Catherine Carter is the winner of the 2018 James Applewhite Poetry Prize in a record-breaking year of entries.
Carter’s prize-winning poem, “Womb-Room,” will be published in the 2019 print issue of the North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR). In addition, Carter will receive a prize of $250 for her first-place entry. She is an associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, where she teaches creative writing and English education classes.
The winner was selected by the final judge, Amber Flora Thomas, an award-winning author and an associate professor of English at East Carolina University.
“I was very moved by ‘Womb-room,’ which takes us inside the human body as a speaker considers her inability to bear a child,” said Thomas. “The speaker finds a plethora of cavernous beauty within herself, which is what we expect from a poet who understands the fertile richness of the imagination. I care deeply about poems which recognize our connection with our environment and nature.”
Carter’s third LSU Press collection of poetry, “Larvae of the Nearest Stars,” is due out in 2019. Her honors include publication in Best American Poetry 2009, winning Jacar Press’s poetry chapbook contest with “Mark of the Witch” (2014), and winning third place in the 2017 Applewhite Poetry Prize competition (“Billy Collins Pours Me a Beer,” NCLR 2018 print issue).
Margaret Bauer, NCLR editor, said that Carter is a poet who is a well-respected teacher and regularly responds to requests to review poetry collections for NCLR.
The NCLR established the James Applewhite Poetry Prize in 2011. This year, 81 poets submitted 270 poems. These are record numbers of both poems and poets for the competition. Thomas selected the winning poem from finalists picked for prize and publication consideration by NCLR poetry editor Jeffrey Franklin.
Thomas selected “Daybreak” by Sally Thomas for second place and “Dreams Speak: My Father’s Words” by Glenis Redmond for third place.
Second-place recipient Sally Thomas is from Lincolnton and is the author of two poetry chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press. She has published poetry and fiction in a variety of venues and received honors in both genres.
Redmond is a Cave Canem Fellow and the poet-in-residence at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, South Carolina and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Her poetry has also appeared in such publications as Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage, Kakalak and African Voices.
Among the other finalists, Thomas named four poems for Honorable Mention, including “Girl Praxis” and “Self-Portrait as Wildfire” by Nilla Larsen who has a third poem, “Post-Date Sunday,” that was a finalist as well. The other two honorable mentions are “Smoke and Oreos” by Gwen Holt and “Black Girl Magic in Summers Past” by Crystal Simone Smith.
The other finalists in the 2018 competition are “How Rhodon the Tutor Prepared Cleopatra’s Son” and “In my yard are henbit” by J.S. Absher; “Branch Drop” by Richard Betz, “Bombingham,” “Fire and Brimstone” and “Forgiveness” by L. Teresa Church; “Divorce” by Kevin Dublin; “Day at a Historic Park” by Craig Friend; “Trespassing After the Hysterectomy, the Funeral” by Kimberly J. Simms; “Renovations” by Wayne Johns, “Prelude to Lust” by Jeanne Julian; “Eleanor: Suite” by Valerie Nieman; “The Ledge” by Jon Obermeyer; “Jump” by Frances J. Pearce; and “Echeveria” by Melinda Thomsen. Bauer notes that half of these poets are new to the competition.
NCLR has been published by East Carolina University since 1992 and receives additional funding from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, including the Applewhite Prize honorarium. It has won numerous awards and citations. The University of North Carolina Press has been publishing NCLR since 2017. Find submission and subscription information on NCLR’s website at www.nclr.ecu.edu.
-Contact: Margaret Bauer, NCLR editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-328-1537