Greening Up the Mountains Poetry Contest
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By sdickson

Greening Up the Mountains Poetry Contest for Jackson County School students, sponsored by City Lights Bookstore and NC Poet Laureate Emerita Kathryn Byer.  


The inaugural poetry contest celebrating our mountains and our connection to them in our everyday lives is open to all Jackson County Students, K-12.  The categories for poets are K-4th grade, 5th-8th grade, and 9-12th, and three winners, in addition to Honorable Mentions, will be chosen in each category.  Poems should be no longer than 40 lines and can be much shorter, of course. Deadline for submission is April 1st.


Think of haiku that expresses so well moments like these:


In the coolness

of the empty sky

a hawk floats downwind  



The crow has flown away:

swaying in the evening sun

a sycamore tree    


A poem can celebrate the names of places we love, as in this one by Kathryn Byer.


Now Rocky Face Ridge catches fire

in the last light, and though I can’t hear it

from where I stand, Cullowhee Creek tumbles into

the Tuckasegee, always unscrolling beneath me

the names I already know.   Snowbird.

Buzzards Roost.  Weyahutta.  Oconaluftee.    


Poems should be submitted to City Lights Bookstore, either in person, by snail mail or by email at  Please include Poetry Contest in the subject line. Teachers may submit poems written by their students, or the poets or family members may do so on their own.  Please include the name and age category of the poet.   All poems will be judged anonymously. Judges will be Catherine Carter of the WCU English Dept. and Brent Martin, Wilderness Society Director for our region.


And now to the most important part!  The winners in each category will receive gift certificates to City Lights Bookstore and will be invited to read at Greening up the Mountains on April 28.   Deadline:  April 1.   Winners will be announced by April 20.  For more information contact City Lights at 828- 586-9499, or Kathryn Byer,

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