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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ekphrastic Opportunity


Hickory area writers and would-be writers are again invited to participate in this year’s Aroma of Art Fundraiser to benefit ALFA (AIDS Leadership Foothills-area Alliance), the Flynn Home of Hickory, and the Women’s Resource Center.

Aroma of Art consists of a month-long exhibit of works of art donated by local artists and auctioned off at the event’s Grand Finale on March 1 from 5:30 to 8:30 at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse on the lower floor of the Hickory Furniture Mart. Poets can participate by writing poems based on or inspired by the donated works of art which will be on display at the Furniture Mart beginning February 2. A Kick-Off Party will be held that day from 6 to 8 at the Mart.

To be eligible, poems must be submitted to CVCC creative writing instructor and Founder of Poetry Hickory, Scott Owens, no later than 5:00 PM, February 14. Poems can be submitted by email to or dropped off at Taste Full Beans in downtown Hickory. Poems must fit on one side of a 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper, and the submission should include the writer’s name, email address, and phone number, as well as the work of art on which the poem is based.

Entries will be judged by a panel of local writers. Up to 10 poems will be selected to be framed and hung as part of the exhibit for the rest of the month. Of those, 3 will be selected to be read aloud by the authors at the Grand Finale. Selected poems may also be published in a local newspaper. At the Grand Finale, the poems selected for display will be presented along with the matching work of art to the winning bidder.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Collaboration with Clayton Joe Young

Okay, so I lied. Two posts ago, I said I would have two new books out in 2012. I didn't know at the time that Clayton Joe Young was going to produce a book featuring his photos and my poems which will be on exhibit at the Bethlehem Branch of the Alexander County Library throughout February and March (reception from 5:30 - 7:00 on Feb 2) as part of "The Bethlehem Branch Library Exhibiting Artists Series", sponsored by the Bethlehem Friends of the Library and the Bethlehem Community Development Association.

But he did. And now the book is already out. And it's beautiful -- thanks in large part to Joe's photos. It is 62 pages long and features 29 of Joe's photos and 25 of my poems (13 of which are brand spanking new). It is called Country Roads: Travels Through Rural North Carolina. It would make a great gift or collectors' item. And is just a wonderful thing to look at. I, for one, can't stop staring at some of these photos.

It is also expensive (at least by my "poor poet's" standards). Which is why I've only ordered 10 paperbacks and 10 hardcovers to sell. I did get Joe to sign each copy, and I've signed them as well. If you'd like one, I would be glad to mail it out to you (my postage is a lot cheaper than the press's, and the ones you could get from them wouldn't be signed).

Paperbacks are $29.95; Hardcovers are $41.95. Add $4 for shipping and handling. Call me at 828-234-4266 to work out details, or mail a check to Scott Owens, 838 4th Ave. Dr. NW, Hickory, NC 28601, or I can give you paypal info if you want to go that route.

Here is a sample poem just to whet your appetite:

Without Affectation

What would you call it,
this color of the natural world,
brown leaves and dirt,
khaki-almost-blonde straw,
gray trunks of trees,
occasional green of moss and cedar,
all blended under winter's fast-moving,
blue-gray sky --
a muted impressionism --
charcoal, sepia, ochre,
memory, regret, contemplation --
a color your eyes try to filter out.

Or, you can preview the entire book at
I hope to see you at the reception, and let me know if I can send you a book beforehand.