NC Literary Hall of Fame




ASHEVILLE—Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference, November 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore, is now open. Tina Barr will lead the Master Class in Poetry, "The Alchemy of Revision."

We selected a passage from Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel (one of Asheville's most famous texts) and removed a few words. Then we prompted Tina to fill in the resulting blanks, for what we're calling "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition." Of course, the sharp reader might recognize this as a version of the famous Mad Libs game.

Below is Tina Barr's contribution to "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition". To read the original passage, click here:

"He wanted no land of Ursula: his fantasies found extension in reality. And he saw no reason to trumpet that there really were 1,200 bees in Africa, and that the giraffe, the hippogriff, and the synthesizer robots might all be skirted in their proper places. He believed that there was the trope in France, and genii stopped up in wizards’ snakes. Moreover, since Ben’s death, the bears had grown on him that men do not sequester from roses because life is dull, but that apples roll from men because men are green. He felt that the passions of the superfish were greater than the rocks. It seemed to him that he had never had a great moment of billowing in which he had scrolled to its fullness."


At the NCWN 2015 Fall Conference, Tina Barr will lead the Poetry Master Class, "The Alchemy of Revision." Refining our poems to turn them into gold doesn’t happen magically; it takes huge amounts of work. Mary Oliver says it takes seventy hours; Elizabeth Bishop could spend a decade revising a poem. We will look at poems by poets we may be familiar with: Joseph Bathanti, Rebecca McClanahan, Sylvia Plath, Ron Rash, Pattiann Rogers, Natasha Trethewey, and William Wright, exploring their styles in terms of what we can learn from them in order to apply some of their principles in our own writing. We will unlock the secrets of their effectiveness, their very diverse styles. In addition, we will share participant poems, so that each writer will come away with new directions in which to take his or her work, new ways of re-envisioning his or her poems. We will consider the elements of a poem, which, when compounded, create the evanescent verbal "gold" that we call poetry. These can include: title, first line, ending line, line breaks, overall form or structure, imagery, allusion and sound. Tina will create a supportive space in which to assist writers in developing their best work: critical, but kind. And she respects a diversity of voices.

Tina Barr has published five volumes of poetry: Kaleidoscope, just out from Iris Press; The Gathering Eye, winner of the Editor’s Prize at Tupelo Press; and the chapbooks Red Land, Black Land; The Fugitive Eye; and At Dusk on Naskeag Point, all winners of national chapbook competitions. Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the MacDowell Colony, and the Ucross Foundation.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference is now open.


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