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GREENSBORO—Dannye Romine Powell of Charlotte has won the 2020 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “Argument.” Powell will receive $200 and publication in storySouth.
Final judge Nicole Stockburger said, “This poem struck me with its ability to move down the page effortlessly but also carry a type of tension that had me holding my breath. ‘Argument’ has a feeling of restraint that is well suited to the language of its title and crafted couplet structure, always implying the 'Something said or unsaid,' until the very last line. The poet creates a disturbed, fascinating interiority, marked by the images of the long drive, that is both mysterious and familiar. There is a leaving and returning that feels necessary, and I am grateful to have encountered this voice that calls home, this eye that looks back.”
Powell's fifth collection, In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver, is out in the spring of 2020. She has won fellowships in poetry from the NEA, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared over the years in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Harvard Review Online, Beloit, 32 Poems, and many others. She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers. For many years, she was the book editor of the Charlotte Observer.
Stockburger named “New Year’s Eve” by Tina Barr as Runner-Up.
Barr’s third full-length collection of poems, Green Target, won the Barrow Street Press Book Prize, judged by Patricia Spears Jones, and was published in the Fall of 2018. Green Target won the Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society as the best book of poems published by a North Carolina poet in 2018. Her second book, Kaleidoscope, was released in 2015 by Iris Press. Her first book, The Gathering Eye, won the Tupelo Press Editor's Prize. She has also published three chapbooks.
Stockburger also selected two poems for Honorable Mention: “Navigation” by Michael Boccardo and “Canoe Song” by Mark Caskie.
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, 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."
Nicole Stockburger is the author of Nowhere Beulah (Unicorn Press, 2019). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Adroit Journal, Waxwing, and elsewhere. Nicole received an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Studio Art and English from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied darkroom photography. Nicole was a recent fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences. She lives and works on a stretch of land in the North Carolina foothills near her hometown, Winston-Salem.
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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ASHEVILLE—Rachel Taube had just defended her MFA thesis when she got the news that her short story “The Gentle Clack of a Fox’s Teeth” won the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize.
Taube, who earned her MFA at UNC Wilmington, will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.
Final judge Randall Kenan, in selecting Taube’s story, said, “’The Gentle Clack of a Fox’s Teeth’ feels like a fresh take on the South and confronts a very serious controversial subject with humor and wit and pathos. This writer is wise.”
Taube's writing has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Hobart, Cleaver Magazine, and The Millions. She has been a C.D. Wright / Nan Snow Emerging Writer, a Tent Creative Writing Fellow, and an Electric Literature–Catapult Scholarship recipient. She is the managing editor of Ecotone at UNC-Wilmington.
Kenan also selected two entries for Honorable Mention: “Patriotism” by Jason Gray, and “The Runaway” by Sarah David.
Gray is the Senior Fellow for Research and Policy at the North Carolina Rural Center, and a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. “Patriotism” is an excerpt from his novel-in-progress.
David is an architectural historian and supervisor with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. A native of Germanton, she now lives in Raleigh.
Randall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Mrs. Giles Whiting Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. Kenan is a 2018 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, which is awarded to a work of short fiction of 3,000 words or less, is administered by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers. The program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes led by published writers and experienced teachers. Each course carries academic credit awarded through UNC-Asheville.
The Thomas Wolfe Review is the official journal of The Thomas Wolfe Society, publishing articles, features, tributes, and reviews about Wolfe and his circle. It also features bibliographical material, notes, news, and announcements of interest to Society members.
North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), was born in Asheville. His Look Homeward, Angel is considered one of the most important coming-of-age novels in the English language. Wolfe was considered at the time of his death to be the greatest talent North Carolina had given to American literature. His novels and collected short stories go beyond autobiography, trying to, in William Faulkner’s words, “put all the experience of the human heart on the head of a pin.” His intense poetic language and thoughtfully developed symbology, combined with his uncanny ability to enter the minds of his other characters and give them powerful voices, elevate the books from memoir to undeniable literary art.
The nonprofit 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.