Elwell, Regoni win Lanier poetry contest

Published 5:48 pm Monday, April 16, 2012

Chelsea F. Regoni (second from left) of Campobello, winner of the student division of the Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition, and Lynn P. Elwell (right) of Durham, N.C., winner of the adult division of the contest. With the winners are Frances Flynn of the Lanier Library (left) and N.C. Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers of Tryon, who judged the competition. (photo by Barbara Tilly)

In an event that was as much a poetry reading as an awards ceremony, the winners of the fourth annual Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition were presented at the Lanier Library in Tryon on Saturday, April 14. Each winning poem was read aloud, either by the poet or by Frances Flynn, who organized the competition.
Lynn P. Elwell of Durham, N.C. took the top prize in the adult division with his poem “Mr. and Mrs. Gregg.”
In second place in the adult division was “Tupperware,” by Darlene Cah of Columbus, and Gina Malone of Tryon came in third with “The Firefly.”
Honorable mention awards in the adult division went to Dwight Christenbury of Black Mountain, N.C. with “Buying Eggs,” Aly Goodwin of Spartanburg, S.C. with “Grandfather’s Journey” and Sue DeLamater of Columbus with “Talk to the Animals.” Goodwin was last year’s top adult division winner.

Sue DeLamater of Columbus, honorable mention winner in the Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition, read her winning poem, “Talk to the Animals,” at the awards ceremony Saturday, April 14. (photo by Barbara Tilly)

In the student division, Chelsea F. Regoni of Campobello swept the top prizes, winning first prize with “In the End, Dear Sister,” second prize with “New Thread,” third prize with “Conformity” and honorable mention with Stomach Shots.”
Honorable mention awards also went to two poems by Lauren Moore of Cary, N.C., “Biomes” and “Children Playing with My Skeleton.”
Cathy Smith Bowers, N.C. Poet Laureate and a resident of Tryon, served as judge for the competition, as she has for all four years since the competition began in 2009.
Flynn said notices about this year’s competition were sent to all high schools and newspapers in North and South Carolina.
“I was astounded by the response,” Flynn said. “We received 206 poems.”
The competition is self-funding, Flynn said. Entry fees are used for prizes and to pay for advertising and mailings. Next year, she said, which will be the fifth anniversary of the competition, the library would like to publish a chapbook of all winning poems so far. They will seek grants to help pay publishing costs, she said.

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