NC Poetry Society’s Poetry Day

NC Poetry DayPoets from across the state gathered at Catawba Valley Community College, as it hosted the North Carolina Poetry Society’s annual Poetry Day celebration on April 26.

Activities included poetry workshops with Scott Owens (Invention) and Pat Riviere-Seel (Revision), the presentation of the Lena Shull Poetry Award, and readings by Becky Gould-Gibson, Owens and Riviere-Seel.

The highlight of the event was the recognition of the winner of the first North Carolina Poetry Society’s Lena Shull Poetry Award. Becky Gould-Gibson will receive the award for her manuscript “Heading Home.” The contest was recently created by an endowment from the Poetry Council of North Carolina and was established to publish a new manuscript of poetry by a North Carolina poet each year.

Gould-Gibson has published two prize-winning chapbooks of poetry, “Off-Road Meditations” (North Carolina Writers’ Network, 1989) and “Holding Ground” (White Eagle Coffee Store Press, 1996), as well as three full-length volumes:

“First Life” (Emrys Press, 1997), “Need-Fire,” winner of the 2005 poetry book contest held by Bright Hill Press (published 2007); and “Aphrodite’s Daughter,” winner of Texas Review Press’s 2006 X.J. Kennedy Prize (published 2007). “Need-Fire” also received the North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2008 Brockman-Campbell Award.

Gould-Gibson won the 2012 William Matthews Prize from the Asheville Poetry Review for her sonnet sequence Heading Home and a 2012 International Publication Prize from Atlanta Review for The Supernumerary and Selling Sorrow. Earning a Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1977, Gould-Gibson has taught literature, writing, and Women’s Studies, mostly at Guilford College, where she retired after 20 years in 2008.

She served two terms as Gilbert Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Central District (2009-2011) and is a member of the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission. Winner of the inaugural Lena Shull Poetry Book competition sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society, “Heading Home” will be published in April 2014 by Main Street Rag.

Riviere-Seel’s third collection of poems “Nothing Below But Air” was recently published by Main Street Rag. She is the author of two previous collections, “The Serial Killer’s Daughter,” winner of the 2009 Roanoke Chowan Award for Poetry, and “No Turning Back Now” (2004), a Pushcart Prize nominee. She was awarded a fellowship from the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences and has served as Poet in Residence at the North Carolina Zoo. A 2003 graduate of the Masters in Fine Arts Program for Writers at Queens University of Charlotte, Riviere-Seel is a former lobbyist, publicist, award winning journalist and editor.

Originally from Greenwood, S.C., Owens holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC  Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. He currently lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches at Catawba Valley Community College, edits the Wild Goose Poetry Review and serves as vice-president of the NC Poetry Society. His 11th book of poetry, “Eye of the Beholder,” was recently released by Main Street Rag. His work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of South Carolina.

Lefler lives and works in Brevard, N.C. She is the author of “Brevard,” a photographic history, (Arcadia Publishing 2004), and of Brevard, “Then & Now,” (Arcadia Publishing 2012). She was formerly managing editor of “Smoky Mountain Living.”

Her first collection of poems “Rendering the Bones” was published in 2011 by Wind Publications.  “Rendering the Bones” won honorable mention in the 2012 Oscar Arnold Young Contest for Book sponsored by The Poetry Council of North Carolina. Her poem The Gravedigger’s Wife Ponders won the N.C. Poet Laureate Award in 2013 and was published in “Pinesong.”

Beall is a poet and writer who lives in Hayesville, N.C. She earned her degree in education at the University of Georgia and directs and instructs writing classes at Writers Circle, her home studio. In 2009, Beall’s poetry chapbook, “Now Might as Well be Then,” was published by Finishing Line Press. In 1998, she published a family history book, “Profiles and Pedigrees, Thomas C. Council and His Descendants.” She taught at John C. Campbell Folk School for several years and continues to teach at Tri-County Community College in Murphy, N.C. Former Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Writers’ Network West, she continues to support the group as their Clay County Representative.

Fletcher is department chair of the CVCC English program. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in English. One of nine children, she is married to an English professor and mother of a daughter who is a writer. She has worked for 45 years and taught for more than 35 years for a range of colleges—from the community college level to graduate programs in universities—up and down the mid-Atlantic.

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