Friday, March 27, 2015

Karen Paul Holmes Teaches a Writing Class at John C. Campbell Folk School May 3 to May 9th


Just Write
Date: Sunday, May 3 - Saturday, May 9, 2015
Subject: Writing
Instructor: Karen Paul Holmes

A prompt a day will keep you writing away…or bring your own ideas and finally have time to write what you've been itching to write. We'll dig into a magic bag of inspiration including nature walks, music, and favorite poems or passages by favorite writers. Self-editing tips and one-on-one coaching will help make your pieces stronger. Ideal for poetry, memoir, or short-fiction writers of all levels.

Tuition: $594.00
Deposit: A deposit of $150.00 will be due upon checkout to hold your seat in this class.

Karen Paul Holmes

Her book, Untying the Knot is available here:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writers' Night Out Returns April 10

Hope to see everyone after the long winter. We're springing forward with a special program with a prestigious guest: Ronald Moran, award-winning poet and former professor/dean at Clemson University. And a very special local writer: Maren Mitchell.

We're back on Fridays (the second of each month), due to popular demand. Also, The View Grill has a new menu, so come at 6 pm for food/drink/friendly chat.

Featured reader bios:
Ronald Moran has published 12 collections of poetry, the most recent being The Tree in the Mind (Clemson University Press, 2014); two books of criticism (one coauthored); and more than 500 poems, essays, and reviews in many journals, including Connecticut Poetry Review, Emrys Journal, Evening Street Review, Louisiana Review, Northwest Review, South Carolina Review,  Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Thomas Wolfe Review, and The Wallace Stevens Journal.  He has won several awards and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Moran’s writings and memorabilia about them are archived in Special Collections of the James B. Duke Library at Furman University.  He lives in Simpsonville, SC.
Maren Mitchell’s poems have appeared in many journals, including The South Carolina Review, Hotel Amerika, Southern Humanities Review, The Classical Outlook, The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Skive (Australia), Town Creek Poetry, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and The Arts Journal, Red Clay Reader Vol. 4. Her work has been, or is forthcoming, in anthologies such as The Southern Poetry Anthology, V: Georgia, The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Negative Capability Press Anthology for Georgia Poetry. Mitchell’s nonfiction book, Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide (Line of Sight Press, 2012), is available at the Curiosity Shop bookstore in Murphy, NC, and on Amazon. A native of North Carolina, Mitchell lived in Bordeaux, France; Kaiserslautern, Germany; and throughout the southeast U.S.  She now lives with her husband in Young Harris, Georgia.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Signing for Jack J. Prather's book, "Six Notable Women of North Carolina", on March 28th, 2015 in Asheville

The official launch of Jack J. Prather's second book of biographies, "Six Notable Women of North Carolina," will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28th at Grateful Steps Foundation bookstore, 159 S. Lexington Avenue in Asheville.

Two of the Notables will join in the launch and sign their own books: Kathryn Stripling Byer of Cullowhee, North Carolina Poet Laureate from 2005-2009; and Jennifer Pharr Davis, world-record hiker of the Appalachian Trail among both men and women hikers and runners.

Jack previously authored "Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina" that was nominated for the NC Literary and Historical Association 2012 Ragan Award for Non-Fiction; and in 2016 plans to write "Ten Young North Carolina Notables." 

Jack J. Prather

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Administrator for the Netwest Writers Blog

Recently Joan Ellen Gage moved to Warne, NC which is in Clay County where I live. Joan is now an administrator for the Netwest Writers Blog. I asked Joan for an email interview and she was gracious enough to take time to answer a few questions.

I hope our readers will take note and let Joan know we appreciate her helping us with the website and blog.
GB: Joan, I appreciate your helping with the Netwest Writers Blog. I know you have been blogging for a long time. Tell us when you started.
Joan:  I started blogging in 2009. I met you at Coffee with the Poets in Hayesville, which was at Phillips and Lloyd Bookstore. We had a conversation and you suggested that I start a blog on Google Blogger. I started my first blog shortly after, and called it: Traveling at the Speed of Now.

GB: Give us the URL for your blogs, please.
Traveling at the Speed of Now

A Redhead Blogs at 60:

GB: Before you moved here, what kind of work did you do?

Joan: I worked as a dental hygienist from 1991 until recently. Before that I managed dental offices.
So much of the inspiration for my writing came from working with my patients and listening to their stories. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many fine people over the years.

GB: I know you recently moved to Warne, NC in Clay County. But you were a member of NCWN before you built your beautiful home and moved here, weren’t you?
Joan: Yes, I have been a member of NCWN for a while, now. What a great organization!

GB: What has been your experience with the members you have met in Netwest?
Joan: Very positive! Everyone has been so helpful and kind, especially yourself and Nancy Simpson.

GB: It is always good to find a member who will volunteer to help enhance our writing community. Were you active in a writing group in Florida?
Joan: No, there were a couple of groups and I considered joining. I can be a bit of a hermit, sometimes. Once I came home from work, I stayed home.

GB: I think you have published a couple of books. Do you want to tell us about them?

Joan: Thank you, Glenda. I have two self published books, which are poetry and photography. I write predominately for women in midlife. My books are humorous and inspirational. The first book is, Water Running Downhill! Words of Empowerment for Women in Midlife.
The second book is Embracing Your Inner Cheerleader! I have a third book that I am ready to publish, called A Redhead Looks at 60. It is in the same vein as the first two books, although it has more photography.

GB: Thank you so much, Joan, for the interview and especially for helping with the Netwest blog.
Joan: My pleasure, Glenda! I’m glad to be of help.

We want our readers to continue to send articles, your good news, your publications and readings to us at
 Joan and I will see that your information is posted and shared. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mary Ricketson, poet, reads at Coffee with the Poet March 19 in Sylva

Coffee with the Poet at City Lights Books Features Mary Ricketson

The Coffee with the poet series continues on Thursday, March 19th at 10:30 a.m at City Lights Books in Sylva, NC
The March gathering will feature Cherokee County resident, Mary Ricketson.  She will read selections of poetry from her first full-length collection Hanging Dog Creek.  

Her poems include topics about fear, hardship, courage and the joys in everyday life.  Ricketson has been writing for over 20 years.  Her work is inspired by nature and her profession as a mental health counselor. She won the gold medal for poetry in the 2011 Cherokee County Senior Games/Silver Arts and silver medal for 2012 and 2013, and first place in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th anniversary national poetry contest. 

The Coffee with the Poet series meets the third Thursday of every month and is cosponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network--West, the mountain chapter of the North Carolina Writers' Network. 

For more information on the Coffee with the Poet please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.

City Lights Books
3 E Jackson St.
Sylva, NC 28779

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seedlight and More - an exhibit of paintings and poems by Laurence Holden


SUNDAY, MARCH 8, 2 - 6 P.M.

"We  spend so much of our lives seeking to understand the patterns around us.This I do too.And then there is the gravity that bears upon all of them,and us,
as well as the desire for ascension.These paintings and poems are my way to understand this. "
- Laurence Holden

"Seedlight: In the Mothering of All Things," 2015
oil on canvas


All things show their faces when we do.
All things speak when we do.
All things appear when we do.

The first face, the first word,
they blossom into all the others.
They all are true.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Best Wishes to Lana Hendershott first Henderson County Representative for NCWN West

Lana Hendershott has resigned as representative for Netwest and NCWN. 

She served the writers in Henderson County since 2008 and proved to be a loyal volunteer for our western region. Her conscientious efforts to sell the Netwest anthology, Echoes across the Blue Ridge, to book stores and other retail shops in her area made her a role model for others. Lana participated in a panel discussion by Netwest at the Blue Ridge Bookfest and at other times, she sat at the table at the bookfest and signed and sold Echoes. She enabled her fellow writers to meet and stay connected.

I met Lana when I was Program Coordinator in 2007 – 2009. The leadership of Netwest had decided to make Henderson County a part of the NCWN West region because we had heard from numerous people in that area wanting to know if there was a writers’ group or were there any other writers in Hendersonville, Fletcher or Flat Rock. They had no way of connecting to each other and therefore did not know of other poets and writers in the area.

As Program Coordinator, I talked with Ed Southern about holding a meeting at the library and sending out invitations to all members of NCWN that lived in Henderson County. I asked Nancy Purcell and J.C. Walkup to come to the meeting and talk about their duties and responsibilities in Transylvania and Haywood Counties. We needed a representative for Henderson County, but we had no volunteers. Susan Snowden suggested that I ask Lana. Susan said Lana was one of the most serious writers she knew.

It took some persuading, but Lana agreed that evening to become a representative for her county. She has been one of the easiest people to work with and once her name was known to the members there, she was available to them when they had questions or needed her advice. Even though she felt on several occasions that she would have to resign because she was needed to care for elderly parents, she persevered and, once she reached out and asked others to help, she was able to continue.

Last year when she and Pat Vestal began the open mic event they hold each month, it immediately became a success. At the present time, I believe Henderson County has more writers and poets who are members of NCWN than any county in the far western region.

I am confident that those writers would not have become the community they are now had it not been for the efforts of Lana Hendershott and Netwest.

Personally, I want to tell Lana how much she is appreciated by me and by all the members of NCWN West. Caring writers like Lana make a big difference in the lives of others. We need more members like Lana throughout NCWN West to become leaders and supporters of writers in their counties. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thanks to Lana Hendershott

From Pat Vestal, NCWN Representative for Henderson County, North Carolina

Lana Hendershott, Henderson County NCWN West Representative at the Bookfest 
at Blue Ridge Community College

A few weeks after I moved to Hendersonville in 2011, I attended BookFest at Blue Ridge Community College, a bit nervous since I knew no one in the writing community. By the end of the conference I felt like I really was a part of that community. I was warmly welcomed by several NetWest members and introduced to Lana Hendershott, the Henderson County representative.  

Everyone obviously liked and respected her, and I soon discovered why. She is a genuinely good person who had already worked tirelessly as representative for several years. She made a point of introducing me to others and inviting me to events. Lana’s helpfulness included caring for her elderly parents, which consumed a great deal of her time and energy.

I joined Lana as a co-rep. in 2013 and together we developed a monthly Literary Open Mic at the Hendersonville Library, which has become very popular. It was great to have a reliable and efficient partner with whom to facilitate the monthly event and take over when I couldn’t attend. The event attracted many local readers, a number of whom are not network members and didn’t know us.  We soon became like a big family, to which, fortunately, new members are frequently added.                     Lana’s warm, welcoming and fair attitude contributed a great deal to this. 
Late in 2014 after many years, she finally decided to relinquish her position in order to spend more time with family.  Obviously, she received warm accolades and appreciation at her last meeting as representative in December.  

As the January “meet and greet” prior to the reading was underway, big smiles and welcomes broke out as Lana quietly entered the auditorium to relax in the audience, still supporting local writers.   

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Women Who Have Made A Difference

Jack J. Prather has interviewed and written a most interesting book on Six Notable Women of North Carolina. Our own NCWN West member, and first woman Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Kathryn Stripling Byer is one of them. A number of Byer's poems are included with her memories of growing up in southwest Georgia and moving to the mountains as an adult.  

Photographs of the subjects' families and their peers throughout their careers create even more interest in each woman's story. The journey of Kay Byer begins with her childhood years and moves on to her school years. She discusses her marriage, her family and, of course, poetry. I like that she gives advice to young poets. "I think writers should imitate and assimilate what they love, and what speaks to them, and then innovate." A sense of place is most important in poetry according to Byer. 

I found the interview with Sharon Decker, former NC Commerce Secretary and Duke Power VP, one of the most intriguing. Decker is one of the women who broke the glass ceiling in the man's corporate world and political arena. Her energy and ambition to make a difference makes her an excellent role model for young women of today. She says she loves negotiating and bringing divergent ideas to the table where opinions can be changed or resolved into a peaceful solution. 

Kathy Reichs is a successful novelist and the inspiration for the television show, Bones. She studied physical anthropology at Northwestern and earned a Ph.D. She became an anthropology professor and one of only two women to attain full professorships in that department at UNC Charlotte.
"Blending science and crossing boundaries is a recurring theme for me," Reichs says.

It was her interest in physical anthropology which combines the human people studies with the hard sciences of biology, biomechanics and physiology that led her eventually to forensic anthropology.

Another woman of note, Reichs is one of only 101 forensic anthropologists to ever be certified. She began thinking about writing a novel in 1990, but in 1994 she completed her debut novel, Deja Dead, which found its way to a junior editor at Scribner. Publisher Susan Moldow offered Reichs a two-book deal worth 1.2 million, and the rest is history. She stays busy with book tours, writing novels and producing scripts for the TV show, Bones.

Other notable women in Prather's book are Jennifer Pharr Davis, World Appalachian Trail Record Hiker, Anne Ponder, Chancellor Emerita, UNC at Asheville, and Millie Ravenel, Founder, Center for International Understanding.

Jack Prather does an outstanding job of asking the right questions and editing the stories he collected. I hope this book is in our libraries and in our schools. These women have blazed trails that younger generations will now find easier to follow. Life doesn't always run the course we plan, but we make choices, and that is where Prather reveals the humanistic side of each of his subjects in this book.

See the podcast of Jack's interview on Your Carolina:

This book can be ordered on
Jack J. Prather

Review by Glenda Council Beall,
writer, interviewer, and director of Writers Circle around the Table 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hat's Off to Laurence Holden

Congratulations to Laurence Holden, poet and artist who lives in north Georgia. See more about Laurence's work at the  links below.
Laurence Holden will have recent poems appearing in March issues of Snapdragon: a Journal of Art & Healing, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, vol 18, 2015.

The Artist's Path: On The Trail Between Art & Nature
Laurence Holden: Portfolio