Showing posts with label Karen Paul Holmes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karen Paul Holmes. Show all posts

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Writers' Night Out Features Newton Smith & Robert Lee Kendrick

Our 2017 Season Opens on April 14 in Blairsville, GA

You're invited to hear poems from two Ph.D. poets who have new, highly acclaimed books: Newton Smith will read from his Camino Poems: Reflections on the Way, and Robert Lee Kendrick from his Winter Skin. After the featured readers, there's an open microphone for anyone wanting to share their own poems or prose. All this takes place at 7 pm on April 14 at the beautiful Union County Community Center.

Of the two books, celebrated North Carolina author, Ron Rash, says: “Newt Smith’s spiritual journey is rendered with such attentiveness and fidelity that we become his fellow travelers. We too share the pain and effort but above all the wonder, and are reminded that in matters of the spirit the journey and destination can be one,” and “Robert Lee Kendrick’s poems transport the reader into the deep, dark souls of his narrators, but the elegance of his language gives the poems a rough, hard-earned grace.”

Smith, who lives in Tuckasegee, NC, received his Ph.D. from University of North Carolina. He's the treasurer of NCWN-West and a retired professor who taught creative writing, poetry and literature at Western Carolina University. He has been published widely in literary magazines including Southern Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, Ann Arbor Review, Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Smith now devotes his time to travel, gardening, Buddhist studies, mindfulness practices, and hiking in nature, especially in the Smoky Mountains. During his 2014 pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago he wrote a poem every day reflecting on the physical body, nature, and the spiritual.

Kendrick also has a Ph.D., earned from the University of South Carolina. He grew up in Illinois and Iowa, but now calls Clemson, South Carolina home, where he lives with his wife and their dogs. His poems have appeared in top journals, such as Tar River Poetry, Xavier Review, Louisiana Literature, South Carolina Review, The James Dickey Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Winter Skin, was released in 2016 by Main Street Rag Publishing.

Writers’ Night Out is a free monthly event, sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. It takes place on the second Friday of the month, April through November. Open mic readers sign up at the door and can read for three minutes each. The Union County Community Center (map here) is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76,  phone (706) 439-6092. Food is available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information, please contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Thursday, March 9, 2017

We're Back: Writers' Night Out 2017 Schedule

This little guy won't be reading but you can!

Union County Community Center

Blairsville, GA

2nd Fridays of the month at 7 pm


Reading followed by open mic

Here's our calendar:

April 14: Robert Kendrick and Newton Smith
May 12: Diana Anhalt
June 9: Glenda Beall
July 14: Christopher Martin
Aug 11: Tribute to Tom Lux + humorous poetry open mic
Sept 8: Andrea Jurjevic and Jason Allen
Oct 13: Natalie Grant
Nov 10: Dana Wildsmith

Open mic follows for poetry or prose readers (3 minutes each)

Contact Karen Paul Holmes for more info


Friday, August 26, 2016

Upcoming Events

Book Festival in Atlanta is Worth the Trip

Labor Day Weekend: Karen Paul Holmes and many other poets and authors will appear at the largest independent book festival in the country. September 2-4. Full schedule is here: Decatur Book Festival

Writers' Night Out: Jim May To Read from His New Book

Friday, Sept. 9: Young Harris College professors, Chelsea Rathburn and James May, will read their award-winning poems at Writers' Night Out at 7 pm. at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA.

The married couple are both well-published poets who moved to the area from Atlanta to teach English and creative writing at Young Harris College in 2013. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. (dinner available for purchase upstairs in The View Grill but please arrive no later than 6) with the reading at 7 p.m. in the ballroom. An open microphone follows for those who’d like to showcase their own writing.

Rathburn is author of two full-length poetry collections, A Raft of Grief (Autumn House Press, 2013) and The Shifting Line, winner of the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award, as well as a poetry chapbook, Unused Lines (Aralia Press, 2004). Her poems have appeared in many prestigious journals such as The Atlantic, Poetry, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, and New England Review, and her prose has appeared in Creative Nonfiction. In 2009, she received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She directs the creative writing program at YHC.

May is the author of Unquiet Things (Louisiana State University Press, 2016).  The winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award in 2016, his poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, New England ReviewNew Ohio Review, The New Republic, Rattle, The Southern Review and elsewhere. The former editor of New South, he has received scholarships from The Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Inprint, and the Krakow Poetry Seminar. In 2013, he won the Collins Award from Birmingham Poetry Review.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Something a Little Different at Writers' Night, July 8

Royston and Holmes to do "Call & Response" Poetry Reading, Blairsville, GA

Back by popular demand, the duo of Rosemary Royston and Karen Paul Holmes plan to once again pair up their poems and alternate their reading, rather than one poet reading all her poems followed by the other.

This month's Writers’ Night Out is on Friday, July 8. The 7 p.m. reading will be followed by an open microphone for those who’d like to share their own work. The event is free and open to the public at the Union CountyCommunity Center in the heart of Blairsville, GA. If you'd like to purchase food or drink at The View Grill, please come by 6 p.m. (the food is good but service can be slow).

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Coffee with the Poets & Writers features Karen Paul Holmes & Bill Ramsey, Wed. June 15, 2016, 10:00 AM, at the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC

Karen Paul Holmes splits her time between Atlanta and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and her two Welsh Terriers do too. With an MA in music history from the University of Michigan, she eventually made her way to the warm south and became Vice President-Marketing Communications at ING, a global financial services company.

Karen now leads a kinder gentler life as a freelance writer and poet. She finds joy participating in poetry readings and supporting poetry through the Side Door Poets group she founded/hosts in Atlanta and the Writers’ Night Out she founded/hosts in Blairsville, GA (second Saturday of the month at the Union County Community Center).

A member of the North Carolina Writers' Network, the Atlanta Writers Club, and the Georgia Poetry Society, she has studied with poets Thomas Lux, Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, William Wright, Carol Ann Duffy, and Nancy Simpson (whom she counts as her first poetry mentor).

Karen has a full-length poetry collection, Untying the Knot, forthcoming from Kelsay Books (California).
Her poetry credits include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Main Street Rag, Caesura, and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Poems have also appeared in anthologies such as American Society: What Poets See (FutureCycle Press), and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia (Texas Review Press).

In 2012, Karen received an Elizabeth George Foundation emerging writer grant for poetry. She has taught writing at national business conferences, at ICL through Young Harris College, and at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Karen's Poetry on Facebook
Karen's website: Simply Communicated, Inc.

Bill Ramsey: Says, "writing is never easy but it helps when you have done it all your life." In his high school years, Bill Ramsey wrote sports columns for the local newspaper. During his forty year professional career, he wrote advertising copy, technical manuals, magazine articles and business newsletters.

Now seventy one years of age, his small town upbringing continues to influence his thinking. Like many older citizens, Bill enjoys reflecting on life experiences and being free to share his thinking in complete candor. This has served as a bridge into retirement from writing for pay to writing as play.

With three books published, he has two more in the development stage. A strong supporter literacy and literature, he is involved with readers and writers in the mountains of western North Carolina where he lives with his wife of forty eight years. Bill is a member of the North Carolina Writers' Network-West, and is on the board of the North Carolina Writers' Network.

Learn more about Bill and his books at his websites:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

All-Star Lineup on June 10: Ron Moran & Jonathan K Rice

Two Well-Published NC Poets to Read at Writers' Night Out, Blairsville

Ronald Moran, former Clemson professor, dean, and a Fulbright Lecturer, joins editor Jonathan K. Rice to share their work at Writers’ Night Out on Friday, June 10. The 7 p.m. reading will be followed by an open microphone for those who’d like to share their own work. The event is free and open to the public at the Union CountyCommunity Center in the heart of Blairsville, GA

Moran has published 13 collections of poetry. The most recent, Eye of the World, was just released by Clemson University Press. Of it, Poet David Kirby writes, “…this grateful, gifted poet teaches us how to burrow into and recognize the riches in our own lives.” Moran has also written two books of criticism (one coauthored) and has had more than 500 poems, essays, and reviews published 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. 

Rice is founding editor and publisher of Iodine Poetry Journal, as well as co-editor of Kakalak 2016. His latest poetry collection is Killing Time (Main Street Rag, 2015). Other books include Shooting Pool with a Cellist (Main Street Rag, 2003) and Ukulele and Other Poems (Main Street Rag, 2006). His poetry has appeared in many publications. He’s also been a longtime host of poetry readings in Charlotte, NC, where he lives with his family. In 2012 he received the Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award for outstanding service in support of local and regional writers, awarded by Central Piedmont Community College. As a visual artist, Rice’s work has been featured as cover art on books, as well as in online magazines.

The next day, June 11, Rice will teach a poetry class from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Writers Circle in Hayesville. For more information on the class, please see - .V07szmZrUpI

Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by NC Writers Network-West and takes place on the second Friday of the month. Prose writers or poets wishing to participate in the open mic can sign up at the door to read for three minutes. The Union County CommunityCenter hosts the event at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092. Food is available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information, please contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Song Lyrics & Poetry Weekend, May 20 at the Folk School

A class for poets, songwriters, prose writers, 

and anyone who loves words... 

You are in my blood like holy wine, you taste so bitter and so sweet. (Joni Mitchell)

I keep her weary ghost inside me. (Donald Hall)

fill your arms with the white and pink flowers, with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, (Mary Oliver)

Mommy rocked the babies at night
And read the Bible by the coal oil light
(Loretta Lynn) 

Inspiration... Fun... Good Food... Camaraderie... Words, Words, Words... There's music in good poetry and poetry in good music.  And if you're a lover of words, this class is for you. We'll share our favorite song lyrics and poems... and learn from them. What makes them so effective? How can we "steal" ideas and techniques for our own writing. 

What's not to love at the John C. Campbell Folk School? If you haven't been there, you're missing out on the enchantment of this beautiful place. And if you have been, you know the magic that happens. It's learning and inspiration in a supportive, non-competitive environment.
Karen Paul Holmes has taught and spoken at conferences across the U.S. She's the author of the poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014) and has been published in many fine journals and anthologies. She's the NC Writers' Network-West regional rep for the Georgia border counties. 

The class is definitely a "go," and locals can still get 1/2 price tuition at this point.  May 20-22. Register today using this link:
Song Lyrics and Poetry at the Folk School

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fike and Moore Headline Writers' Night in Blairsville, April 8

Writers' Night Out (WNO) begins its 6th year with two popular poets:

Janice Townley Moore
Rupert Fike

Reading begins at 7 pm
Open mic follows -- sign up at the door to read poetry or prose for 3 minutes.

Janice and Rupert are highly published poets and entertaining readers. Janice is a favorite local poet, and Rupert wows crowds in Atlanta. The venue is lovely.
What's not to love?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Writers' Night Out 2016 Schedule - Blairsville, Georgia

Mark your calendars now for a stellar line-up...

Writers' Night Out is about to begin it's 6th year. Some readers may be added, but here are the dates and featured writers so far. And remember... there's always an open mic.
Union County Community Center, Blairsville
  • April 8: Rupert Fike & Janice Townley Moore
  • May 13: Carol Crawford
  • June 10: Jonathan Kevin Rice (will teach the next day at Writers Circle) & Ronald Moran
  • July 8: Rosemary Royston & Karen Paul Holmes
  • August 12: Ginger Murchison & Lynn Alexander
  • Sept 9: Jim May
  • Nov 11 Christopher Martin& Staci Bell

The Union County Community Center in the heart of Blairsville has once again agreed to be our gracious host. They let us use the facility for free, with no minimum requirement on food purchases, which is an amazing benefit to NCWN-West and the area writers and audience.

Watch this blog for more information about the April 8 reading. Rupert and Janice are Writers' Night favorites.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Marketing/Selling a Poetry Book: 3 Ideas

Unfortunately, poetry can be a hard sell...

especially to audiences who don't read it because they think it is stuffy or impossible to understand. 

My book, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014) came out 19 months ago, but it is just now picking up speed from a marketing perspective. What have I learned? Here are three ideas you might try:

1. Belong to special interest groups on Facebook or other social media. I don't really know much about social media except Facebook (FB) and LinkedIn. But I have found FB to be invaluable. I belong to poetry groups where I've made connections with poets and editors who have blogged about my book/poems and/or published reviews or interviews with me. See number 2 for other opportunities that resulted from FB. 

Me at a reading from 

Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems

2. Grab every opportunity to read from your book. Besides the usual poetry reading opportunities and open mics, I have read at a senior citizen's residential community, a women's event at a synagogue (a connection made through my neighborhood's FB, though I'm not Jewish), and a professional women's networking luncheon (also a neighborhood FB connection).

3. Promote yourself as a subject matter expert, and as such, find opportunities to guest blog for national publications. Your subject could be writing, which would be fine. But because my book is the story of my divorce and healing, I wanted to reach a broader audience, one that doesn't necessarily read poetry. I was prompted to do this because people kept telling me that my book helped them and that they bought it for friends who were going through divorce.  I found a way to reach non-writer audiences by connecting with divorce groups on FB and reaching out to the editors with my idea of sharing my story -- each article I wrote would include a poem and the true story of how the poem came about. said yes, so I have posted three articles now. They were the first divorce related publication on the internet -- 17,000 people follow them on Twitter, and their FB page has 6300 likes. 

And... the exciting thing is that my last article was picked up by Huffington Post and re-published in the divorce section of their online news site. Their site has 79 million unique monthly users. I don't know how many book sales this will result in (I know of 2 that happened immediately), but I'm happy for the wide reach, and if I can help people who are suffering, that's a wonderful thing. Secondly, if I can promote poetry (in general, not just mine) to an audience who thinks they don't like poetry and change a few people's minds about that... then I've done a good thing for all poets, and that makes me very happy.

Here's a link to the Huffing Post article: Forgiving the Other Woman

Good luck to you with your writing and the promoting of your work!

Untying the Knot by Karen Paul Holmes is a "courageous, deeply human" book, according to internationally known poet, Thomas Lux, told with "grace, humor, self-awareness, and without a dollop of self-pity." Available on Amazon 


Karen's website


Karen's poetry Facebook page

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Poetry class with Karen Paul Holmes on November 7, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM, Hayesville, North Carolina

Karen Paul Holmes, the author of Untying the Knot, and many other published poems in literary journals, will teach a writing class on November 7, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM, at Writers Circle, in Hayesville, NC. The class is called: Borrowing from Your Favorite Poet.

Attendants should bring a poem inspired by a favorite poem. using a line from the favorite poem as your title, an epigraph, or a line within your poem.

Your poem will be allowed to take on its own life -- it does not need to be about the same subject as the original. You’ll also receive some prompts inspired by other great poets, so you can go home and write even more great poems of your own.

Don’t miss the opportunity to study with this award-winning poet and teacher. For more information, contact Glenda Council Beall, at:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Glenda Council Beall and Karen Paul Holmes to read at the John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, NC, at 7:00 PM, Thurs., 9/17/2015

Poets and writers Glenda Council Beall and Karen Paul Holmes will read at the John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, NC, on Thursday, September 17th, at 7:00 PM.  The reading is open to the public.

Glenda Council Beall is the owner and director of 'Writers Circle Around the Table', a studio that provides education for writers. She also teaches writing in the continuing education department at Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC. Beall also taught memoir writing at the folk school. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Wild Goose Poetry Review, Appalachian Heritage, Main Street Rag, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Red Owl Magazine and in the anthologies, Kakalak – Anthology of Carolina Poets, 2009, 2011 Poetry Hickory, FutureCycle, Lights in the Mountains, Women’s Places Women’s Spaces, On Our Own, Widowhood for Smarties, From Freckles to Wrinkles, and Reach of Song published by the Georgia Poetry Society. Her poetry chapbook, Now Might as Well be Then, published by Finishing Line Press, is available at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC, and online from Amazon.

Karen Paul Holmes is a freelance writer and poet. Karen has a full-length poetry collection, Untying the Knot, published through Kelsay Books and available on Amazon. Her poetry credits include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Main Street Rag, Caesura, and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Poems have also appeared in anthologies such as American Society: What Poets See (FutureCycle Press), and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia (Texas Review Press).  In 2012, Karen received an Elizabeth George Foundation emerging writer grant for poetry. She has taught writing at national business conferences, at ICL through Young Harris College, and at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Large Turnout For Karen Holmes, Poet, at Coffee with the Poets and Writers, Hayesville, NC

Coffee with the Poets and Writers met Wednesday at Joe’s Coffee House in Hayesville, NC. We had an overflow crowd. Our hostess, Cindy, brought in chairs from outside to seat everyone as they continued to enter.

A lovely day here in the Appalachian Mountains invited us all to get out and enjoy the sunshine, low humidity, and a poet who has blossomed this past year.  Karen Paul Holmes, a resident of Atlanta and Hiawassee, Georgia, published her first book of poetry, Untying the Knot, last year. Reviewers praised her work and she has read to large groups in Atlanta as well as other places. Her book is for sale online. To get an autographed copy, find Karen locally at Writers Night Out in Blairsville, GA on the second Friday night of the month. The event takes place at the Union County Community building at Butternut Creek Golf Course.

After Karen’s reading today, we held Open Mic, a time for our guests to read a couple of poems or a short story. Paul Schofield chose to read a chapter from the upcoming fourth book of his Trophy series. Paul writes Future Fiction. Find his books on

Dr. Eugene Hirsch was with us today and read two poems. Dr. Hirsch, along with Nancy Simpson and Janice Moore, were major players in the creation of NCWN West. Nancy read two poems from her most recent book, Living Above the Frost Line published by Carolina Wren Press.

NCWN West (Netwest) appreciates Joe Powell of Joe’s CoffeeHouse, 82 Main Street, for giving our writers a place to meet. We thank Cindy who is the perfect hostess.

After our meeting several of us walked down the block and had lunch at Angelo’s, on the corner of the town square. We discussed Hayesville, Netwest, and plans for the future. Our literary community in the far western part of North Carolina is thriving.

We invite others to join us on the second Wednesday of each month, 10:30 a.m. at Joe’s. In June our featured readers are Joan Gage and Mary Ricketson. We look forward to another enjoyable day.

Joan Ellen Gage

Mary Ricketson

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: