Friday, October 24, 2014

Randolph P. Shaffner, Netwest member has a new book

“A fascinating, well-researched and long overdue biography of the Virginia Military Institute’s most unheralded founder and underappreciated champion of educational reform.”
       ̶ Dr. Bradford A. Wineman, Marine Corps University

Read more about Randolph Shaffner on his website. 

"This is a fascinating and extremely readable book, deeply researched but never pedantic. It presents a thorough and persuasive defense of Col. Preston’s unique role in the founding and preservation of V.M.I. and paints a vivid and often surprising picture not only of this one eccentric, determined reformer—schoolmate of Edgar Allan Poe and brother-in-law of Stonewall Jackson—and his family, but also of Virginia society before, during, and after the Civil War."
       ̶ J J. B. McAfee, Richmond, Virginia
"This biography from McFarland Publishing has the type of massive bibliography and expansive scholarly documentation seen in quality original works. I can't say I am familiar with this particular fellow (Civil War readers encounter a lot of Prestons), but, as the title indicates, he was a key figure in the institutional development of VMI. Preston and Stonewall Jackson both married Junkin sisters, and the professor would also serve on Jackson's staff during the war."

     –"New Arrivals," Booknotes IV, Oct. 11, 2014, by Drew at Civil War Books and Authors

Friday, October 17, 2014

Brenda Kay Ledford's Poetry Book Published

Brenda Kay Ledford's poetry book, CREPE ROSES, was published by Kelsay Books, Aldrich Press in October, 2014.

The following blurbs describe the book:

CREPE ROSES, by Brenda Kay Ledford, is tithed to the deep mountains of the poet's beloved western North Carolina.  This stirring collection is the plat of the heart, a litany of memory that becomes palpable as the land itself.  Indeed memory, along with the Adamic impulse to name every signpost-to list those names in sorrow and triumph, to wander among them, crying out, as if they are lost, though they remain underfoot-is this book's constant, thrumming trope.  As the speaker attests in the poem, "Ceaseless Verse," "The poetry of the earth never ceases."  Nor does the reader's pleasure with these elegant poems.

--Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina

CREPE ROSES by Brenda Kay Ledford is a patchwork quilt of experiences and memories pieced together with the skillful words of an established poet.  The multi-hued fragments give a view of the Blue Ridge where "moments tick like hours on the wrap-around porch."  The ancient Appalachians come alive in her poems as a "breeze ricochets across the porch resurrecting buried dreams."  A dedicated writer, her remembrances bring much to us all.  Settle down and visit Chunky Gal Mountain, Winding Stairs Gap, and Shewbird Mountain where a Full Wolf Moon spills honey.  A delightful read!

--C. Pleasants York, North Carolina Poetry Society President, Author of "Pleasantries, Weaver of Destiny" and "Dream Within A Dream

Brenda Kay Ledford's poetry book, CREPE ROSES, is available on

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Writers' Night Features 2 Young Harris College Poets

October 18: Please come hear the newest poets in town! 

Chelsea and Jim both teach at Young Harris College and are award-winning poets.

Please Note: There's been a slight change to Writers' Night Out: We no longer have a formal dinner service. Many of us just meet in The View Grill upstairs at the Union County Community Center for dinner or drinks. Then we have our program in the Ballroom at 7 p.m.

Click here for James May's wonderful poem that just placed in the prestigious Rattle Poetry contest. 

And read a fun Chelsea Rathburn poem here. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Keller and Gratton read at JCCFS October 16

Thursday, October 16th 7:00 p.m.
John C. Campbell Folk School
Brasstown, N C

Mary Mike Keller and Lucy Cole Gratton
will read their poems and stories 

The reading is  free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Netwest Scholarships for Fall Conference

The NCWN-West Scholarships are open to applications from NCWN members in NetWest counties who need aid to attend the conference. For more information, please e-mail