Tuesday, March 24, 2009

North Carolina Poetry Society Plays Vital Role

Recent Awards and Upcoming Events Include Area Poets

"Musings" for March 12, 2009

In one of my previous columns I featured information about one of the key poetry organizations in NC, the Poetry Council of North Carolina. Today I’m highlighting another of NC’s vital groups for the promotion of poetry, the North Carolina Poetry Society.

NCPS was created in 1932, making it the longest-active poetry organization I am aware of in the state. Since that time, the Society has served as an invaluable networking and development tool for poets across the state, bringing poets together at least three times a year for their annual meetings at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. Those meetings are usually the third Saturdays of January, May, and September. The January meeting concluded recently and included workshops by NC writers Maureen Sherbondy, Richard Krawiec, and Barbara Presnell, as well as Open Mic readings and book signings.

The Poetry Society is in the news again locally with the selection of its 2009 Contest Winners. Each year, the Society sponsors awards in 9 adult and 5 student categories. Those winners are invited to read their work at the NCPS Awards Day, this year on May 16, at the Weymouth Center. Winners also have their work published in the annual awards anthology, Pinesong. Among the winners this year are several writers with local connections, including myself and fellow Hickory native, Bud Caywood. Other winners, including Bill Griffin and Terri Kirby Erickson, have made or will make appearances in Hickory through the Poetry Hickory reading series held the second Tuesday of each month at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse.

In addition to meetings and contests, the Poetry Society sponsors the annual Sam Ragan Poetry Festival, to be held this year at Weymouth on March 14 and highlighted by readings from poet Cathy Smith-Bowers. The Society also sponsors the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series, which brings together outstanding poetry instructors with promising young writers, culminating in a series of readings across the state, one of which will be at the Patrick Beaver Library in Hickory on March 29, featuring incoming NCPS President, Anthony Abbott and Hickory native, Liz Monish.

The Poetry Society also sponsors the Brockman-Campbell Book Award for the best book of poetry by a North Carolinian in the previous year, maintains an online calendar of poetry events across the state, and distributes a monthly newsletter called E-Muse online. The Society currently has in excess of 350 members. Those interested in more information can find it at the Society’s website at www.sleepycreek.org/poetry/.

1 comment:

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