R.D. Grier Excellence-in-Education Award, given annually to outstanding faculty member (Mitchell Community College), 1993.
NISOD Excellence Award, given annually by The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development at University of Texas at Austin for outstanding contributions to teaching and learning.
North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in Literature (Poetry), 1994.
The Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, presented annually by St. Andrews College for outstanding contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina over an extended period, 1995.
Ruth Ann Blankenship Award, from 5th Street Ministries for teaching at Statesville, NC’s Battered Women’s Shelter, 1995.
Witter Bynner Fellowship for Individual Poets (Santa Fe, NM), 1996.
National Book Award Nominee for This Metal, 1996.
Oscar Arnold Young Award, awarded annually by The Poetry Council of North Carolina for the best book of poetry published in a calendar year, 1997.
Viola Kimbrough Parker Diversity Award, awarded annually by Mitchell Community College for exemplary service in promoting diversity and multiculturalism, 1998.
Bruno Arcudi Literature Prize for 1999, awarded annually by the American Italian Historical Association and SUNY/Buffalo for the best work of fiction published in Italian Americana each year.
Ernest A. Lynton Faculty Award for Professional Service and Academic Outreach, presented annually by New England Resource
Center for Higher Education, with support from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1999.
Puffin Foundation Fellowship for Writers, 2001.
The 2001 Aniello Lauri Award for Creative Writing, awarded annually for the best creative work appearing in Voices in Italian Americana in a calendar year.
2001 Carolina Novel Award (EAST LIBERTY), awarded by Banks Channel Books, Wilmington, NC.
Finalist for Book of the Year Award in Literary Fiction (EAST LIBERTY), Foreword Magazine, 2001.
Induction into the East Liberty Gallery of Stars (Hall of Fame) in Pittsburgh, PA, 2001.
2001-2002 Regional Artist Project Fellowship, awarded by The Arts and Science Council of Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, NC.
2002 Linda Flowers Prize, awarded annually by the North Carolina Humanities Council.
2002 Sara Henderson Hay Prize, awarded annually by The Pittsburgh Quarterly.
2002 Sherwood Anderson Award, awarded annually by The Sherwood Anderson Foundation.
University Research Council Grant, awarded annually, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, 2004.
Outstanding Faculty Award for College of Arts and Sciences, 2003-2004, awarded annually by Appalachian State University Student Government Association.
Pushcart Prize Nominee in Creative Nonfiction, 2004.
Poet of the Week (March 9-15, 2005) of the NC Arts Council’s Literature Section’s Notable Projects.
2006 Novello Literary Award (COVENTRY), awarded by Novello Festival Press, Charlotte, NC.
Pushcart Prize Nominee in short fiction, 2006.
2006 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction (THE HIGH HEART), from Eastern Washington University Press.
Finalist for Book of the Year Award in Literary Fiction (COVENTRY), Foreword Magazine, 2006.
Bronze Medal for General Fiction (IPPY Award) for COVENTRY from Independent Publishers, 2006.
2007 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize, awarded by the Nuclear Age peace Foundation.
The 2007 Aniello Lauri Award for Creative Writing, awarded for the best creative work appearing in Voices in Italian Americana in a calendar year.
Pushcart Prize Nominee in short fiction, 2007.
Pushcart Prize Nominee in poetry, 2008.
100 Scholars Research Award, awarded annually by Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) to recognize exemplary research or creative activities of a tenured faculty member, 2009.
North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in Literature (Fiction), 2009.
Pushcart Prize Nominee (3 nominations) in poetry, 2009.
Pennsylvania Center for the Book Featured Poet: one of four featured poets for the Public Poetry Project in 2010.
2010 Roanoke Chowan Award (RESTORING SACRED ART), awarded annually by the NC Literary and Historical Association for the best book of poetry published 2010 by a NC citizen in a given year.
Pushcart Prize Nominee in poetry, 2010.
2011 Donald Murray Prize, awarded annually from the National Council of Teachers of English, for an essay about teaching and/or writing published the previous year.
Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Western Region for the North Carolina Poetry Society, 2011-2012.
Pushcart Prize Nominee (2 nominations) in Poetry, 2011.
University Research Council Grant, awarded annually by Appalachian State University, 2011.
Archie K. Davis Fellowship, given annually by the North Caroliniana Society to promote research and publication in North Carolina’s history and culture, 2012.
2013 Mary Frances Hobson Prize, awarded annually by Chowan University to recognize distinguished achievement in the field of arts and letters.