Elizabeth W. Jackson of Raleigh is the winner of the 2014 James Applewhite Poetry competition for her poem "East End, West End." Jackson will receive a prize of $250, and her poem will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2015 issue.
Jackson is a practicing psychologist and writer. She has published in a variety of fields, including psychology and the visual arts. Her poetry has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Potomac Review, and Crab Orchard Review and is forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina. Her honors include grants awarded by the Vermont Studio Center and the United Arts Council.
Fifty-three poets submitted up to five poems each to this year’s Applewhite competition. Poet James Applewhite selected Jackson’s poem from 17 poems selected by NCLR Poetry Editor Jeffrey Franklin for publication in the NCLR 2015 issues.
Applewhite said of the winning poem, “From the first line, ‘East End, West End’ sounds authentic, as poem and as portrait of a human relationship. The voice of this observer of ‘Mrs. Jamison’ and her paid companion is possibly that of a neighbor – one who understands their mutual dependency. This language is exact, economical, insightful, but also that of one believably close to this pair. The pathos of aging is balanced by a tone of acceptance, in a voice close enough to them that it shares in the understanding the two have created, across differences of economic situation, age, and color. This suspended tension is achieved with verbal assurance, one of the markers of fine poetry. I was delighted to find so good a poem as winner of this year's competition.”
Applewhite also noted 3 poems for honorable mention: “Going Again” by Marilyn Hervieux of Hillsborough, “Inspector 17” by Susan Lefler of Brevard, and “How We Got Our Names” by Marty Silverthorne of Greenville. The other finalists who had poems selected for publication in NCLR’s 2015 issues are Richard Betz, Barbara Conrad, Robert Hill, Marc Johnston, Janet Joyner, and Grace Ocasio.
Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, the North Carolina Literary Review has won numerous awards and citations.
A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2015 issue, featuring the winner and finalists from the 2014 James Applewhite Poetry Competition, as well as the 2016 issue, featuring poems from next year’s competition. For subscription information, go to www.nclr.ecu.edu/subscrip.html.