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Literary review awards poetry prize

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Catherine Carter


The Daily Reflector

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The N.C. Literary Review awarded the 2018 James Applewhite Poetry Prize to a faculty member of Western Carolina University after receiving a record-breaking number of entries, ECU announced on Friday.

Catherine Carter's poem, “Womb-Room,” will be published in the 2019 print issue of the review and she 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.

“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 Amber Flora Thomas, final judge for the contest.

“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).

The Literary Review 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 the review’s 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.

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. This is Larsen’s second time as a finalist for the Applewhite Prize; Holt and Smith are both 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.