Department of English Poet Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick wins 2019 North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry

Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick
Professor of English
Department of English

Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry
North Carolina Literary and Historical Association            

The North Carolina Literary and Historical Association awards one North Carolina poet each year for the best book of poetry. This year, Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick receives the award for her newest book “The Fisher Queen: New & Selected Poems.”

“This is a volume that brings together new poems with selected poems from over two decades of writing, so it’s especially meaningful to me to have the work recognized by our state’s oldest civic organization and to be in the company of so many fine North Carolina poets,” said the awardee Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick.

The book draws on poems from six award-winning collections by Kirkpatrick. She introduces the best of her poetry with the voice of the Fisher Queen, the otherworldly spouse of the Fisher King. These poems explore the multiple exiles of living in a woman's body; traversing boundaries of region, nation and class; and confronting human violations of the natural world.

Kirkpatrick holds a Ph.D. from Emory University, where she received an Academy of American Poets poetry prize. Three of her collections of poetry have won the N.C. Poetry Society's Brockman-Campbell award and another was a finalist for the SIBA poetry award. Kirkpatrick also received the Roanoke-Chowan award in 2004 for her collection, “Beyond Reason.” 

The NCLHA is North Carolina’s oldest civic organization. Past winners of this award have included Fred Chappell, James Applewhite, Reynolds Price, Joseph Bathanti (Appalachian State University), Kathryn Stripling Byer, Alan Michael Parker, Joseph Mills, Shelby Stephenson, Patricia Hooper and Heather Ross Miller.

“I was delighted to discover that this is the second time Kathryn has won this prestigious award. The fact that she first won it 15 years ago attests to the strength of her trajectory as a poet. It is also gratifying to see that both she and Joseph Bathanti have brought prestige to our department and creative writing program by winning this award, each multiple times. Students should be aware of the quality of our faculty who are recognized with competitive awards such as this one,” said Dr. Leonardo Flores, professor and chair, Department of English.

The Appalachian State University Bookstore and the Student Book Club will host Kirkpatrick for their November Faculty Author Spotlight to read from and talk about her book, “The Fisher Queen” on Monday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in Three Top Mountain (Room 169), in the Plemmons Student Union. This event is free and open to the campus and community. For more information on this event, contact Trixie Wilkie at 828-265-8601 or

To learn more about Kirkpatrick visit:  


About the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry
The Roanoke-Chowan Group of Writers and Allied Artists began in 1948 as an informal gathering of writers, musicians, painters, and patrons of the arts called together by retired banker Gilbert T. Stephenson and his wife, Grace, at their Northampton County country home, known as Warren Place. In 1953 the organization established and endowed the Roanoke-Chowan Award, since given annually to the best book of poetry by a North Carolinian that year. The endowment for the award was subsequently transferred to the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, which names judges. The award is presented with other state literary awards at the annual meeting of the association.

About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at

By Ellen Gwin Burnette
Friday, Nov. 8, 2019

 Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Department of English, has received the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry. Photo by Jesse Barber.
Published: Nov 8, 2019 2:01pm