Catherine Carter, an assistant professor of English at Western Carolina University, has won the 2009 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Acclaimed poet Sarah Lindsay chose Carter’s poem “Toast” from approximately 100 entries. “It has a greater energy and rhythm…creates tension with a split viewpoint, and maintains the imagery throughout,” Lindsay said.
Carter will receive a $200 prize from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and her winning poem will be considered for publication in the literary journal The Crucible. Poets selected for honorable mention were Marjorie Hudson, Jeff Miles, Rebecca Warren and Mary Elizabeth Parker. “Catherine Carter’s unique poems are a joy to read and hear aloud, and they yield more and more subtle satisfactions the longer you live with them,” said Elizabeth Addison, head of the WCU English department. “It’s been an honor to share her department.” A resident of Cullowhee, Carter coordinates the English education program at WCU. Her work has appeared in Poetry, North Carolina Literary Review, Tar River, Main Street Rag and Cider Press Review, among others.
She will have work in the upcoming Best American Poetry 2009 anthology, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first book, “The Memory of Gills,” won the 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Award.
The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught for nearly 18 years at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the graduate program in creative writing at UNCG, and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.