- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
- Published: 23 December 2014
Raleigh―Shelby Stephenson, of Benson, has been named North Carolina’s eighth Poet Laureate.
Stephenson was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in October. He was an English professor at UNC Pembroke and editor of Pembroke Magazine until his retirement in 2010. Winner of numerous awards, including the 2001 North Carolina Award in Literature, he has published many collections of poems. Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl, won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize; his newest poetry chapbook is Steal Away (Jacar Press).
"This is great news for North Carolina,” said Ed Southern, Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. “Even if I had never been to Johnston County, or anywhere east of Burlington, I would have a clear picture of it in my mind, just from having read Shelby's poetry. Shelby himself is warm and generous, almost to a fault. Our state and its writers could ask for no better ambassador."
The poet laureate is appointed by the governor of North Carolina and typically serves a two-year term, renewable at the governor’s discretion. Each state poet laureate usually shapes the position based on his or her own strengths through a long-term project or program of special interest.
Stephenson plans to implement three programs during his time as poet laureate: leading writing workshops in assisted living and retirement homes; raising awareness of using archives; and promoting writing about farming.
The North Carolina poet laureate acts as an ambassador of NC literature, using the office as a platform from which to promote NC writers and the potentially transformative qualities of poetry and the written word. Stephenson was chosen after a panel of literary experts, and state Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, reviewed nominations.
He will be installed at a ceremony in February.
“I think the choice is brilliant, and I am rejoicing in the news,” former state poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer said. “Shelby is a longtime friend, a powerful voice in North Carolina literature. A singer, an old-time raconteur, a poet attuned to the rhythms of our state and its people. I offer my joyful congratulations to one of our state's literary treasures. This is a splendid Christmas gift to North Carolinians, all of us. And for those who keep saying they don't like poetry, just wait till you hear Shelby. You will change your mind in a flash.”
To watch Stephenson read from his collection, Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl, click here.
To watch Barbara Braveboy-Locklear read his poem, “Their Praise,” click here.
Learn more about Stephenson on his website, www.shelbystephenson.com.
- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
- Published: 01 December 2014
WINSTON-SALEM―November 15 officially marked the start of Contest Season for the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Between now and March 1, four annual contests will accept submissions. Winners and finalists will be awarded more than $3,000 in cash prizes. Submission dates and guidelines vary.
North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Thomas Wolfe is one of the Tar Heel State’s most widely recognized authors. His life and work are celebrated by the The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, which is now open for submissions and runs through January 30. The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is facilitated by Tommy Hays and the Great Smokies Writing Program.
Lee Smith, a 2008 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, is the final judge. The winner of the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize receives $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.
The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $1,000, $300, and $200 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.
Submissions for the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition are open now through January 17. The final judge is Wilmington travel, culinary, and culture writer, Jason Frye.
Author and beloved professor of creative writing Doris Betts, a 2004 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, is honored each year by the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. This competition opens for submissions on January 1 and closes February 15. The first-place finisher receives $250; up to ten finalists will be considered for publication in the North Carolina Literary Review, which also facilitates this contest.
Contest Season concludes with the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, accepting submissions between January 15 and March 1. The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, which honors North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame poet Randall Jarrell, awards the winner publication in storySouth and $200. This prize is facilitated by the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Guidelines and past winners for each contest can be found on the individual contest pages. Click here for general information on Contest Season and links to the four annual contests.
The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.