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For the third year in a row, the winning poem came from a record-setting number of entries.
Final judge Lauren Moseley said of Freeman’s poem, “The smell! The sights! The textures! The author of 'Burnt Offerings' makes the reader experience the poem: I felt the flames in my hair, the 'shards of shattered glass' at my feet, and the relief of 'holy water.' I also admired the juxtaposition of the speaker's hair blazing in a Baptist church and the burning 'Viking boat' in the river, bringing us Christian and pagan imagery in a rushing voice that never sounds forced. By the end of this journey (the 'arms of fallen oak' one of my favorite stops along it), we see that the speaker is as ephemeral a vessel as the cardboard boat. I love this poem.”
Sylvia Freeman is a native North Carolinian, a writer, poet, award-winning photographer, and singer/songwriter for fleur-de-lisa, a women’s acapella quartet who use poetry lyrics in their original music. Her poetry has appeared in The Lake, When Women Waken, Carolina Woman, and elsewhere. One of her photographs was featured in a special Best in Show exhibit in Palm Springs, CA, in 2017. Her photos can be found in Dove Tales, Heron’s Nest, and the online gallery Fusion Art.
Moseley named “Dog Pissing on a Statue of the Buddha” by Asheville poet Luke Hankins as Runner-Up.
Hankins is the author of a collection of poems, Weak Devotions, and a collection of essays, The Work of Creation: Selected Prose. He is the editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets, and a collection of his translations from the French of Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, A Cry in the Snow & Other Poems, is forthcoming from Seagull Books. Hankins is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives. He also serves as Senior Editor at Asheville Poetry Review.
Moseley selected “Red Mower, Blue Sky” by Charlotte’s Dannye Romine Powell and “Meditation Stone” by Greensboro’s John Thomas York for Honorable Mention. Powell has four collections of poetry, most recently Nobody Calls Me Darling Anymore from Press 53, and is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the NC Arts Council, and Yaddo. York won the 2017 Page Crafters Prize from the On the Same Page Festival, as well as the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize for a memoir, "Seven Years on the Farm," forthcoming from North Carolina Literary Review.
The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions and honors poet poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. He was a 1996 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame who left behind nine books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a bestselling academic novel, a translation of Goethe’s Faust, Part I, and a translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, produced on Broadway by The Actors’ Studio.
The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. storySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer. Facilitated by the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, storySouth aims to prove that "the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts." storySouth believes the American South today is a "mix of traditional and new, regional and international."
Final judge Lauren Moseley is the author of Big Windows, named one of "12 Most Anticipated Poetry Collections Hitting Bookstores in 2018" by Bustle. Lauren's poems have appeared in the anthologies Best New Poets and Women Write Resistance and in such magazines as FIELD, Narrative, Copper Nickel, West Branch Wired, and Pleiades. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Lauren has been a fellow at Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a recipient of an artist’s grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.
The non-profit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.
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GREENSBORO—When their 2018 Spring Conference opens at 8:00 am this Saturday, the North Carolina Writers' Network will welcome a record-setting number of attendees.
The state's largest and most inclusive writers' organization will bring together 161 pre-registrants on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for a full day of workshops and sessions on the craft and business of writing, as well as panels, readings, open mics, and more.
The previous high for Spring Conference attendance was 137, set in 2015.
"At my first Spring Conference as Executive Director, in 2008, we had sixty-six attendees," says NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. "And we were thrilled."
Spring Conference broke 100 attendees in 2012 and has consistently hovered around the 125 mark since then—until this year.
Tar Heel writers are excited about learning from renowned authors such as Naima Coster, whose debut novel Halsey Street is out this Spring. She, along with poet Emilia Phillips (Empty Clip) and Cynthia Nearman (storySouth) will lead the Master Classes in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, respectively.
North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jill McCorkle (2018) will give the Keynote Address. Other programming features include faculty readings, open mics, and the popular Slush Pile Live!, where a panel of editors gives feedback on submissions being read aloud: all anonymous, all live!
The exhibit hall too will be filled to bursting with some of the best literary publications and organizations in the state. NCWN has profiled each exhibitor in a series of blog posts. Click here for Part I, Part II, and Part III.
Greensboro's Scuppernong Books will be the official conference bookseller. Conferencegoers are encouraged to bring along an extra shopping bag and get a jump on their summer reading.
On-site registration will open for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Spring Conference at 8:00 am on Saturday, April 21, in the MHRA Building on the campus of UNCG.
Registrants may park for free in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House), courtesy of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at UNCG. Spring Conference also is made possible by the North Carolina Arts Council.