Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Vandercook­ed Poetry Nights celebrate the intersecti­on of art and writing

If athletics and poetry seem like strange bedfellows, then you haven’t read Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s sports desk columns for The Best American Poetry blog. “Two days later it still feels awfully good to think about that game,” she wrote after the 2010 Super Bowl (New Orleans won). “And yet, like the jambalaya I made on Sunday, […]

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North Carolina writing contests in January

Why wait for the second quarter, or spring or summer to rack up a prestigious writing prize? Local and regional contests are currently accepting submissions. Prize purses, publications and accolades await. Plus, several of these contests honor local literary greats (Thomas Wolfe and Carl Sandburg among them). 1. North Carolina Poetry Society poetry contests The […]

Illustration courtesy of Joshua Warren

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. STEVE SHELL POETRY Steve Shell, […]

Allan Wolf at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Photo from Wolf's Facebook page.

Poetic injustice: Locals respond to N.C.’s poet laureate debate

Poetry has long been an action-packed artistic genre in Western North Carolina. Here, it’s not merely written but spoken, slammed and taken into schools (thanks to Poetry Alive! — which celebrates its 30th anniversary with an event at The White Horse on Aug. 15 — and LEAF in Schools & Streets, among other initiatives). In […]

SLAM DUNK: Last year’s Asheville Wordslam winners pose with the coveted gold trophy. From left: Sam Bible Sullivan, Devon Dunbar, Devin Jones, and Nian Avery. Photo courtesy of Janet Hurley

The fire within: Asheville Writers in the Schools hosts slam poetry competitio­n

“I was initially intimidated by slam,” says Kimbi Mullins, also known as Kimbi the Goddess. With a stage name like that — not to mention her magnetic stage presence — it’s hard to picture the Greenville, S.C., poet as anything but confident. “What it did,” she continues, “was bring out a fire in me and my writing through the true spirit of a poetry slam. This is the same advice I give to others who may fear it or be against it for whatever reasons: It allows you to tap into that fire within.”