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.