heart of Pamlico Poet Laureate. She's the author of four poetry books. Her most recent book is The Stumble Fields (Main Street Rag 2020) Her book What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53) won honorable mention in the Oscar Arnold Young Award and was a finalist in 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her chapbook Lessons in Forgetting was published by Main Street Rag and was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention in the Brockman Campbell Award.

Malaika is the founding editor of Redheaded Stepchild, an online magazine that only accepts poems that have been rejected elsewhere. She lives in Ayden, N.C. with her family and is a therapeutic riding instructor, a reiki practitioner, a yoga instructor, and equine specialist in mental health and learning at Freckles Farm. Malaika is the most recent past President of NC Poetry Society. She still volunteers and one of its greatest supporters.

Saturday, October 22 at 2 PM
Meeting ID: 830 8648 7158

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke's books include The Year of the RatDog Road WomanOff-Season City PipeBlood RunBurn and Streaming as well as a memoir, Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer. She is the editor of the anthologies Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous AmericasEffigies 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. (

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 Love
Sam, a former environmental activist, free-lance 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!

With the renamiRegina YC Garciang of NCPS Presents..., formerly known as Regional WorkshopsRegina YC Garcia, External Programs Director, is reinvigorating its role within the NC Poetry Society. NCPS Presents... is an initiative dedicated to providing inclusive poetry workshops, readings, and events that reflect the needs and achievements of the state. Some workshops were curated by VP of Programming Lynda Rush-Myers before Regina graciously consented o serve in this role. Through NCPS Presents...,  Regina's goal is to support, promote, and expand poetry-making through new and existing poetry hubs and engage emerging and seasoned poets across the state.

Regina YC Garcia            
Contact Regina at


Sep 27, 2022 at 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Using Metaphor to Express Emotion

Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Kat Bodrie and George T. Wilkerson 
                                Kat Bodrie and George Wilkerson, Workshop Leaders 
Kat Bodrie 
Kat Brodie is a writer and editor in Winston-Salem, NC. Her prose and poetry have appeared in Poetry South, Wild Roof Journal, West Texas Literary Review, Rat's Ass Review, and elsewhere. She is the President of Winston-Salem Writers and the Chief Editorial & Marketing Officer for BleakHouse Publishing. She works with death row and other prisoners to get their voices heard and spread awareness of the subjectivity and injustices of the carceral state. Learn more at                       
George T. Wilkerson 
George T. Wilkerson is a published and award-winning poet, writer, and artist on North Carolina’s Death Row. He is the author of Interface and Bone Orchard: Reflections on Life after Sentence of Death and is the editor of Compassion, a newsletter by and for incarcerated individuals. A four-time PEN award winner, he loves playing basketball, listening to 90s hip-hop, and eating Fruity Pebbles. To learn more and read his writing, visit

October 26, 2022 at 7pm - 8pm Eastern Time

Taking Your Vitamins: Why Reviewing Books is Good for Us 

Register in advance for this meeting: 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

                    Melinda Thomsen

Workshop Overview:
Poets read a lot, but (for many of us) the idea of writing a review feels like taking vitamins. We know we should “give back” to our small publishing industry, so why does reviewing poetry books get placed on the back burner? In this interactive presentation, Advisory Editor at Tar River Poetry, Melinda Thomsen, will discuss the benefits of writing book reviews, and how this analytical writing can improve your individual poems, strengthen your manuscripts, give insight into how journals operate, and expand your writing community. She’ll share what she’s learned on selecting books to review, managing her time, building networks with editors, and writing thoughtful blurbs. The workshop will include time for participants to brainstorm ways to overcome book-reviewing obstacles and take their poetry vitamins. 

Melinda's Bio:
Melinda has been writing book reviews since 2006 for journals such as Home Planet News, Big City Lit, Tar River Poetry, and American Book Review. She also writes “short shorts” on Amazon and Goodreads for friends. Armature (2021) from Hermit Feathers Press is her debut full-length poetry collection. Melinda was a 2019 Lena Shull Poetry Contest Honorable Mention winner and finalist for the 2022 Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye award. Find out more about Melinda at
Poetry In Plain Sight (PIPS)

Poetry In Plain Sight, Going Forward... Free Posters...Opportunity to hob-nob with the greatest people in the world... POETS (and Sam Barbee in particular!)

The North Carolina Poetry Society's program Poetry In Plain Sight 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 after March 2023 after all the 2022-23 poster poems have been distributed to the Host Cities per the established monthly schedule. Host Cites 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 and others; 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.

Also there will be several hundred vintage poster poems available at the Sept 17 NCPS Members’ Gathering at Weymouth Center. They will be free to attendees (donations welcome).

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
If you are interested in an essential and responsible leadership role in serving the mission of the NC Poetry Society, the PIPS State Coordinator position may be for you. Start now to learn the ropes. Contact Sam for details at If chosen and you feel it's the right fit for you, intern with Sam before taking over in March 2023.

Winston-Salem Writers Event

The Word is Out (TWIO) Open Mic Poetry
Join us online via Zoom on the last Tuesday of the month for The Word Is Out Open Mic Poetry aka TWIO. Our next event is Tuesday, September 27th, from 6:45 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. We’ll hear from our featured writer, Judie Holcomb-Pack, and our optional theme is “Laugh and the World Laughs With You.” Readers, writers, singers, spoken word artists, and yes, poets, will meet to celebrate the work of the featured writer then share your work or others’. Plan on about five minutes to share what you wish. If you want to read more...come back next month! Audience is appreciated. TWIO does not endorse every idea, concept, or word choice you may hear. TWIO embraces the concepts of freedom of expression, poetic license, and intellectual freedom. 

TWIO is the longest continuously running Open Mic venue of the 21st century in Winston-Salem, at least since 1997. The event is co-sponsored by Winston Salem Writers and dedicated volunteers.

Tuesday, September 27 | 6:45 - 8:30 pm

Where:  ZOOM
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North Carolina Poetry Society · 99 Lakeshore Drive · Durham, NC 27713-9205 · USA

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