Sunday, August 5, 2012
Gary Carden, playwright, storyteller and writer of wonderful tales, sent his news a few days ago.
I have just been awarded the North Carolina Award in Literature. It is the highest award given by the state. The awards ceremony will be held in Raleigh on October 30th.
Congratulations, Gary. You deserve this special award. Your friends and fellow writers in NCWN West are proud of you.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
We may try another blog prompt in early summer. In the meantime, keep reading and loving what you read.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The following arrived this morning from Bill Everett. Thanks a lot, Bill. It's good to be reminded of Lewis Green's work.
I was awakened to the peculiar depth of Appalachian writing by Lewis Green’s The Silence of Snakes (1984). We were building our home on the slopes of Wolf Pen Mountain, near Waynesville, when an old friend recommended that I read a tale set where we had decided to live. The Silence of Snakes is the tragic story of a traumatized World War I hero, Earl Skiller, whose sufferings lead him to a series of gruesome murders in which the line between military heroism and depraved criminality disappears, exposing the two-edged sword of civilized “order.”
Through Green’s story I could see the life deep within these rocks and trees. I met the rattlesnakes that symbolize for Earl Skiller the secret depth of his life. As he told his fellow soldiers, “…I could turn into a rattlesnake in my mind, and then I could come and go and do my damage and nobody watched. I learned a big lesson once from rattlesnakes. … They’re silent in spite of the rattles. They’re silent at the right time. They can do a lot of damage. If they’re silent and it’s dark, then who can see ‘em?”
And I felt the ragged edge of mountain humor. Hear these lines between the discoverer of one of Skiller’s victims and the local physician. “We need fer ye to come and announce somebody dead. Some son-of-a bitch killed Mitchell Sanger. They cut his head off.” “Is that a fact? he finally asked. “Cut his head off?” “Yes sir.” “Well, I don’t have to go up there. I can tell you from here that he’s dead.”
Because of this book, the power to speak of place and of the crushing conflicts out of which humanity is hewed have remained the hallmarks of the writing in these hills.
William Everett retired from 35 years of teaching ethics in order to write and make furniture in Waynesville, NC. He is the author of Red Clay, Blood River (2008) and numerous poems, the most recent appearing in Fresh. He blogs at www.WilliamEverett.com.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
There is a space between chapters,
a crack in the spine,
an empty space
where two pages meet
into a hidden abyss
where things are sewn invisibly together.
Some memory is driven by pain, fear, and anger. We have memories that we seek to flee, avenge, or obliterate. Other memories are driven by love – memories of joyous events, Edens of new beginnings, of children, spouse, and friend. In my own case, the old slides produced this poem driven by a memory of love.
Like a Russian doll
she wears each passage of her life in polymorphous coats.
She is the wise companion, etched by years of circling suns,
the woman burnished silver with accomplishment,
the mate with auburn hair and radiant eyes,
the holder of the household lamp,
the mother of the squirming baby nestling at her breast,
the college ingénue with voice of lark and witty tongue,
the pigtail girl in the taffeta dress,
the urchin hanging from her knees and laughing at her dad.
a manifold of nesting forms
around the holy light within
each one the doll,
each one the woman that I love.
For some, the “crack in the spine” is full of fear and pain, for others, joys and Russian dolls forgotten in the daily grind. Most of us will find a mixture where we seek an alchemy to compound futures out of right remembrance.