Showing posts with label City Lights Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label City Lights Books. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Open Mic and CWP in Sylva, NC February 18, 19th

Upcoming Events at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC

Coffee with the Poet Featuring Catherine Carter

02/18/2016 - 10:30AM
The Coffee with the Poet series continues on Thursday, February 18th at 10:30 a.m. at City Lights Bookstore. The February gathering will feature poet and professor, Catherine Carter. She is the author of Growing Gills, Swamp Monster and the chapbook Marks of the Witch. She is the Jackson County Rep for NCWN West.

Catherine directs the English Education program at Western Carolina University. She also teaches education, writing, and literature courses, and publishes and researches in poetry, American literature, and English Education....

NetWest Open Mic

02/19/2016 - 7:00PM
The NetWest program of the North Carolina Writers Network and City Lights Bookstore will host an open mic night at the bookstore on Friday, February 19th at 7 p.m. Folks are encouraged to bring their poetry or short pieces to share. The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves the writers of this state. They provide education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of...

Ann Miller Woodford Presentation

02/20/2016 - 3:00PM
Ann Miller Woodford will present her book, When All God’s Children Get Together on Saturday, February 20th at 3 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore. Her book celebrates the lives and music of African American people in far western North Carolina. Ann Miller Woodford grew up in Andrews, NC during segregation. She is the founder One Dozen Who Care Inc., a nonprofit that works to create leadership capacity and build community unity in far western North Carolina. ODWC partnered with Ann to...

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mary Ricketson, poet, reads at Coffee with the Poet March 19 in Sylva

Coffee with the Poet at City Lights Books Features Mary Ricketson

The Coffee with the poet series continues on Thursday, March 19th at 10:30 a.m at City Lights Books in Sylva, NC
The March gathering will feature Cherokee County resident, Mary Ricketson.  She will read selections of poetry from her first full-length collection Hanging Dog Creek.  

Her poems include topics about fear, hardship, courage and the joys in everyday life.  Ricketson has been writing for over 20 years.  Her work is inspired by nature and her profession as a mental health counselor. She won the gold medal for poetry in the 2011 Cherokee County Senior Games/Silver Arts and silver medal for 2012 and 2013, and first place in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th anniversary national poetry contest. 

The Coffee with the Poet series meets the third Thursday of every month and is cosponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network--West, the mountain chapter of the North Carolina Writers' Network. 

For more information on the Coffee with the Poet please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.

City Lights Books
3 E Jackson St.
Sylva, NC 28779

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Netwest Open House plans completed. Good time is promised.

Visit the link above to read all about the plans for the Netwest Open House to be held at City Lights Books in Sylva on November 10.

See if you know the people in the photo Kathryn posted.  I look forward to seeing all the writers north of us that I seldom get to see.'

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Gary Carden, winner of the Literature Award for North Carolina, reminds us of his unforgettable play, Birdell, to be performed on November 15.

Liars Bench To Present "Birdell" at Mountain Heritage Center
Bobbie Curtis as 'Birdell'

On Thursday November 15 at 7pm at the Mountain Heritage Center there will be a performance of the dramatic monologue "Birdell" starring Bobbie Curtis. It is the story of a defiant mountain woman forced off her land by the TVA caused rising waters of Fontana Lake. This show will be a benefit for the Liars Bench organization. Consequently there will be an admission charge of $10.00. Tickets are available at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva and at the door the night of the show.

Although "Birdell" has plenty of pathos it's not just a dark, unrelenting tragedy. There is humor all the way through the play and some of the things that Birdell Tolly does in her garden just might shock a Southern Baptist preacher.

Actress Bobbie Curtis portrays Birdell Tolly's life and her battle against the federal government. Ms. Curtis' grandparents were forced off their land by the construction of the Bridgewater Dam which formed Lake James.
Curtis says “I feel that I am really in her shoes and that I have been there.”
Some of Carden's other plays Curtis has performed in are “The Bright Forever” and Ketti Frings “Look Homeward Angel.”

Claw-hammer guitar player Paul Iarussi will play old-time Southern Appalachian music.

The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU: 828.227.7129 or City Lights Bookstore in Sylva 586.9499

The next presentation of The Liars Bench Show at WCUs Mountain Heritage Center will be Thursday December 13 at 7 pm with stories and songs of “An Old Time Appalachian Christmas.”

Contact for more information:
Gary Carden

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review of Ron Rash's new poetry book by Gary Carden

If you haven't heard of Ron Rash, author of Serena, and other popular books, be sure to google him, and visit Gary Carden's blog, Holler Notes.

Read his excellent review of Ron's new book of poetry, Waking. This review will also be in the Smoky Mountain News this week.

If you live in the area, you will want to know that Ron Rash will appear at City Lights Books to read from this book on Sunday, August 28th, 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Echoes Across the Blue Ridge now on Amazon

Echoes Across the Blue Ridge is now available on thanks to William Reynolds one of the authors in the anthology and owner of the publishing company, Double Eagle Enterprises. One very positive review has been writton on Amazon. More reviews would be appreciated.
Plans are to have Echoes Across the Blue Ridge on Kindle very soon.
Click here.

Remember, the anthology can be ordered from local Independent bookstores.
City Lights Books in Sylva will take orders online.

In Brasstown, NC, Carolina Crafting carries Echoes Across the Blue Ridge.
If you live in the area or if you are attending John C. Campbell Folk School, drop by and pick up copies for gifts or for yourself. This popular gift and craft shop is located in the shops of Brasstown.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Coffee With Poets: Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin

On Thursday, July 15, Coffee with the Poets at City Lights in Sylva will feature guest Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin, a business writer and editor by vocation. She writes for a variety of print and online publications on business topics, and has been co-editor or co-author of several business books, including two winners of the Project Management Institute’s literature award. On the avocation side of the ledger, her poetry has been published in The Nomad, the Atlanta Review, and Appalachian Heritage, in the anthologies Tree Magic (SunShine Press, 2004), The Gift of Experience (Atlanta Review, 2005), Immigration, Emigration, Diversity (Chapel Hill Press, 2005), and The Moveable Nest (Helicon Press, 2007). She was a finalist in the Atlanta Review’s poetry competition in 2000 and 2005, and in the 2000 Greensboro Awards. Her chapbook, Patriate, won the Longleaf Press Open Chapbook Competition and was published by Longleaf in 2007. She lives and works in the forks of Blackbird Branch on the eastern slope of Cullowhee Mountain.

All Netwest members are cordially invited to attend. City Lights' Coffee With Poets is held on the third Thursday of each month.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coffee with the Poets at City Lights in Sylva

I appreciate those who came to hear my reading today.

Coffee with the Poets at City Lights Books in Sylva started with a bang. Newt Smith, Treasurer for Netwest, served as MC for the reading. Kathryn Stripling Byer was not able to attend today.

Cynthia Gallinger, William Everett, Pat Montee

Mary Mike Keller and Rosemary Royston from Young Harris, GA made the trip over the mountains. Both shared poetry with the group which included William Everett, author of Red Clay, Blood River,and Pat Montee, wife of the late Ralph Montee, writer and poet. It was especially nice to see Pat again, in pink above.

From right, Newt Smith, Chris Wilcox, Diana Jurss, Rosemary Royston, Mary Mike Keller.
William and I have been communicating by E-mail for two years, and finally met today. I am very disappointed that both times Bill came to Hayesville I had to be out of town and was unable to see his presentation of his book in which he uses music and a professional actress.
Diana Jurss is the featured reader for the next Coffee with the Poets in Sylva. Her book is forthcoming in August. Cynthia Gallinger was also present today. I look forward to next month's CWP at City Lights. Perhaps other poets and writers will come and share their work at Open Mic.

Chris Wilcox, owner of City Lights, could not have been nicer and more accomodating. We bought books and sold books.

The refreshments were delicious, and we had an informal opportunity to discuss our opinions about poetry, line breaks, reading aloud and reading on the page. After the reading, some of us went downstairs to the Spring Street Restaurant were we had excellent service and excellent food.r more information on Coffee with the Poets in Sylva, contact Newt Smith, or Chris at

Friday, June 11, 2010


From left to right: Nan Watkins, Bill Everett, Wayne Drumheller, K. Byer

I recently had lunch with some Netwest members, as well as one non-member we are trying to talk into joining! Wayne Drumheller of Brevard met with me beforehand to discuss Netwest and the role he would like to play in its future. Fiction writer and poet William Everett of Waynesville drove over to join us for lunch. The non-member? Musician and translator Nan Watkins who lives in Tuckasegee, and who has been a friend of mine and Bill's for many years. We discussed ways that Netwest can grow as a source of news, dialogue, and enrichment for our far western counties. We hope Nan will join us soon! And we invite all Netwest members to share their vision for Netwest's future. You may leave a comment or email me.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

City Lights Books in Sylva

While book stores across the country try to hold on in this tough economy, one of our favorite western NC book stores is changing ownership. As writers we should support these independent bookstores where we can meet the owner and staff and they can learn about us and our books. City Lights Books has always supported artists of all kinds, and we hope they will continue to do so for a long, long time.
Click here to read Joyce Moore's letter and announcement.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


(City Lights Bookstore, along with The Friends of the Jackson County Library and numerous other volunteers, helped make the Bookfair a reality.)

This year's Great Smoky Mountains Bookfair was a smash hit! We had more people come to visit than ever before, and our authors on display were busier than I've ever seen them. I can vouch for that! I hardly had time to look at the book displays or to visit with friends like Kerry Madden, Pam Duncan, Vicki Lane, Allan Wolf, Fred Chappell--well, the list could go on. The event was held once again at the First United Methodist Church in Sylva, an ideal facility that feels both welcoming and capacious enough for a bunch of writers and readers to hang out for a day, indulging their love of books. We appreciate the church for opening its lovely downstairs rooms to us.

Alas, I forgot to bring new batteries for my camera, so I don't have photos of my own to share, but I do have one, taken in my kitchen, of the beautiful wall sconce, with an ear of corn on it (of course!), by my dear friend Gayle Woody, the one who created the gorgeous corn batik that I featured a few weeks back. Gayle teaches art at Smoky Mountain High School now, and her energy and spirit always makes me feel more alive.


(Sconce hand-made by artist and friend Gayle Woody)

I wrote a lot of poems for both children and adults, including a couple for babies named Eason and Sean Adam. I had a lot of fun writing one for a woman who rescues St. Bernard's, the breed of dog I've always wanted! With four "mutts" living with me these days, I'm glad I don't have the dog of my dreams, though a keg of brandy around his neck would be welcome on cold nights.
The highlight of my day was Allan Wolf's Poetry Alive performance and the readings by our student poetry contest winners. More about that tomorrow. They were fabulous. What poise they all had! I could never had stood up to read my own poem when I was in the second grade. Or the twelfth!

(Photo from Allan's website, )

And yes, I bought books, so many that my friends Harold and Jane Schiffman had to help me carry them out to the car!

Then we joined Fred and Susan Chappell for a glass of wine at Mill and Main,, basking in the afternoon light on the restaurant deck.

All in all, a great day for writers, readers, and our region.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Aspiring writers can find advice at November’s benefit book fair
(from The Sylva Herald)

Writers who are as yet unpublished can obtain some expert advice next month, and they won’t have to leave the area to do so.

As part of the Great Smoky Mountains Book Fair, which will be in Sylva on Saturday, Nov. 14, Edmund Schubert will offer a free writers’ workshop devoted to how to get published in any genre.

The program will be held at Sylva First United Methodist Church from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. While there is no charge to attend, pre-registration is required. Please call City Lights Bookstore at 586-9499 by Tuesday, Nov. 10, to reserve a place at the workshop.

The book fair appearance will mark Schubert’s return to Sylva to offer this program for a second time. He came to City Lights in February and had a full-capacity crowd for the workshop, which covers everything from the difference between a query letter and a cover letter to selling novels, non-fiction books and articles, and short stories.

Schubert is the author of a novel, titled “Dreaming Creek,” and is also the fiction editor of Orson Scott Card’s (author of “Ender’s Game”) online science-fiction magazine, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. An anthology from the magazine was recently published as a book, with Schubert as editor.

To register for Schubert’s free workshop, or for more information, call City Lights at 586-9499.

The Great Smoky Mountains Book Fair is a fund-raiser for the new Jackson County Library. In addition to Schubert’s writing workshop, it will include entertainment and book appraisal opportunities.

The all-day event draws some 50 regional authors to Sylva Methodist to sell and autograph their books, with 20 percent of sales going to the new library.

For complete book fair information, visit online at

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Photo credit: Jeff Davis. This photo of Cathy was snapped at the studios of WPVM when she appeared earlier this year on WordPlay, the station's program by, about, etc., "writers, their craft and ideas."
Cathy Smith Bowers will be reading at City Lights Bookstore,, this Friday night (Oct. 16) at 7:00 p.m.
Please plan to attend this reading, signing, and reception in Sylva, NC.

Anyone who has read Cathy Smith Bowers knows what I'm about to say, that she is one of the finest poets writing today, that her work fuses narrative with exquisite lyricism, as well as wit and vulnerability. Her new book, The Candle I Hold Up to See You, is just out from Iris Press.

ISBN-10: 1604542020ISBN-13: 9781604542028 Published: Iris Press, 05/01/2009 Pages: 96

Cathy Smith Bowers is a native of South Carolina. She was a winner of the 1990 General Electric Award for Younger Writers and a South Carolina Poetry Fellowship. Her poems have appeared widely in publications such as The Altantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, Poetry, Shenandoah, The Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, and many others.
Cathy’s first book, The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas, was published in 1992 as the first winner of the Texas Tech University Press First-book Competition in their Poetry Award Series, subsequently named for Walt McDonald. Iris Press republished The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas in 1997. Iris Press published Cathy’s second book, Traveling in Time of Danger, in 1999. Iris Press published Cathy’s third book, A Book of Minutes, in 2004. Cathy teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte.

To view a portfolio of Cathy's work over her past several books, please go to

Here are two poems from her new collection.

Cool Radio

When she calls and asks
f I will drive her to the mall,
our city’s newest labyrinth

of glittering stuff, I know my sister
has come back to me, back
from November’s shock of blood,

the exams, the x-rays, the surgeon’s
winnowing blade. She is one week
out of the hospital, chemo bag

draped casually across her shoulder,
spilling its slow promise
into her veins. Odd how stylish

in the mall’s fluorescent lights,
a Gucci or von Furstenburg,
its pale blue plastic shiny

as the toy shoes and purses
we used to play grownup in.
I loop my left arm through her

frail right, her tired gait lanky,
almost chic, steady her against
the teenage throng, tattooed

and pierced and spiked, past
racks of skirts and dresses, tier
upon tier of stiletto heels

like the ones our dead mother
in her younger years
suffered in so beautifully.

At the base of the escalator,
beyond The Limited and The Gap,
a girl too young for fashion’s

fleeting realm spies the apparatus
around my sister’s neck. “Cool
radio,” she whispers to no one

as we all step on together.


Each morning in my mailbox
or tucked into a quiet cove
of my front porch, another
burden of solace
reminding me again
my husband is dead.

Last week, an oval cardboard box
decoupaged in stars, inside, its nested
offering—a cache of still-warm eggs
gleaned from my neighbor’s henhouse.

Yesterday, a Peruvian prayer shawl,
the warp and weft of its holy weave
climbing, like girders of a bridge,
its sturdy warmth.

And today this handmade flute,
turned and hollowed and carved
by Laughing Crow, enigmatic
shaman of some distant plain.

See its little row of holes
lined up like perfect planets,
as if having not yet learned
the universe had collapsed.

See my lips pressed to the tiny
breathless gape of its own mouth.
As if my lungs could conjure anything.
As if it were the one needing to be saved.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

SHADOW BOX: Fred Chappell

CITY LIGHTS BOOKSOTRE ( Four years ago Fred Chappell sent me a beautiful broadside of The Foreseeing, telling me that it was a new kind of poem he was now exploring, the "embedded poem," or a poem within a poem, and that it was devilishly difficult. In this poem, the voice of the woman is embedded in that of her partner, who is beginning to realize that she is in love again. The two voices work with and against each other, forming a whole. Call it poetic counterpoint. The "inlaid" poem. Better yet, call it stunning, an enviable achievement. Now these poems, at which Fred has been working since The Foreseeing, have been gathered into a new collection from LSU Press: its title appropriately enough is SHADOW BOX. Last night, August 7, at City Lights Books in Sylva, NC Fred read from SHADOW BOX, with his wife Susan presenting the woman's voice in the poems. The two of them gave a haunting, at times beguiling, performance. (Joyce Moore introduces Fred to the audience in the bookstore's Regional Room.) Spotlight The hamlet sleeps under November stars. Only the page of numerate thought toils through The darkness, shines on the table where, askew And calm, the scholar's lamp burns bright and scars The silence, sending through the slot, the bars And angles of his window square, a true Clean ray, a shaft of patient light, its purview Lonely and remote as the glow of Mars. Brian's wife, the poet Catherine Carter, gets acquainted with Dana Wildsmith, who drove several hours from Georgia to be with Fred and Susan. Catherine's first book, The Memory of Gills, won the Roanoke-Chowan Award two years ago and was highly praised by none other than---Fred Chappell. Dana Wildsmith, a long-time friend of the Chappell's, has published several collections of poetry, as well as numerous essays, the most recent being in The Sun, published out of Chapel Hill. She lives in Bethlehem, Georgia. Fred will be on hand for the NC Literary Festival in Chapel Hill in September, as well as at the Smoky Mountain Bookfair in November, to name just a few opportunities for hearing him and Susan read from his new book. This new collection by the author Lee Smith calls our "resident genius," deserves all the readers it can get! City Lights contact information: phone: (828) 586-9499 web:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fred Chappell at City Lights, Sylva, NC

Fred Chappell To Read from New Poetry Collection

Friday, August 7th at 7:00 p.m.

Dear Friends:

Poet and novelist Fred Chappell will be at City Lights on Friday, August 7th at 7:00 p.m. to read from his new collection, entitled Shadow Box: Poems, published by Louisiana State University Press.

In this innovative collection, Chappell layers words and images to create a new poetic form -- the poem- within-a-poem. In his introduction to Part I of the book, Chappell says "poems-within-poems (enclosed, inlaid, embedded, double, nested) present two aspects of a situation or personality simultaneously. Each whole poem implies a narrative incomplete without these different perspectives. The points of view are distinguished by separate type faces."

Like the shadow box in the book's title, each piece consists of an inner world that is contained, framed, supported by an outer - the two of which are interdependent, sometimes supplementary, and often contrary. Chappell also introduces sonnets in which the sestet nests within the octet.

Chappell is the author of a dozen books of verse, two short story collections, and eight novels, including I Am One of You Forever, Farewell I'm Bound to Leave You, and Brighten the Corner Where You Are. A native of Canton, he is retired from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The event at City Lights will feature a reading by Chappell and a question-and-answer period. For more information, or to reserve an autographed copy of Shadow Box, please call us at 586-9499.

Spotlight, by Fred Chappell

The hamlet sleeps under November stars.
Only the page of numerate thought toils through
The darkness, shines on the table where, askew
And calm, the scholar's lamp burns bright and scars
The silence, sending through the slot, the bars
And angles of his window square, a true
Clean ray, a shaft of patient light, its purview
Lonely and remote as the glow of Mars

Handy Links
# See This Book/Event on Our Website
# Visit our Homepage

Contact Information
phone: (828) 586-9499

FCity Lights Bookstore | 3 E. Jackson Street | Sylva | NC | 28779

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ed Southern North Carolina Writers Network Director Visits Netwest

Ed Southern, Executive Director for the North Carolina Writers’ Network, parent organization of Netwest, made a quick but effective visit to the western part of North Carolina to meet with writers in Sylva at City Lights Books and in Brasstown at the John C. Campbell Folk School on Thursday, October 16. We asked those attending what Netwest and NCWN can do for them as writers and heard from some who had questions about publishing and some who want to know how to find markets outside their local areas. In attendance were bloggers, playwrights, haiku poets, novelists, Appalachian historians and beginning writers at the meeting in Sylva. It was agreed that social activities among writers is important and a possible breakfast group is on the horizon in Jackson County.

At the Folk School, a number of Netwest members held a casual question and answer session with Ed. Topics ranged from teleconferencing possibilities in the future to the history of Netwest. Ed brought the face of NCWN to the far southwestern part of the state. He met members who are well-published, active and enthusiastic about writing and about Netwest. His visit encouraged members to continue with the fine literary organization that has been ongoing for years and he assured us that funding from NCWN is forthcoming. Members were delighted to hear him say that he’d like to see chapters like Netwest all across North Carolina. It was obvious that Netwest likes Ed Southern and Ed Southern respects Netwest.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ed Southern meets with writers in Sylva NC

Photos by Barry Beall

Ben Eller, author of Children of Sherlock Holmes and Gary Carden, Jackson County Representative for Netwest, meet with other writers at City Lights Books in Sylva to discuss how NCWN and Netwest can best serve members in the area.
On the right above, John Quinnett who writes haiku, lives in Bryson City, NC.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meet Ed Southern in Netwest territory October 16

Anyone interested in writing is invited to meet Ed Southern, executive director of the North Carolina Writers' Network when he visits the Netwest area on Thursday, October 16. His first stop will be at City Lights bookstore at 2:00 PM in Sylva, NC.

Netwest county representatives and Glenda Beall, program coordinator for Netwest will also be there. Come out and learn what NCWN and Netwest can do for the literary community.

At 6:00 PM, Ed Southern will be at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC to meet with writers in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, and north Georgia. This is the first time a director for the NCWN has made the trip over this far west to speak with members and others interested in the writing community. Ed Southern has said Netwest is a model for what he'd like to see all over the state.