About My Life as a Writer


I am a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.  My first chapbook, New River, won the North Carolina Harperprints Award, and my first full-length, Drop Zone, won the Texas Review Contest.  Foreshadow was a finalist in the Main Street Rag chapbook contest, and they also published Thirst;  From Terezin (Pudding House Press); Counting the Lost (Mainstreet Rag). The Braided Light won the Lena Shull Poetry Award, Mainstreet Press; Within Two Rooms and An Instant Out Of Time, Finishing Line Press).   Poems and essays have appeared in The Southern Review, Greensboro Review, Nimrod, Louisville Review, Cimarron Review, Mississippi Review, Rattle, Southern Poetry Review, Kestrel, Brevity, Cave Wall, and elsewhere.  I’ve been a finalist for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, and a semi-finalist twice.  I am the recipient of several grants from Vermont Studio Center and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  Work has been widely anthologized and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. My essay, Child, Waiting" was cited as notable by Best American Essays.


An Instant Out Of Time: Finishing Line Press, 2020

The Braided Light, winner of the Lena Shull Contest, 2015

Within Two Rooms, Finishing Line Press, 2014 

Counting the Lost, Main Street Rag Press, 2011

From Terezin, Pudding House Publications, 2008

Thirst, Editor’s Select Series, Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2004

Foreshadow, finalist in Main Street Rag' s Chapbook Competition, MSR Publishing Co., 2002

Drop Zone, winner of the Texas Review South/Southwestern Poets Breakthrough Competition, Texas Review Press, 1995

New River, 1993 winner of The Harperprints Chapbook Contest, Harperprints Press, 1994



Southern Review, Nimrod, Brevity, Cimarron Review, Louisville Review, Greensboro Review, Carolina Quarterly, Mississippi Review, Rattle, Texas Review, Southern Poetry Review, William and Mary Review, Malahat Review, Iodine, Brevity, Kestrel, Pembroke, New Virginia Review, Cave Wall, Persimmon Tree, Comstock, Connotation Press: An Online Artifct, and numerous others.



After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events (Sante Lucia Books); Award Winner, Kakalak: An Anthology of Carolina Poets: 2008, 2007, 2006; (MSR Publishing Co.); Word and Witness: One Hundred Years of Poetry in North Carolina (Carolina Academic Press); Earth and Soul: An Anthology of North Carolina Poetry (The Kostroma Book Publishing Co., Kostroma, Russia); Tis the Season (Novello Press); Trapping Time Between the Branches: An Anthology of Charlotte’s Poets, (Heritage Printers, Inc.), and others.



1987: M.F.A. Warren Wilson College Program for Writers, Warren Wilson College--Asheville, NC

1983-84: University of North Carolina at Charlotte--Charlotte, NC

1980-82: University of New Orleans--New Orleans, LA




2019: Workshop for Charlotte Lit: "Writing Poems and Prose from Family Photographs 

2017: Letcure for Warren Wilson College MFA Alumni Conference:  Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genuis, Mania, and Character

2015: Workshop for NCPS, Hickory, NC, "The Poem's Journey"

2011: Workshop for CPCC Sensoria: "The Poem's Journey"

2010: Lecture for Warren Wilson Aumni Conference: Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell 

2008: Workshop for the North Carolina Poetry Society: "Ekphrastic Poetry"

2006: Workshop for Isothermal College, Spindale, NC: "Beginnings: Laying the Groundwork"

2005: Workshop for the CPCC Literary Festival, Charlotte, NC: "Grief’s Topography"

2004: Lecture for the Hudson Valley Writers' Center, Sleepy Hollow, NY: "Crafting the Poem of Grief: A Personal Journey"

2004: Lecture for the North Carolina Poetry Society, Weymouth, NC: "Crafting the Poem of Grief: A Personal Journey"

2004: Lecture for the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Alumni Assoc., Amherst College, Amherst, MA: "Crafting the Poem of Grief: A Personal Journey"

2003: "How to Prepare a Chapbook Manuscript," 3 workshops that include a critique (a benefit for The Charlotte Writers' Club)

2000: Lecture for Charlotte Writers Club: "Consistency of Tone: First to Last Words"

1997: Workshop and lecture for the North Carolina Poetry Society: "Poetry and the Pressure of the Unspoken"

1996:  Poetry Workshop for Vance County Harperprints-in-the-Schools

1994: Lecture for the Poetry Council of North Carolina: "The Poet and Speaker as One: Some Thoughts on the Personal Poem"

1993: Lecture on Lee Smith's novel Black Mountain Breakdown, Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

1989: Lecture on Straight on Til Morning, "The Awakening Spirit: Biographies of Women," Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County



2015: Reading, North Carolina Poetry Society, McIntyre's Fine Books,

Pittsboto, NC

2015: Reading, Park Road Books

2009: Reading, North Carolina Poetry Society, McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC

2009: Reading, FemmeFest, NoDa Arts District, Davidson, NC

2008: Reading, Poetry Society of South Carolina, Main Library, Charleston, SC

2008: Reading, Malaprop's Book Store, Asheville, NC

2008: Reading, Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC

2008: Semi-finalist for Nimrod's Pablo Neruda Award

2007: Finalist for Nimrod's Pablo Neruda Award

2006: Reading, Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, NC

2005: Reading, The Georgia Poetry Society, Rabun Gap, GA

2004: Reading, The Writers' Voice at the 63rd St. YMCA, New York, NY

2004: Wellness Partners in the Arts, Inc., Durham, NC

2004: Elder Art Gallery, Charlotte, NC

2004: First Place, Deane Ritch Lomax Poetry Award

2004: Grant, Vermont Studio Center (also 2002, 1998)

2003: Finalist, Akron Poetry Prize

2002: Finalist, Akron Poetry Prize

2002: Reading, Central Piedmont Community College, Spring Literary Festival

2001: Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC: Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series

2000: Finalist, Bright Hill Press, Inc.

2000: Reading, Longwood College, Farmville, VA

1998: Reading, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC: Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series

1997: Reading, Regulator Book Store, Durham, NC

1996: Reading, Cultural Olympics, Athens, GA

1996: Reading, Barrow Street Music School, New York, NY

1996: Reading, The Holden Visiting Writers Series, Warren Wilson College

1994: First Place in Poetry in The Deep South Writers Competition

1994: Reading, Central Piedmont Community College, Spring Literary Festival

1993: Reading, Mt. Olive College, Mt. Olive, NC: Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series

1993: Finalist, Helicon Nine Poetry Contest

1991: Finalist, Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1991: Reading, Mitchell Community College, Statesville, NC: Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series

1989: Fellowship, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

1989: Finalist, Roberts Writing Awards for Personal Essay

1988: Reading, Elon College, Greensboro, NC: Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series

1988: Semi-finalist, Poets & Writers Exchange Program

1987: Finalist, North Carolina Writers Network Chapbook Contest

1986: Semi-finalist, "Discovery"/The Nation Contest


PUBLIC SERVICE (a selection)

2009: CPCC ArtsFest, Writing and the Writing Process

2008: Workshop for The Charlotte Writers' Club: "Writing Ekphrastic Poetry" (a benefit)

2008: Reception for After Shocks Anthology

2004: Queens College, panel discussion on "The Art and Craft of Writing," Queens Library

2004: Advisory Committee for Central Piedmont Community College Spring Literary Festival (since 1994)

2004: Review of Cathy Smith Bowers A Book of Minutes, Main Street Rag

2003-05: Associate Editor of Main Street Rag

2002-03: Charlotte Writers’ Club: Vice President of Contests

2001: North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference Planning Committee (also 1995)

2002: Queens College, Melton Award, judge for poetry

2001: Queens College, Melton Award, judge for creative nonfiction

1998: Poetry Council of North Carolina: Charlotte Young Contest, judge

1998: Article: Rebecca McClanahan, featured poet, Independence Blvd.

1996: Series of workshops for the George Shinn Homeless Shelter

1994-95: Board of Trustees, North Carolina Writers’ Network

1993: Central Piedmont Community College: Panel Discussion, "What is a Chapbook?"