Thursday, June 13, 2019

SUCCESSFUL MOVE TO COMMUNITY ROOM AT JCCFS FOR LITERARY HOUR

We had a good audience at the Literary Hour in the Community Room of the John C. Campbell Folk School Wednesday evening. With a larger venue there is more seating available and it is more comfortable than the chairs in the Library. We hope this will entice even more visitors to our monthly reading.

I could see that more JCCFS students attended, and we hope that trend will continue. Mary Ricketson was host and the three readers, Maren Mitchell, Ryvers Stewart and Richard Cary, all members of NCWN-West, were entertaining as they read their poetry.

As always we thank the John C. Campbell Folk School staff for setting up chairs and making us welcome.

We also appreciate the support of the Folk School through their advertising on our website and our blog. We reach out to writers around the world with our online presence including our Facebook Page.

We ask our readers to click on the John C. Campbell Folk School logo on the sidebar of this blog post. There you will see the writing classes offered at this venerable campus that attracts students from our local area, our state and from other continents.

Some of the best writers have taught at John Campbell Folk School for many years including the late poet laureate of NC, Kathryn Stripling Byer. Other poets were the late Nancy Simpson, outstanding poet and first Program Coordinator of NCWN-West.  Dr. Gene Hirsch taught poetry at the school for many years and is responsible for the Writing Program at JCCFS. Dr. Hirsch will be in Hayesville, NC on Wednesday, June 19, 10:30 AM at the Moss Memorial Library. Everyone is invited to come and hear him read at Coffee with the Poets and Writers.

Dana Wildsmith, Valerie Nieman, Karen Holmes, Rosemary Royston, Ruth Zehfus, R.T. Smith, Carol Crawford, and so many others have brought inspiration and knowledge to those of us who create with pen on paper or with a keyboard and monitor.  I, personally, owe my writing career to those teachers who have come here to the far western mountains of North Carolina, to the little town of Brasstown, to share their wisdom with us.

Preview
Valerie Nieman will teach a three hour session on Under Pressure: Creating Complex Characters at Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC on Saturday, July 6, 1:00 - 4:00 PM.
Fee: $40 - pay to NCWN-West. Mail to PO Box 843, Hayesville, NC 28904

Read more from Val Nieman Here.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Joan Howard and Gene Hirsch are featured at CWPW June 19


Coffee with the Poets and Writers (CWPW) will feature poets Joan M. Howard and Eugene Z. Hirsch, MD, on Wednesday, June 19, 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 their 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.
           
Howard's poetry has been published in POEM, The Road Not Taken: The Journal of Formal Poetry, the Aurorean, Lucid Rhythms, Victorian Violet, the Wayfarer and other literary journals.  She published the book Death and Empathy: My Sister Web in 2017. Her latest book is Jack, Love and the Daily Grail.
Howard is a former teacher with an MA in German and English literature.  She is a member of the North Carolina Writers' Network West and North Carolina Writers Network.  She enjoys birding and kayaking on the beautiful waters of Lake Chatuge near Hiawassee, Georgia.
           
Hirsch has taught clinical medicine for forty years. During his career he volunteered at the Cleveland Free Medical Clinic, conducted poetry workshops for health professionals as a way of dealing with emotional stresses of patient care, and lectured medical students on death and dying. He has published two poetry books and assembled six anthologies. Dr. Hirsch has been a valuable asset to the local writing community for twenty-five years. His poetry has appeared in medical and non-medical journals. He received First Prize in the 2019 Westmoreland Cultural Society He instituted and taught poetry at the John C. Campbell Folk School and co-founded the NCWN-West with poet Nancy Simpson with whom he was a close friend for many years. Hirsch professes that Murphy, North Carolina, is his second home (perhaps even his first).
            For more information about this event, please contact Glenda Beall at: glendabeall@msn.com.



The Literary Hour Readings at John C. Campbell Folk School to feature poets Richard M. Cary, Maren O. Mitchell, and Ryvers Stewart, on Wed., June 12, 2019, in the Community Room


On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at 7:00 PM, John C. Campbell Folk School (JCCFS) and NC Writers' Network-West (NCWN-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 Richard Cary, Maren O. Mitchell, and Ryvers Stewart.

Richard Montfort Cary began writing poetry in high school and continues to this day. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1964 with a BFA in Theatre Arts. He spent six years in regional theatres, before moving year-round to Nantucket Island MA, as a designer & builder of custom homes. In 1985, he founded Actors Theatre of Nantucket and served as Artistic Director for twenty years. Richard and his wife Cheryl moved from Asheville NC to Hayesville NC in 2017. 

Cary’s claim to fame is that his Great Aunt, Olive Dame Campbell, founded The John C. Campbell Folk School. Cary is currently editing over 60 years of his poetry for a collection.




Maren O. Mitchell, a North Carolina native, lived in Bordeaux, France, in her childhood, and in Kaiserslautern, Germany.  She now lives with her husband on the edge of a national forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia.
Mitchell has taught poetry at Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC, and catalogued at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. For over thirty years, across five southeastern states, she has taught origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. 

Mitchell’s poems appear in The Cortland Review, The MacGuffin, POEM, The Comstock Review, Tar River Poetry, Poetry East, Hotel Amerika, Appalachian Heritage, The South Carolina Review, Southern Humanities Review, Appalachian Journal and elsewhere. Work is forthcoming in POEM, Slant, The Comstock Review, Poetry East and Chiron Review. Two poems, “X Is a Kiss on Paper” and “T, Totally Balanced,” have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. In 2012 she received 1st Place Award for Excellence in Poetry from the Georgia Poetry Society. Her nonfiction book, Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide, (Line of Sight Press, 2012), www.lineofsightpress.com is on Amazon. 



Ryvers Stewart has been writing poetry since middle school, but it was in high school she truly fell in love with it (and acting). She is in the graduating class of 2019 at Tri-County Community College with an Associates in Arts degree, she plans on graduating 2020 with an Associates in Fine Arts. 

On the weekends Stewart can be found playing D&D and Pathfinder. She is currently working on her first poetry book.


For more information on this event please contact Mary Ricketson at maryricketson311@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Barren Magazine Poetry Contest



Ben Cutler, poet and rep for NCWN-West in Swain County won second place in the Barren Magazine poetry contest. 

https://barrenmagazine.com/to-my-eldest-at-the-age-of-burning/

Benjamin Cutler is our NCWN-West Rep for Swain County.
Learn more about Ben here,

Book release for Brent Martin June 17


Brent Martin's new collection The Changing Blue Ridge Mountains: Essays on Journeys Past and Present is being released by History Press on June 17th.  

He will be reading from this book on Friday, June 21st at 7:00 PM at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin, NC, 149 Siler Farm Road, Franklin NC - 28734

Brent will be leading a three day Power of Place workshop at the new Alarka Expeditions office in Franklin, beginning Monday June 10th.  

"We'll have readings and discussions on the role of place in writing, along with field trips each week to a different location for exercises in creativity.  Cost is $35 per session."  
Anyone interested can email Brent directly at alarkaexpeditions@gmail.com or visit this website: https://www.alarkaexpeditions.com/upcoming-events

People can also learn more about it on facebook:

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC announces Jacar Press' publication of Kathryn Stripling Byer's "Trawling the Silences," and hosts opening reading June 8, 2019

It is with great joy and sorrow that Jacar Press announces the posthumous publication of Kathryn Stripling Byer's Trawling the Silences. The book should be available late May, and City Lights Bookstore in Sylva will host an opening reading on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at 6:30. Please join us if you can.

Jacar Press will be donating proceeds from sales to a cause Kay valued. We are in the process of narrowing that down and will have a decision on that soon. 





When she died suddenly from lymphoma in June 2017, Kathryn Stripling Byer had  just completed her 7th, and what would be her last, collection of poetry, Trawling the Silences. It is a book of great beauty and heartbreak, revisiting all her important themes - family and ancestry, the natural world, the inevitable process of aging and death, and the pressing issues of environmental degradation, racism, and international conflict - with an urgency that seems, in retrospect, to have come from an awareness about what fate awaited her. Kay loved the craft of poetry and the expressive possibilities of intricate poetic structures. She wrote free verse, metrical verse, syllabic verse, and used forms as diverse as the sestina and the ghazal. Though often dense with meaning and allusion, her work remains accessible to any careful reader. 


During her writing career, Kathryn Stripling Byer received many honors and awards, including the Lamont prize for her second book, Wildwood Flower, the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Literature, in 2001, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. She was the first woman to be selected as the North Carolina Poet Laureate and served from 2005 to 2009. In 2012 she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.


For more information, contact City Lights Bookstore at: 828-586-9499

Address:

3 East Jackson Street

Sylva, North Carolina 28779

Monday, June 3, 2019

Writers' Night Out June 14 with Prose & Poetry

Join us in Blairsville at the Union County Community Center 

Local writer James Davis teams up with 2013 Georgia Author the Year (in poetry) and former Atlanta Review editor Dan Veach

Followed by Open Mic




Kathryn Stripling Byer's last book posthumous publication by Jacar Press

Please keep this date - Saturday, June 8, 6:30pm at City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC



It is with great joy and sorrow that Jacar Press announces the posthumous publication of Kathryn Stripling Byer's Trawling the Silences. The book should be available late May, and City Lights Bookstore in Sylva will host an opening reading on Saturday, June 8, at 6:30. Please join us.

Jacar Press will be donating proceeds from sales to a cause Kay valued. We are in the process of narrowing that down and will have a decision on that soon.

When she died suddenly from lymphoma in June 2017, Kathryn Stripling Byer had just completed her 7th, and what would be her last, collection of poetry, Trawling the Silences.


It is a book of great beauty and heartbreak, revisiting all her important themes - family and ancestry, the natural world, the inevitable process of aging and death, and the pressing issues of environmental degradation, racism, and international conflict - with an urgency that seems, in retrospect, to have come from an awareness about what fate awaited her. Kay loved the craft of poetry and the expressive possibilities of intricate poetic structures. She wrote free verse, metrical verse, syllabic verse, and used forms as diverse as the sestina and the ghazal. Though often dense with meaning and allusion, her work remains accessible to any careful reader.

During her writing career Kathryn Stripling Byer received many honors and awards, including the Lamont prize for her second book, Wildwood Flower, the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Literature, in 2001, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. She was the first woman to be selected as the North Carolina Poet Laureate, and served from 2005 to 2009. In 2012 she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.


Text above from Jacar Press Facebook page.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Dream Take Flight by Lisa Turner now on Amazon

Lisa Turner sent us this news:

My new book Dream Take Flight just went live on Amazon! The official release date is June 3rd, my husband's birthday, he was such a supporter.


A Shy Girl Breaks the Rules

Refusing to follow the traditional career path for girls, Lisa Turner sets out to fulfill a promise she makes to her dying mother, disrupting the status quo every step of the way. When Lisa decides to build an airplane in the garage at the age of 45, her family thinks she has gone too far . . .

She says it is available in June on Kindle for 99 cents. What a bargain!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Where I’m From


We are happy to have Valerie Nieman, author of fiction and poetry as our guest blogger today. She has written an interesting post for our blog. I hope you will leave comments for Valerie, and remember she will be in Hayesville, NC July 6, at the Moss library. See sidebar for more information.

Where I’m From

by

Valerie Nieman

           I’m from New York. And I’m an Appalachian. Born, bred, educated, lived, worked there. Only in recent years have I slipped out of the mountains, living now just a few miles from the “official” border of the region. That world was my world, and still is, appearing in my poems and novels all along, but most strongly in my latest, To the Bones.

          Appalachia, as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, takes in more than 200,000 square miles, encompassing West Virginia and parts of 12 other states. Despite the stereotypes about “hillbillies” and “mountain people,” there’s no single culture. It’s still heavily rural, more than 40 percent of the population living in rural areas compared with 20 percent nationally, but accents, food ways, ethnic makeup, and economies vary greatly across the region.
          I grew up in Cattaraugus County, NY, one of 14 counties that make up the “Southern Tier” along the border with Pennsylvania. The hills there are low and soft, the Allegheny Plateau, good land for dairy farming. Memories from my growing-up days — maple sugaring, Amish neighbors, big gardens, harsh winters — were superseded by the three decades I lived in West Virginia, yet they continue to crop up in my writing. Darrick, one of the main characters in To the Bones, went to school at St. Bonaventure. Oil City, PA, makes an appearance in a poem in Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse.
          In 1976, I headed south to Morgantown, WV, to get my journalism degree at West Virginia University. The Mountain State caught my heart when I camped with my then-boyfriend at Cooper’s Rock State Park, waking after a late arrival to a glory of dogwoods and bird song.
         
After college, my now-husband and I bought some pastureland in Marion County. We built a barn, a house, fences. Planted an orchard and an organic garden. That land shaped the landscape of Neena Gathering and of To the Bones.
          It’s a different kind of hills from the ones where I grew up, most notably in the presence of coal mining. The culture, too, was different. Soup beans and cornbread. Pepperoni rolls. But many things were the same—both areas had seen much immigration from Italy, and excellent Italian food was celebrated in both western New York and north central West Virginia. And in both places, I gathered wild berries and apples gone feral, though it was in West Virginia that I came to know the despised wild leek of my childhood as “ramps,” and a really fine food when properly prepared.
          I came to North Carolina in 1997, to the land of barbecue, tobacco, and restaurants offering “meat and three.” Grits replaced home fries on the breakfast menus. Collard greens and pinto beans are Southern kin to creasy greens and soup beans. North Carolina is Appalachian—Gov. Roy Cooper is co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
          Appalachia today is a diverse place, but it always was. Native Americans, Spanish and French and English explorers, Irish and Scot and Scots-Irish settlers. African-Americans brought forcibly as slaves and whose descendants came north to the mines and mills in the Great Migration. Germans who came to work in the glass plants of the Ohio Valley. Peoples from all over Europe, Polish and Italians and Welsh and Hungarians and many others, whose emigration landed them in the coal camps. “Lebanese” peddlers who offered goods to isolated farms and to miners’ wives. And so on, to new arrivals from all over the globe who come to start new lives or attend college or work in the High Technology Corridor.
          The ill-educated, ill-clothed mountaineer with a jug and a hound? That media creation proved useful in denying residents a say in their lands, resources, politics, future. They just weren’t suited to such things, went the standard line, and so needed to be corralled and cozened. When I arrived in West Virginia University in 1975, you could still get souvenirs depicting that hillbilly stereotype in the university bookstore, but the WVU mascot has been for nearly a century the Mountaineer. A heroic bronze figure of the buckskin-clad pioneer has stood on the campus since 1971.
          To the Bones satirizes stereotypes and as a genre mashup, plays with the tropes of mystery, horror, tall tale, even a bit of romance. The stranger comes to town is a recurring theme in Westerns, but is also what John Gardner called one of the two great stories. (The other is a man (woman) goes on a journey—Peer Gynt, Odysseus, Harry Potter, and the list goes on.) But the deep story in this novel is one of love and despair, people who deeply love the land of their birth and rearing, yet who clearly see the despoiling and destruction wrought by the extractive industries that put food on the table.
          Too much has been taken out and too little given back. My place back in West Virginia had a capped gas well in the field, a mine crack in the back field, and no water—the mines had cut off the aquifer. But I loved it.
          Appalachian I was, and remain. You can see it right there in the stories and poems.





Writing Magazines - Which ones do you read?

When I was a beginning writer, in south Georgia, I subscribed to Writer's Digest Magazine. I took a course offered by the magazine and it was taught by a North Carolina author. He was an excellent teacher and helped me keep my eye on writing when I was about to give it up.

I learned from the articles in the magazine on fiction, poetry and nonfiction. I saved all the copies for years and reread them.

After I moved to NC and met more published writers, I subscribed to Writer Magazine and Poets and Writers, but I still enjoy and use the articles in Writer's Digest for teaching beginning writers.

I met Robert Brewer, WD's poetry editor at the Blue Ridge Writers' conference a few years ago. I began to follow his poetry column. His readers interact with him on his blog which is part of Writers' Digest site.

Later he published my article:
https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/interviewing-poets-why-and-how

I recommend writing magazines to aspiring writers. The articles are usually short but have a point. Great writing tips.

Do you take any magazines on writing and what do you think?
Do you subscribe to online magazines that are helpful for your writing?


Other posts on writing:  https://netwestwriters.blogspot.com/2019/03/guest-post-by-c-hope-clark-award.html

https://netwestwriters.blogspot.com/2017/06/interview-with-rosemary-rhodes-royston.html

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Charley Pearson, NCWN-West member, was featured guest at CWPW

Charley Pearson, author, and retired nuclear engineer, was featured at our recent Coffee with the Poets and Writers. I visited his Facebook page and his website today. He has a great sense of humor and his information on his page is made more interesting because of his wit. Charley's medical thriller, Scourge, is out now and available online and in bookstores. 

I liked the page, Writer-Aids, on his website.  Lots of good advice for writers from someone who knows.
http://charleypearson.com/writer-aids/
I think you will like it, too. 

If you could not be at CWPW this month, you missed a great program, but you can get a taste of what Charley is all about and read about his latest book on his website. http://charleypearson.com

Charley along with Merry Elrick head up the Mountain Writers group in Waynesville that meets each month at Panacea restaurant. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

WRITERS' NIGHT OUT FRIDAY, MAY 10, 7:00 PM

WRITERS' NIGHT OUT
FRIDAY, MAY 10, 7:00 PM
Mary Mike Keller

Glenda Beall

 On May 10 Glenda Beall and Mary Michelle Keller will read their poetry and prose. The reading begins at 7 p.m. and is followed by an open microphone where audience members can share their own poetry or prose. The free event takes place at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA, and is open to the public.

Beall has been writing and publishing poetry, short stories, and personal essays since 1995. Her latest book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins; Family Pets and God’s Other Creatures, was co-authored with local writer Estelle Rice in 2018. Other books include a family history, Profiles and Pedigrees, Descendants of Thomas Charles Council (1858 – 1911), and her poetry chapbook, Now Might as Well be Then (Finishing Line Press). Beall is owner/director of Writers Circle Around the Table in Hayesville, NC, where she teaches and invites writing instructors to hold workshops. She is also Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. 

Keller lives in Young Harris, where she began writing over twenty years ago. She finds inspiration in the happenings around her and her life experiences. She is also a painter and finds writing and painting go hand-in-hand as each demands the expression of emotion. She writes for the pure pleasure of creation.  She has been published in several places, but does not strive to do so.  She enjoys reading her work to others and finds satisfaction in sharing.

Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West on the second Friday of every month through November. Anyone wishing to participate in the open mic can sign up at the door to read three minutes of poetry or prose.

The Union County Community Center 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 and drinks are available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night Out, contact Karen Paul Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or kpaulholmes@gmail.com.



Thursday, May 9, 2019

Don't missThe Literary Hour with host writers Carol Lynn Jones, Kanute Rarey, and Rosemary Rhodes Royston, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 7:00 PM, at John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC


On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at 7:00 PM, John C. Campbell Folk School (JCCFS) and NC Writers' Network-West (NCWN-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. 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 Carol Lynn Jones, Kanute Rarey, and Rosemary Rhodes Royston. For more information about event, please contact Mary Ricketson at: maryricketson311@hotmail.com.


Carol Lynn Jones received a full scholarship to study art and illustration at Syracuse University and worked in New York City illustrating books and magazines. Later, she started a greeting card business and sold cards to stores throughout the country. Her travels have taken her across Europe where she lived for two summers with her extended family in communist Czechoslovakia. She also lived with a family in St. Petersburg, Russia as part of a friendship force exchange program for professionals. This experience triggered an interest in Russian culture, language and history, resulting in her first novel, Danya. Organic gardening and photography give her much contentment. She lives with her husband in Murphy.


Kanute Rarey is a local storyteller. He told his first "official" story in 2015 at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, and later at the Swapping Ground at the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Since then he has also told stories at the Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival, the Big Fibbers Festival, the Texas Storytelling Festival, the Moth Story Slam in Asheville, and the Stone Soup Festival. Born on a family farm in Ohio, Rarey began visiting the North Georgia mountains regularly about forty years ago and fell in love with the people, their stories, the wild rivers, beautiful lakes, and mountains. He moved to Hayesville in 1990 and lived here for ten years. Work then took him away. Four years ago, he retired back to Hayesville full-time. 

Rarey is a traveler, teacher, grandfather, and lifelong learner. Stories are from his personal life, from growing up on a farm in the Western Carolina mountains, from listening to family tales at breakfast gatherings and holiday meals, from the "characters" that make up his family, and from living with children and grandchildren. Some of his stories are established fables that hold life lessons that have been told over and over for many years. Other stories are works of his imagination.


Rosemary Rhodes Royston holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University and is a lecturer at Young Harris College, Georgia. She is the author of Splitting the Soil (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has been published in journals such as Appalachian Heritage, Split Rock Review, Southern Poetry Review, KUDZU, Town Creek Review, and *82 Review. She’s the VP for Planning and Special Projects at Young Harris College, where she teaches the occasional creative writing course. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she was the recipient of the 2010 Literal Latte Food Verse Award, received Honorable Mention in a George Scarborough Poetry Contest, at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, and her short fiction being selected as Honorable Mention in the Porter Fleming Literary Awards, 2012. Royston is treasurer for the North Carolina Writers’ Network-West.