The Poetry Society of South Carolina
Monthly Programs


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General Information

Second-Friday Readings are free and open to the public. Book signing and reception follow the program, held on the second Friday of the month in downtown Charleston at:

  The Charleston Library Society
  164 King Street (just before Queen)  
  7:00 p.m.

Seminars are also held at The Charleston Library Society, unless otherwise stated, and run from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Members $10, College of Charleston students free, all others $15.  

Click here for a printable flyer of our programs.

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September 13
Nick Bozanic with Danielle DeTiberus
Nick Bozanic has two chapbooks of poetry, Wood Birds Water Stones and One Place, and three collections, The Long Drive Home (Anhinga Prize, 1989) and This Once: Poems 1976-1996, and Lost River Fugue (bedouin, 2013). His work has appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Raritan Review, Modern Painters, Manoa, The Yale Review, and others. Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs at Ashley Hall, he has received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Danielle DeTiberus lives and teaches in Charleston. Her work has appeared in The Southeast Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, Arts and Letters, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Tar River Poetry. Her first manuscript, Love and Other Hand Grenades, is currently seeking a home.

September 14
Seminar with Nick Bozanic, “Poetic Silence”
Octavio Paz once claimed that poems are carefully contrived devises for creating silence. Regarded as such, poems could remedy for the noise that Kierkegaard understood to be the existential illness of modernity. In this seminar, we’ll explore how poems engender silence—both in the author and in the audience—and the character of that silence, as well as what the curative powers, if any, of that silence might be.

October 11
Anna Journey with David St. John
Photo: S. Diani
Anna Journey, author of Vulgar Remedies (LSU Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (UGA Press, 2009; National Poetry Series), has published in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, FIELD, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the NEA. She teaches creative writing in the Pacific U MFA in Writing program.

David St. John has received NEA, Guggenheim Foundation, and Rome fellowships, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize for teaching and poetic achievement, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his ten volumes of poetry is Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry; Where the Angels Come Toward Us is his collection of essays, interviews, and reviews. He teaches at The University of Southern California and lives in Venice Beach.

October 12
Seminar with Anna Journey, “Aesop's Offspring: Poets and the Contemporary Beast Fable”

November 8
Susan Meyers with Aubrey Moore
Susan Laughter Meyers’s new release, My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, won the inaugural Cider Press Review Editors Prize, and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and the Robert Dana Anhinga Poetry Prize. She is the 2013 recipient of The SC Academy of Authors’ Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship. Her poems appear in Prairie Schooner, NC Literary Review, Poemeleon, and Rabbit.

Norris Aubrey Moore is a junior at the College of Charleston majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She graduated from the School of the Arts, where she also majored in Creative Writing and received a National Gold from the Scholastic Writing Awards. She published her poetry collection Cause We’ve Ended as Children in 2011 and intends to further her studies in poetry by working toward an MFA degree.

November 9
Seminar with Susan Meyers, “The Epistolary Poem: Letters from Within.” “Good letter poems are satisfying to steam open,” says poet Robin Behn. Though their subjects may seem ordinary, beneath the surface lies urgency. Written to an individual but to be read by many, they allow the poet to be both intimate and public. We’ll immerse ourselves in the epistolary—with discussion, writing, and letter poems such as Jane Springer’s “Dear Blackbird” and Melissa Morphew’s “The Missionary Writes to Her Fiancé Concerning Blindman’s Bluff.” Let’s delve into the imagination—and, this time, strike up a correspondence.

December 12 (Thursday, $15 benefitting the Library Society)
Special Event:
A Celebration of Seeking
with Nikky Finney and Jonathan Green

Join us for a reading from Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, with Conway native Nikky Finney and other contributors, and remarks by artist Jonathan Green. Co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at USC, Finney has written five books, Head Off & Split (2011 National Book Award), The World Is Round (2003), Heartwood (1997), Rice (1995), and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985), and edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007).

December 1
Deadline, SCAA Carrie Nickens McCrae Fellowship applications
[click here for pdf]

December 13
Holiday Party, for PSSC Members Only

January 10
Open Mic with Jim Lundy
Native Detroiter Jim Lundy has lived in Charleston since 1988. Immediate past president of the PSSC, he has served on its board since 2006, and is curator and emcee of Monday Night Poetry & Music, Charleston's longest-running open mic. He read for Charleston County Public Library's "A Rather Poetic Evening" series, and Piccolo Spoleto's "Stories for Life Festival" and "Sundown Poetry Series." He has two chapbooks of poetry, All I Can Be Is Myself (2006), and Funny in the Way of Trenchant Men (2009), and a CD of original songs, Don't Believe Every Story You're Told (2012).

February 14
Josh Bell with Jillian Weise
Josh Bell is the author of No Planets Strike (U. of Nebraska Press, 2005). He has an MFA from the Iowa Writer's workshop and a Ph.D. from U of Cincinnati. Formerly a Lecturer in the MFA program at Columbia University, he is currently Briggs Copeland Lecturer on English at Harvard University. He has recently published poems in The New Republic, Tin House, The Awl, and Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

Poet, playwright, and Clemson assistant professor Jillian Weise is the author of a poetry collection, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, and a novel, The Colony. Her work has appeared in A Public Space, The New York Times, Tin House and elsewhere. Her new The Book of Goodbyes, comprising poems written as a Fulbright Fellow in Argentina, won both the James Laughlin Award and the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award.

February 15
Seminar with Josh Bell,
“Another Valentine’s Day Seminar on the Love Poem”

March 14
April Ossmann with Denise K. James
April Ossmann is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books), recipient of a 2013 Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, and former executive director of Alice James Books. She is a publishing and editing consultant, and teaches at the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Sierra Nevada College.

Denise K. James was awarded PSSC's Forum Prize in 2013. Her poems have appeared in Illuminations Magazine, RE:Union Literary Journal, the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and other publications. Denise lives and writes in Charleston.

March 15
Seminar with April Ossmann, “Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order a Poetry Manuscript”

March 22
Seminar in Greenville with Phebe Davidson
in co-operation with Emrys Foundation

10:00 a.m. – noon
Sears Shelter in McPherson Park
100 E. Park Ave, Greenville, SC
$20 for PSSC and Emrys members, $25 nonmembers.
Registration is limited. Sign up at www.emrys.org.

Poets are often told they should trust the language. This is good advice but often hard to follow. Distractions abound: the sound of a doorbell or oven timer, the urge to get out of the house or office, a neighbor's dog barking at three a.m., a feral cat singing his lust into the night. Even the desire to dodge a heavy rhyme can pull us away from that seemingly simple goal: Trust the language. So think of this as an exercise in not overthinking process. Today we'll put words in the driver's seat, while we enjoy the ride.

Phebe Davidson is the author of some 20 published collections, most recently Waking to Light (2012), Plasma Justice (2011), and Seven Mile (2009), all from Main Street Rag. What Holds Him to this World won the 2013 SC Poetry Archive Book Prize and will be released by 96 Press. A contributing editor at Tar River Poetry and a staff writer for The Asheville Poetry Review, her book reviews, poems, and essays appear regularly in print and online. Distinguished Professor Emerita of USC Aiken and six-time Pushcart nominee, she has won the Kinloch Rivers, Amelia, Soundpost Press, and Ledge Press manuscript prizes. She is “still a recovering academic, up to her neck in poems.”

Davidson has offered to read 3-5 poems by participants for a $30 fee. Maximum of 40 lines each. Manuscripts (and checks) can be mailed to Phebe Davidson / 204 Creek Forest Drive / Greenville, SC 29615.

PSSC thanks Nancy Dew Taylor for planning this event.


Stephen Knauth with Samuel Carlyle Graebner

Stephen Knauth is the author of The River I Know You By and Twenty Shadows, both from Four Way Books, and several other poetry collections. His poems have appeared in FIELD, North American Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, and Poetry Daily. He has received grants from the NEA and the NC Arts Council.

Samuel Carlyle Graebner is a senior English Major at the College of Charleston, with a concentration in Creative Writing in poetry. He won the Eugene O'Neill Young Playwrights award in 2007, and has been published in Flashquake. Most recently, he successfully crowd-funded his first book of poetry, Condor.

April 12, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Seminar with Stephen Knauth, “Shaking the Family Tree”
The family has always been a deep source of material for writers, but revealing family secrets and intimate personal details can lead through difficult emotional terrain, especially when family members may read the work and resent it, question its accuracy and your motives for publishing it. We’ll discuss some of the land mines along the way, share experiences, and look at some examples of poems that use direct and indirect methods of handling volatile personal and family issues.

May 9
Annual Forum with Alan Michael Parker
Alan Michael Parker is Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Davidson College. Among his awards are three Pushcart Prizes, Best American Poetry, the Fineline Prize from Mid-American Review, the Randall Jarrell Award, and the Medwick Award (PSA). He has written three novels and seven collections of poems, most recently Long Division, winner of the 2012 NC Book Award.

May 10, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Seminar with Alan Michael Parker, “The Poetics of Time” In this program, we will consider how a poem makes, breaks, or otherwise slakes time. Bring writing materials and some kind of chronometer—a watch, a smartphone, etc.
The Poetry Society has hosted writers groups regularly since the early 1920s.  Poetry Society members are invited to attend free of charge for support and critique of their poetry.

For more information, contact PSSC.

Charleston Library Society
10:00 a.m. until noon, begins September 28, 2013. Moderators will be organized by the Long Table Poets. Open to PSSC members and Charleston Library Society members only.

September 28 - Mary Hutchins Harris
October 26 - Richard Garcia
November 23 - Susan Meyers
December ????
January 25 - Katherine Williams
February 22
March 22
April 26

Ralph H. Johnson VAMC
Free monthly workshop for veterans led by Richard Garcia.

Lowcountry Senior Center
Free workshop for LSC members led by Richard Garcia, first Wednesday of the month. Open to the public; small facility fee for non-members.