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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: New Mountain Voices – High School

NEW MOUNTAIN VOICES HIGH SCHOOL

Natalie Sypolt

's work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Appalachian Heritage, Willow Springs Review, and The Kenyon Review Online, among other publications. Natalie is the winner of the Glimmer Train New Writers Contest, the Betty Gabehart Prize, and Still: The Journal’s fiction competition. She is also an active book reviewer whose work has appeared in Los Angeles Review, Fjords Review, Paste, Shenandoah, Harpur Palate, and Mid American Review. Additionally, Natalie serves as a literary editor for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, is on the selection committee for the prestigious Weatherford Award in Fiction, is the High School Workshop Coordinator for the West Virginia Writers Workshop at West Virginia University, and is co-host of SummerBooks: A literary podcast. Natalie currently works as an Assistant Professor at Pierpont Community & Technical College.

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Happy Birthday!

Today, February 26, 2017, marks the 40th birthday of West Virginia Writers, Inc.

West Virginia Writers

A Brief History

(By Mike Pauley, originally published in Catching the Crow,

 the first WV Writers anthology in 1982.)

 

West Virginia Writers began at a meeting in February 1977 at the Cultural Center in Charleston.  The meeting was called by James B. Andrews, Director of Arts & Humanities, W.Va. Department of Culture and History of the State of West Virginia, after Mr. Andrews had received numerous suggestions that such a group needed to organize.  About 25 people attended, including Shirley Campbell, Jim Comstock (editor of W. Va. Hillbilly), poet-historian Doris Miller, poet Kirk Judd, poet Lyle Parkins, Michael Pauley (president of the Appalachian Literary League), Pat Love (co-editor of The Illustrated Appalachian Intelligencer), Helen Carper, Dolly Withrow, Dr. William Plumley, poet Jane Somerville, poet Bonnie McKeown, and others.  At this meeting a committee was formed to further investigate the possibilities of forming a permanent organization.

The West Virginia Writers Committee, chaired by Shirley Young Campbell, met several times during the following months, enlisted further support, compiled mailing lists, etc., and in April 1977 incorporated as West Virginia Writers, Inc.  The first officers were president, Dr. William Plumley; vice president, Lawrence Levy; treasurer, Helen Carper; and secretary, Shirley Young Campbell.  A constitution and by-laws were drawn up and adopted.

In June 1977 the organization held its first constitutionally mandated business meeting (officers to be elected from July 1 to July 1) at the Cultural Center.  At this meeting it was decided to hold a state-wide Writers Conference the following year.  Officers for 1977-78 were elected as follows:  president, Dr. William Plumley; vice president, Michael J. Pauley; treasurer, Betty MacQueen, secretary, Julia Canady.

The first W.Va. Writers Conference was held in June 1978 at the Cultural Center in Charleston and was an overwhelming success.  Nearly 200 writers from all over the state attended the three-day affair, and there was much excitement and comraderie in the air.

Since 1978, West Virginia Writers has held a conference every year and continues to grow in membership and activity.

Regional literary magazines and publishers have had great input into the organization and have allowed for the wide publication of members’ works.  New books have been published due the influence of WVW and, most importantly, WVW has served to bring many writers, editors, publishers, critics, etc., from all over West Virginia and the region together.

In 1981-82 WVW sponsored its first state-wide Writers Awards Program, as well as the first state-wide Poetry Contest.  Altogether, nearly 1300 individuals entered both contests and over $6,000 in award money was distributed by WVW.

In addition to the annual conferences and to the awards contests, West Virginia Writers was the leading force in bringing about the “Poet’s Corner” program done by the W.Va. Dept. of Culture and History.  During the Poet’s Corner series, which spanned 1979-1981, over 100 West Virginia poets read their works at the Cultural Center in Charleston and were paid substantial honoraria, plus expenses, for doing so.

WVW also sponsored and administered the one-year residency of famed native author Davis Grubb during 1987-79, sponsoring his many readings and talks throughout the state during that period. WVW has promoted regional meetings and gathers of writers from around the state.

 

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Emerging Writers Poetry

Grady Hillman

EMERGING WRITERS POETRY

Grady Hillman is a literary translator, poet and performer and received the Austin Book Award for his poetry collection Razor Wire. His poetry and poetry translations have been published in more than 50 literary journals and anthologies. Hillman has been a solo artist or part of an ensemble in 300 poetry performances. He directed or co-directed three inter-disciplinary performing companies: Clearlight, PoDan Sam, and WordWork.

Hillman holds an M.A. in linguistic anthropology and conducted a Fulbright Grant to Peru to research and record Quechua narratives between 1989-90. Prior to receiving his Fulbright, he published a book of historical Quechua verse with Guillermo Delgado, Return of the Inca. Hillman has translated and published more Quechua verse since his year in Peru, and he has published and performed Russian and Spanish translations as well.

As a young poet, Hillman began work in the Poet in the Schools program in Texas. That led him to the Texas prison system where he conducted a three-year residency as the Poet in the Schools for the Windham School System, the state-wide prison program. For thirty years, he has worked as a consultant and artist for community arts programs in the US and abroad. (He collected and edited anthologies of Katrina memoirs--Writing Mobile Bay: The Hurricane Project (Alabama Writer's Forum) and Walking the Waterfront: Pascagoula Remembers America's Most Destructive Natural Disaster (National Communities in Schools and the Mississippi Arts Commission)). However, Hillman is best known in the community arts realm for his work in correctional arts. He edited or co-edited state-wide anthologies of prison writing in Texas (Writer's Block) and California (About Time III). For the last four years, he has served as a mentor and consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts and Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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Debbie Crim on WBOY TV

Our own Debbie Crim, regional rep for Region 9, will be appearing on WBOY TV in Clarksburg tomorrow, promoting the WV Writers Writing Contests.  Tune in to see her.

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WVWriters at Arts Day at the Capitol

West Virginia Writers, Inc. will be participating in "Arts Day at the Capitol" this Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The event takes place from 10 am to 1 pm, and will be held in the upper rotunda of the state capitol. We will have a table (#7) and be set up in Display Hall alongside over 40 other WV arts organizations.

Besides representing WV Writers, it's also a good chance to network and see what other artists are doing around the state.

We'll have information available on the contest, membership, and the 2017 conference.

Please stop by our table. We're also looking for any volunteers to help out at the table. No advance notice needed, just show up.

You can bring books to display, but no sales are allowed.

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Poets Cafe reminder

(From Danny McMillian)

Poets Cafe will take place tomorrow, Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, at the Beckley Art Center, 600 Johnstown Road, Beckley, WV USA

Doors open at 6:30; readings begin at 7:00 p.m.

FREE Admission; Donation of art supplies encouraged (drawing paper, pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, etc.)

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Third Thursday Poetry night

The inaugural Third Thursday poetry show is tonight, @ Domestic, 117 E. German St. in Shepherdstown.

The event features Martinsburg's own Earl Hairston with an open mic to follow.

Sign-up for the open mic begins at 7:30pm.

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Dozen: the Best of Breath and Shadow, edited by Chris Kuell

Breath and Shadow is a literary journal of disability culture, written and edited exclusively by people with disabilities.

In their collection, Dozen: the Best of Breath and Shadow, editor Chris Kuell (award-winning West Virginia Writer, and editor of the WV Writers Roundtable anthology Mountain Voices) presents the best writing from the magazine’s first 12 years. This collection of our best essays, poems, and short stories shines a light on the many gifts, ideas, and voices of writers who are disabled and removes many of the hurdles faced in mainstream publications.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go back into Breath and Shadow, allowing us to increase contributor payments and reach a wider and more diverse audience.

To learn more, visit them at www.abilitymaine.org/breath.

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Poets Cafe for January (Beckley, WV area)

(From Danny McMillian)

Heads up, Writers.  If you're planning on presenting  you might want to start getting ready.

Poets Cafe will take place Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, at the Beckley Art Center, 600 Johnstown Road, Beckley, WV USA

Doors open at 6:30; readings begin at 7:00 p.m.

FREE Admission; Donation of art supplies encouraged (drawing paper, pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, etc.)

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First entries!

The first packet of West Virginia Writers contest entries for 2017 has arrived. Unless you're Carole Garrison, yours are yet to arrive.

wvv-first-entry

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