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Chowan University professor elected for Distinguished Poet Series

By Amanda Bradshaw Sharpe
University Relations

MURFREESBORO – Jennifer Newhouse, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Chowan University, will take part in the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series, selected by the North Carolina Poetry Society (NCPS).

“I am honored to participate in the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series and to receive mentorship from Distinguished Poet, Deborah Doolittle. Poetry can be quiet work, but it requires a supportive community. I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue to grow as a poet through this program,” Newhouse stated.

Newhouse received the Fred Chappell Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) – their highest award for graduate writers – where she earned the MFA in creative writing. Fred Chappell is a celebrated North Carolina poet laureate who taught at UNCG.

Newhouse teaches an array of writing courses at Chowan and several of her poems have been published. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. At the end of the program, Newhouse will offer two readings: one locally and one at Barton College.

Over the next few months, Doolittle will mentor Newhouse. Doolittle has lived in many places, now calling North Carolina home. Doolittle, who teaches at Coastal Carolina Community College, authored No Crazy Notions, That Echo, and Floribunda. Some of her work has appeared or will soon appear in Bear Creek Haiku, Blue Stem Online, California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Collateral, Poets’ Espresso Review, Poets’ Espresso Review, and Steam Ticket.

The Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series (GCDPS) offers a way for poets to give back to the North Carolina poetry community. The advice of Fred Chappell, the namesake of Newhouse’s graduate fellowship, led to the development of the program. The GCDPS originated when the NCPS Board voted in 2003 to follow Chappell’s advice. He wrote and advised the NCPS president about various approaches to take to further the NCPS mission of encouraging the reading, writing, and enjoyment of poetry. Plans evolved from that correspondence and earlier discussions by Board members.