NC Literary Hall of Fame



DURHAM—In this current media environment, we are bombarded with snippets and soundbites. It's easy to forget why Henry David Thoreau once said, "Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short." It takes time and effort to write short, especially for poets, whose medium is already defined by the somewhat narrow constraints of the form.

On Wednesday, December 13, at 7:00 pm, Durham poet and editor of Backbone Press Crystal Simone Smith will lead the online class "Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" 

Registration is closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $25 fee to register.

Less is more is so cliché, but who can deny the genesis of tiny poems? They can embody a narrative or sear a stunning image into our minds. Using very few words one must craft a worthwhile poem that is, at once, complex and poignant. In this course, we will discuss aspects of the micropoet’s practice and the concept of “outside” inspiration mirrored by the idea that poetry is  “A Dialogue of Self and Soul”—W.B. Yeats. Rather haiku or free verse, accomplishing the task of a tiny poem is challenging. We’ll take a look at some techniques that make up this exciting genre. 

Crystal Simone Smith is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Routes Home (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Running Music (Longleaf Press, 2014). She is also the author of Wildflowers: Haiku, Senryu, and Haibun (2016). Her work has appeared in numerous journals including: Callaloo, Nimrod, Barrow Street, Obsidian II: Literature in the African Diaspora, African American Review, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. She is an alumna of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Yale Summer Writers Conference. She holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Durham with her husband and two sons where she teaches English Composition and Creative Writing. She is the Managing Editor of Backbone Press.

"Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their 2017-2018 Winter Series of online classes.

"This new program initiative is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "These online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, December 13, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Registration is closed.

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


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