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Poet Barbara Ras Reads, Announces Contest Winners

Poet Barbara Ras judged this year's NC State Poetry Contest.
Poet Barbara Ras served as judge for this year’s NC State Poetry Contest.

Plenty of promising poets took a chance and entered the 2012 NC State Poetry Contest, a statewide contest sponsored by NC State’s Creative Writing Program and supported by the Barnhardt Family Fund. The winners have been chosen (see below) and will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 11, at a poetry event that starts at 7:30 pm in Caldwell Lounge on the NC State campus.

Barbara Ras, poet and editorial director of Trinity University Press, judged this year’s contest. Ras is the author of Bite Every Sorrow (1998), One Hidden Stuff (2006), and The Last Skin (2010). She has won a Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets,  a Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.  She will congratulate the contest winners and read from her own work at the event on Wednesday.

The annual poetry contest, organized by the English Department’s Creative Writing Program, is one of the largest free literary competitions in the South.

Winner of the 2012 Poetry Prize:

  • Tasha Pippin, “At the Funeral”  (Rocky Mount, NC)

Honorable Mentions

  • Claudia McQuistion, “After A Death”  (Greensboro, NC)
  • Lance Morrison, “To Richard Siken”  (Raleigh, NC)
  • Kari Smith, “Pink”  (Raleigh, NC)
  • Matt Wimberley, “Black Mountain Poem”  (Beech Mountain, NC)


  • Elly Bookman, “In-Flight Poem”  (Greensboro, NC)
  • Megan Bostic, “If It’s A Boy”  (Raleigh, NC)
  • Evan Brisson, “My Father’s Hebrew Lesson”  (Raleigh, NC)
  • Gavin Cobb, “The Vacation Homes”  (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • Sierra Golden, “Bear”  (Raleigh, NC)
  • Elizabeth Jackson, “Dressing the Wound”  (Raleigh, NC)
  • Jonathan McClure, “Hospital, Night”  (Greensboro, NC)
  • Jessica Marie Plante, “Horses”  (Greensboro, NC)
  • Rob Shapiro, “The Map”  (Elon, NC)
  • Jennifer Whitaker, “The Lesson”  (Greensboro, NC)

Winner of the 2012 Undergraduate Poetry Prize

  • Evan Brisson, “My Father’s Hebrew Lesson”  (senior, English)

The Academy of American Poets Prize (for graduate students)

The national academy began awarding annual prizes to student poets at American universities and colleges in 1955. The prestigious program has expanded to include more than 200 schools.  Poet Kevin Boyle, chair of the Department of English at Elon University, judged the 2012 American Academny of Poets contest.

  • Sierra Golden, “Bear”  (Raleigh, NC