Friday, December 21, 2012

Oscar Arnold Young Award Winners Announced

2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award Winners Announced

Maureen Sherbondy of Raleigh has been selected by the Poetry Council of NC as the winner of the 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for NC’s best book of poetry. Her collection The Year of Dead Fathers (Spring Garden Press) was selected by judge Robert Lee Brewer from 24 entries.

Brewer remarks that Sherbondy’s “collection begins with a butterfly landing on a windowsill and ends with ‘an old bird/lifting away from a pine tree, leaving behind a/trembling branch.’ In between, the narrator deals with death, specifically the death of her father.” Brewer was impressed with Sherbondy’s ability “to assemble a collection as focused as this one without falling into repetition,” remarking that she “keeps her subject fresh and interesting throughout--providing one new layer after another.”

Beth Copeland’s book Transcendental Telemarketer (BlazeVox) was chosen as runner-up. Of Copeland’s book, Brewer writes, “this collection zips from one type of well-performed poem to the next. No subject is off limits--as a reader could tell easily from poem titles such as ‘For the Poets of Afghanistan,’ ‘Pear Tree,’ and ‘My Life as a Slut’.” Copeland lives in Gibson, NC.

For honorable mentions, Brewer also praised Wilmington poet, Daniel Nathan Terry’s Waxwings (Lethe Press) and Greenville poet, Malaika King Albrecht’s What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53). Brewer states that what strikes him about Terry’s collection is not only “the want hiding in each poem” but also the “sense of duty that seems to rear its head time and time again.” He adds that “Albrecht invites the reader to join her on the poetic trapeze act she performs” but “is always there, ready to catch the reader before sending her off again.”

All of the books submitted for the contest will be archived in the Poetry Council collection at Catawba College in Salisbury. Winners will be recognized in the Council’s annual awards anthology, Bay Leaves, to be released at Poetry Day on April 20 at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory. Winners of the Oscar Arnold Young Competition and all of the Poetry Council’s annual awards will be given the opportunity to read from their work at Poetry Day.

For more information, visit

Monday, December 17, 2012

Best of the Year Poetry List

Best of the Year Poetry List

It's that time of year where everyone makes their "Best of the Year" list: best recipe, best movie, best song, best album, best play, best moment in baseball, basketball, or football, best book. So, in recognition of the true value of best of the year lists, here is my intentionally brief list of the best poetry books of 2012.

In the quid pro quo world of contemporary poetry, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a sincere review or recommendation and one motivated by obligation or self-serving ingratiation. All poets have favors to repay or curry, but in writing about poetry, I try to always remain objective and focused on just the quality of the poetry. That is why I am pleased to say that I don't owe Daniel Nathan Terry anything, nor is he in a position to help me advance my professional ambitions. Thus, I can recommend his collection, Waxwings, from Lethe Press, without any fear of apparent prejudice or guile.

Terry's narrative of a difficult childhood marked by taught shame, by a reluctance to accept oneself, as that self is unaccepted by others, is relevant, fresh, and sharp. These poems grab the reader by the throat, or perhaps by the conscience, or the imagination – probably all three – and refuse to let go. They are both lyrically beautiful and brutally honest, leading us to a deeper understanding of how all of us come to be and learn to accept who we are. If you own only one book of poems from 2012, this is the one to own.

If, on the other hand, you can afford a second book of poems this year, I also recommend Scott Douglass's Hard to Love. By way of contrast, while I owe Daniel Nathan Terry nothing, I owe Scott Douglass everything. As the owner of Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Douglass has published 4 of my books. Nevertheless, having established that my recommendations are based entirely on the quality of the poetry, I also recommend this book without guilt or doubt.

Douglass has been widely recognized for his skills in design, editing, publishing, and business. Hard to Love, however, makes clear that he is also an outstanding poet. Combining socio-political acumen and insight with significant portraits and narratives from working class America, these poems are always interesting and engaging as they clearly capture the essential personality of their author and demonstrate his mastery of poetic technique and both his recognition of and ability to involve his reader in the importance of the moment.

Of course, a proper best of the year list would include many more items, and I will mention, for those with still more money to spend on poetry, Malaika King Albrecht's What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53), Joseph Mills' Sending Christmas Cards to Huck & Hamlet (Press 53), and Mimi Herman's Logophilia (Main Street Rag) as additional books every best of the year library should include. But to make this list truly meaningful, I will stop with just that handful of recommendations – a list all can afford and none would be disappointed by.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Book

Shadows Trail Them Home, a continuation of the collaboration Pris Campbell and I undertook in The Nature of Attraction has just come out from Clemson University Press.

This larger version of the romance of Sara and Norman has all 28 of the poems from The Nature of Attraction along with 46 newer poems to fill out the story more completely, including many more poems that focus on "the boy" and the aftermath of the relationship.

The book won't be listed on Clemson's website until after the holidays, but anyone wanting a copy before then can order it directly from me ($15 plus $3 shipping) by emailing to

Here is what Ron Moran, author of The Jane Poems and Waiting, and Professor Emeritus at Clemson, says of the book: "Shadows Trail Them Home is an excellent and compelling novel in poetry, an important contribution to the cultural canon of American life, presented in an engaging but disturbing context. It needs to be read by a wide audience, not only those who have faced abuses as children, as the two main characters have, but also by a reading public that treasures poetry that fuses superior writing with major social issues."

There will be a book launch at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in Hickory, NC, from 2 to 4 on Saturday, January 26. Refreshments will be served, and everyone is welcome.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Anniversary of Verse

An Anniversary of Verse
NC Poetry Society Celebrates 80th Year with Statewide Readings

2012 marks the 80th year of the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the Society and its friends and members are celebrating that anniversary with a series of readings across the state organized by and featuring NC’s most prestigious poets.

It all begins with the state’s current Poet Laureate, Joseph Bathanti, on November 29. The reading and Open Mic to be held at 3:30 at the Scholars Bookshop (Appalachian State’s university bookstore) will include ASU professors and poets Hilda Downer and Lynn Doyle.

Six other readings will be held on December 1.

In Charlotte, Myers Park Baptist Church will host organizer Tony Abbott, Morri Creech, Annalee Kwochka, Alan Michael Parker, Dannye Romine Powell, David Radavich, and Lisa Zerkle at 2:00.

The Regulator Bookshop in Durham will feature readings by Betty Adcock, Noel Crook, and Marylin Hervieux also at 2:00.

Former state Poet Laureate, Kay Byer will host Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Joe Mills, and Julie Suk at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva at 3:00.

Another former state Poet Laureate, Fred Chappell, will be featured along with Malaika King Albrecht, Terry Kennedy, Val Nieman, and John Thomas York at the Community Arts Café in Winston-Salem at 2:00.

Peter Makuck and Mark Cox will read at St. Francis by the Sea in Salter Path at 4:00.

And Shelby Stephenson, Alex Albright, Marty Silverthorne, and Jim Clark will participate in a marathon reading from 9:00 AM to 3:15 PM at the R.A. Fountain General Store in Fountain.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the NC Poetry Society website at

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Poetry for People Who Don't Like Poetry

POETRY FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE POETRY . . . and for those who do

Joseph Mills is not your everyday poet. At least, he is not what many people think the everyday poet is. He is not overly-intellectual, obscure, depressed, elitist, or crazy. He is, however, very much an everyday guy. He has written books, after all, on the Marx Brothers, and on wine, and on reading Louis L’Amour Westerns. If he were a bit older, I might think he could be my father.

Not long ago, my wife told me I should try to write more poetry for people who don’t like poetry. The truth is, I don’t need to. Joseph Mills has already done it. His poems are witty and approachable. They remind us of the lives we all lead. And most importantly, they charm us into reflecting more deeply upon those lives and recognizing the truths we otherwise might forget or too readily gloss over.

In short, he helps the reader to feel and think about the life he is living. He achieves more successfully than perhaps any other poet I know what renowned educator, poet, and social critic Edwin Honig said was the role of the poet in the modern world: to “celebrate the difficult, joyous, imaginative process by which the individual discovers and enacts selfhood.” In all the oblique pondering over the purpose of poetry I've read lately, nowhere have I come across a more practical or productive idea regarding the objectives of poetry, and nowhere have I come across a poet that does just that more effectively than Joseph Mills.

I could use almost any poem from Mills' four collections to demonstrate what I mean, but since winter is coming on, I think “A Winter Dialogue” from his newest book, Sending Christmas Cards to Huck & Hamlet, seems the most appropriate.
Mills will visit Hickory (NC) on November 13 to read at Poetry Hickory, 5:30 at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse, and teach a workshop on poetry at 4:00. Both events are open to the public. For information, contact me (Scott Owens) at 828-234-4266 or

A Winter Dialogue
by Joseph Mills

We decide to take a break from the eating, drinking,
and arguing--our traditional holiday pastimes--
to walk around the ice-encased neighborhood.
In the hallway, we sort through the piles of coats,
hats, and gloves, pulling out what we think we need,
and when I get to the door my father calls me back
to drape a scarf around my neck. In my forties,
I don’t like scarves anymore than when I was six,
but, now, having kids, I recognize what his fingers
are trying to say as they adjust the wool, and, I hope,
he recognizes what I’m trying to say by not moving.
It’s not much, but since neither of us needs anything
the other can buy, we try to exchange what we can,
a protective touch and a willingness to be touched.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Poetry Giveaway

Win a Free Copy of For One Who Knows How to Own Land

FutureCycle Press is running two promotions (one through Goodreads and one through Kindle) that make it possible for you to win not only a copy of my latest book of poems but also copies of every book they published in 2012 as well as former winners and finalists. Here are the details from FutureCycle.

FutureCycle Press Goodreads Giveaways

Enter to win a paperback copy of each of the 2012 FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize contenders (November 1 to December 29) and former winners and finalists (ending November 1) on Goodreads ( While you're at it, join the FutureCycle group to engage with the poets, discuss their books, and get news about calls for submission and other press activities.

FutureCycle Press Free Kindle Days

Between now and the end of the year, FutureCycle Press is running the following free promotions for ebooks published by our press. If you have a Kindle ( or one of the Kindle reading apps for your computer or other device, add these wonderful books to your digital library ( Bookmark this link; it will always show you which Kindle editions we are giving away, now and in the future, as well as new editions as they come out.

"Odd Saturdays": 2012 FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize Contenders

On the first and third Saturdays of November and December, the ten books contending for this year's book prize and honorarium are featured. Our judges will announce the winner sometime in early 2013.

Which do you think should win the prize? Now there's no reason not to read them all: Richard Carr, Dead Wendy; Joan Colby, Dead Horses; Robert Collins, Naming the Dead; J. P. Dancing Bear, The Abandoned Eye; Caroline Hagood, Lunatic Speaks; Pat Hanahoe-Dosch, Fleeing Back; Paul Hostovsky, Hurt Into Beauty; Scott Owens, For One Who Knows How to Own Land; Amy Riddell, Bullets in the Jewelry Box; Don Schofield, Before Kodachrome.

December 29: All Our Books, Chapbooks, and Anthologies!

Thirty-three of them. That's right. Take a look at the excellent work we've published and make sure it's on your digital library shelf: We wish you a very happy 2013!

P.S. Feel free to forward this email to anyone you wish, share the info on your blog, and mention us on your social networks. We want the exceptional work we are publishing to be read and shared. If you feel so inclined, please rate and honestly review our books on Goodreads and Amazon. We and our authors have worked very hard to bring these books to you, so please help us share them with the world. And if you are a poet or flash fiction writer, check out what we are currently reading (

Come see us!

Friday, October 19, 2012

November Poetry Hickory Update and Other Announcements

Alex Grant can't make it to the 11/13 Poetry Hickory, but Joseph Mills will still be there, and he will still present his workshop on "Wielding a Knife" (revision in poetry). With just one featured writer, I'm expanding the Open Mic segment a bit (plus I have a couple of poems I'm dying to read).

So, here is the schedule for the day:

4:00 Wielding a Knife Workshop with Joseph Mills ($10 per person; contact Scott Owens at 828-234-4266 to register)

5:30 Open Mic: Scott Owens, Nancy Posey, Helen Losse, Mel Hager, Versus (student performance group from St. Stephens High School)

6:30 Featured Writer: Joseph Mills

In other news, the December 11 Poetry Hickory will be a big one with featured writers M. Scott Douglass (editor of Main Street Rag) and Jonathan K. Rice (editor of Iodine Poetry Journal) as well as a whole bunch of people reading from the new Best of Poetry Hickory 2012 (available for the first time at the reading). I'll follow up with a list of readers and a modified start time a bit later.

I will be doing a 5-hour workshop called "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Writing Poetry" at Taste Full Beans from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, November 10. Registration is $50 per person. Contact me at 828-234-4266 for details or to register.

It's looking like we will have a haiku workshop and reading with current Haiku Society of America president Ce Rosenow and former president Lenard Moore from 5:00 to 7:00 on Monday, December 17, also at Taste Full Beans. Registration will be $10 per person. Contact me at 828-234-4266 to register. More details will follow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Round Up

So much going on, I have to write it down.

*Copies of the new anthology American Society: What Poets See with poems about how 100 contemporary poets see America is now available at This anthology from FutureCycle press includes work by me as well as many of my favorite writers: Paul Hostovsky, Jim Clark, Christina Pacosz, David Radavich, Nancy Simpson, Marianne Worthington, Alex Cigale, Chella Courington, JP Dancing Bear, Karen Paul Holmes, Barbara Gabriel, Robert King,and many more.

*I am teaching my "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Writing Poetry" Workshop at Coastal Carolina University this Saturday from Noon to 3:00. More information is available at There are still a few slots available. You could always use it as an excuse to go to the beach.

*Next Saturday (9/29) 2 dozen poets and friends will gather at Shari Smith's Working Title Farm in Claremont (4694 S. Depot St) for the second annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change Reading in the Round. We will start at 2:00 reading poems about peace, sustainability, diversity, and tolerance. Scheduled readers include Tony Abbott, David Poston, Helen Losse, Tony Ricciardelli, Doug McHargue, Nancy Posey, Ann Chandonnet, and of course Shari and me. Everyone is welcome to attend. If you want to read, contact me at 828-234-4266 or Bring along a snack or beverage to share.

*October 9 Raleigh poet and playwright Debra Kaufman will teach a workshop on the line in poetry just before her reading with Amy Tipton Cortner at Poetry Hickory. Workshop at 4:00; readings at 5:30; everything at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse. Space is limited for the workshops, so let me know if you want to participate.

*October 16 I'm giving a reading at the meeting of the Sherrill's Ford Friends of the Library.

*My new book, Shadows Trail Them Home, a further collaboration with Pris Campbell, will be out from Clemson University Press sometime in October. We will have a book release event shortly after it arrives, and you'll all be invited.

*I'm going to the NC Writers' Network Fall Conference in Cary November 2 through 4 to staff a table for the Poetry Council of NC, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Poetry Hickory, and The Art of Poetry at Hickory Museum of Art. I'll also have my books with me in case you'll be there and haven't gotten a copy yet.

*November 10 I'll teach my "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Writing Poetry" Workshop here in Hickory. We will do it at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse from 10:00 to 3:00. I'm limiting this class to 12 participants, so let me know soon if you're interested.

*November 13 wonderful Hickory writer Molly Rice will be featured at Poetry Hickory with wonderful Raleigh area writer Alex Grant.

*November 14 I'm giving a reading at Callanwolde in Atlanta.

*December 11 Scott Douglass and Jonathan K. Rice will headline Poetry Hickory, and we will have the release event for the new Best of Poetry Hickory Anthology. If you're in it, expect to receive an invitation to attend, read, and get your copy soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

100 Thousand Poets for Change at Working Title Farm


On a late Saturday afternoon last year an estimated 20,000 poets gathered in more than 500 cities and 90 countries to read poems about peace and sustainability, teach workshops, and strengthen their voices through unity. This internationally coordinated effort to focus the largest poetry reading ever on socially-conscious themes was the brainchild of California poets, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion of Big Bridge Press.

In North Carolina, more than 100 poets participated in events in nearly two dozen different cities. Hickory's event drew 23 poets and another 2 dozen listeners. Selected poems from NC's events were published in Wild Goose Poetry Review, and documents from the more than 700 events worldwide were archived at Stanford University.

On September 29, we're going to do it all again. This time there are even more events scheduled in more than 700 cities and 115 countries. The Catawba County event will be hosted by Claremont writer and arts advocate Shari Smith from 2:00 to 4:00 at her Working Title Farm (4694 S. Depot Street).

The focus of the poems will be peace, sustainability, tolerance, and diversity. All work will again be archived at Stanford University, and selected poems will again be published in the fall issue of Wild Goose Poetry Review.

Scheduled participants this year will include NC Poet Laureate Nominees Tony Abbott and Scott Owens, award-winning Gastonia poet David Poston, Dead Mule Poetry Editor Helen Losse, Caldwell Community College Professor Nancy Posey, and at least a dozen others, including students from CVCC and Lenoir Rhyne.

Anyone is welcome to attend. Anyone interested in reading should contact Scott Owens at 828-234-4266 or Additional information on the 100 Thousand Poets for Change initiative is available at

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NC Poetry Society Fall Meeting

Meeting Reminder - September 15
North Carolina Poetry Society

This is a friendly reminder that the Fall Meeting of the NCPS is NEXT SATURDAY in Southern Pines! Be sure to come and hear our exciting program for the day! We have worked hard to put it together.

Fall Meeting
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, Southern Pines, NC

Featuring the Brockman-Campbell Book Award winners (Tony Abbott, Joanna Catherine Scott, Steve Lautermilch) and the North Carolina Writers’ Network Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition winners (Michael Gaspeny, Sandra Ann Winters, Dannye Romine Powell), as well as a lecture from poet Sarah Lindsay.

For a detailed description of the day's program, including bios of our presenters, visit our events page at .

Also, just a few miles from the NCPS meeting in Southern Pines, from 5-7pm at The Rooster’s Wife (114 Knight St., Aberdeen) Chris Vitiello will teach a Poetry Lab workshop, followed by a potluck and open mic. For more information, including what a Poetry Lab is, see or to register, email Malaika at A perfect way to extend your trip to the NCPS meeting with more poetry!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Coming Soon

The Fall Meeting of the NC Poetry Society is Saturday 9/15 at Weymouth in Southern Pines. Many of you are already members of the Poetry Society, but if you're not, you should seriously consider joining. For the $25 annual membership fee, you are invited to the 3 annual events at Weymouth which include workshops, readings, and awards; you receive a copy of the annual awards anthology Pine Song; you can enter the annual contests at reduced or free rates; you can participate in NCPS workshops at other locations at reduced rates; and you receive the newsletter published 3 times a year. More than what you get, though, being a member of NCPS is about what you give. That same $25 helps fund the Society's newsletters, events, contests, workshops, and publications. It makes you a true patron of poetry in NC. To join, you can send me a check made out to NCPS or visit the website at and use the PayPal link to complete your membership.

Second, the second Art of Poetry at the Hickory Museum of Art is Saturday, 9/15. I will be at the NCPS meeting, but thanks to Bud Caywood for filling in for me at HMA. Even in my absence, two of my poems will be there, as will PH and Writers' Night Out regulars Nancy Posey, Ann Chandonnet, John Womack, Doug McHargue, Mel Hager, Julian Phelps, Tony Rankine, and other area poets. The event starts at 2:00 and is free and open to the public.

Third, don't forget that the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event is scheduled for 2-4 on Saturday, 9/29 at Shari Smith's Working Title Farm in Claremont (4694 S. Depot St.). PH regulars Helen Losse, Kim Teague, Julian Phelps, John Bigelow, Nancy Posey, Dennis Lovelace, Doug McHargue, and Patricia Deaton will join me and others including Tony Abbott, David Poston, and Tony Ricciardelli to share poems about tolerance, diversity, peace, and sustainability. We have room for more readers, and lots more room for listeners.

Fourth, information about the 11/2 - 11/4 NC Writers' Network Fall Conference in Cary arrived today. A quick rundown of the options at this conference include the Manuscript Mart, the Critique Service, and the Marketing Mart; Keynote Address from PEN Award-winning short story writer Edith Pearlman; Master Classes with Elaine Neil Orr (nonfiction), Jill McCorkle (fiction), and Kathryn Stripling Byer (poetry); workshops with Shane Ryan (comedy), Paul Austin (memoir), Ben George (editors), Linda Rohrbough (marketing), Susan Woodring (fiction), Maureen Sherbondy (poetry), Sheri Castle (foodwriting), Howard Craft (drama), Jan Parker (reading), Eleanora Tate (writing for children), Clay and Susan Griffith (fiction), Phillip Shabazz (imagery), Nicki Leone and DG Martin (being interviewed), Anne Barnhill (historical fiction), Alice Osborn (book reviews), and AJ Mayhew (writing groups), David Menconi and Peter Holsapple (music writing); and panel discussions on self-publishing, writing for the Internet, and agents & editors.

Finally, I don't have a date for either yet, but the new Best of Poetry Hickory and my new book, Shadows Trail Them Home, will both be out in the next month or two. As soon as they are, I will schedule a release event for each of them. And, back by popular demand, I will be doing my "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Writing Poetry" workshop again in the Hickory area a bit later this fall. As soon as that is scheduled, I will be sure to let you all know.

So much good stuff going on. Don't blink or you might miss something.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Poetry Hickory Reminder

Don't forget -- Next Tuesday (9/11) is September's Poetry Hickory.

We will start at 4:00 with Writers' Night Out (sponsored by NCWN) for anyone who wants to meet with, talk to, and share ideas with other writers in the area.

Then at 5:30 we will have short readings from Bud Caywood, John Bigelow, and Kathy Nelson.

They will be followed by featured writers Kathryn Kirkpatrick, award-winning author and Appalachian State University professor, and Alice Osborn of Raleigh.

Everything is at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory (29 2nd St NW), and as usual, admission is free. Thanks to Taste Full Beans and to our sponsor, Main Street Rag.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

NC Poetry Society Reading at McIntyre's

North Carolina Poetry Society Readings, McIntyre’s Fine Books at Fearrington Village (half-way between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill on Highway 15-501 South)Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 2 PM

Joe Mills: After earning a Ph.D from the University of California, David, Joe Mills joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he currently holds the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. His books include four collections of poetry: Sending Christmas Cards to Huck and Hamlet, Love and Other Collisions, Angels, Thieves and Winemakers,and Somewhere During the Spin Cycle. He also has co-written two editions of “A Guide to North Carolina Wineries” with his wife, Danielle Tarmey, and edited a collection of film criticism entitled “A Century of The Marx Brothers.”

Mimi Herman: Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Crab Orchard Review, The Hollins Critic and other journals. She holds a BA from UNC-CH and a MFA from Warren Wilson College. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Vermont Studio Center. She has worked as an arts in education consultant since 1990. She does her own carpentry and plumbing, and can milk a cow and a goat, though not at the same time. Her chapbook Logophilia was published by Main Street Rag.

Scott Owens: The author of multiple poetry collections, Scott is the editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, author of “Musings”, a weekly column on poetry, founder of Poetry Hickory, VP of the Poetry Council of NC, and a writer of reviews of contemporary poetry. He has been featured on various radio shows, received numerous awards and nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. He teaches creative writing at Catawba Valley
Community College in Hickory, NC. He is the only male poet to be featured with a new book each year of the life of the NCPS Readings at McIntyre’s.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Wild Goose Poetry Review Online

The new Wild Goose is up with poems by Helen Losse, Jessie Carty, Joanne Lowery, Malaika King Albrecht, Pris Campbell, Philip Dacey, Ronald Moran, Al Ortolani, Barbara Presnell, Barbara Gabriel, Michael Beadle, Mimi Herman, Corey Cook, Larry Schug, Robert King, Mark Allen Jenkins, Harry Youtt, Lynn Ciesielski, Janice Sullivan, Maril Crabtree, and Maryfrances Wagner.

There are also reviews of new books by Jessie Carty, Amy Tipton Cortner, and Kimberly Pittman Schulz.

Go to and join the conversation.

To whet your appetite, here is Joanne Lowery's "Give, Present Tense"

Joanne Lowery

This is the mashed potatoes comfort food of books:
my red Latin I from high school
so familiar I know each picture
and remember the row by the windows
where I sat to cipher the mysteries of Rome.
Crisis time I need more than English
to bring serenity, priestess of white temples,
and there is no one to ask, no imperative.
Of course give would be an irregular verb,
of course I give is only two Roman letters.
Future is regular as a dreamer.
But to give to myself now—to meet
my own lack—to command the swirling
emotions to settle, I need only to state
what sitting on my porch in imitation
of caladium or cardinal I can do:
do, I give, and as if running to catch
the ball I’ve just thrown among green leaves
and clear birdsong, I offer up hands:
here it comes back to me from the ruins.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Poems Get Written


There is not a single answer to that premise. There is not a single answer to anything regarding poetry. Nevertheless, for myself, there is what might be called a pattern that the construction of a poem often follows.

Often, what later becomes a poem begins with a single phrase, line, or image. In the case of the poem below, it was the image of an otherwise non-descript field behind a run-down finishing plant being brought to life by a blossoming of purple flowers.

That phrase, line, or image is then carried around for days, weeks, or months in my notebook, or in my head (admittedly a more risky approach) if I don’t get it written down. In this case, the sentence “Behind the finishing plant a field is bursting open with purple flowers” sat in my notebook for several months.

Over time, the phrase, line, or image accumulates other phrases, lines, or images until a sense of weightiness or significance or cohesion develops. Sometimes that happens gradually, sometimes in a burst, and sometimes not at all. In this case, it was a burst. I was actually standing on a dock outside the Comfort Suites in New Bern, NC, listening to the sounds of several types of birds when the phrase “meaningful noise” sprang to my mind, along with the idea that we hear such noise better with our eyes closed.

I quickly jotted down the first stanza, changing the birds to ones whose songs I felt comfortable describing. The idea of “meaningful noise” clicked with the idea that those purple flowers I had noticed months ago were also somehow meaningful. So, I joined the first stanza with that previous phrase, changed the season to spring in accordance with the flowers, added a bit of detail to create a stronger sense of place, and linked the ideas of flowers, listening, and meaningful noise in the final two lines.

Here is the end result

All the Meaningful Noise
by Scott Owens

How can you be on this earth
and not close your eyes on occasion
and listen to leaves give voice to wind,
hear the laugh of crow,
annunciation of blue jay,
high-pitched twitter of chickadee,
moan of mourning dove,
all the meaningful noise
of another spring day?

Behind the finishing plant
off the run-down road
between failing furniture towns,
a field is bursting with purple flowers.
If you close your eyes
you can hear the cosmos opening.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sin Tax on Syntax Nears Ra(d)ification?


With the rampant proliferation of “talking heads” on television news shows and networks, the allure of unsubstantiated rumors and uncontexted quotes in ubiquitous political blogs, and the constant back-and-forth namecalling that passes for debate on social networking outlets, every season these days seems like a political season. So, it’s no wonder that poets too are entering the political fray more often, sometimes seriously, as in the 100 Thousand Poets for Change initiative, and sometimes a bit more tongue-in-cheek, as in Celisa Steele’s prose poem “Sin Tax on Syntax Passes House by Narrow Margin” from her 2011 book How Language Is Lost. Either way, if you enjoy politics, you’ll enjoy this poem, and if you want to hear it in person, you should attend Poetry Hickory at 5:30 on August 14 at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory.

Sin Tax on Syntax Passes House by Narrow Margin
by Celisa Steele

The American Clean Usage Act seeks to improve spoken and written English by putting a price on misusage and if the bill is signed into law then the cost of run-ons will rise from mere breathlessness to over $13 a carton and you’ll be left with the alternatives of paying up or quitting.

If the data shows, then you’ve got to pay--though there is a provision under consideration that moves to treat data like sheep, singular and plural, making untaxable under the act “the happy couple were,” “the staff stand stunned,” and such.

Splicing of commas carries a hefty premium, the improper use of the subjunctive alone is estimated to raise millions for the government. But others call them pie-in-the-sky projections, arguing it’ll cost more money to employ and train a national grammar corps qualified to enforce the law than can be raised through the tax.

Will the Senate pass the current bill? Proponents, pray so. Detractors say no, asserting self-interest will prevail. As one staffer put it, “If I was to bet, speeches’ll get a lot shorter if this thing passes. These senators don’t make enough to pay for their bad habits.”

There are rumors a clutch of senators are cooking up a counter-bill that aims to focus on poetry specifically rather than language at large--the primary argument being we already have meter maids.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shelby Stephenson Creates a Riprap of a Southern Life

In case you haven't yet read Shelby Stephenson's newest collection of poems, Playing Dead, you should. I had the great pleasure of listening to him read at the NC Writers Conference in New Bern last weekend, and here is the response I had to what I heard:

"It takes no keen ear, scholar's mind, or poet's appreciation to recognize that Shelby Stephenson loves language, loves naming things, and loves remembering the specific names of things in a particular time and place. Riprap of a Southern life, his poems recall the intimate names of things that being uttered bring the things they name to life. He does the hard work of memory for us in a way that makes what has been lost ours again forever."

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Review of "For One Who Knows How to Own Land"

Joel Ferdon has written a review of For One Who Knows How to Own Land in the new issue of Main Street Rag. Here is my favorite part of what he says:

"For One Who Knows How to Own Land, by Scott Owens, is like walking through a farm on a hot South Carolina afternoon in the summer. His poems ring out with an emotional intensity that reminded me of Andrew Hudgins' collection of poetry, The Glass Hammer."

I hope you'll get a copy of the journal and read the entire review. There are also wonderful poems by Karen Paul Holmes, Robert King, Mimi Herman, David Poston, and many others. Main Street Rag is one of the journals I strongly recommend subscribing to.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

100 Thousand Poets for Change 2012

Second Annual Worldwide Event Includes Musicians and Poets Striving for Global Change
This Year’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change Adds Musicians; 560 Events Planned in More Than 100 Countries

Santa Rosa, Calif. (July 18, 2012) – September 29, 2012 marks the second annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change, an event that brings poets, artists and musicians (new this year) around the world together to call for environmental, social, and political change. Voices will be heard globally through concerts, readings, workshops, flash mobs and demonstrations that each focus on their specific area of concern, within the framework of peace and sustainability, such as war, ecocide, racism and censorship.

“Peace and sustainability is a major concern worldwide, and the guiding principle for this global event,” said Michael Rothenberg, Co-Founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. “It’s amazing to see how many people have joined in around the world to speak out for causes they believe in, and to see so much heart and creativity expressed in their diverse approaches to this event.”

Participants are hoping, through their actions and events, to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability. Those that want to get involved can visit to find or plan an event near them.

“This grass roots movement has arisen largely due to the impact of social media,” said Co-Founder Terri Carrion. “We’re really excited about the events we’ve got planned this year.”

There are hundreds of activities planned in the United States alone, including:

• A blues festival in New Orleans to help raise funds for medical care for aging musicians
• A concert of Tibetan music and poetry hosted by 100 TPC Free Tibet in Pasadena
• A concert in Nashville's Centennial Park featuring major local musicians
• An Occupy Wall Street poetry group will kickoff a weekend of events in New York City
• An all day festival with multiple stages and over 50 poetry readings hosted by Beyond Baroque Cultural Center in Los Angeles
• A three-day event in Santa Rosa (near San Francisco) that will live-stream events from around the world and feature live poetry readings, workshops and various styles of music and dance including hip hop, flamenco, African drums, reggae and more (more info in the “What Else” section below)
• A poetry reading on the themes of peace, diversity, tolerance, and sustainability at Working Title Farm in Claremont, NC

Poetry and peace gatherings are also planned in strife-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan as well. In Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt, poets, musicians and mimes will perform in public spaces and theaters. In Kingston, Jamaica an entire week of concerts, spoken word performances, lectures and workshops will address literacy issues in the country.

100 Thousand Poets for Change began in Sonoma County, Calif. The headquarters’ event will take place at the Arlene Francis Center in downtown Santa Rosa and will feature live poetry readings, workshops and various styles of music and dance including hip hop, flamenco, African drums, reggae and more. The event will also live-stream other 100 Thousand Poets for Change events worldwide and is sponsored by the Peace & Justice Center and Sonoma County Arts Council.

Immediately following September 29th, all documentation on the website will be preserved by Stanford University in California, which recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change in 2011 as an historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. They will continue to archive the complete contents of the website,, as part of their digital archiving program LOCKSS.

About 100 Thousand Poets for Change
Co-Founder Michael Rothenberg ( is a widely known poet, editor of the online literary magazine and an environmental activist based in Northern California. Co-Founder Terri Carrion is a poet, translator, photographer, and editor and visual designer for

100 Thousand Poets for Change
P.O. Box 870
Guerneville, CA 95446
Phone: 305-753-4569

Friday, July 13, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012


The first “Art of Poetry at the Hickory Museum of Art” took place last Saturday with poems by area poets Al Stout, Nancy Posey, Ann Chandonnet, Bud Caywood, Patricia Deaton, Anthony Rankine, David Moore, Mel Hager, and Scott Owens. Most of the poems were based on the Museum’s “Sleeping with Van Gogh” exhibit, although one poem came from the “From Billy to Willi” exhibit, and another from the “Discover Folk Art” exhibit. The poets read and discussed their poems standing next to the work of art that inspired them.

The following poem by Hickory’s Nancy Posey began with her viewing of Heather Lewis’s piece, Small Chair, Large Shadow.”

Chairmaker's Dreams
by Nancy Posey
after Heather Lewis's “Small Chair, Large Shadow”

He remembered seeing the street signs and sidewalks in cotton fields--
Ford City, they'd called it, even after Henry abandoned his plans
in Alabama and built his cars in Detroit. Even the plant that came
years later has closed long ago. Now, in his new home, he sees
giant chairs all over town, a civic art project when this was still
the furniture capital of the world, before those eighteen wheelers
hauling containers from China became a regular sight up
and down I-40, and then each night, filling his dreams,
his nightmares, as he tries to exorcise the muscle memory.

Here he is, unemployed after twenty-eight years building chairs,
eight-way hand-tied springs, paid by the piece, his movements
as graceful, as repetitive as any dancer’s, despite the nails between
his teeth. His nights are plagued by images of giant chairs,
yet somehow he never managed to bring one home, made
with these hands he examines now--one still curled to hold the tools,
one reaching for the nails, the coils, one eye on the clock.

The next “Art of Poetry” reading will take place on September 15 from 2:00 to 3:30. Poets are invited to visit the Hickory Museum of Art, view the exhibits, write poems based on the works of art in the exhibits, and submit them to Scott Owens at Up to 20 poems will be selected for inclusion in the next reading. The deadline for submission is September 1. Exhibits eligible to be written from and the dates they will be hung are as follows:

Catawba Valley Remembered, Arie Reinhardt, 6/2-9/16
Landscapes by Paul Whitener, Ongoing
Past, Present and Accounted For, Quilts by Jeana Eve Klein, 9/1-12/2
A Broader Perspective, Robert Broderson, 8/11-11/25
American Art Pottery and Born of Fire Glass Collection, Ongoing
A Mural in the Making, Brenda Councill, 8/11-11/25
Discover Folk Art, Ongoing

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Helen Losse Comments on "For One Who Knows How to Own Land"

Kind words from Helen Losse about my new book, "For One Who Knows How to Own Land" (Future Cycle Press):

As Tim Peeler's blurb says, this is Owens' best book yet (and yes, I've read them all). Beautiful and earthy, Owens’ poems are filled with bird sounds and various kinds of trees, as well as cows and fields, but they are actually "red dirt" covered memorials to the people he remembers from his childhood in rural South Carolina, especially his grandfather to whom the book is dedicated. Owens, who said he admired "poets of place," has become one.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Art of Poetry

News Release
Contact: Kristina Anthony
Phone: 828-327-8576 / Fax: 828-327-7281

High Resolution Images Attached
Steven Seinberg, Listen to Me (for Van Gogh and O. Paz), oil and graphite on canvas
Brian Mashburn, Conspiracy, oil on canvas
Moni Hill, Birdlandia – Sorrow, Time and Joy, acrylic on masonite
Ursula Gullow, Bedroom on Arlington, acrylic on canvas
Jeff Kinzel, Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles, foil on canvas

June 7, 2012

The Art of Poetry Tour

Hickory, NC – On June 16, 2012, from 2:00 to 3:30 P.M., the Hickory Museum of Art will conduct an ekphrastic (poetry about art) walking tour through its exhibits. The public is invited to attend this free event. Enjoy 19 poems by 9 poets relating to 21 works of art featured in the exhibitions Waking Up with Van Gogh and From Billy to Wiili.

The poets are: Scott Owens of Hickory, author of 10 books of poems, instructor at CVCC, founder of Poetry Hickory, and editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review; Ann Fox Chandonnet of Vale, author of seven collections of poetry, two children’s books, cookbooks, and food history books; Nancy Posey of Hickory, instructor at CCC & TI and author of one collection of poetry; Bud Caywood of Hickory, author of one full-length collection of poems and eleven chapbooks; David Moore of Lincolnton; Patricia Deaton of Hickory; Anthony Rankine of Hickory; Mel Hager of Taylorsville; and Al Stout.

The artists whose works serve as inspiration for the poetry include: Vincent Van Gogh, Ursula Gullow, Jim Kransberger, Phillip McGuire, Wendy Whitson, Robert Oren Eades, Leslie Walker Noell, Brian Mashburn, Stephen Seinberg, Moni Hill, Karen Lansing, Jeff Kinzel, Barbara Fisher, Angela Eastman, Heather Lewis, Margaret Couch Cogswell, Micah Amos Sherrill, Kristy Higby, Connie Bostic, and Wiili Armstrong.

Future The Art of Poetry tours will be held on September 15 and December 15. The public is invited to view exhibits on the Museum’s three floors, and to write one or more poems based on the work in the exhibits. To be included, the poem(s) should be submitted to Scott Owens via email ( Owens, a widely-published local poet and creative writing instructor, will work with HMA staff members to select as many as 20 poems for each tour. Deadlines for submission of poetry will be the first Saturday of each tour month (September 1 and December 1).

The Hickory Museum of Art is located in the Arts & Science Center of the Catawba Valley, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information please visit or call 828-327-8576.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Poetry Workshop in Claremont

I will be teaching a 5-hour poetry workshop at Working Title Farm (associated with the Russell & Mary Boggs Center for the Arts) in Claremont on Saturday, June 23, from 10 to 3. The title of the workshop is "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Writing Poetry." The exact content of the workshop will be determined by those attending, but I'm prepared to cover everything from invention strategies to revision to publication. Participants are invited to submit a poem for the revision workshop ahead of time. I've taught shorter versions of this workshop with great success at Coastal Carolina University, the Writers' Circle, and the Writers' Workshop. The cost of the workshop is $50 per person. Enrollment is limited to 12. To register, email me at or call 828-234-4266.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Art of Poetry at Hickory Museum of Art

(first published in "Outlook," 17 May 2012)

Hickory has a new opportunity for you to “get your poem on.”

Starting June 16, the Hickory Museum of Art will hold quarterly “poetry tours” of their ongoing exhibits. Area poets are invited to visit the museum between now and June 2, write poems based on the museum’s current exhibits -- Waking Up with Van Gogh, From Billy to Wiili, Discover Folk Art: Unique Visions by Southern Self-Taught Artists -- and submit those poems to local poet, Scott Owens, at by the end of the day June 2 to be considered for inclusion in the tour. Owens and HMA staff members will select up to twenty poems to be used in the June 16 event called “The Art of Poetry at Hickory Museum of Art”.

That procedure will be followed for similar events on the third Saturdays of September, December, and March as well. The tours will take place from 2-3:30. The deadline for submitting poems for each tour will the first Saturday of each event month (September 1, December 1, etc.). The tourswill consist of each poet reading their selected poem in front of the artwork on which it was based. Time will also be allotted for the poets to speak about the writing of the poem and the relationship between the poem and work of art and for those attending to ask questions. Attendance is free.

Poetry based on another art form is called ekphrastic poetry. There is a long tradition of ekphrastic poetry in English. One of the better known examples of ekphrastic poetry is William Carlos Williams’ poem “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” first published in 1960 and based on Pieter Bruegel’s 16th century painting with the same name, which was based on the ancient Greek myth of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun, melting the wax that held his wings together and causing him to fall to his death in the sea. That poem is included below.

The Hickory Museum of Art is located in the Arts & Science Center of the Catawba Valley, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information please visit or call 828-327-8576.

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
William Carlos Williams

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Issue of Wild Goose Online

The new Wild Goose Poetry Review is online here: Poems by Tim Peeler, Karla Merrifield, Ronald Moran, David Radavich, Paul Hostovsky, Eric Weil, Alarie Tennille, Beth Paulson, Terri McCord, Russell Rowland, Pris Campbell, Mimi Herman, and more. Thirty-one poems in all. Go on over and take a look. Leave a comment, or 31, while you're there. The poets love seeing what readers think.

Monday, May 7, 2012


This poem by Paul Hostovsky will be in the spring 2012 issue of Wild Goose Poetry Review (due out May 15), but given that North Carolinians go to the polls tomorrow to vote on an amendment to the NC Constitution defining a marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal and recognized union, it seems timely and apt to post it now, and Paul is gracious enough to allow me to do so.


I have a friend who is hydrophobic--
he wants to learn how to swim
but he is too afraid
of the water
to give himself over to it
and just float.

And I have another friend who
is agoraphobic--he wants
to see the world,
and to see the country,
and to see the big city,
but he's too afraid
to come out
of his tiny apartment
which is a closet really.

And my claustrophobic friend would love
to take the elevator,
my gephyrophobic friend wishes
she could drive over bridges
instead of having to go all the way around
each morning to get to work
and each night to get home again
before finally lying down
next to the one she loves.

by Paul Hostovsky

Monday, April 30, 2012

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Writing Poetry


I'm teaching a 3-hour workshop at Glenda Beall's Writer's Circle in Hayesville, NC, on Saturday, May 12. Last year we had 10 people for a workshop on invention strategies; this year we hope to have a similar sized group for a workshop intended to focus on revision, publication, and marketing, but left open-ended enough to allow me to focus on the specific needs and interests of those attending.

The workshop will run from 10:00 to 1:00 in Glenda's studio at 581 Chatuge Lane. The cost is just $30. If you'd like to attend, you can let Glenda know by email at, by phone at 828-389-4441, or by sending a check to 581 Chatuge Lane, Hayesville, NC 28904.

If you're reading this, you probably already know who I am, but just in case, here is a brief bio. You can find more information at

Scott Owens is the award-winning author of 10 collections of poetry, editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review and 234, Vice President of the Poetry Council of NC, Regional Representative for the NC Writers' Network, and an officer for the NC Poetry Society. His more than 1100 published poems have been in journals such as Georgia Review, North American Review, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry East, Beloit Poetry Journal, and many more. He has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and the Poetry Society of SC, among others. Two of his poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac. He has taught creative writing for 20 years including workshops at Coastal Carolina University, NCWN, the Writers' Workshop, Mitchell Community College, and Wayne Community College. His students have published hundreds of poems after taking his classes as well as numerous books. Born in Greenwood, SC, he received his MFA from UNC Greensboro and now lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches at Catawba Valley Community College and coordinates Poetry Hickory.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review of Joanna Catherine Scott's "An Innocent in the House of the Dead"

by Scott Owens

Joanna Catherine Scott with John Lee Conaway
Main Street Rag, 2011
ISBN: 9781599483184

Joanna Catherine Scott possesses a certainty that few of us can readily share. She knows that John Lee Conaway, a NC man who spent 16 years on Death Row following a double murder conviction before recently being granted a new trial which he still awaits, is innocent. She knows this and she knows Conaway with such conviction that she has legally adopted Conaway as her own son. As with all knowledge, hers is a knowledge born of belief, a belief the NC criminal justice system does not currently share.

In Scott’s amazing new collection of poems, An Innocent in the House of the Dead, she invites the reader into the experience of her coming to belief and peripherally into the experience of John Lee Conaway’s development into accused, prisoner, condemned, and loved one. No one else could have written this book, and regardless of one’s belief, no one should forgo the opportunity this book offers to share in the depth of emotion conjured by the very real and very human circumstances recorded here.

One of the charges often leveled at poetry today is that it is irrelevant, that it is written only for academes and other poets, that it is neither concerned with nor can play any role in the real world of the vast majority of people. Surely, An Innocent in the House of the Dead clearly and strongly refutes that claim. What could be more relevant to all of us than an examination of our criminal justice system through which our communal expectations are enforced and our own standards of behavior and ethics are tested? When not reminding us of the humanity of those involved in the incidents of Conaway’s life and her own progress towards belief, Scott’s poetry takes on a more activist stance, presenting a strong indictment of the cruelty, unfairness, and unreliability of a racist justice system, the institution of capital punishment, and a corrections industry centered on the issue of profit.

More than relevant, these poems are also accessible, but they go beyond mere accessibility as well. Due to their relevance, immediacy, and reality, as well as to the skill with which Scott has crafted these poems, they practically leap from the page into one’s heart and mind. They resonate with our appreciation of life and fairness and freedom and love, and with our discomfort with the standards of justice. They are as real as our realest moments. They will not leave us alone; they are both relevant and impactful.

I offer no excerpts from Joanna Catherine Scott’s An Innocent in the House of the Dead because the vitality of the book, the realness of the story it tells, would make any excerpting a form of mutilation. This is a book that needs to be read whole, in its entirety. Relevant, accessible, important and powerful — Joanna Catherine Scott’s An Innocent in the House of the Dead is poetry that will make a difference, but only if it is read.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Into Arts at Catawba Valley Community College

Yesterday, five of my students read their original works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction at Spring Into Arts at Catawba Valley Community College. I am very proud of these students: Dennis Lovelace, Courtney Lewallen, Kim Teague, Victoria Burkhardt, and Tony Rankine. Each of them have now taken at least 3 creative writing classes and had at least 3 pieces published. Dennis, Kim, and Tony regularly attend Writers' Night Out and Poetry Hickory; and Kim has created a writers' group which Courtney and Dennis regularly attend. The readings, the classes, the groups -- that is the sort of commitment and risk-taking necessary to develop as a writer.

Thanks to Tim Peeler, Ann Williams, and Linda Lutz for putting this reading together.

Here are photos of Courtney and Dennis at the reading.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Open Letter from Poet Daniel Nathan Terry

Dear Friends and Fellow North Carolina Residents,

On May 7th, my partner and I will be married in Washington, DC. After sixteen years together, of facing many of the difficulties most couples endure, we are overjoyed that this day is finally on our doorstep.

Well, not on our doorstep, but on the doorstep of an office in a courthouse in DC.

We are not wealthy, although we work most of our waking lives. We both teach six classes a semester at NC colleges, and we work year-round. As an adjunct for two colleges, I have no health insurance, and (although we have been together for over a decade and a half) NC does not recognize us as domestic partners; therefore, I am not eligible to gain insurance under my partner's policy. As many of you know, I suffered a spinal injury 9 years ago. My current medical expenses add up to about $1000.00 a month. It is, to say the least, a strain on our family.

Also, as we are unable to marry in our home state, we will spend thousands on airfare, hotels, and so on--something we would not do. If we had a choice, we would spend what money we can muster on a party for our friends. We do not want new suits, flowers, a DJ, or any of the other trappings. But we will still spend the money others might spend on such things just to have the right to be legally married elsewhere--in DC, where we are given the "right" to marry.

Among the other 50-plus rights that married couples have which are denied to Ben and me, is the right of hospital visitation. The last time I was taken to an emergency room, Ben had to claim he was my brother. And, should one of us leave this life before the other (the saddest thing two in love may endure), the one left behind would have no legal claim to all that we have built together--this includes the poetry and art we have produced since we met (something we prize beyond most things).

Beyond these legal and practical matters, there is also the emotional and psychological damage that is done by knowing that in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of some of your neighbors, you are considered inferior--even as you struggle to do good work for your community, your students, and your country.

I know that many of you are already with us. I know that you love and support us. But I am asking you to consider reposting and widely circulating this open letter--this plea--for equality.

Early voting begins on the 19th. Please vote AGAINST Amendment One.

As always, my best wishes and love to you,

Daniel Nathan Terry

Thursday, April 12, 2012

NC Poet Profile: Katherine Soniat, Traveler Through Space and Time


Originally from New Orleans, poet extraordinaire Katherine Soniat has taught at the University of New Orleans, Hollins University, and for twenty years was on the faculty at Virginia Tech University. Recently, she moved to Asheville and began teaching in the Great Smokies Writers’ Program through the University of NC at Asheville. In addition to these professional journeys, Soniat has been a world traveler as well, visiting such places as Crete, the Andes, and the Bavarian Alps.

Such peripatetic history plays a vital role in Soniat’s poetic work, as settings often seem central to her poems. Soniat, however, cannot have been the typical casual traveler one might call a tourist. Rather it seems she must successfully immerse herself in the culture and history of the places she goes, for her poems often uniquely express the personal through the complex intricacies of setting and vice versa. It is almost as if her own identity becomes interwoven with that of her surroundings such that in writing about one, she inevitably reveals the other.

Soniat’s fifth collection of poems, The Swing Girl, was recently named winner of this year’s Oscar Arnold Young Award for the best book of poetry from NC in the previous year. She will receive her award and give a reading from her book at Poetry Day to be held in the Catawba Valley Community College Student Center on Saturday, April 14. The event, including awards and readings in 9 poetic categories and a live-judged Poetry Slam, will begin at 9:30 and extend to 3:00. It is free and open to the public.

Soniat’s previous books have won the Iowa Prize, the Virginia Prize for Poetry, and the Camden Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of two Virginia Commission for the Arts Grants, a William Faulkner Award, a Jane Kenyon Award, the Anne Stanford Award, and Fellowships to Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her sixth collection A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge will be published by Dream Horse Press this fall.

This excerpt from the title poem of Swing Child is based on an image from a Greek burial relic and suggests both the relic’s ability and the author’s desire to move between cultures of the present and past as well as between the temporality of experience and the permanence of symbol. It also suggests that such movement, such broadening and deepening of experience is exactly what poetry and art make possible for the reader.

(O, to fly abroad again on her board roped to the limb.)

The territory that girl could cover, her eyes peering birdlike
across the grove. The air, a vector.

Return to the days of her swing, not this relic. To warriors
crossing the sea, ready to cross out generations with spears
then settle their weight down on this island.

Far past that sack of the sacred, I hear a donkey bray,
tied to the thorn tree. Empty snail shells bleach on boulders
near the tomb entrance.

(Old inching of the soul thirsty for a last sip of nightshade.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From Inspiration to Publication: Workshop with Scott Owens

The Writers’ Workshop is offering writing classes in Charlotte, which meet at Providence Presbyterian Church. Registration is in advance only, by mail or at the website ( Financial aid in exchange for volunteering is available. For more information, please contact, or call 828-254-8111.

April 21: From Inspiration to Publication: Poetry and the Writing Process with Scott Owens

Beginning and experienced poets will learn new methods of writing, revising and publishing poetry. Class discussion will focus on the writing process, from generative strategies to the revision process and beyond. Participants may bring up to 3 poems to the class for review. Owens is the author of 10 collections of poetry, and editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review. Saturday, 12-5 pm. $75/$70 members.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review of Paul Hostovsky's "A Little In Love A Lot"

by Scott Owens

Paul Hostovsky
Main Street Rag, 2011
ISBN: 9781599483030

I think anyone who doesn’t love Paul Hostovsky must not know Paul Hostovsky. I said once that “he always finds a way to make me happy.” Having just read his third book of poems, A Little in Love a Lot, that statement remains every bit as true as it was when I first said it. What makes me happy in this book is the way his poems remind me of all the loves I’ve had -- brief ones, long ones, foolish ones, serious ones, deep ones, simple lusty ones -- and how in the end all of these loves, even the failed ones, are part of the same love, the human love for life, for human life, an appreciation of the familiar, of sharing, of recognizing the possibilities of joy and the never-ending quest to attain it.

One of the qualities that makes reading Hostovsky’s poems so enjoyable is the lack of pretension. Mostly what we find here is just honest, entertaining poetry about things we’ve all thought but never had the wisdom, passion, chutzpah, or facility with language to put into words. One of my favorites, “The Debate at Duffy’s,” illustrates this point well:
She said that sex was a yearning of the soul.
He said it was a very compelling argument
of the body, a compulsion. She said it was
a spiritual compulsion. He said it was nothing
if not carnal, carni, meat. This conversation
took place in a bar. The background music was
so loud it was in the foreground. The bodies
on the dance floor were moving in ways that
would interest even the dead if they could only
remember how to live. There was a baseball game
playing on television. On the table were two
empty glasses, and the bottle’s green phallus
which she took in her hand and pulled toward her,
pulling him toward her as she poured them both
another drink. he drank deeply, felt the spirit
filling his cup. Then he looked into her eyes and saw
that she was beautiful, sexy, and at the bottom
of the 9th, suddenly, surprisingly, irrevocably, right.

Not only is the language and imagery of these poems smooth and approachable, but there is a decided absence of unnecessarily complex academic language and obtuse imagery. Nor is there excessive allusiveness. It is almost as if (Gasp!) Hostovsky wants to be understood. What allusiveness there is exists on a level where it doesn’t bring distracting attention (Hey! Look how clever I am!) to itself. Rather, it is like a subtle sauce added to an already delectable dessert, not entirely necessary to enjoy the experience, but a deepening and enriching element for those with a more discriminating palette. Such is the case in “The Affair in the Office,” where the reader need not recognize the echo of Roethke’s “Dolor” in the line, “full of the inexorable sadness / of cubicles” to enjoy both the communal gloom of office life and the shared guilty pleasures of gossip and forbidden love “among the ruins.”

Perhaps the quality that most endears Hostovsky’s work to the reader is that he more than any other poet I’ve read in the past decade truly “gets” the necessary duality of human existence. He is neither glib nor morose. He takes life seriously but simultaneously recognizes the near absurdity of it all. He wants things his way but readily laughs at himself and moves ahead when he doesn’t get it. The self-mocking tone in the opening lines of “Battling the Wind and Everything Else” show his ability to exist within this duality of gravity and levity:
My neighbor -- the one with the flagpole
and the flag, and the pickup truck
and the patriotic bumper sticker and the perfect
lawn, and the leaf-blower with the power pack . . . .
As this poem about contentious neighbors continues to unfold, one can’t help but recall the neighbors in Frost’s “Mending Wall” as well as Frost’s similar ability to poke fun at himself while criticizing others. Even the title of this collection tells us the speaker of these poems is a man who not only reads Hikmet (“you must live with great seriousness / like a squirrel, for example”) but knows how, and can help us learn how, to live those lines.

Usually, when I read a writer as remarkable as Paul Hostovsky, I can’t help but dislike them a little. Jealousy, envy, fear of my own inadequacy combine to create an irrepressible sliver of animosity towards them. However, something about Hostovsky’s grace with language, willing self-effacement, charitable spirit, and clear grasp of the paradox of human life and the negative capability necessary for the daily survival of it make even the most illogical ill-feelings towards him almost impossible. “Almost,” because any writer reading A Little in Love a Lot will experience some jealousy, will wish at least a little that they had managed to write these poems first.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review of Tony Abbott's "If Words Could Save Us"

by Scott Owens

Anthony Abbott
Lorimer Press
ISBN: 9780982617199

The poetry of Tony Abbott has always resonated with me. That may not be a surprise. He and I are both contemporary white male Southern poets after all. Besides, the simplest criteria for good poetry is that it resonates with the reader, that it has an effect -- else, why would we choose to read it?

Because Abbott’s work, like the man himself, is always sincere, approachable, and carefully and intentionally crafted, I suspect I am not alone in having been moved by his previous collections, especially The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat and The Man Who. Abbott, thankfully, after all, is no solipsist of poetry, no self-infatuated post-avant, no obscurist drawing pleasure from his own cleverness. No, Abbott is about finer, more significant things, poetry with purpose, art as a mirror that helps us examine our own lives, passions, thoughts, and reactions, and deepens our experience of the world we occupy.

As such, Abbott wants to be read and understood. Fortunately for all of us, he possesses the drive and the skill with language, imagery, and observation necessary to insure that he will produce, we will read, and everyone will be richer for the experience. And in his most recent collection, if words could save us, there is another quality that rewards the reader, something I first glimpsed in his 2009 collection, New & Selected Poems, and see has come to full fruition in his new work: a quiet calm, patient maturity, reassuring balance, perspective, and tolerance that could only be called wisdom.

Abbott has long been a mentor of mine as well as numerous other younger poets who have worked with him at Davidson College, Catawba College or through the NC Writers’ Network or NC Poetry Society. The poems in if words could save us suggest that he has accepted the mantle of a further-expanded sphere of influence, that he has deservedly become what might best be called Sage to all who are fortunate enough to read, meet, or work with him.

These poems range in subject from the innocence of youth to the reflections of age, from striving to acceptance, and at the center of it all there are the oxymoronic truths that while we know we will make mistakes, we must try anyway; that while we accept the ravages of aging as a part of the process, we must never give into them; and that while we understand the limitations of language, we continue to use it as the best tool we have for reaching into and out to the world and life and all there is and might be.

Such wisdom is conveyed throughout the length of this collection, appearing in the first poem, “The Hat,” as a light-hearted lament of the opportunities lost in the innocence of youth:

I wish I had known, known how to make
a game of the stealing, the reaching,
the recovery. Had I known, I might

have kissed you in the barn, deep
in the bales of hay, where we played
our innocent games of hide-and-seek.

Similar wisdom is apparent in “At the Window” which finds in the insomnia of a twelve-year-old the quintessential human quest for answers:

He is looking
always looking

for something he
cannot name.

Later, in “The Man Who Didn’t Believe In Luck,” we discover a statement of purpose reminiscent of my favorite line ever from a movie: Tom Hanks’ “Earn this” from “Saving Private Ryan.” Abbott’s version of that sentiment is “We deserve nothing. We / earn nothing, but we are loved just the same. / Nothing to be done except to give it back.”

Abbott as sage is at his best in the remarkable “Knife Blade of the New Moon,” where he reminds us to recognize the daily miracles of life:

He wakes one day astonished
to the burgeoning spring.
The white azaleas
in full profusion
on the front lawn
Even the light green

of the coming leaves.
For a long time he had forgotten
such things. He had walked
with his head down, eyes askance.

Now he stands in the rain,
mouth open
tasting the wetness.

He kneels on the willing earth
places his face
in the long spring grass

and smells earthsmell,
greensmell, Godsmell.
He looks up.

He remembers.

Of course, none of the aforementioned appreciation of Abbott’s poetry is uncommon. He is widely read and frequently awarded for his work. What is, perhaps, somewhat less common in my relationship to Abbott’s work is just how often his poems inspire poems of my own. It happened with The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat; it happened with The Man Who; it happened with New & Selected Poems; and it has happened again with if words could save us; in fact, it has happened five times so far with this book. Could there be any greater statement of appreciation for a poem than to say it lead me to write a poem of my own? Such is the inspiration to be found in Tony Abbott’s if words could save us.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Poets Are Coming


On April 14, poets from across the state will descend upon Hickory, NC, as Catawba Valley Community College hosts the Poetry Council of NC’s annual Poetry Day celebration. As many as 30 award-winning poets are expected, including Katherine Soniat of Asheville, Susan Lefler of Brevard, and Joanna Catherine Scott of Chapel Hill, winners of the Oscar Arnold Young Award for the year’s best book of poetry from NC.

This 62-year-old event will bring winners of the Council’s annual poetry contests together with poetry lovers as the winners receive their awards and share their poetry with all who attend. The event will also feature the debut of the Council’s 2012 annual awards anthology, Bay Leaves, and a live-judged Poetry Slam. Attendance is free and everyone is welcome.

The doors of CVCC’s Student Center will open at 9:20 for registration. The dedication of Bay Leaves will follow at 10:00, after which winners will be announced for the Charles Shull Traditional Poetry Award, the Charlotte Young Elementary School Student Award, and the Gladys Owings Hughes Heritage Award. All winners present will give a reading of their winning poems.

Before breaking for lunch, poets are invited to participate in the Poetry Slam. Entering the Slam requires a $5 entry fee and features awards of $35, $25, and $15 for first, second, and third place performances. Judging the Slam will be author, Emmy-winner, and coach of Slam Charlotte, Boris Rogers, also known as Bluz.

Following lunch, winners will be announced for the Ellen Johnston-Hale Light Verse Award, the Carol Bessent Young Middle School Student Award, the James Larkin Pearson Free Verse Award, the Sam Ragan High School Student Award, and the Poetry Slam.

The event will conclude with readings from the winners of the Oscar Arnold Young Book Award. For more information on Poetry Day or the Poetry Council of NC, visit or contact Scott Owens at (828) 234-4266.

Friday, February 24, 2012

For One Who Knows How to Own Land Released

My new book was just released by Future Cycle Press yesterday. Here is some information about it.

For One Who Knows How to Own Land
Authored by Scott Owens

Scott Owens describes his new volume of poetry: I grew up in two worlds: my father’s parents’ world of brick homes, city streets, shopping, and playgrounds; and my mother’s parents’ world of dirt roads, livestock, growing our own food, and endless woods. That second world was undeniably harder than the first. The work was dirtier, and there was more of it. The homes had fewer luxuries: no cable, no AC, never more than one bathroom. Even death was different. In town, death was a polished event that took place elsewhere: hospitals, nursing homes, slaughter houses, funeral parlors. On the farm, animals were killed every week and most people died at home, and their bodies stayed there until they were buried.

Somehow, however, that second world still seemed much more alive, much more real and vital. Despite that vitality, I was aware that most people knew almost nothing about that second world. It was then, and is increasingly now, an undiscovered country where life and death exist side by side with a natural intensity missing from the artificial world of the city.

This book, Owens tells us, dedicated to my grandfather (one who knew how to own land), is a record of my undiscovered country and the people who lived there.

Critical Acclaim

“Landscape and memory are seamlessly merged in this excellent volume. Like all the best writers of place, Scott Owens finds the heart’s universal concerns in his vivid rendering of piedmont Carolina.” —Ron Rash, Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University

“There’s not a speck of sentimentality in the rural poetic Americana framed by Scott Owens in For One Who Knows How to Own Land. There are dead crows, red dirt earth, barking dogs, burning coal, fox traps, and flooding rivers. These stories matter. The poems all rattle and sing. This is a jolt of strong coffee for a watery time.” —John Lane, author of The Woods Stretched for Miles: Contemporary Nature Writing from the South

“In For One Who Knows How to Own Land, poet Scott Owens creates, with a mature voice, childhood reminiscences of pastoral summers in the red-dirt rural Piedmont of upstate South Carolina. This, his most affecting collection to date, is a remarkable sensory journey that registers narrative moments along the entire emotional scale from harsh to tender, from the threatening to the anodyne. Through the magical nature of memory, these poems of mystery and loss prove again and again that ‘The boy who left this country/ never stopped hearing its names/ echo in his ear.’” —Tim Peeler, author of Checking Out

“‘Why should this be home?’ Scott Owens asks us in ‘Homeplace,’ his question as much about leaving as going back. We walk his train tracks and ridges as if they were our own, as though home were ‘something you held tight before you,/ your back bending against its going away.’ In this both visceral and meditative rendering of place, decay and rebirth are part of the same landscape. I applaud the skill that directs us down a path of experience and familiarity to ‘stone steps/ that dead-end in mid-air.’ His poetry is wise in knowing the weight of its own footsteps.” —Linda Annas Ferguson, author of Dirt Sandwich

Publication Date:
Feb 23 2012
0983998531 / 9780983998532
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Poetry / American / General

If you're interested, you can order a copy from me ($15.95 plus $2.00 shipping) or at

Book Launches are scheduled for 3/20 at 6:00 at Taste Full Beans in Hickory and 3/23 at 7:00 at City Lights Books in Sylva.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mansion of Memory Blurb

Here is my blurb on Helen Losse's new book and some ordering info as well.

“Of course it all begins in innocence. A child’s fascination with her own ability to twirl a washcloth over water, a sense of power from mastering the climbing of a mulberry tree, images of life before the storm. Even that early, though, one can’t help but feel the ominous presence of power looming in things, power that enchants and moves, but also endangers, and sometimes destroys. ” —Scott Owens, author of Something Knows the Moment and other collections.

Mansion of Memory from Rank Stranger Press, sells for $11 (plus $2 postage). Proceeds go to Bright Futures Joplin Tornado Fund to help with rebuilding costs in Joplin, MO, Helen's hometown.

Please order a copy. Send a check to 2569 Wood Valley Road, Winston-Salem, NC 2706 or get one when she reads at Poetry Hickory on May 8. Thank you in advance.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012 Poetry Hickory Schedule

Great season ahead of us. Spread the news. Print and post or save the image and post online. Thanks

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Country Roads Exhibit

Bethlehem Branch Library Exhibiting Artist Series

"Country Roads"
Collaboration by Photographer Clayton Joe Young & Poet Scott Owens

February 2nd thru March 29th 2012

Opening Reception February 2nd 5:30-7:00 PM

Gallery Talk at 6:00 PM

The ongoing exhibitions of art and photography as "The Exhibiting Artist Series" at the Bethlehem Branch Library in Bethlehem, NC will feature "Country Roads", a unique collaboration of photography and poetry by Clayton Joe Young and Scott Owens from February 2nd through March 29th 2012. The exhibition includes a poetic pictorial book titled Country Roads: Travels Through Rural North Carolina (Blurb 2011). An Opening Reception to meet the artists will be on Thursday, February 2nd from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. with a gallery talk at 6:00 PM.

Clayton Joe Young is currently the Program Director and Lead Instructor for the Photographic Technology program at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. In 2010, Young was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award at CVCC. He has won numerous awards with the North Carolina Press Association and North Carolina Press Photographers Association. In 2011 he won Best in Show at the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. His photography captures the rich heritage of our region of North Carolina .

Hickory poet Scott Owens is the author of seven collections of poetry, editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, author of "Musings", founder of Poetry Hickory, Vice President of the Poetry Council of North Carolina, and a writer of reviews of contemporary poetry. He has been featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac and WFAE. His work has received numerous awards from the Academy of American Poets , the North Carolina Writer's Network, North Carolina Poetry Society, and Poetry Society of South Carolina. He currently teaches creative writing at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory , North Carolina .

The Bethlehem Branch Library is located at 45 Rink Dam Road , Hickory , NC 28601 ( Bethlehem , Alexander County ). For more information contact 828-495-8753

Life-Changing Moment

Robert Lee Brewer (editor of Writer's Digest) has an "interview" and a couple of my poems up on his blog today. Here is a link:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And the Winners Are . . .


The Poetry Council of NC, a self-supporting, all-volunteer nonprofit organization founded in 1949 to foster a deeper appreciation of poetry in the state, has announced the winners of its annual poetry contests. Judges were permitted to select 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as well as up to 3 honorable mentions in each contest category, with the exception of the book contest which has no 3rd place winner. Some judges elected to name fewer winners.

All winners will receive their awards, including cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, at Poetry Day to be held at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory on April 14. Winning poems will also be published in the Council’s annual awards anthology, Bay Leaves, and winning poets will be invited to read their poems at Poetry Day. An additional category for Performance Poetry is judged and awarded at Poetry Day. Information on any of the contests, Poetry Day, and the Poetry Council is available at

The complete list of category winners and judges is as follows:

Oscar Arnold Young (book contest):
JUDGE: Paul Hostovsky, Medfield, MA & Ron Moran, Simpsonville, SC
1st The Swing Girl by Katherine Soniat, Asheville, NC
2nd Lie Down with Me by Julie Suk, Charlotte, NC
HM Rendering the Bones by Susan M. Lefler, Brevard, NC
HM An Innocent in the House of the Dead by Joanna Catherine Scott, Chapel
Hill, NC

Gladys Owings Hughes Heritage (free verse):
JUDGE: Darnell Arnoult, Harrogate, TN
1st “Babies Hurtling Several Stories” by Ross White, Durham, NC
2nd “Daddy Imagines a Good Death” by JS Absher, Raleigh, NC
3rd “The Museum of Broken Things” by Jane Shlensky, Bahama, NC

Charles Shull (traditional poetry):
JUDGE: Paul Bone, Evansville, IN
1st “Facts about Early America” by Ross White, Durham, NC (rhyming couplets)
2nd “Basic Bad Day” by Peg Russell, Murphy, NC (terza rima)
3rd “Featured Reader” by Alice Osborn, Raleigh, NC (sestina)
HM “On a Recent Engagement” by Michael A. Moreno, Rockville, MD (sonnet)
HM “Water the Lover” by Ellen Summers, Greensboro, NC (sonnet)

James Larkin Pearson (free verse):
JUDGE: Felicia Mitchell, Emory, VA
1st “Address to Monarchs” by Ross White, Durham, NC
2nd “My Mother’s Lake” by Ann Campanella, Huntersville, NC
3rd “What Burns for Light” by Lisa Zerkle, Charlotte, NC
HM “Circumventing the Circumference” by Terry Collins, Mount Airy, NC
HM “Things Fall Out of My Father” by Robert Moyer, Winston Salem, NC
HM “The Lesbians Next Door” by Alice Osborn, Raleigh, NC

Ellen Johnston-Hale (humorous verse):
JUDGE: Gloria Alden, Southington, OH
1st “Where Time Does Not Fly” by Susan Spalt, Carrboro, NC
2nd “The Voice” by Barbara Brooks, Hillsborough, NC
3rd “Arctic” by Lisa Zerkle, Charlotte, NC
HM “Black Friday” by Doris Dix Caruso, Burlington, NC
HM “Patience” by Jane Shlensky, Bahama, NC
HM “I Think They Got It!” by Janet Ireland Trail, Greensboro, NC

Charlotte Young (elementary school):
JUDGE: David Roderick, Greensboro, NC
1st “Jupiter” by Sydney Campanella (home-schooled), Huntersville, NC
2nd “Light Saves Us” by Paige Morrison (North Forest Pines Elem.), Wake Forest, NC
3rd “Blue” by Joellen Callahan (North Forest Pines Elem.), Wake Forest, NC
HM “Doves” by Sonja Woolley (Episcopal Day School), Southern Pines, NC
HM “Nature Walk” by Lilly Corcoran (Episcopal Day School), Southern Pines, NC

Carol Bessent Hayman (middle school):
JUDGE: David Roderick, Greensboro, NC
1st “The Pledge of Sausage” by Devon Stocks (Clarkton School of Discovery), Clarkton, NC
2nd “Pumpkin Patch” by Kenneth More [sp?] (Clarkton School of Discovery), Clarkton, NC

Sam Ragan North Carolina Connection (high school):
JUDGE: Natasha Trethewey, Decatur, GA
1st "Lesson of the Lark" by Maggie Apple of North Guilford High School
2nd Jennifer Comerford of North Guilford High School

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Poetry Workshop

Here is the description of a 6-hour workshop I'm giving in Asheville on Saturday 1/28:

From Inspiration to Publication: Poetry and the Writing Process with Scott Owens

Beginning and experienced poets will learn new methods of writing, revising and publishing poetry. Class discussion will focus on the writing process, from generative strategies to the revision process and beyond. Participants may bring up to 3 poems to the class for review. Owens is the author of 10 collections of poetry, and editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review. He is Vice President of the Poetry Council of N.C., and Founder of “Poetry Hickory”.

Meets Saturday, 10-4 pm. $75/$70 members.

I still need a couple more participants. Please help spread the news for me.

Register at