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

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.

JUNE CRAFT TIP: Enlarge the scope of your poem

Submitted by Ellen Bass
Sometimes there’s more. Often. Try making a slit somewhere in your poem. Maybe halfway down or three-quarters of the way down the poem. And then write into that place you’ve opened up. Do it physically. Print it out. Cut it apart. Or if you must stay on your computer, make a page break and give yourself room to write into it that way. You may know right away what you want to say in that opening. If not, try writing something that is challenging. Scary. Take a risk. Contradict yourself.

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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 opened 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 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!


Charlotte Lit welcomes poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar for a FREE VIRTUAL poetry reading and conversation on Friday, June 3, 2022.

Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, Small Gods of Grief (winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize), A New Hunger (an ALA Notable Book), and These Many Rooms. Her poetry has been featured on Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets’ “Poem-a-Day,” and in Georgia Review, Ploughshares and Harvard Review. Garrison Keillor read four of her poems on NPR’s “A Writer’s Almanac.” A Pushcart Prize recipient, and the editor of five anthologies, she taught at Sarah Lawrence College, UCSB, and teaches at the Solstice Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Please Note: Virtual via Zoom
Free but registration required at

When: Tuesday, June 7 | 7p
Where: 308 Meadows Street in New Bern

UNC School of the Arts instructor Joseph Mills is the Featured Poet at the Nexus Poets’ Poetry Open Mic. He will be reading from his new work, Bodies in Motion. The event is now an in-person meeting with plenty of room for social distancing and will also be webcast on Zoom. Here's the link to join:  

After the Featured Poet reads in person 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 receive Nexus Poets’ emails including the evening’s Zoom link or be listed to read you can email If there is enough time you can also sign up to read during the event. 

This is a free public event that meets at the New Bern Unitarian Fellowship and donations are requested to help pay for the space. The event is sponsored by the Nexus Poets, a group of Eastern North Carolina poets promoting poetry in the area.
Allison Denise ("Coach A.D.") returns to her hometown to host her first event since the pandemic - and she's bringing friends! Join us on Saturday June 25th - first, for a brunch, group coaching and live Q&A session, and then in the evening for our main event featuring poetry, live music, and a mini-mastermind class with the Coach herself, who's ready to show you why it's so important to NEVER settle.

Host: J. Alden Smith

Lineup: Princess and Jamela Lrato (Poetry) - Phoenix Rising (live music) Simba (opening artist) Music by DJ Corey (official DJ)
Text CITYSOUL to 888-549-0199 to get reminders for City Soul and other area events
We will see you again on Wednesday, June 1 at the Terminal-8 Bar and Lounge
Show is 8:00-11:00 PM but make sure to get there early if you want to be on the mic
$7 entry.

Poetry is an adventure of your own making!
Come and share your artistic magic in poetry! Bring your journal or any piece that moves you and share your heart, for but a moment.
Kids from 2 to 122 are welcome!
Power to the Poets returns after a long pandemic hiatus!

Pleased to have the following poets reading their work on a (hopefully) sunny June afternoon at Nightlight Bar & Club, 405 W. Rosemary Street, Chapel HIll, NC
Tenal Alston
Shannon Jackson
Doug Stuber
Gary Phillips

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 of poetry, Talk About God, was published in 2017 by Main Street Rag. His second book, Words for Flying, was published in 2022 by FutureCycle Press.

Joan Barasovska  lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She cohosted a poetry series at the independent bookstore Flyleaf Books and serves on the Board of the North Carolina Poetry Society. 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, and Orange Tulips is forthcoming in September from RedHawk Publications.

Caroline Cottom, Ph.D., is a poet, book author, award-winning essayist, and spiritual teacher, who led the campaign to end nuclear testing in Nevada by building relationships with members of Congress based on love and respect. Formerly on the faculty of Vanderbilt University and Watkins School of Art&Design, Caroline teaches personal essay and other writing courses in community settings.

The Poetry Café with Josephus: The Youth Cypher Series

When: Wednesday, June 15 & June 22 | 6p - 8p
Caldcleugh Multicultural Art Center, 1700 Orchard Street, Greensboro, NC

We invite children ages 10-18 for this monthly open mic for artists of all different calibers, from rappers, singers and poets, to musicians, dancers and visual artists. Each month we will create a space that encompasses a live band hosted by Josephus III that will inspire and promote the sharing of artistic talents.

This is a free program, but registration is required

The Poetry Cafe has been a staple in the community since 2009 with a weekly radio show on 90.1FM, a monthly event at The Triad Stage and a touring schedule that visits several college campuses, not to mention a two year stint on Amazon Prime where viewers all over the world had access to the show.
Free Art, Music and Poetry Workshops

Saturday, June 4, 2022 @ 12:00am
Southview Recreation Center

Presented by Guerilla Poets Ltd

This event combines a "live" in-person event with a "virtual" online component. See below for more details.

Come join us every 1st Saturday of the month for free art, music and poetry workshops at Southview Rec Center (and via zoom hybrid: email us at for zoom link).

Art classes are from 11:30am-12:30pm and Music/Poetry classes are from 12:45pm-1:45pm.

This month:

Art: Local Charlottean, POC artist, Shawn Glover on how to paint Mindscapes.
Music: Women MCs in HipHop, writing your own lyrics / spoken word.

All ages are welcome and all art supplies will be provided.

SAY IT Open Mic- OPEN to ALL art forms. Poetry & more.
Hosts Lady V Poetry & Luvleeh Poetiklocks.
FREE Event. Food and Drink Specials available.

Location: CloudCheck, 2600 Clemson Ave, Charlotte, NC
Time: 9pm TUESDAYS weekly
There is no PRE-SIGN UP simply arrive when doors open at 9pm to sign list - 15 Slots.

About this event
Say It Open Mic is an open mic for all art forms open to everyone 21+ w/ID. Hosted by Luvleeh Poetiklocks & Lady V Poetry. Music by DJ Chocolate Rocket. We are 3 years strong and continue to create a space for artists to share their gifts and enjoy support from their community. Artists from around the world have shared at this mic!

Follow for email updates. Donations please: Cashapp $2Teament

Drinks, Food, Hookah & Fun! Come rock out with us Every Tuesday.

This is #notyomamasopenmic!

Follow for email updates. Donations please: Cashapp $2Teament

Asheville Poetry Slam

3 rounds
$10 to participate
$5 to watch
$100 cash prize+local business gift card

For more information, visit the EVENT PAGE.
Poetry Open Mic Hosted by Caleb Beissert

When: June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 at 8p
Sovereign Kava in Asheville, NC
Weekly Open Mic with Caleb Beissert! Sign up at 8 pm, Mic starts at 8:30. All forms of entertainment welcome!! Live Feed every week can be found on our YouTube page and Facebook
Come get a kava and enjoy the local talent.

Mountain Xpress "Best of WNC" winner for best open mic (2019)
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).

Designed as an open conversation between generations bridging hearts and minds across decades, Black Fire—This Time’s works are rooted in preservation, reverence and discovery. It also stands out for its inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented in Black Fire in particular, writers such as Nikki Giovanni and James Baldwin, in an effort to provide a more complete view of the myriad perspectives on Black identity and writing.

The anthology also features work from NCPS Pinesong dedicatee, Lenard Moore.

Black Fire -- This Time, may be purchased from Willow Books, at THIS LINK.
Redhawk Publications is happy to announce the publication of Apertures of
Voluptuous Force
, Sam Barbee’s fourth poetry collection; his others are titled Book of
Uncommon Prayer, That Rain We Needed, and Changes of Venue. Barbee wrote his first poem in 1968 as an 8th grader. He also graduated from UNCW in 1976, where he studied creative

Barbee comments, “Apertures of Voluptuous Force has a different tone than my previous
collections. I recognized this when I began assembling poems to include. This collection
explores some disconcerting conditions and dismal subjects, such as Climate Change, difficulties with public and private relationships, and grueling ways we spend our lives professionally. These poems document their toll on our lives. Although the arc takes a dark turn, I try to balance them with hope. I wrote Apertures of Voluptuous Force for people like me, who are attempting to answer
our bewildering questions with positivity and hope.”

To purchase Apertures of Voluptuous Force, visit
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 devices, 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:
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.”

The book can be purchased at THIS LINK.
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. Jonathan 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:

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.

#NationalPrideMonth #LGBTQIA #BlackTransLivesMatter

The Weavers Were the First to Know
By Arielle Taitano Lowe

The invasion came like a whisper,
and the leaves changed shapes,
and the niyok grew sick.

Coconut trees,
our culture’s tree of life,
dying slowly
as invasive beetles
eat their hearts
like world powers
devour islands.

Weavers hold culture in their
weave tradition into their families,
tuck young palms
into their fingers,
mold them into

But now,
our culture’s tree of life
has grown ill from
foreign settlement.

Palms severed,
bent like a salute
the way Chamorros are cut like cards
and dealt in front lines of American wars.

The weavers were the first to know
that our niyok is
in need of healing.

The same way our island is
in need of healing.

I’ve taken up the craft,
so I can weave
into the palms of my children.

I can only hope that when
I master it,

palms will remain
for them

to weave into our future.

Copyright © 2022 by Arielle Taitano Lowe. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 27, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
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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