NC Literary Hall of Fame



ASHEVILLE—Jessica Jacobs, winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, will co-lead the Master Class in Poetry, "Coming Back to Your Senses," at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Fall Conference, November 8-10, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore.

Registration is open.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books) and Pelvis with Distance(White Pine Press), winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary and Julie Suk Awards. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications including Orion, New England Review, Guernica, and The Missouri Review.  An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock-climbing instructor, bartender, and professor, and now serves as the Associate Editor of Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, who will co-lead the Poetry Master Class at the NCWN 2019 Fall Conference.

This year, NCWN has been celebrating libraries, so we asked Jessica to give us her best library memory.

Here's what she wrote:

"I first read Sylvia Plath as a high school freshman, discovering Ariel in my local library in Central Florida. At a small table tucked behind the furthest row of shelves, the room frigid with too much air conditioning and swimming with dust motes, I flipped to 'Daddy': 'You do not do, you do not do / Any more, black shoe. . . .' Two lines in and the day disappeared—that emphatic, relentless end-rhyme of the long u. The simple, mostly monosyllabic diction that nonetheless expressed complex despair and rage. History and war twining around the intensely personal. Only after 'Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through,' did I return to myself, stunned and panting, as though I’d forgotten to breathe while reading. I started writing in earnest after that library afternoon, believing if I could create even one piece that made a single person feel that way, it was the finest thing I could do with my life."

With so much of our lives spent in the disembodied world online, "Coming Back to Your Senses: Poetry Master Class" will focus on reconnecting us to our senses, encouraging greater awareness of ourself and our environment, and strengthening our poems by helping them sing with the texture of the well-observed world. Through a combination of close-readings of writers both old and new, and generative exercises, this course will help writers refresh their senses and descriptive powers through a deep practice of awareness and an unflinching dedication to scrubbing away one’s preconceived notions of a thing in order to see it anew.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. Jeremy B. Jones will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction; Ron Rash will give the Keynote Address.

Register here.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


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