For the 6th year, the small town of Burnsville opens its doors to more than thirty authors and hundreds of book lovers during the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival. Held this September 9 and 10, the festival features evening events for its featured authors Ron Rash and Audrey Niffenegger.
Though she is known for her novels The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, Niffeneger is also a visual artist who has taught paper arts at Penland School of Crafts. She has published what she calls a “visual book” or a serialized graphic novel titled The Night Bookmobile which first appeared in the London Guardian. At the festival, she will speak on Friday evening, September 9.
Ron Rash is a celebrated writer from Western North Carolina. His novel Serena garnered critical acclaim and his next book, Burning Bright, earned him the international Frank O’Conner Award (the world’s richest prize for the short story form). Rash will also release his first poetry collection in more than a decade at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival. Waking will be published in September of 2011 by Hub City Press. He will give a poetry reading on Saturday morning and will also be the keynote speaker for the Saturday evening banquet.
The 2011 festival includes many published writers who hail from Mitchell and Yancey Counties: Alan Gratz, Charles F. Price, Elaine Dellinger, Zack Allen, Britt Kaufmann, Brian Lee Knopp, Abigail DeWitt and Donna Jean Dreyer.
New writers to the festival include Brenda Lilly, playwright of Along About Sundown and The Ballad of Tom Dooley both produced at the Parkway Playhouse. Also, Hannah Gill will lead a follow-up session to last year’s talk by Paul Cuadros based on her book The Latino Migration Experience in North Carolina. Other new faces include food writer Fred Sauceman, curator Lynn Ennis, Cherokee pottery expert Anna Fariello, and hound dog breeder Bob Plott. Director of the Buncombe Libraries, Ed Sheary, will also give a talk about the future of books and reading.
Familiar authors such as Rob Amburg, Joseph Bathanti, Holly Iglesias and Jim Clark will also return.
As in years past, there are sessions especially for children on Saturday. The ARTS MATTERS group will supervise hands-on projects and Poetry Alive!, the dynamic troupe from Asheville, will head up the day’s events held in the new Yancey County Library.
Even though the word “literary” is in the title, the festival is not academic in nature. It is very much geared to the average reader or book lover, and curious people. Each year the festival strives to bring together authors, readers of all ages, novice writers, listeners and learners in small, intimate settings. The goal is that the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival will inspire people to read more, write more, and contribute positively to society through the literary arts.
All are invited come to the small town of Burnsville --to a festival that includes novelists, poets, historians, journalists, and everyday people who enjoy stories, conversation, and a real good time.
To see a complete list of authors and a schedule for the weekend visit cmlitfest.org.