NCLR names new writing competition for founding editor

 The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) has named its new creative nonfiction competition for founding editor Alex Albright.



Responding to the honor of having the award named for him, Albright said, “This new competition recognizes NCLR’s continued commitment to publishing the best creative nonfiction available about topics of interest to North Carolina readers and to its ongoing openness to writers at the beginning of their careers.”

The Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition is open to any writer who fits the NCLR definition of a North Carolina writer: current or previous residents of North Carolina or a writer who uses North Carolina as subject matter. The first prize recipient will be awarded $250 and publication in NCLR. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the 2016 print and online issues.

Current NCLR editor Margaret Bauer noted, “It is particularly significant that the first winner of the Albright Prize will be published in NCLR’s 25th issue.”

The submission period for the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize Competition opened on June 15, and the deadline is August 1.

Albright earned his bachelor’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and his Master of Fine Arts at UNC Greensboro before joining the faculty of the English department of ECU in 1981. He is the author of, most recently, “The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy,” as well as the author and producer of the UNC-TV “Boogie in Black and White” and the editor of “The Mule Poems” and “The North Carolina Poems” of internationally renowned eastern North Carolina poet A.R. Ammons, whom Albright named “staff poet” during his years as editor.

Albright published the premiere issue of the NCLR in 1992. He pointed out that when it launched it was “one of the very few literary magazines in the U.S. that focused primarily on creative nonfiction.”

He explained his dedication to cultivating creative nonfiction: “Because virtually every literary magazine at the time was dominated by fiction and poetry, we wanted a forum for nonfiction that was written more for smart readers than for academics. We also wanted a forum that was as open to unknown writers as it was to the big names that dominated the state’s literary scene.”

Under Albright’s editorship, NCLR earned the Best New Journal Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) in 1994. Albright has been honored for his contribution to North Carolina literature with the R. Hunt Parker Award given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association in 1998 and the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration given by ECU’s Friends of Joyner Library in 2007. NCLR has earned four more CELJ awards in more than 20 years since its first issue, most recently the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement.

Albright said he shares this honor with his original associate editors, John Patterson and the late Bertie Fearing.

Find complete submission guidelines for NCLR’s Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction competition, at


J.H. Rose High, Tar River Writing Project awarded $20,000 grant

ECUNotes, Tar River 1

J.H. Rose High School teachers Robert Puckett, left, and Scott Wagoner, right, work with Rose students to plan the 3D printing/ prototyping fabrication lab maker space. Contributed photo.

Students and teachers from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville were on ECU’s campus June 15-19 working with staff from the Tar River Writing Project developing plans to implement an idea that earned them a national grant.

The Tar River Writing Project, housed at ECU in the University Writing Program, and Rose High School were one of one of 14 groups in the nation awarded a $20,000 LRNG Innovation Challenge Grant.

During the week, 11 teachers worked with 15 Rose students designing six maker spaces that will operate during Rose’s 80-minute SMART Block period. Maker spaces, sometimes called hackspaces and fablabs, are communities for people to create, invent, learn and share projects.

The maker spaces at Rose will focus on fashion design, robotics/programming, upcycling/repurposing objects, beat making, digital storytelling/media making, and a 3-D/prototype fabrication lab.

Students will be able to visit and explore in these maker spaces during the school’s SMART Block, which allows students to attend academic sessions with teachers or participate in extracurricular activities. Once students find something that they are interested in, they can pick up and follow interest-driven educational pathways, said Stephanie West-Puckett, Tar River Writing Project associate director and a member of the ECU Department of English faculty.

“This grant gives us an opportunity to design innovative educational spaces together that bridge curricular and extracurricular learning,” she said.

During the weeklong event, the educators from ECU and Rose High designed a curriculum with low barriers for easy access and high ceilings for developing mastery. Each maker space will also have a service project so that students and faculty can use the concepts and tools to benefit others in need, West-Puckett said.

“Pop-up maker stations are at the core of what SMART Block should offer students,” said Monica Jacobson, principal at J.H. Rose. “With the stations, Rose students will be afforded time and access to resources that connect and extend their knowledge. Students will be provided with opportunities to build relationships with their peers, teachers, and community partners that share similar interests while they explore beyond the classroom.”

Educators presented the ideas on the last day of the event to school administrators, community members and parents for their feedback.

Will Banks, director of the University Writing Program and of the Tar River Writing Project, noted, “It’s rare that teachers, students, and community members get to work together to find shared interests and passions—and to remember that passion, not test scores, motivates learning.”

The LRNG Innovation Challenge is a new initiative that invests in forward-looking schools and teachers to design innovative projects that take advantage of new technology to support students’ creativity. It is sponsored in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation and John Legend’s Show Me Campaign.

West-Puckett said musician John Legend wants high school students – with projects like the ones funded by the grants – to be able to pursue their interests, especially in the arts, which may not fit into a traditional curriculum approach.

Rob Puckett, a Rose printing and graphics instructor, is working to develop a 3-D printing & prototyping maker space. “While 3-D printing trinkets and toys is neat, we want to demonstrate how these tools can make a real difference in people’s lives,” he said. “Each semester, we’ll work together on printing a custom-made prosthetic hand with free, open-source plans.”

Fellow Rose teacher Lynn Cox, who is collaborating on a maker space for robotics and computer programming, said, “It was great to have the students here with us and see how eager they are for these kinds of opportunities in school.”

ECUNotes, Tar River 2

J.H. Rose High School students and teachers work in groups during a weeklong event in ECU’s Joyner Library to make a pop-up “fabric hacking” maker space. Rose High and the Tar River Writing Project earned a national grant to develop maker spaces and a corresponding curriculum. Contributed photo.



Eble Named President of Technical Writing Organization

Michelle Eble

Michelle Eble

Dr. Michelle F. Eble, associate professor in the Department of English at East Carolina University, was named president of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing at the organization’s annual meeting March 18 in Tampa, Florida.

Eble, who also serves as the English department’s director of graduate studies, has been a member of ATTW since 2003. In that time, she has served as both conference coordinator and vice president. Her term as president will last three years, and she also will serve as chair of the executive committee during that time.

Running on a platform of fostering more graduate student participation in ATTW, Eble wishes to diversify the membership, support partnerships with other technical communication organizations and expand the organization’s global presence—all while sustaining ATTW’s current commitments.

The Association of Teachers of Technical Writing is an active professional organization of about 500 teachers, researchers and practitioners of technical communication. Formed in 1973 to encourage dialogue among teachers of technical communication and to develop technical communication as an academic discipline, the organization boasts an international and interdisciplinary membership. ATTW produces Technical Communication Quarterly, a leading academic journal, and it collaborates with Taylor & Francis/Routledge to publish the ATTW Book Series in Technical and Professional Communication.

For additional information, contact Eble at 252-328-6412 or


Sex, seduction in Donne’s poetry topic of final Voyages lecture

Williams College professor of English Dr. Illona Bell will present “Sex and Seduction in John Donne’s Poetry” at 7 p.m. March 24 in Bate 1032, East Carolina University.



The event is free and no tickets are required.

Bell is the Samuel Fessenden Clark Professor of English at Williams College, with expertise in Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, early modern women writers, lyric poetry and Virginia Woolf. She is the author of “Elizabeth I: The Voice of a Monarch,” “Elizabethan Women and the Poetry of Courtship” and numerous essays on Renaissance poetry and early modern women. She also edited “John Donne: Selected Poems.”

Bell received her Ph.D. in literature from Boston College in 1977 and her B.A. in literature from Radcliffe College in 1969. Her presentation concludes the 2014-15 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series.

For additional information about the Voyages series and its speakers, visit More information about Harriot College is available at


Workshops to focus on veterans, military

CWS Brian Turner


East Carolina University’s Contemporary Writer Series will host a three-day series of workshops for veterans, military service members and military families March 25 – 27.

All events are free and open to the public. The series will focus on expressing experiences through fiction, non-fiction or visual art. Participants may also wish to contribute to a new publication, The ECU Veterans Anthology.

Veteran poet and essayist Brian Turner will open the series at 7:30 p.m. March 25 in the East Carolina Heart Institute auditorium. Turner will read from his work and discuss his experiences as infantry team leader for the 3 rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq from 2003-2004. He is the author of “Here Bullet” (2005), “Phantom Noise” (2010) and “My Life as a Foreign Country” (2014).

A book signing and question and answer session will immediately follow.

A poetry reading at 7 p.m. March 26 in the Greenville Museum of art will feature award-winning poet Ilyse Kusnetz and former North Carolina poet laureate Joseph Bathanti. A book signing and question and answer session will follow readings from both poets’ work.

Kusnetz teaches at Valencia College and lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband, poet and memoirist Brian Turner. She holds a Ph.D. in feminist and postcolonial British literature from the University of Edinburgh and an M.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University. Bathanti is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University and the 2012 state poet laureate. His writings focus on veterans and their families. His honors include the Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award, the Carolina Novel Award and the Linda Flowers Literary Award from the N.C. Humanities Council.

A full listing of events and registration is available at

For additional information about the workshops, contact Jason Faulkner, teaching instructor in the Department of English, at 252-328-5177 or For additional information about the events featuring Turner, Kusnetz or Bathanti, contact John Hoppenthaler, associate professor of English, at 252-328-5562;, or Thomas Douglass, associate professor of English, at 252-328-6723;

The workshops are cosponsored by Operation Re-Entry North Carolina, Office of Student Transitions, Pirate Veterans and the Office of the Provost.


ECU professor wins outstanding dissertation award



ECU English professor Dr. Erin Frost won the 2015 College Composition and Communication Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication for her dissertation,“Theorizing an Apparent Feminism in Technical Communication.”

The Conference on College Composition and Communication is a constituent organization within the National Council of Teachers of English.

Dissertations for this award are evaluated according to five criteria: originality of research, contribution the research makes to the field, methodological soundness of the approach used, awareness of the existing research in the area studied, and overall quality of the writing.

Frost will be announced as the recipient of the CCCC Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication on March 20, during the 2015 CCCC Annual Convention in Tampa, Florida.

For more information about the CCCC Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication, including past winners, see

The Conference on College Composition and Communication, with more than 5,000 members and subscribers, supports and promotes the teaching and study of composition, rhetoric, and communication skills at the college level, both in undergraduate and graduate programs. College Composition and Communication is the group’s journal. For more information, visit


Hoppenthaler publishes third volume of poetry



John Hoppenthaler, an associate professor in the English Department, has just published his third volume of poems, “Domestic Garden,” with Carnegie Mellon University Press, a foremost publisher of poetry in the United States.

Hoppenthaler’s previous publications include “Lives of Water” and “Anticipate the Coming Reservoir.” He co-edited “Jean Valentine: This-World Company,” a collection of essays on the poetry of Jean Valentine. Hoppenthaler also edits “A Poetry Congeries” for the journal Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

Visit for more details


NCLR receives Phoenix Award

The North Carolina Literary Review has been recognized with the 2014 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. The award was announced during the Modern Language Association conference in Vancouver on Jan. 8.

This is the journal’s fifth award from this allied organization of the Modern Language Association. CELJ’s membership includes more than 450 editors of scholarly journals.

NCLR is published by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

Margaret Bauer

Margaret Bauer

According to the CELJ award guidelines, the Phoenix Award is given to a journal that has “launched an overall effort of revitalization or transformation within the previous three years.”

ECU English professor Margaret Bauer, who serves as NCLR editor, said she submitted to this category to call attention to NCLR’s expansion in 2012 to add a second issue each year, an open-access electronic issue titled NCLR Online. Book reviews are now published in these issues “to reach as broad an audience as possible, our mission being to promote North Carolina writers,” said Bauer, who is the Rives Chair of Southern Literature at ECU.

One of the CELJ judges said of NCLR: “What’s most impressive about the recent changes is . . . using online publishing to increase dissemination and take advantage of various digital affordances, while also preserving the gorgeous printed volume.”

Another of the competition’s judges praised NCLR’s “immediate accessibility to a general audience with a high level of substantive writing.” This judge also remarked upon the appearance of the journal: “A particular appealing aspect of the journal is the enlargement of the verbal texts through photographic illustrations that are placed appropriately with the fictional works, the poems and the interviews.” Bauer said that she credits NCLR Art Editor Diane Rodman for the quality of the art featured inside and Art Director Dana Ezzell Gay and the other graphic designers for “the beautiful layout” of the issues.

The additional online issues also allow the editors to publish more of the finalists in the poetry and fiction competitions that the journal manages. Many of these finalists are new writers, according to Bauer, and they are therefore introduced to an even larger audience than the print issues reach.

“One of my missions as editor has always been to give new writers a chance, even in ‘the writingest state,’” Bauer said. Using this descriptor, coined by the late Doris Betts, Bauer points out that with the number of established, talented writers in North Carolina, it would be easy to fill every issue without taking a chance on new talent. “But I enjoy reading and meeting new writers as much as I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop relationships with many of North Carolina’s literary stars,” she said.

The newest issue of NCLR Online will be available in late January. The print issues are published in July. Find subscription information on NCLR’s website,


Author Jayne Anne Phillips to read from new work Thursday


Author Jayne Anne Phillips will read from her new novel “Quiet Dell” at the Greenville Museum of Art at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The reading is part of the East Carolina University Contemporary Writers Series and is free and open to the public.

Stephen King has said, “In a brilliant fusion of fact and fiction, Jayne Anne Phillips has written the novel of the year. It’s the story of a serial killer’s crimes and capture, yes, but it’s also a compulsively readable story of how one brave woman faces up to acts of terrible violence in order to create something good and strong in the aftermath. ‘Quiet Dell’ will be compared to ‘In Cold Blood,’ but Phillips offers something Capote could not: a heroine who lights up the dark places and gives us hope in our humanity.”

Phillips’ novels address the social and historical tensions that challenge American families, including such subjects as war and domestic violence. Her debut novel “Machine Dreams” (1984) chronicles a family from the Depression to the Vietnam War, and their story is revealed through the thoughts and memories of each family member. Her fourth novel, “Lark and Termite,” was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2009.

Phillips is the director of the master of fine arts program at Rutgers University-Newark. She previously taught at Harvard University, Williams College and Boston University.

The Contemporary Writers Services is housed in the ECU Department of English, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Thomas Douglass, Contemporary Writers Series committee member and associate professor of English, at 252-328-6723 or