THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
NC Student Poet Laureate Awards
(At the annual NCETA convention in Winston-Salem this Friday, with the three Student Poet Laureate Winners: from left Anuja Acharya, Katherine Indermaur, and Sarah Bruce.)
Last year my family and I helped endow a new award through the NC English Teachers Association, the North Carolina Student Poet Laureate Awards for both high school and middle school students. I felt that poetry needed a special award to take its place beside the Wade Edwards Fiction Award and the essay awards handed out every year at the NCETA annual convention. I'm delighted that now the current state Poet Laureate will serve each year as final judge in the two categories, selecting the students who will serve as our state Student Poet Laureates until the following year. Students are invited to submit, through their teachers, their poems, which a preliminary member of NCETA will read, in order to make final recommendations to the current Laureate. This year my preliminary reader was John York, whose splendid poem, "Naming the Constellations," recently won the NC Poetry Society's Poet Laureate award and was featured on this blog.
His responses to the work submitted matched mine; thus, we were delighted to be able to give this year's Laureate award to "Downtown After Dark" by Katherine Indermaur, second prize to "Death by Chocolate," by Anuja Acharya, and Honorable Mention to "yellow" by Sarah Bruce. All three students were nominated by Priscilla Chappell at Enloe High School in Raleigh and all three spoke of how much Ms. Chappell had opened up the world of poetry to them. We at NCETA and the Arts Council are excited about this new award and the excellent poetry these three young women have given us. We did not have enough entries for middle schoolers this year to have a real competition in that category; next year we hope to have many more submissions from both levels.
(Our first NC Student Poet Laureate, Katherine Indermaur, with her mother, after the NCETA Awards banquet.)
(Our second place winner, Anuja Acharya with her parents.)
(Honorable Mention winner Sarah Bruce with her parents.)
Each student received a cash award, a plaque, and an inscribed copy of my first book of poetry, THE GIRL IN THE MIDST OF THE HARVEST. Their poems will appear on this blog in the next several days.
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.