Thursday, September 23, 2010


Our annual picnic which took place on Sept. 12 on the picnic grounds at Western Carolina University, brought out some good food and even better words shared by our members and guests. Special guest Cathy Smith Bowers, our current Poet Laureate, read work from her most recent collections. She came with friend Jeff Davis, a poet from Asheville, who was in graduate school with me years ago. His blog is Natures ( Give it a look. Cathy herself is learning her way around cyberspace. She now has a facebook page and is working on a website. Her New and Selected Poems will be out in November from Press 53 in Winston-Salem.

(Cathy and Jeff)

An old friend, George Ellison (, came to visit, along with his wife, the painter Elizabeth Ellison, and treated us to some of the new work in his ongoing Permanent Camp manuscript, including a sonnet by his dog Zeke. George hopes to bring out this manuscript under his Unaka Range imprint soon. Some of you may remember the journal Unaka Range from several decades ago, its attempt to give voice to WNC poets. If so, you can see how George's new work has special resonance.
Here is Zeke's sonnet.

“If there was a dog heaven … a simulated sonnet,”

There would be mountains and valleys like these.

There would be a swift creek to drink from and wade in.

There would be bear brutes and wild hogs from hell to fight.

There would be lesser critters galore: coons weasels coyotes et al.

There would be a pinkish-white horse and a black barn cat to chase.

There would be a woman to walk with me feed me and fuss at me.

There would be a man who talks with me and writes poems about me.

There would be better company dog-wise than is presently the case.

There would be a dog like Maggie, now dead, who (or whom) I still miss.

There would be a house like this to sleep in and a deck to lie on.

There would be a tree-lined meadow across the swift creek and

a trail alongside the creek that leads into a

dark forest of smells and sounds … if there

was a dog heaven it would be like this.

Joyce and Allen Moore listen to George as he reads Zeke's sonnet.

After several readings by Nancy Simpson, Brenda Kay Ledford, Linda Smith, and others, we broke for food! Need I say more?

Dick Michener mans the book table. He looks happy!

After supper Angela Dove read from her recently published book.

Followed by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who drove up from South Carolina.

JC Walkup was on hand to share her fiction.

Even Lord Byron was there, charming Netwest member Deanna Klingel. I didn't want to leave him in the house on such a beautiful September afternoon. I am wondering when, or if, he will ever write a sonnet!

Thanks to all who came to this event. We hope you will continue to support Netwest in the months to come.


  1. Wow!Looks like I missed a great time with all those good writers and poets. Thanks for the pictures, Kay.
    I'm so glad it was such a nice day. And thanks for sharing Zeke's sonnet. He is a smart dog.

  2. Kay,
    Thanks for posting these photos of the picnic. I enjoyed it very much.


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