April 2020 VOLUME 27, ISSUE 8
A Word from the CWC Executive Board
In response to concerns about Coronavirus, we have taken a number of precautionary steps to protect the health and safety of our members, including canceling our in-person activities for the time being. Here are a few items for your attention.
We hope you are staying healthy and sane in these uncertain times. Since our craft is a solitary pursuit, we writers may be uniquely wired to handle this new normal-and the found time it provides perhaps might allow you to dust off that manuscript, complete your poetry chap book or start telling a new story. Whether you're keeping a journal to document your experiences and emotions or are creating something new, we encourage you to take this time to write.
Keep an eye on the CWC website. That's where you'll find the most up-to-date information and writing resources. We'll also post on Facebook and send out monthly newsletters. (Normally the newsletter takes the summer off, but this year we'll keep it going to keep you informed about our plans.)
Although we will not hold in-person meetings until we are able to do so, your executive board has been brainstorming ways to help keep you engaged and to remind you that social distancing does not mean social isolation. We can still connect with one another and we encourage you to do so. You can look up other members using our Wild Apricot
and send each other messages directly from that site. To do so: login, then go to Membership Directory and search by name. Click on the member's name, then click "Send Message" button or grab their email address or (if they've shared it) their phone number.
Please renew your membership when you are notified and use the online payment system. Membership fees constitute the majority of the club's income, which we then use to pay for our programming and the church facility fees. Your board is hard at work planning for the next year. Note that we might not be visiting the post office box for a while, so if you mail us a check it may be in the box for many weeks.
Now, here's what is going on with club events.
- Monthly Club Meetings: The March 17 and April 21 club meetings have been cancelled. We are looking into rescheduling those speakers for next season. We'll monitor the situation with the virus over the next month to determine if we should cancel our May General meeting, too.
- Workshops: We cancelled Abigail DeWitt's workshop scheduled for March 21, and hope to reschedule it as well. Refunds should all have been processed, so please let us know if you haven't received yours.
- Open Mic Nights at Mugs Coffee: March 20th and April 17th Open Mic nights were cancelled due to Mecklenburg County and North Carolina Stay at Home orders. We will not resume until those orders are lifted.
- Contests: The Poetry Contest and the Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Story Contest are both closed. The Poetry Contest winners are announced later in the newsletter. The Short Story Contest is in the process of being judged. The submission period is also over for CWC North's Beyond Poems and Paintings. The names of the poets and poems selected for artist interpretation are announced later in this newsletter. If there is no general meeting in May, we will announce the winners of the Elizabeth Simpson Smith in the May newsletter.
- Spring and End-of-Season Socials: These, of course, have been put on hold.
- Critique Groups: Critique group leaders are finding ways to continue with virtual meetings though Zoom, Skype, FreeConferenceCall, and other services or emailing each other comments. If you are in a CWC-sponsored critique group, your leader will explain how your group will work during the virus period.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the president through the website Contact Us page.
Keep Writing and Stay Well,
Caroline Kane Kenna, CWC president
(If you would like additional information on preventative measures, and the impact of the Coronavirus on North Carolina please visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website at
. Looking for ways to help the larger community? Check out Covid-19 Greater Charlotte Mutual Aid
or on Facebook.)
APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH
In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent:
a thing is brought forth which we didn't know we had in us,
so we blink out eyes as if a tiger had sprung out
and stood in the light, lashing his tail.
--Chez Milosz, from Ars Poetica
The above quote says to me that the tiger we release when we write is the mystery and wonder of writing. The unexpected, out of the dark jungle of our hearts and minds, sprung from the depth of our being-" the constellation of the unconscious" as a great poet, Stanley Kunitz, said when speaking of what happens when we go deeper. It's work and it's scary, just as the blank page is scary. But as writers that is our goal-to meet up with a tiger and see what imaginative paths he may lead us down. The poet Carl Phillips calls it the "act of daring." Theodore Roethke said "Poetry is an act of mischief."
We can examine the surprises, and use the tools of revision that help us write our way to the heart of a poem. We find our voices in first drafts, in overwriting, in exploring our thoughts through writing them down, exploring our emotions, our own recurring images. If we trust these images, they may take us to mystery and beauty never imagined.
We also need to listen to the voices in our heads, the voices all around us. Sounds are a major element of poems. We read with our ears when poems are in front of us on the page or the screen. Robert Frost maintained that an appetite for sounds is the first qualification for a writer.
Other challenges and pleasures can come from experimenting with how the poem looks on the page-crafting with both formal and free verse patterns.
In revision, what is held back may enable us to give more - to ourselves and our readers - the poem behind the poem or as prose writers might put it, the story behind the story. All this while trusting the struggle to make our poems better than ourselves - not smarter, better.
Believe me, I have no illusions about the impact of poetry in this world. As William Carlos Williams so famously said:
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.
From Asphodel, That Greeny Flower
Yet, after terrible disasters like 9/11, poems were pinned all over the fencing around the craters where the towers came down. More recently poems were put up in Paris near Notre Dame Cathedral after that tragic fire. And now we, and most of the world are in the turmoil of dealing, in the best ways we know how, with combating and trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 virus crisis.
In times like the present, I think of what Martin Luther King said, "We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."
So why not poetry? Let the tiger in us as writers be the strength to reach out to each other, to make poetry a major consolation in times of isolation.
We are writers. Let's write letters. Let's use the technological tools we have to send poems and connect with friends, family and each other. And let's be confident we will gather and meet again in the not too distant future. I want to end with some beautiful words from the late poet, novelist and Nobel Prize winner, the beautiful Toni Morrison.
There is no time for despair,
no place for self-pity,
no need for silence,
no room for fear,
We speak, we write, we do language.
That is how civilizations heal.
Congratulations 2020 Poetry Contest Winners!
Judge Catherine Carter who lives with her husband near Western Carolina University, is a professor in the English Education and professional writing programs. Her most recent collection of poetry
is Larvae of the Nearest Stars (LSU Press, 2019); her work has also appeared in
Best American Poetry 2009, Orion, Poetry, and Ploughshares, among others. It has won the North Carolina Literary Review's 2018 James Applewhite Prize for poetry, the Roanoke-Chowan Award, the Randall Jarrell Award, the Jacar Press annual chapbook contest, and the Still: The Journal award for poetry.
She said of the 32 entries, "I enjoyed reading all the poems. There were a number of strong entries, and it was difficult to make the selection, but here's what I have."
First Place: Lucinda Trew: "The Ride"
"This poem, ostensibly about a carnival ride, is musical, oblique but not obscure, and rich in closely-observed detail work. It also offers a controlling metaphor which doesn't bludgeon the reader."
Second Place: Becky Aijala:
"Jumping Waves with My Mother at Horseneck Beach" "offers the poetry of joy, which can sometimes be surprisingly hard to find, carefully crafted descriptions of the concrete world (especially the seaweed), and deceptive simplicity of language."
Third Place: Janet Ford:
"situates the reader in both the poignancy and the love of a holiday in which gifts are severely limited by finances and the children learn very young how much, or how little, it's safe to ask for. Its matter-of-fact ending was especially strong."
The poets placing first and second are CWC members and third place poet is a North Carolina resident.
Meet-a-Member - C. S. Smith
C.S. "Cyn" Smith is an aspiring author of romantic suspense who, after
years of playing with other authors' characters, decided to
let the ones in her own head come out to play. She is a member of Charlotte Writers' Club, R
mance Writers of America, Carolina Romance Writers, and the Charlotte Center for Literary Arts. Cyn has a bachelor's and master's degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she spent her formative years surrounded by good looking men in uniform, including the one she married. A native New Englander, Cyn has spent half her life in North Carolina training a husband and raising three kids plus an assortment of Golden Retrievers.
When and Where Do I Write the Best? My writing room (formerly child's bedroom), but I've written in other places in my house, Panera and Dunkin Donuts. Pre-pandemic: afternoons worked best, although I'm often right in the thick of it when I must stop and make dinner! Now: right after the coffee is made or I've walked the dog, to when I cannot look at my work any longer.
Favorite writing tool?
My Surface Pro laptop. Microsoft Word.
Favorite advice about writing?
The best piece of advice I got was a presentation on the Kaizen Five-Year Plan for my writing career (many thanks to Ann V. Stewart, a local Charlotte author and teacher).
A favorite writing resource (book, website, etc.)
by Lisa Cron, Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody (based on Blake Synder's Save the Cat), The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. Workshops by other authors.
Best writing advice you've received and actually taken?
and editing as you write (this is still a work-in-progress).
One thing I would like help with?
Writing and editing faster.
Hello CWC! We love to
for the format and questions.
Beyond Poems & Paintings: An Ekphrastic Art Exhibit
The CWC North and Mooresville Arts project is entering its second phase. Artists will interpret the selected poems. Paintings and poems will be exhibited at the Mooresville Gallery in the fall.
We had 23 submissions.
Thanks to everyone for such fine work. Thank you, readers, for winnowing the group and to the poet/artist who chose the final eight. The poems and poets are:
Asters by David Radavich
Desert Passage at Night by Sarah Archer
The Great Blue Heron by John McGillicuddy
Exhale by Adrienne Gilman
Cello in Moonlight by Richard Allen Taylor
The Timekeeper by Mary Struble Deery
A Brass Ring by Peter Krones
Little Birds by Christine
Fellow CWC member Dennis Carrigan is looking for help promoting the Kindle edition of his n
ew novel, Unusual Suspects. "Customer reviews are very important for writers. without them, he said, "we can't even advertise our books."
Dennis is offering a free digital copy if you are willing to read Unusual Suspects and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads,
Interested? Leave an email for
by clicking on his name,
here, for Amazon.
Prompts & Inspiration, Virtual & Otherwise
Keeping Pen to Paper:
Mini lesson and a prompt every Wednesday from
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
A virtual version of its main library group meets every Thursday from 10 to 11:30 am,, Please
and a link will be sent to you. Pam Turner facilitates. If you are unable to meet in the morning, contact
as she is open to adding an evening group if there's enough interest.
Poetry in Pajamas
and write new poems where you are on Wednesday, April 8 and 22, noon to 1 pm. Or take a poetry workshop
A Journey Through the Senses
led by Shane Manier on April 15th from 4 to 5 pm. Register with an email address and the meeting link will be sent to you on the day of the program.
On April 21st - Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Charlotte Readers Podcast
celebrate National Poetry Month by bringing five local poets, Bluz, Jay Ward, Kathie Collins, Kia Flow and Shane Manier to the podcast stage. Learn more about the poets and their work and connect with the show at
Charlotte Readers Podcast
SEE the poets.
April is Writers Camp Month. Join the online challenge
Not quite ready to write? Escape with a good book, a poem a day or a podcast like The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, The Daily's 'Sugar Calling' or an episode of
The Charlotte Readers Podcast.
Many of the prose writers and poets, (as well as host Landis Wade) are CWC members. Hearing fellow members read, talk about their work and their writing life may be just what you need to get your creative juices flowing.
If you have other suggestions please share them at Contact Us on the website and we'll post them on our Facebook page!
CWC Needs Your Talent for Our Leadership Team, interested in serving the club, please contact our Vice President of Nominating
to learn more about what we need and how your skills might fit. All positions are one year terms.
VP of Membership position OPEN!
- Monitor membership software for new, renewal and lapsed memberships. Send periodic email notifications to members lapsed more than 60 days, then archive member info. Maintain communication with treasurer and/or other board members, and update membership status for payments received offline (i.e. check or cash).
- Communicate with members to resolve any questions, concerns or problems regarding aspects of membership.
- Use system templates to set up electronic events notices for regular monthly meetings and social events, as well as for other events (i.e. workshops, etc.) on an as needed basis.
- Maintain member name tags between events. Print attendance lists and prepare name tags for each meeting, as well as for other events as needed. Attend and/or coordinate help with event check-in. Collect name tags at the end of each event
- Present periodic membership reports at board and/or regular general meetings.
Open Mic Nights!
5126 Park Rd #1d, Charlotte, NC 28209
On Hold For Now
Tuesday April 28, 2020 Landis Wade releases the 100th episode
of Charlotte Readers Podcast.
He will interview a yet-to-be revealed nationally known best-selling author whose book series was the basis for an award-winning Netflix series and announce the line-up for Season 6. You can find out more about what's coming and engage with the podcast at this link:
Charlotte Lit is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit literary arts center, engaging and educating writers and readers, and building a stronger Charlotte through literature.
for events hosted by Charlotte Lit.
Charlotte Lit promotes a deeper understanding of self, community, and world by inspiring and educating readers, developing and supporting writers, and promoting creative, arts-focused conversations that strengthen and transform our community.
Membership in the Charlotte Writers' Club entitles you to participate in workshops, critique groups, contests, and guest speaker programs. The cost is a modest $35 per year for individuals
and $20 for students.
We welcome writers in all genres and forms to join our Charlotte-area literary community. Your membership in the Charlotte Writers' Club helps support writers, readers, and literacy at a critical time in our nation's and our city's history. Join here.
To Join or Renew click this
Link and follow the instructions.
Charlotte Writers' Club
P.O. Box 220954
Charlotte, NC 28222
Copyright © 2019. All Rights Reserved.