Our Board

Our Board Members

With humble appreciation for those who attend our monthly “first Tuesday” event—featured poets, local poets, and audience members, here is our governing board:

Sam Love, President:

Sam is a former environmental activist, freelance writer, and documentary film maker turned poet.

His latest poetry book Awakening: Musings on Planetary Survival is available from Fly on the Wall Press or from your favorite online site.  He is the author of the full-length poetry book, Cogitation from Unsolicited Press and the author of the illustrated children’s book My Little Plastic Bag, which is available in English and Spanish with illustrations by Samrae Duke and has won numerous awards including a Nautilus Award.

Sam has had poems published in Kakalak, Slippery Elm, Voices on the Wind, The Lyricist, Flying South, Sleet, and other publications. Eno, published by Duke University, has published six of Sam’s environmental poems, and four of his poems have been featured on Poetry in Plain Sight posters throughout North Carolina.

Sam can be found online at SamLove.net.

Suzannah Lynn Cockerille, Vice-President:

Suzannah (“S.L. Cockerille”) began writing poetry in college while earning a degree in architecture from Virginia Tech.

She is the winner of the North Carolina Writers Network’s 2021 Randall Jarrell Poetry Contest for her poem “Aproned Literacy” and has poems published in various publications, including Kakalak, Shoal, and Pinesong. She was a finalist in the 2021 North Carolina Literary Review’s James Applewhite Contest for her poem “Take Jesus, for Example” and received an honorable mention in the North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2021 Joanna Catherine Scott Award for her poem “Near Sonnet for Full Revelry.” She’s been a finalist in the NCPS’s Poet Laureate Contest for her poem “Right There is the Grassy Knoll,” and has won first place in the NCPS’s Thomas McDill Contest for her poem “And the Sky Began to Weep a Little.”

Suzannah works as a freelance copywriter, website designer, and graphic designer. She designed this website in the summer of 2019. The Charlottesville, Virginia native is a thirty-two year resident of New Bern.

Find Suzannah (also known as Coco) at her blog, ShinyButter.com.

Margaret Tau, Treasurer:

Margaret Tau moved to North Carolina in 2014 after retiring as a medical editor at a pharmaceutical company in Delaware.  She enjoys writing poetry with a focus on the Japanese short form such as haiku, senryu, haibun and tanka.   

Her poetry has appeared in Frogpond, Under The Basho, Poetry Quarterly, Right Hand Pointing, and Drifting Sands Haibun Journal, among others.  Margaret also placed third in the 2019 Bank of the Arts Ekphrastic poetry contest for her poem “Unalienable.”  She had a haiku published by Washington, D.C.’s Annual Golden Triangle Poetry Contest, which was displayed in the downtown business district during the Spring of 2021.  

Margaret lives with her husband, Joel, and their two Chihuahuas in New Bern, NC. 

Jeanne Julian, Member At-Large:

Jeanne is Nexus Poets’ long-distance board member: after enjoying 10 years in New Bern’s creative atmosphere, she moved to South Portland, Maine. Co-winner of Reed Magazine‘s Edwin Markham Prize (2019), Jeanne is the author of Like the O in Hope and two chapbooks. Her poems appear in many journals and have won awards from The Comstock Review, Naugatuck River Review, and the North Carolina Poetry Society. She regularly reviews poetry books for The Main Street Rag. She is retired from a career in higher education administration, and now practices yoga, photography, and making omelets.

Visit Jeanne online at JeanneJulian.com.

Melinda Thomsen, Secretary:

Melinda moved to Greenville, NC, from New York City, and loves her new commute to the New Bern poetry scene. She teaches at Pitt Community College and lives with her husband, Hunt, two cats, and one chicken.     

Her full-length poetry collection, Armature, an Honorable Mention in the 2019 Lena Shull Book Award from North Carolina Poetry Society, will be published in 2021 by  Hermit Feathers Press. Finishing Line Press published her chapbooks, Naming Rights and Field Rations.  Her poems have appeared in journals such as Rattle, New York Quarterly, Poetry East, Stone Coast Review,Tar River Poetry, The Comstock Review, and North Carolina Literary Review, among others.  Other awards include 2019 Pushcart nomination from The Comstock Review, First place in 2019 Robert Golden Poetry Contest and semi-finalist in the 2004 “Discovery” / The Nation poetry contest.  

Find Melinda online at MelindaThomsen.com or on Facebook and Twitter.