Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Cary and Barnes Featured at Coffee with the Poets and Writers Wednesday September 18

            Coffee with the Poets and Writers (CWPW) will feature poet Richard Montfort Cary and writer Marcia Hawley Barnes on Wednesday, September 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville, NC. 

The event is free and open to the public. An open mic will follow the presentations. Bring a poem or a short prose piece to participate. CWPW is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West (NCWN-W) which also includes writers in Towns, Union, Fannin, and Rabun Counties in Georgia.

            Cary began writing poetry in high school and continues to this day.  In 1964, he received a BFA in Theatre Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. He spent six years in regional theatres, before moving year-round to Nantucket Island MA, to become a designer & builder of custom homes. In 1985, he founded Actors Theatre of Nantucket, the Island’s professional theatre company, and served as Artistic Director for twenty years. He retired in 2004 and moved to Asheville.
            In 2017, Cary and his artist wife Cheryl moved to Hayesville, to an older house still under renovation, which they share with their two lively dogs. His son is a comedy writer in Hollywood CA. His daughter is an actress and script supervisor.
            Besides being an accomplished harmonica player, Cary’s claim to fame is his great aunt, Olive Dame Campbell, founder of The John C Campbell Folk School. In March 2019, he played Harry Baker in Neil Simon’s “Come Blow Your Horn” at the Peacock Performing Arts Center.

           Born in Tacoma, Washington, Marcia Barnes’ early life was in sight of the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. She studied liberal arts at the University of Puget Sound and design at the University of Houston She received a BFA from the University of South Florida.  Further studies in Spanish and French languages were at Hillsborough Community College, University of Tampa, Macon State College, and Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.  In 2014, she earned a Doctor of Christian Theology degree from the International Miracle Institute, Pensacola, Florida.
            Following a career in marketing, Barnes began writing in 2004.  She has written and illustrated a heritage cookbook, The Little Book of Secret Family Recipes; her poetry was published in 2015, in Stone, River, Sky, An Anthology of Georgia Poems.
            Tobijah was Barnes’ first children’s book to be published; the sequel, A Day with Tobijah, was published in 2019.  Barnes also writes a monthly book review for the Clay County Progress in Hayesville, North Carolina. 

            Ms. Barnes is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network and enjoys participating in its local events.  She is also a frequent visitor to libraries where she reads to children and shares the adventures of Tobijah and his friends.  The author lives in Towns County, Georgia.

            For more information about this event, please contact Glenda Beall at:

Maren O. Mitchell Has Poems Published in Comstock Review, Tar River Poetry, Poetry East and Chiron Review

Maren O. Mitchell has had poems accepted by the following publications: Comstock Review has published "Appalachian Come Home" in their Spring/Summer 2019 issue; Tar River Poetry will publish "Church of the Moment" in the fall issue; Poetry East took "R" for Poetry East 97, 2019 Fall; and Chiron Review will publish "W" in a future issue.

You are invited to hear Martha O. Adams, Glenda Barrett, and Loren Leith, at The Literary Hour, Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7:00 PM, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC

On Thursday, September 19, 2019, at 7:00 PM, John C. Campbell Folk School and NC Writers' Network-West will sponsor The Literary Hour. At this event, NCWN-West members will read at the Keith House on the JCCFS campus, in Brasstown, NC. This event is now held in the community room. The Literary Hour is held on the third Thursday of the month unless otherwise indicated. This reading is free of charge and open to the public. This month's featured readers will be Martha O. Adams, Glenda Barrett, and Loren Leith.

Raised in Ohio, Martha O. Adams graduated from Bowling Green State University with a major in education and minor in music. Her poetry arises from wide roots in ten states, though she has lived in Hendersonville, NC for nearly 2 decades. She has worked as an educator, a mother of four children, retreat leader and reverent farmer in her vegetable garden. In this day of dawning realization that the Earth will suffer only so much before leaving all life diminished, Adams believes poetry, art and beauty may save us with their wake-up call. Her poems, like mirrors, reflect the scale and impact of our human lives within the interconnectedness of all things. 

Adams is author of a non-fiction book for caregivers of the Alzheimer afflicted, Courage for Those Who Care, United Church Press, 2nd edition, 1999. She has published, with House of Myrrth, three collections of poems: Buried Seed; 2015, What Your Heart Needs to Know; 2008, and Peeling the Rind; 2000. Her Readers’ Theatre Play epic poem, “She Rises Through the Sickle Moon” from Peeling the Rind, has been performed from New England to Florida.

Glenda Barrett, a native of Hiawassee, Georgia, is a poet, writer, and visual artist. Her work has been widely published since 1997 and has appeared in: Woman's World, Farm & Ranch Living, Country Woman, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Journal of Kentucky Living, Nantahala Review, Rural Heritage, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Kaleidoscope Magazine and many more.

Barrett is the author of two poetry books, When the Sap Rises, published by Finishing Line Press, in 2008 and The Beauty of Silence, published by Aldrich Press, in 2017. Both books are available on Glenda's artwork is online at Fine Art America. She is very grateful to be able to devote her time to the two things she loved as a child, painting and writing. She has two grown children and two grandchildren, and lives with her husband of forty-two years in the North Georgia mountains.

Loren Leith is the author of MOSQ, by Shepherd Graham (pen name), winner of the Silver Royal Palm Literary Award and the Pascoe Award for Best Thriller of 2011.  In 2018, she won first place in the RPLA competition for her nonfiction short story, “Basement Level.” She has also received an award for her short, nonfiction story, My Box Top Cat from God, and two of her other stories are finalists in a national competition.   Leith is known for her powerful, poignant, and often humorous nonfiction short stories, soon to be published in book-collection format and CD formats.  She recently transformed three of her works into scripts for live-performance Old Time Radio Shows.  She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina, surrounded by nature and wild animals, which are often the subjects of her writing.

Leith is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and Criminal Justice Specialist in private practice for 34 years.

For more information on The Literary Hour event on September 19, 2019, please contact Mary Ricketson, at

Monday, September 9, 2019

Dana Wildsmith author of new book, One Light, will teach at John C. Campbell Folk School

I just received Dana’s new poetry book, One Light, published by Texas Review Press, a memoir in poetry. It seems that she and I have walked the same path in life. She was burned terribly as a fourteen year old and writes about the anguish of almost losing her hand, and describes the pain. She sings and has a poem on page 30 titled Hymns.

I watched my husband’s face and listened to him sing hymns while nurses pulled off the layers of dead skin from his cancer-ridden leg. I felt his pain as she described the painful scraping of dead skin from her burned arms and hands.  

Read the title poem below.

A single light can lead you home. One light
is all you need to break the back of night
when darkness seems to weigh  more than it has
on all the nights before, and nothing’s as
it was. Bit by bit, the lighter shades
of night you used to trust have faded as
you stopped believing in relief. The dark
goes on forever, and begins right where you are.

But when your eyes can’t guide your steps, you learn
to trust your heart instead. You rise and turn
toward where you need to go, and in the dark
you think you see a glimmer like a star
that wasn’t there until you headed home
through darkness, trusting that a light would come.

In the poem, Hospital Days, Dana writes about a few good memories she had from those weeks in the hospital; hot dogs from the deli, her friends who came to see her and to sing with her. Her mother took care of her through this time knowing her daughter could lose her hands. She was Dana’s rock, always. You can’t read Dana’s work without knowing her Mama.  Sadly the time came when Dana became the care-giver when her mother’s mind began to fade. Her Mama died from an aneurysm. 

Balancing on the precarious rock trying not to do or say too much, but needing to say and do so much. The poems about her mother at ninety broke my heart, and filled me with memories as I thought about my mother who lost her short term memory after an aneurysm damaged a part of her brain.

As Fred Chappell said, “Here are some of the strongest poems I have ever read. I am grateful for this truest of books.” I am grateful, too.

Dana will be teaching “What’s in Your Writing Folder?” Sunday, September 8 – Saturday September 14.

Dana has been a Folk School instructor since 2004. Her environmental memoir, "Back to Abnormal: Surviving with an Old Farm in the New South," was finalist for Georgia Author of the Year. She is also the author of five collections of poetry, including "Christmas in Bethlehem." Her newest collection of poems, "One Light," is a memoir in poetry. Dana has served as artist-in-residence for Grand Canyon National Park and Everglades National Park; as writer-in-residence for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska; and she is a fellow of the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. She teaches English Literacy through Lanier Technical College.

Visit Dana's website

Thursday, September 5, 2019


Meagan Lucas, our NCWN-Rep from Henderson County, NC will be discussing her new book, Songbirds and Stray Dogs, with award winning poet, Ben Cutler and Asheville poet, Andrew Clark at City Lights Books in Sylva on Friday, September 6, at 6:30 PM.  A question and answer session will follow. If you are within driving distance of Sylva this weekend, you don't want to miss this program. Contact City Lights for more information.

Last week Meagan's launch of Songbirds and Stray Dogs, at Malaprops in Hendersonville was very successful. More than 90 people attended.

Ben Cutler, award-winning poet and author of The Geese Who Might be Gods

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

NCWN member, Katherine Scott Crawford, announces MountainTop Writers Retreats, Lake Toxaway, NC for writers

NCWN member Katherine Scott Crawford announces a new creative venture,

MountainTop Writers Retreats, which will be hosted at Earthshine Lodge in Lake Toxaway, N.C. 

Her first retreat, a pure writer's retreat called Fall Mountain Top, will be held November 8-11, 2019. Though there will be coed retreats in the future, Fall MountainTop is for women writers only. There's a discount for those who register by Sept. 30, 2019. 

MountainTop Writers Retreat is a long-weekend retreat crafted to suit writers and creatives at varying stages in their careers and journeys. Hosted at Earthshine Lodge in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Fall MountainTop was created with one goal in mind: to give writers space and time in which to write. But perhaps more importantly: to offer the opportunity to create in a place of peace and seclusion — in a natural, awe-inspiring setting.A pure retreat, Fall MountainTop is for women writers simply in need of quiet and time. Perfect for authors on deadline, or other writers who are working on new or continuing projects. Though we will share communal spaces in the Lodge, some meals, and the outdoor campfire, any and all time spent with other writers is by choice.

Here is the link:

Circling Home, a creativity workshop with author John Lane, Sunday, September 29, 2019, Alarka Expeditions, Franklin, NC

Would you like to have a deeper connection to home and to the landscape around you? Alarka Expeditions invites you to join author John Lane for an afternoon creativity workshop on place based writing. Lane is the author of Circling Home (University of Georgia Press, 2009), along with many other titles, including several volumes of poetry and essays. We'll explore the role of place in our lives, and how we can live more meaningful lives by paying to attention to where and how we live. This is a one of a kind workshop taught by a one of a kind guy. 

Date and Time


Cowee, North Carolina
Alarka Expeditions
423 E. Palmer St.
Franklin, NC 28734

For more information, go to: