GREENSBORO, N.C. – Wayne Johns, professor of English at Greensboro College, has been awarded the 2019 James Applewhite Poetry Prize for his poem “Meditation in a Glass House.”
John will receive $250 in first-prize money, and his poem will be published in the 2020 print edition of the North Carolina Literary Review.
Final Judge Allison Adelle Hedge Coke said of Johns’s poem, “‘Meditation in a Glass House,’ ‘where morning glory takes over the world until the first frost,’ holds a supple presence in embracement of life, in muse of moment. Here, sweet and tender details from the field of view wide open hold such grace, introspection, peace.”
The North Carolina Literary Review established the James Applewhite Poetry Prize in 2011. Editor Margaret Bauer reports that this year, for the first time, over 100 poets submitted almost 350 total poems, a 26% increase from 2018, which was also a record-breaking year for submissions.
Hedge Coke selected the winning poem from 41 finalists by 37 poets (another record), selected for prize consideration by NCLR Poetry Editor Jeffrey Franklin.
North Carolina Literary Review has been produced at East Carolina University since 1992 and published by University of North Carolina Press since 2017.
The award is the third honor in a week for Johns. His first book of poems, “Antipsalm,” received the Editor’s Choice prize in Unicorn Press’s First Book Competition Series and Honorable Mention for the 2019 Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society, given for the best book published by a North Carolina native or current resident.
He is also the author of two chapbooks, “The Exclusion Zone” and “An Invisible Veil Between Us,” which received the Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, New England Review, Ploughshares, Image, and Prairie Schooner, among others. A former Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction, and Kingsbury. He recently had a short story included in the anthology “Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Tales of North Carolina.”
In addition to his teaching duties, Johns volunteers with the Guilford County High School Poet Laureate program and is a member of the board of Greensboro Literary Organization, which coordinates the annual Greensboro Bound Literary Festival.
Johns holds a B.A. from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College, an M.F.A. from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. He joined the faculty in 2007.
Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.
Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and six master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities. Learn more at greensboro.edu.
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