- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
MEBANE—Jaki Shelton Green is the current Poet Laureate of North Carolina. Appointed by the governor, Jaki is the first African-American to serve, and only the third woman.
She'll give the Keynote Address at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2020 Writingest State Online Conference (WSOC) on Friday, November 13. Registration is open.
Despite being the author of eight poetry collections; despite being widely acclaimed for her talks and readings; despite being inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2014; Jaki continues to push herself as an artist. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first poetry LP album, The River Speaks of Thirst, produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records.
"The album manifests the music that is always inherent in Green's award-winning verse as she performs it with instrumentation," says INDY Week.
The Washington Post says, "Jaki Shelton Green's voice is now forever within me, showing us again how art has the ability to transform individual hearts and minds. I have only gratitude to this beloved cultural icon for her gift to us."
The Writingest State Online Conference is a five-day festival of classes, panels, and programs on the craft and business of writing. Jaki's Keynote Address is among the free programs open to all registrants. Participants have more options in terms of what they register for: full-conference, half-conference, or even single sessions are available. Registering for any session will give attendees access not only to the Keynote Address but also the online Happy Hours; Open Mics; a celebration of the Carolina African-American Writers' Collective; and more.
When Governor Roy Cooper appointed her Poet Laureate of North Carolina, he said, "Jaki Shelton Green brings a deep appreciation of our state’s diverse communities to her role as an ambassador of North Carolina literature. Jaki’s appointment is a wonderful new chapter in North Carolina’s rich literary history.”
She also is the recipient of two NC Emerging Artist Grants, the African-American Writers' Collective Distinction Award, NC Writers Network Blumenthal Award, 2002 Omega Iota Finer Womanhood Award (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority) Delta Arts Award (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority).
On The River Speaks of Thirst, one poem in particular has drawn attention and praise: "Oh My Brother," a "powerfully prescient" poem that stands in solidarity with grieving families across the United States whose loved ones are being murdered by law enforcement. (See video above.)
Registration for the Writingest State Online Conference is open. Space is limited.
The WSOC is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Some sessions will be archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.
- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
WINSTON-SALEM—True, the Writingest State Online Conference likely will not be as fun as the Network’s traditional Fall Conference.
Also true: the Writingest State Online Conference will not be as likely to kill you.
This November, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will offer its first-ever Writingest State Online Conference, a five-day festival for writers, November 10-14.
Registration is open.
The WSOC will feature classes and conversations on the craft and business of writing, as well as a keynote address by North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, a Pre-Conference Tailgate and a Prompt Party to get creative juices flowing, online Open Mic readings and Happy Hour virtual gatherings, and an Agents & Editors panel discussion.
“This will be the first year since 1985 that the North Carolina Writers’ Network has not offered its Fall Conference, and we hope it will be the last,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “We’re very excited to offer the Writingest State Online Conference, though, and suspect this will not be its last year. We prefer, though, that in years to come we offer an online conference in addition to the Fall Conference, not in place of it.”
The WSOC will begin Tuesday evening, November 10, with an Online Happy Hour, followed by a Pre-Conference Tailgate featuring writing exercises, led by author and USMC veteran Tracy Crow, on the theme of “Awaken Our Sixth Sense.”
The conference will resume on Wednesday evening, November 11, with an Opening Conversation on “The Place & the Past” between North Carolina novelists Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Therese Anne Fowler. Fowler’s 2020 novel A Good Neighborhood explores gentrification and displacement. Clapsaddle is a Network trustee whose debut novel Even As We Breathe came out this summer, making her the first enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to publish a novel.
After this conversation, novelist, memoirist, Army veteran, and Wake Forest University graduate Matt Gallagher will lead a class on “Imagination and History” for writers in all genres.
The WSOC will continue into the weekend, with a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Carolina African-American Writers' Collective (originally planned for the 2020 Spring Conference), a check-in for writers participating or interested in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Green’s keynote address, and three sessions offering two classes each.
Instructors include poet Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, mystery writer Art Taylor, editors Lyndsay Hall and Betsy Thorpe, multi-genre author Mathieu Cailler, and debut author Leah Hampton, a past winner of the NCWN’s Doris Betts Fiction Prize.
Saturday’s sessions will begin with the Agents & Editors panel discussion, and end with online Open Mics and a “One More On & In the House” Happy Hour.
Full details and a registration form are available on www.ncwriters.org.