The Poetry Council of NC—a self-supporting, all-volunteer nonprofit organization founded in 1949 to foster a deeper appreciation of poetry in the state—has announced the winners of its annual poetry contests. Judges were permitted to select first-, second- and third-place winners as well as up to three honorable mentions in each contest category with the exception of the book contest, which has no third-place winner. Some judges elected to name fewer winners.
All winners will receive their awards—including cash prizes for first, second and third place—at Poetry Day, held at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory on April 14. Winning poems will also be published in the Council’s annual awards anthology, Bay Leaves, and winning poets will be invited to read their poems at Poetry Day.
An additional category for Performance Poetry is judged and awarded at Poetry Day. Information on any of the contests, Poetry Day and the Poetry Council is available at www.poetrycouncilofnc.wordpress.com.
Susan Spalt of Carrboro took first in the humorous verse contest with her poem Where Time Does Not Fly, and Barbara Brooks of Hillsborough took second in humorous verse with her piece The Voice. Joanna Catherine Scott of Chapel Hill received an honorable mention in the book contest for her work An Innocent in the House of the Dead.
The complete list of category winners and judges is as follows:
Ellen Johnston-Hale (humorous verse):
JUDGE: Gloria Alden, Southington, Ohio
First: Where Time Does Not Fly by Susan Spalt, Carrboro
Second: The Voice by Barbara Brooks, Hillsborough
Third: Arctic by Lisa Zerkle, Charlotte
Honorable mention: Black Friday by Doris Dix Caruso, Burlington
Honorable mention: Patience by Jane Shlensky, Bahama
Honorable mention: I Think They Got It! by Janet Ireland Trail, Greensboro
Oscar Arnold Young (book contest):
JUDGE: Paul Hostovsky, Medfield, MA & Ron Moran, Simpsonville, S.C.
First: The Swing Girl by Katherine Soniat, Asheville
Second: Lie Down with Me by Julie Suk, Charlotte
Honorable mention: Rendering the Bones by Susan M. Lefler, Brevard
Honorable mention: An Innocent in the House of the Dead by Joanna Catherine Scott, Chapel Hill
Gladys Owings Hughes Heritage (free verse):
JUDGE: Darnell Arnoult, Harrogate, Tenn.
First: Babies Hurtling Several Stories by Ross White, Durham
Second: Daddy Imagines a Good Death by JS Absher, Raleigh
Third: The Museum of Broken Things by Jane Shlensky, Bahama
Charles Shull (traditional poetry):
JUDGE: Paul Bone, Evansville, Ind.
First: Facts about Early America by Ross White, Durham (rhyming couplets)
Second: Basic Bad Day by Peg Russell, Murphy (terza rima)
Third: Featured Reader by Alice Osborn, Raleigh (sestina)
Honorable mention: On a Recent Engagement by Michael A. Moreno, Rockville, Md. (sonnet)
Honorable mention: Water the Lover by Ellen Summers, Greensboro (sonnet)
James Larkin Pearson (free verse):
JUDGE: Felicia Mitchell, Emory, Va.
First: Address to Monarchs by Ross White, Durham
Second: My Mother’s Lake by Ann Campanella, Huntersville
Third: What Burns for Light by Lisa Zerkle, Charlotte
Honorable mention: Circumventing the Circumference by Terry Collins, Mount Airy
Honorable mention: Things Fall Out of My Father by Robert Moyer, Winston Salem
Honorable mention: The Lesbians Next Door by Alice Osborn, Raleigh
Charlotte Young (elementary school):
JUDGE: David Roderick, Greensboro
First: Jupiter by Sydney Campanella (home-schooled), Huntersville
Second: Light Saves Us by Paige Morrison (North Forest Pines Elem.), Wake Forest
Third: Blue by Joellen Callahan (North Forest Pines Elem.), Wake Forest
Honorable mention: Doves by Sonja Woolley (Episcopal Day School), Southern Pines
Honorable mention: Nature Walk by Lilly Corcoran (Episcopal Day School), Southern Pines
Carol Bessent Hayman (middle school):
JUDGE: David Roderick, Greensboro
First: The Pledge of Sausage by Devon Stocks (Clarkton School of Discovery), Clarkton
Second: Pumpkin Patch by Kenneth More (Clarkton School of Discovery), Clarkton
Sam Ragan North Carolina Connection (high school):
JUDGE: Natasha Trethewey, Decatur, Ga.
First: Lesson of the Lark by Maggie Apple of North Guilford High School
Second: Jennifer Comerford of North Guilford High School