Of ample hills: The 2011 Mountain Xpress Poetry Prize

Western North Carolina has long history as a mecca for the written word. From Thomas Wolfe to Wilma Dykeman, O. Henry to Charles Frazier, our mountains have been home to a diverse group of esteemed authors, many of them poets. Is it coincidence that the last three poets laureate of North Carolina — Fred Chappell, Katherine Stripling Byer and Cathy Smith Bowers — are from the mountains? And we know there are more poets in these hills.