NC Literary Hall of Fame




ASHEVILLE—Catherine Carter has published two collections of poetry with LSU Press, The Memory of Gills and The Swamp Monster at Home, with a third, Larvae of the Nearest Stars, forthcoming in fall, 2019.

Her poetry has won the North Carolina Literary Review’s James Applewhite Prize, the NC Literary and Historical Society’s Roanoke-Chowan Award, NCWN’s Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, Jacar Press’ chapbook contest, Still: The Journal’s poetry prize, and the NC Poetry Society’s poet laureate’s prize; it has also appeared in Best American Poetry 2009, Orion, Poetry, Ecotone, Tar River Poetry, Cortland Review, and Ploughshares, among others.

She is a professor of English at Western Carolina University and a poetry editor at Cider Press Review.

At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Fall Conference, Catherine will lead the poetry session "It Looks Like a Hairball: Building Short Lyrics Around Sound." 

The NCWN 2019 Conference runs November 8-10 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Registration is open.

This year, NCWN has been celebrating libraries. As part of this year-long appreciation, Catherine shared the following: 

At my very first writing workshop, a two-week seminar at Washington College, I first met other teenagers as excited about writing as I was. Though most of us didn’t drink yet, late-night conversations about reading and writing with fellow nerdy teenaged writers were intoxicating, so much so that a group of us liked to prowl the brick streets and wharves of Chestertown in the evenings, talking and giggling and sometimes singing together, feeling like the Inklings, or the New York poets, or anything except provincial kids with learner’s permits and literary ambitions.

And when we strolled into the local public library one evening, to subject it to our new-minted writerly judgment, we made enough noise that we were (wait for it) asked to leave.

As (mostly) card-carrying Good Kids, more likely to be stuffed inside our own lockers than to see the inside of a detention hall, we were on top of the world: so cosmopolitan, wandering the small-town streets at night! mistaken for bad influences! thrown out of a library!

I’d spent a lot of quality hours in my home library, but none to rival the illicit thrill of this one. And while I don’t know that that long-ago librarian is even still alive—this was thirty-five years ago—if I could find her now, I’d thank her.

In "It Looks Like a Hairball: Building Short Lyrics Around Sound," a lecture/workshop, Catherine Carter will use contemporary poems to discuss a few of the ways in which a poem can be built around the sounds of single words, model one possible process for revising a poem in this way, and encourage participants to do this with their own works. Participants should bring a hard copy of one or two of their own short poems to work on.

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 Nonfiction. Other poetry offerings include sessions led by Mildred Barya, Keith Flynn, Laura Hope-Gill, and Eric Tran.  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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