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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Julia Nunnally Duncan at Little Switzerland Books and Beans

August 30, 2019 from 3pm to 6pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author at Little Switzerland Books and Beans on Friday, August 30, from 3-5. A book signing will follow. Julia will read from her latest books A Neighborhood Changes, A Part of Me, and A Place That Was Home.See More
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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

"The introduction of my new publication, Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock will be launched on Sept 14 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Henderson County Court House 500 Main Street. A talk and a brief slide show follows with refreshments afterward. …"
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Nancy Werking Poling at Black Mountain Library

June 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8

Asheville Wordfest 2014

(Photo top right, Laurey Masterton from Asheville Chamber of Commerce; 2nd photo, Laura Hope-Gill from

A webpage in progress!

Asheville Wordfest, an annual weekend of poetry, spoken word performance, and now also fiction, enters its 7th year with readings, performances, workshops and other events, May 2-4, at Asheville Campus Lenoir-Rhyne University, 36 Montford Avenue, Asheville.  Laura Hope-Gill, director and founder dedicates this year’s festival “to the joyful memory of Laurey Masterton, beekeeper, chef, author, activist, entrepreneur, educator, and reminder to us all of how important it is that we ‘Don't Postpone Joy.’”

Celebration of life; performances; and workshops


Wordfest begins Fri., May 2 at 5 p.m., with

>> Reading of Laurey Masterton’s writings:

Apresentation by Patti Digh author of “The Geography of Loss”; and a potluck of Laurey-inspired dishes. 

In addition to a poetry slam, an animated film show, a story slam, open mics, and a scavenger hunt, the festival offers workshops on: young poets finding their voices; poems that say goodbye; nature writing; poetry performance; storytelling (with the Asheville Storytelling Circle); documenting Asheville through poetry (for junior high and high school students); and taking stories to the stage (with Connie Regan-Blake).


Plus, there are these readings and talks


Fri., May 2, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

>> Liam Kelley, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Helen Losse, Keynon Lake, Aimee Nezhukumatatathil

and boys and young men, grades 3-8, involved in Developing Future Male Leaders at the Dr. Wesley Grant-Southside Center. 

Aimee Nezhukumatathil: multiple prize-winning author of Luckyfish (2011); At the Drive-in Volcano (2007); and Miracle Fruit (2003); and most recently, Lace & Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens (2014).\

            What exactly does the papa penguin register

            in a nighttime that lasts two whole months?

            [lines from “Penguin Valentine”]

See and hear her readings.

Quraysh Ali Lansana: author of They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems (2004); Southside Rain (2000); The Big World, a children's book, (1999); and three poetry chapbooks, bloodsoil (sooner red) (2009), Greatest Hits: 1995-2005 (2006), and cockroach children: corner poems and street psalms (1995).  He is also the editor of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill's African American Literature Reader (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2001).

Read more and hear readings at Poetry Foundation.

Helen Losse: author of Seriously Dangerous (2011) and Better With Friends (2009); and three chapbooks.  Her poems have been anthologized in In the Arms of Words: Poems For  Disaster Relief; Washing the Color of Water Golden: A Hurricane Katrina Anthology; and Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont

            in a Salisbury graveyard,

            I carried—in my cup—


            Coke diluted by ice. [from “Rail fanning”]


See webpage at Main Street Rag.

Keynon Lake: author of My Daddy Taught Me That (2012).  See website.

Sat., May 3, 11:00 - 1:00 pm

>> Speaking Through the Invisible: Mystical Poetry and Poetry of the Sacred 

Tracey Schmidt: exhibited photographer; teacher; and author of The Awakening of Turtle Island: Portraits of Native Americans 

            I have fallen in love with the world

I'm not exactly sure when it happened--

[from an illuminated poem--see this and others at author website]

James Davis

Gavin Dillard: author of homoerotic poetry, including The Naked Poet and several other volumes; editor of anthology, A Day for a Lay: A Century of Gay Poetry.  

Sat., May 3, 1:00 - 3:00 pm

>> Writing in Two (or Three) Worlds: Translation, Language, and Memory

Irania Macias Pattersonstoryteller, performer, and singer, currently the bilingual children’s coordinator at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library; author of Wings and Dreams/Alas y Suenos: The Legend of Angel Falls (2010), a children's folktale.  "Angel Falls...the backdrop for a newly imagined folktale vibrantly illustrated with full-color original art...A dark shadow falls over the Pemones Indians as conquerors from the north invade the ancient land.  A wise shaman sends young Takupi on a perilous journey to seek out safety for his people in a secret southern land seen only in the shaman’s dreams."

Caleb Beissert, author of Beautiful: Translations from the Spanish a selection of English-language adaptations of the poetry of Pablo Neruda and Federico García Lorca, published by New Native Press in 2013,  Author of 18 other books; performer.percussionist; host of weekly open mic at Noble Kava; producer of monthly Altamont Poetry Series at North Carolina Stage Company.

And the bishop entered Yucatán
behind the pale jaguars.
They joined the deeper wisdom
heard in the air
of the first day of the world...

[from "Guatemala," Poetry of Pablo Neruda, on author website]

Jadwiga McKay, poet, first great grandchild to Mary from Poland and has an old soul that hears the call of the European motherland, her blog profile says...She was grew up among rural creatures in Michigan and currently calls urban Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina home.

Sat., May 3, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

>> Inventing a World: Creativity and the Center of the Universe

José Vázquez: Mexico-born, Charlotte "ArteSano," writer and artist in various media.  See his Noise Poem.

Paskie Pascua: Read her poem, "In The Islands Were I Come From," read by Leslie Lauren Valiente.

Ekua Adisa: "a sorceress, healer, urban priestess, word weaver, community building, bad ass mama," she says on her webpage.  

               The demons I fight
               want to take my life 
               but I am armed 
               with a sword of light

               [from a poem on her blog, Composed]

Kurma Murrain: See and hear her poetry recitation.

Sat., May 3, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

>> The Living Character: Making Life Happen in Fiction

Cynn Chadwickauthor Cat Rising; Girls With Hammers; Babies, Bikes, and Broads; Angels and Manners; and As The Table Turns.  The Cat Rising Series is the richly drawn story of one woman’s quest to build a future through the discoveries of her past.  See author blog.

Dale Nealauthor of the novels, The Half-Life of Home, and Cow Across America, winner of the 2009 Novello Literary Prize.  See author webpage.  See review of Half-Life.

Tommy Hays: author of the middle-grade novel, What I Came to Tell You; the novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award in 2006; and the novels, Sam’s Crossing, and In the Family Way, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.  He is Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC Asheville.  See author website.  See review of What I Came.

Sat., May 3, 5:00 - 6:00 pm

>> A Sense of Place: Appalachian Tradtional Music

Doug and Darcy Orr.  See Jack Betts' piece about their legacy.

Sat., May 3, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

>> Shanita Jackson, Connie Regan-Blake, David Hopes, Phyllis Utley, Ann Dunn, Jaki Shelton-Greene

Shanita Jackson: poet.  See her perform at Asheville Wordslam 2012.

Connie Regan-Blake: celebrated storyteller; member of the Folktellers duo, featured on seven award-winning recordings; collaborative artist with the Kandinsky Trio in a blend of storytelling and chamber music; founding board member of the National Storytelling Association.  See website and listen to audio clips.

David Hopesauthor of Bird Songs of the Mesozoic; Abbott's Dance; Man in FlightEdward The KingReece Mews; A Dream of Adonis; A Sense of the Morning; and A Childhood in the Milky Way.

Phyllis Utley: poet and spiritual guide.  See her Facebook page.

Ann Dunndancer, poet, mother, and scholar; author of Olde WomenBroken Pearls; and Birthmark.   See her story of her life in WNC Woman.

Mother said I came from the ocean,

from the boines of dead whales and sailors...

[from poem, "Birth Mark"]

See full photo and article in VERVE.

Jaki Shelton-Greene: author of Dead on Arrival; Masks; Conjure Blues; singing a tree into dance; Blue Opal (a play); andbreath of the song.  Winner of the 2003 North Carolina Award for Literature; 200i9 Piedmont Poet Laureate.

                    we are the messengers
                    new messengers
                    arriving as mutations of ourselves
                    we are these messengers
                    blue breath
                    red hands
                    singing a tree into dance

                    [from poem, "who will be the messenger of this land"]

Sun., May 4, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

>> BeeKeeping the Songmakers

Laura Hope-Gill: essayist, poet, teacher, producer, storyteller; founder of Wordfest; director of the Writing Program at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies; developer of the practice, Narrative Medicine in WNC; author of The Soul Tree; and Look Up Asheville: An Architectural Journey.  See her website, The Healing Seed.

Laura Blackleywriter, musician, and artisan farmer; host and producer of WNCW shows, "Local Color" and "Southern Sirens."  See and hear her perform on YouTube.

Chelsea LaBatepoet, songwriter and composer.  See website for her group, Ten Cent Poetry, which performs over 200 shows a year, and combines rich costumes and projected imagery.

Sun., May 4, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

>> Mothers of Community

H. Byron Ballard and Queen Mother

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Here is a two-page, pared down schedule for Wordfest 2014.



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