Lanier Library announces Sidney Lanier Award Poetry competition

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Lanier Library will accept poems entered in their annual Sidney Lanier Award Poetry competition until Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Cathy Smith Bowers

There is a first prize of $500 for the winning poem in the adult competition and $100 for the winning student. Additional prizes will be awarded and poems worthy of an honorable mention will also receive special recognition. Last year the prizes totaled $1,000. Prizes will be awarded by Cathy Smith Bowers during a ceremony at the Lanier Library in April.

To be eligible, poets must reside in either North or South Carolina and can not have had their poems previously published in book form. For additional information about entering the competition and entry forms, either visit or contact the Lanier Library at 72 Chestnut Street, Tryon, 29792 or visit

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North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers, a Tryon resident, will once again be the the competition’s judge. Bowers has received numerous awards for her work and is the author of four books of poetry.

It is the hope of the Sidney Lanier Poetry Award Committee that this year’s competition will equal or exceed the number of entries (around 140), that were received in each of the two previous years.

Last year was a banner year for Tryon with the winners of both the adult and student competitions being residents of the town. Nancy Pemberton won the first prize for her poem “For Robo, Gone Away” and Ash Gray, a Polk County High School sophomore, won the first prize in the student competition for his poem “Latent.”