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.
To read the recognized publications in storySouth, click the respective links below:
Winner: Argument by Dannye Romine Powell
Runner-up: New Year’s Eve by Tina Barr
Honorable Mention: Navigation by Michael Boccardo
Honorable Mention: Canoe Song by Mark Caskie