The North Carolina literary community mourns the loss of beloved poet and friend David Treadway Manning (1928 – 2021), who passed away on November 24.
Productive until the end, his poetry collection Sailing the Bright Stream: New & Selected Poems (Press 53) won the 2021 Brockman Campbell Award for Poetry from the NC Poetry Society. In May of 2021, NCPS honored him as the 2021 Pinesong dedicatee. For years, he hosted the Friday Noon Poets monthly gathering at Amity United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, convening an informal poetry reading where poets would share their own work or the work of others. He also was very involved with the North Carolina Writers’ Conference.
He gave selflessly to the poetry community, often blurbing books by writers he admired. He frequently read his work at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, and was a regular at the open mic poetry series there for many years.
David Treadway Manning was a Pushcart nominee and three-time winner of the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Poet Laureate Award. His poems appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Rattle, 32 Poems, and also Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina: A Guidebook, edited by Geogann Eubanks (UNC Press). He was a past winner of the Longleaf Chapbook competition and of Crucible’s Sam Ragan Award. He published ten chapbooks, most recently Singularities (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His full-length works included The Flower Sermon, runner-up for the 2007 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award: Soledad (Main Street Rag, 2014); and the unserious Yodeling Fungus (Old Mountain Press. 2010). His last collection of poetry, Sailing the Bright Stream: New & Selected Poems, won the 2021 Brockman-Campbell Award for Poetry. As the convenor of the Friday Noon Poets of Chapel Hill, he was coeditor of the group’s anthology, Always on Friday (Katherine James Books, 2006). David and his wife Doris lived in Cary.
Facebook posts by friends and colleagues mention his generosity, humor, kindness, and poetic talent. He will be missed.