We apologize for the delay due to a technical issue. We will continue to work to bring eMuse to you on time each month!

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

If you have pictures, memories, words from your time with NCPS, consider sharing them with us as we approach the September member's meeting at Weymouth to celebrate 90 years of poetry in person.



NCPS 90th Anniversary Celebration 1932 – 2022


Saturday, September 17, 2022
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.



Greetings, Poets! Please save the date! Due to circumstances beyond our collective control, Glenis Redmond will not be the featured reader and workshop leader for our 90th-year celebration. Nevertheless, it will still be a time for celebration and sharing! We will honor our rich heritage of voices from the past, the present, and the bright future we are creating together in one of the richest literary states. This will be a day you will not want to miss. Specific details will be available in the September eMuse and on social media. So, stay tuned!


The NCPS Board is committed to providing safe spaces for meeting together and to protecting the vulnerable. We will follow all COVID precautions required by the Weymouth facility; we also request that everyone wear a mask for all indoor activities at Weymouth. There will be outdoor or patio space for eating.


Seating space in Weymouth’s ballroom is limited to 65 persons. We may need to restrict numbers further if high COVID rates require greater distancing.

So that we can accommodate all who wish to attend, please consider visiting our FaceBook EVENTS ( page to indicate that you are coming.

Instructions for virtual viewing or attendance will soon be available .

The NCPS Board also encourages everyone in attendance to be fully vaccinated for COVID and influenza.

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.


Dasan Ahanu, New NCPS Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The NCPS board is proud to announce that Christopher Massenburg, better known as Dasan Ahanu, has been selected to lead the NCPS Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Although he is known for his excellence as a creator, Dasan has demonstrated a commitment to community-building to further social change. In 2004 he received an Indy Arts Award by Indy Week (formerly Independent Weekly) for his work in arts and activism. Then in 2015, he was awarded the honor again, the first time in the award's history that happened.


Learn more about Dasan's experiences and contributions




Regina YC Garcia has been named as the interim chairperson of the “NCPS Presents…” Committee. Garcia writes, “What I would most like to relay is that we desire to reach out into our wonderfully diverse state to bring awareness of the brilliance and necessity of poetry and what it can do to not only enrich our members, but our NC constituency as well.”  


The committee’s plan is to expand NCPS’s reach throughout the state by way of promotion, planning, and/or execution of workshops and readings through a variety of modalities. Additionally, the committee is excited about acting upon some of the ideas submitted by the membership to guide topics and content. If members are interested in presenting or working with an entity in your area, the committee encourages you to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you.


Regina YC Garcia is a poet, writer, voice artist, narrator, and English professor. Regina is the 2021 National DAR American Heritage Poetry Award Winner and a 2021 NCLR James Applewhite Semifinalist. Garcia's first book of poetry, The Firetalker’s Daughter, is scheduled for publication and release by Finishing Line Press in Spring 2023.


“The more artful a thing is, the further it is from the scene of the crime.”
                                                                                             Gregory Orr, Poetry as Survival

I’m often asked how I can write about painful, difficult subjects. My first book, Birthing Age (Finishing Line Press, 2018), chronicled my divorce after a long marriage. My second, Carrying Clare (Main Street Rag, 2022), is the harrowing story of raising a child with a serious rare disorder. Orange Tulips, forthcoming in September from RedHawk Publications, exposes the rawest period of my life, a protracted battle with mental illness in young adulthood.

How can I do it? This is the mine I work. As tortuous memories rise to the page in all their sensory detail and horror, as I’m forced to relive and reveal, I employ craft, form, metaphor—all I’ve learned, read, absorbed—to create a new poem. During revision, my poem is an object outside me, one I shape as best I can, then perhaps to bring to my critique group for responses and wise advice.

Magically, “the scene of the crime” has lost its power to haunt. It’s now an “artful thing.” An artful thing that readers often tell me speaks powerfully to their own experience.

Submitted by Joan Barasovska

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



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


award winners featured in the 2022 PINESONG anthology of NCPS:

        Maria Rouphail

        Alison Toney

        Claire Wang

selections from the recent anthology I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices

        Denton Loving

        Keri Gunter-Seymour

        Shuly Xóchitl Cawood

the most recent issue of Tar River Poetry

        Rebecca Baggett

        Pam Baggett

        Michael Spence

the most recent issue of Cave Wall

        Han VanderHart

        Dannye Romine Powell

        Anne McCrary Sullivan


❦ ❦ ❦


And have you been wondering where to submit your poems for publication? Bill invites you to explore his blog for 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

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 September eMUSE IS August 15th
Open this email in your browser and click the following links to find events near you!


NCPS invites members and guests to attend our virtual Poets & Poetry Matter Interviews and Reading Series featuring:

Chris Abbate (pictured left, below) at 7 p.m. EST on Friday, August 5

Malaika King-Albrecht & Friend (pictured right, below) Date and Time TBA

The Poetry Buffet presents Joan Barasovska, Ken Fontenot, Martha Garner and J.K. McDowell

WHEN: Saturday, August 13, 2022 | 3:00p to 4:30p EST

Please click on the following link to access the event:
Meeting ID: 862 7864 7405
Passcode: 455264
Joan Barasovska lives in Orange County, North Carolina. She co-hosted a poetry series at the independent bookstore Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill 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. Joan is the author of Birthing Age (Finishing Line Press), Carrying Clare (Main Street Rag), and the forthcoming collection Orange Tulips (Redhawk Publications).

Ken Fontenot's third book of poems In a Kingdom of Birds won a best book of poetry award from the Texas Institute of Letters. His new book of poems To Those Born Later is forthcoming from Alamo Bay Press.

Martha Garner is a retired early childhood teacher who is now following her passion for collaging, poetry, and nature. She is currently serving as Executive Director of the Festival of Words in Grand Coteau.

J. K. McDowell is a poet, artist and mystic originally from the Midwest and now living in the Gulf South.
Working primarily in the ghazal poetic form, his work is influenced by the American poet Robert Bly and  translations of Rumi, Hafiz, Rilke, Federico Garcia Lorca and Cesar Vallejo.
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.
Joan Barasovska's new book, Carrying Clare, is available 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, 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.”

Click on the link below to order:
Redhawk Publications is happy to announce the publication of Apertures of
Voluptuous Force, Sam Barbee’s fourth poetry collection; his others are Book of
Uncommon Prayer, That Rain We Needed, and Changes of Venue.

Barbee comments, “Apertures of Voluptuous Force has a different tone than my previous
collections. 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.

Interface is available for purchase on Amazon and on

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 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.


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

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.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

The bee is not afraid of me
by Emily Dickinson

The bee is not afraid of me,
I know the butterfly;
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.

The brooks laugh louder when I come,
The breezes madder play.
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists?
Wherefore, O summer's day?

This poem is in the public domain.
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.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp