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Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25.

East Asheville history and sites

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The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

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Mark de Castrique posted a blog post
Oct 13
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Oct 8
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan at MACA Authors' Booth

October 14, 2017 from 9:30am to 1:30pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be signing her new books A Part of Me and A Place That Was Home at the Mountain Glory Festival in downtown Marion on Saturday, October 14, from 9:30-1:30. She will be located at the MACA Authors' booth on Main Street.See More
Oct 7
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Sample 8 Great Smokies Writers at Malaprop’s, Oct. 15

Writers in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP)read atMalaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 3 p.m., Sun.,Oct. 15 Elizabeth Lutyens, editor of the GSWP’s Great Smokies Review, leads the Prose Master Class and will host the reading. ·        Ellen Carr, who works in the financial industry, will read excerpts from her novel of uneasy relationships, Unmanned. ·        Sarah Carter, an artist and photographer who will publish an excerpt of her novel, Jolene, Joe-Pye,…See More
Oct 6
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

The Douglas Ellington effect: An Appreciationby Rob NeufeldIMAGE: Douglas Ellington’s original drawing for a City Hall-County Courthouse Art Deco complex.            “Dear Douglas,” Kenneth Ellington wrote his brother, the 38-year old Pittsburgh architect, on May 6, 1925, “I know things are…See More
Oct 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post

How To Kill Your Reader

Danger is a crucial element in a mystery novel. A killer is on the loose and no one is safe. But sometimes the killer can be the writer, and the victim, the reader.I'm talking about when the author turns into a preacher and the story becomes a sermon. Now I am not against using a mystery novel for social commentary. Writing doesn't happen in a moral vacuum, and, after all, isn't a mystery a morality play? As fellow North Carolina author Margaret Maron said there is no topic that can't be dealt…See More
Oct 5
Mark de Castrique posted a video

Hidden Scars - A Sam Blackman Mystery

Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson investigate a 70-year-old death that unleashes a killer.
Oct 3
Mark de Castrique posted a discussion

Black Mountain College as Backdrop for Mystery

My new book, HIDDEN SCARS, is released Oct 3rd.  D.G. Martin notes the star of the story is Black Mountain College.  http://chapelboro.com/town-square/columns/one-on-one/one-one-lost-college-still-shinesSee More
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Upcoming book--Sacred Sites for Secular Times

Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld              Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences.  They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.             The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
Sep 25
Susan Weinberg posted events
Sep 22
Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22
Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22
Kathryn Hall posted a blog post

Aim for Beauty

In honor of my blog Plant Whatever Brings You Joy's 10th Blogiversary I've posted a chapter from my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden. This particular chapter was also excerpted in Fairview's GreenPrints magazine, which was greatly appreciated. Read more here: http://plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com/aim-for-beauty/…See More
Sep 11
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

McCrumb ghost-opened world in The Unquiet Grave

McCrumb sees stories behind haunting ghost by Rob NeufeldPHOTO: Sharyn McCrumb and her dog Arthur, 2017.  Photo by Laura Palmer, courtesy, Sharyn McCrumb In “The Unquiet Grave,” Sharyn McCrumb once again demonstrates her mastery at turning a folktale into something larger, different, and greater.The legend of the…See More
Sep 10
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

James Vestus Miller

­HISTORIC PHOTO James Vester Miller James Vester Miller had been a boy when his mother, a Rutherfordton slave, had responded to Emancipation by taking her three children to Asheville and getting a job as a cook in a boardinghouse—some say Julia Wolfe’s boardinghouse, Old Kentucky Home.  Growing up, Miller hung…See More
Aug 26
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Aug 25

Keith Flynn Reaching New Heights with Holy Men, Kicks off weekend

by Rob Neufeld


See interview.

“I would love to be a being of pure sound,” Keith Flynn wrote in his breakout 2007 book, “The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz, and Memory: How to Make Your Poetry Swing.” 


The Asheville poet, bandleader, and journal editor reveals the latest incarnation of his aspiration in a performance with his band, “Keith Flynn and the Holy Men,” at the Friday night kickoff for the Mountain Writers Workshop in Waynesville.

The journey


In 2007, Flynn toured 174 sites throughout America, spreading the word about “The Rhythm Method” and about his fourth volume of poetry, “The Golden Ratio.” In 2001, he had toured Europe to introduce “The Asheville Poetry Review,” now an internationally recognized journal, to 146 audiences.


APR’s founding in 1994 had helped coalesce the gathering of poetic forces in the city that has now resulted in a cultural attraction.


Flynn, Madison County native and Mars Hill College and UNCA alumnus, had burst into the 1980s with the now legendary rock band, Crystal Zoo. He was already finding ways to remove the line between poetry and song without compromising either.


“I was a lead singer in my mind when I was five years old,” Flynn related in an interview with the Citizen-Times. “I was baptized when I was eight years old, and most folks in my church thought that I was going to become a preacher there. When I went to college…on a basketball scholarship, after two years, I became a poet.”

A genius for sound


Flynn has a genius for sound—not just tone, but also shape, movement, and instrumentation. Though there are themes to which he returns—for instance, the adoption of the feminine principle to counter ecological destruction—his main theme pertains to sound.


“I would love,” he continues in “The Rhythm Method,” “to take everything I hear and return it as poetry, to make an orchestra of a single man.”


The wish goes back at to at least 1991, when his first published book, “The Talking Drum,” presented the poem, “The Horses,” about horses racing a train. “I would,” Flynn wrote, “be infected with their reckless power…forever running, forever singing back,/ giving me the strength/ to walk as an equal among the horses.”


That visionary role is the poet’s, Flynn believes. And, in his view, everyone can lay claim it.

Teaching poets


“What I try to do when I teach,” Flynn said, “is break a poem down into its smallest components, (which are) sounds. A poem is sonic architecture, like a song.” He then shows aspiring poets how to create “a long piece of angular momentum,” as he writes in “The Rhythm Method”—a “flow with authority.”


A song has aids to help it swing—instruments, backbeats, chord progressions, melody. “A poem has to have all those support systems, but they have to be invisible,” Flynn said. “The seams can’t show.” 


Creating a visual metaphor, Flynn added, “You have to build your Frankenstein, but it has to be as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe so that the reader is seduced.”


Flynn will be leading a session titled, “Inspiration: How to Find It and Use It,” at the Mountain Writers Workshop, Saturday morning.

How a poem-song works


When Keith Flynn and the Holy Men (Bill Altman on guitar; Richard Foulk, percussion) perform Flynn’s poems, they manage to both swing and communicate in ways that make you think---yeah, this poem-song fusion can work.


Flynn’s poem, “The Men’s Movement,” published in his second volume, “The Book of Monsters,” is one of fifteen lined up for the Friday concert.


“I was thinking of Chicago and wind and Little Milton,” the poem begins, referring to the Mississippi bluesman, Milton Campbell, whose first hit had been “I’m a Lonely Man.”


When Flynn sings/recites his poem, the opening lines sound more like, “I was thinking of Chica-GO, and all the w-ih-ih-nd, and I was thinking about Little Milton, how he hated the i-cy g-u-u-sts.”


“Look at all the n’s in there,” Flynn remarked in the interview. “Thinking—wind—Milton. Both of the ‘and’s’ are used as connective tissue in that sentence to keep the nnnnnn sound in your mouth, which in my mind is mimicking the drone of the wind outside your window.”


The pattern of sounds opens your mind to allow more information in, Flynn explains.

Politics and poets


“The Men’s Movement” poem provides another opportunity for Flynn. Written when he was twenty-nine, it was a reflection on leaving behind the recklessness of youth—“I don’t go too fast down this hill,” the song’s refrain goes—as well as on the men’s movement, which was developing at this time in connection with poet Robert Bly’s myth of “Iron John.”


Reworked in 2010, the poem’s lines become the words of a middle-aged man and an update on the men’s movement. Flynn has seen Bly turning into a guru, and the movement floundering in what he sees as ridiculousness. 


“Why do men need a movement?” Flynn asks. “Men have been running things for all this time.”
Instead, the world needs to move past patriarchy. It’s another visionary path.


Along with “The Holy Men” performances, Flynn is exploring other new paths to get his message across. In his novel-in-progress, “The Ropewalker,” he taps Mexico and the Mayan civilization to create a one-legged circus performing hero.


The character evokes “The Horses” again, and the lines: “I thought, if I were to lose my arms & feet/ if walking slowly home I was seized/ and fell paralyzed to the ground. If wishes were horses…”
Passage through life can be that maiming. Poetry can be that powerful.

If you go
The Mountain Writers Workshop kicks off 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24, at First United Methodist Church, 566 South Haywood Street, Waynesville with a concert by Keith Flynn and the Holy Men. Admission is $15. Saturday’s full slate includes workshops for writers in all forms and a luncheon keynoted by multi-award winning novelist Charles Price. Call 246-0999 about fees and registration. Visit www.mountainwritersnc.com.

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