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GREENSBORO—Sylvia Freeman of Durham has won the 2018 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “Burnt Offerings.” Freeman will receive $200 and publication in storySouth.

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.

 

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.

 

RALEIGH—Registration for the 2018 Squire Summer Writing Workshops is now open.

The Summer Workshops, which allow writers to focus on one genre with one instructor in a small-group setting over the course of the weekend, run Thursday—Sunday, July 19-22 on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Register now.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry), with ten ninety-minute sessions over the four days of the program. Space in each workshop is limited, so that registrants can work in-depth on their own manuscript samples, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor.

Paul Cuadros, author of A Home on the Field, will lead the creative nonfiction workshop "Storytelling from a Point of Truth." Rob Greene, editor of Raleigh Review, will lead the workshop in poetry, "Poems of Experience." Elaine Neil Orr, author of the novels A Different Sun and the forthcoming Swimming Between Worlds, will lead the fiction workshop "From Character to Plot to Atmosphere in Fiction."

Other programs include faculty readings, panel discussions, open mic sessions for residents, and the popular “Here’s to the Writingest State” opening session.

“The Squire Summer Writing Workshops introduced me to NCWN, and that connection has been key for me,” said Janet Ford, winner of the 2017 Guy Owen Prize from Southern Poetry Review. “Through this organization, I have discovered the members of my writing group, as well as the Spring and Fall Conferences and many meaningful opportunities to publish and read.”

 Paul Cuadros is an associate professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as the chair of the UNC Scholars’ Latino Initiative, a college mentoring and preparatory program for Latino high school students at six local public high schools. He is an award-winning investigative reporter and author whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Salon.com, The Chicago Reporter, and other national and local publications. His book A Home on the Field: How One Championship Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America (Harpers Collins), which tells the story of Siler City as it copes and struggles with Latino immigration through the lives of a predominantly Latino high school soccer team, has been required summer reading for undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill and several other colleges and universities. In 2014, the book was adapted into the television documentary series Los Jets, produced by Jennifer Lopez and her production company, Nuyorican Productions, Inc. Cuadros is currently working on another book about the Latino community in the American South.

Rob Greene is the editor of Raleigh Review, and he has lived in Raleigh for much of the last two decades. Prior to this he had relocated forty-six times. Greene taught poetry writing at NC State University as a graduate student while earning his Master of Fine Arts. For the past five years he has taught at Louisburg College, where he serves as the advisor for Lou Lit Review. This fall, Greene will begin work on his research Ph.D in creative writing at University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) via distance education. His own poems have been recently published in Open Minds Quarterly, Great River Review, War: Literature & the Arts, and in the Berlin-based annual Herzattacke. His first chapbook, Biloxi Back Bay (Rabbit House Press), was published in early 2017.

Elaine Neil Orr writes fiction, memoir, and literary criticism. Swimming Between Worlds, her newest novel, is described by Charles Frazier as “a perceptive and powerful story told with generosity and grace.” In a starred review, Library Journal said of Orr’s last novel, A Different Sun, “this extraordinary novel shines with light and depth.” Her memoir, Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life, was a Top-20 Book Sense selection and a nominee for the Old North State Award. She is associate editor of a collection of essays on international childhoods, Writing Out of Limbo, and the author of two scholarly books. In 2016, she was Kathryn Stripling Byer Writer-in-Residence at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Orr has published extensively in literary magazines including The Missouri Review, Blackbird, Shenandoah, and Image Journal. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

“Because the pace of the weekend is slower, participants tend to build strong bonds with one another,” said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. “There's space in the schedule for writing, and reading, and going to meals together, and there's plenty of time for sitting around and talking about all the things that inspire us.”

Register now at www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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