Cathy Smith Bowers
By Cathy Smith Bowers
Beyond the parking lot of Jack’s
me, insinuates itself under the sole
and torn from a spiral notebook. I shift
Once a snowflake fell
integrity that by line three
it & it was happy scribble slash….
to the end. Following is an assignment
diagnosis of the poem at hand. No
render bright the tarnished world
(From The Candle I Hold Up to See You, Iris Press, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 2009)
The abundance of writers living in North Carolina provides ample opportunities for readers to meet their favorites, ask questions about their craft and buy their books. North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers and keynote speakers Tony Earley and Paul Cuadros are among the highlights of the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10 and 11 in Burnsville. Other author appearances include N.C. Arts Council Fellowship recipients Joseph Bathanti and Holly Iglesias. The festival supports regional authors and smaller presses and events occur in galleries, stores, libraries and other venues throughout the town. Also on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10 and 11, the Charlotte Literary Festival presents 30 authors including Susan Taylor and Mary Monroe, neo-soul singers Dwella and Algebra, and children’s storytelling and games at the Park Expo (formerly the Merchandise Mart). For more information, visit http://www.realeyesbookstore.com/.
The BOOKMARKS Festival of Books will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District centering on Trade and Sixth Streets, where authors will make presentations in enclosed tents and interior spaces like the Millennium Center and galleries including 5ive and 40rty and Artworks. The family-friendly event features readings, signings, storytelling, demonstrations, workshops and activities for kids. Writers with a North Carolina connection include New York Times bestselling author John Hart, emerging voices panelist Erica Eisdorfer and Kennedy Center teaching artist Irania Macias Patterson. Panel discussions will include The Art of Mystery Writing and Sense of Place, and workshops will include The Art of Poetry Writing: A Workshop for Beginners, and Finding Your Voice in Oral Literature. For more information, visit http://www.bookmarksbookfestival.org/.
On The Same Page, Ashe County’s literary festival brings together eight North Carolina-connected authors along with book lovers of all kinds from Tuesday, Sept. 14 through Saturday, Sept. 18. At a group luncheon and panel discussion, Fred Chappell, Julia Ebell, Georgann Eubanks, John Hart, D.G. Martin, Robert Morgan, Ed Southern and Daniel Wallace will address three queries dealing with the role of “place” in the authors’ writing: where did you grow up, and how did that place and its landscape influence your writing?; have you moved away from or closer to that place in your writing?; and how is place a character in your writing? The festival takes place in 11 different venues across Ashe County. For more information, visit: http://www.onthesamepagefestival.com/.
The seventh Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming, scheduled Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17 and 18 at East Carolina University in Greenville explores the impact of shared traditions and values with the theme Contrasting Cultural Expressions: Perceptions of Place and Self. North Carolina writers will include five-time New York Times notable book author Jill McCorkle, novelist and playwright Jim Grimsley and novelists Carole Boston Weatherford and Michael Malone. The Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration will be given to Nancy Olson, owner of Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh for her efforts at promoting and supporting local artists. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/lithomecoming/.
The North Carolina Writers’ Network celebrates its 25th anniversary at its annual Fall Conference, Friday through Sunday, Nov. 5 through 7 at the Omni Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte. Writers at all levels of experience can participate in workshops and hear speakers including Michael Malone and North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers as well as a presentation on Literary Trails of the Piedmont, a project of the N.C. Arts Council and written by Georgann Eubanks. For details or to register, visit www.ncwriters.org or call (336) 293-8844. North Carolina Writers’ Network president Ed Southern talks about the organization and the fall conference in this video.