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3rd Annual James Larkin Pearson Poetry Competition

The James Larkin Pearson Poetry Competition for Wilkes and Caldwell County Middle and High School Students.


James  Larkin  Pearson  was  born  in  poverty  and  educated  at  Whippoorwill  Academy,  a  poet  and journalist emerged and became North Carolina’s second Poet Laureate from 1953 until his death in 1981.

Celebrating this beloved Tar Heel and his love of the written word, Whippoorwill Academy and Village is hosting the 3rd Annual James Larkin Pearson Poetry Competition.

Poetry will be judged and prizes awarded. Judging again this year is North Carolina’s 7th Poet Laureate, the renowned Joseph Bathanti.

All submissions are due by Friday, March 13th, 2020

For additional information, e-mail: or visit the Whippoorwill website or Facebook page

Joseph Bathanti is a former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award for Literature. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; This Metal, nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award; Land of Amnesia; Restoring Sacred Art, winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize, awarded annually by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association for best book of poetry in a given year; Sonnets of the Cross; Concertina, winner of the 2014 Roanoke Chowan Prize; and The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, released by LSU Press in 2016. His novel, East Liberty, won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award.

His book of stories, The High Heart, won the 2006 Spokane Prize. They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, his book of nonfiction, was published in early 2007. His recent book of personal essays, Half of What I Say Is Meaningless, winner of the Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction, is from Mercer University Press. A new novel, The Life of the World to Come, was released from University of South Carolina Press in late 2014. Bathanti is the McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor in Interdisciplinary Education & Writer-in Residence at Appalachian State University’s Watauga Residential College.

He has also served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville, NC.


Joseph Bathanti Professor of Creative Writing &

McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor at Appalachian State University,

North Carolina’s 7th Poet Laureate and winner of numerous poetry and writing awards.

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Open April 20th; June 15th;July 20th; August 17th; October 19th from 1-5 PM: Other times by appointment only
11928 NC Hwy 268 W Ferguson,
NC 28624

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NC 28624


Phone: (336) 973-3237


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