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East Asheville history and sites

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Feb 27.

The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

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City Lights Bookstore posted events
Aug 12
Glenda Council Beall posted a photo

FullSizeRender Lexie in the pillows

This is my little Lexie, a chihuahua mix who is tiny but so sweet. Here she is trying to sleep under my pillows. She is a burrower. Makes a great watch dog because she has a fierce bark.
Aug 10
Glenda Council Beall posted an event

Tribute to Kathryn Stripling Byer at Jackson County Public Library, Sylva, NC

October 1, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm
On October 1, Sunday afternoon, 2 PM, at Jackson County  Library in the Community Room, NCWN and NCWN-West will honor the late Poet Laureate, Kathryn S. Byer . Everyone is invited to come. We will share her poetry and talk about her achievements and her legacy for writers and poets in NC. If Kay touched your life in some way, come and pay tribute to her. We all miss her and this is a way to share our mourning for losing her and show our appreciation for what she did for us. See More
Aug 10
Glenda Council Beall commented on Glenda Council Beall's photo
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WRITERS CIRCLE IN SPRING

"On Saturday, September 9, 10:30 a.m., Richard Kraweic will teach a class at Writers Circle. He will teach how to organize a poetry book for publication. I know I need to learn that lesson. How about you?"
Aug 10
Glenda Council Beall commented on Glenda Council Beall's photo
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WRITERS CIRCLE IN SPRING

"We have a memoir class going on now until the first Wednesday in September. Wish you could join us in a class at Writers Circle around the Table."
Aug 10
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

East Asheville history and sites

A meaningful tour of East Asheville PHOTO CAPTION: View of Beverly Hills suburb, from a painting by Gibson Catlett that had once hung at subdivision offices.  Courtesy Special Collection, Ramsey Library, UNC Asheville.            I was walking in the Beverly Hills neighborhood the other day and noticed a few…See More
Aug 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Gail Godwin’s latest crosses a mental boundary by Rob Neufeld Asheville author Gail Godwin, now a Woodstock, NY resident, comes back home here Wed., June 14 to present her new novel, “Grief Cottage” at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m. “Grief Cottage” is the story of an orphaned, sensitive, troubled boy, named…See More
Aug 3
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan Poetrio reading at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe

August 6, 2017 from 3pm to 4pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured Poetrio poet at Malaprop's Bookstore/Café on Sunday, August 6, at 3 p.m. Julia will be reading from her new book A Part of Me. Fred Chappell says of A Part of Me: "Duncan's every reader will be reminded of some person, place, or time important to recall in a quiet hour."See More
Jul 28
Nancy Werking Poling posted an event

Nancy Werking Poling at Pack Library, downtown Asheville

August 9, 2017 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Nancy Werking Poling will read from her new book, Before It Was Legal: a black-white marriage (1945-1987).The Winters' forty-two-year marriage spanned key historical periods of the 20th century and took them from Indiana to Mexico City. Freed from U.S. racism, Daniel felt "as Mexican as chile verde." Meanwhile, Anna, a reserved white woman who struggled with speaking Spanish, experienced no similar sense of liberation. Before It Was Legal is not a happily-ever-after story, but an honest…See More
Jul 12
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jul 4
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jul 1
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jun 29
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Gail Godwin full interview for Grief Cottage event

Gail Godwin talks about Grief Cottage            Asheville author Gail Godwin, now a Woodstock, NY resident, comes back home here Wed., June 14 to present her new novel, “Grief Cottage” at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m.             “Grief Cottage” is the story of an orphaned, sensitive, troubled boy, named…See More
Jun 13
Jack J. Prather posted a blog post

First Woman NC Poet Laureate's Biography

A Biography of Late NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byerin Hendersonville Author's Six Notable Women of North CarolinaA biography of the late Kathryn Stripling "Kay" Byer of Cullowhee, the first woman and longest-serving (2005-2009) Poet Laureate in the state, is featured in Six Notable Women of North Carolina by Jack J. Prather of Hendersonville, founder of the Young Writers Scholarship at Warren Wilson College. The 43-page biography includes poems selected by the poet who passed away on…See More
Jun 9
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan at Marion Community Building

June 17, 2017 from 10am to 3pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author at the McDowell County 2017 Local Author Festival at the Marion Community Building in downtown Marion on Saturday, June 17 from 10-3. The event is sponsored by the McDowell County Public Library and is free and open to the public.See More
Jun 6
Short-short Stories & Riddles posted a blog post

Mom's has-been groove in ghost-boy novel

Marcus, in Gail Godwin’s new novel, Grief Cottage, recalls his friendship with Wheezer, whom he’d once beaten up at school because Wheezer had exposed Marcus’ shameful secret about his mom.  Now Marcus, age 10, is an orphan.  His dad has always been unknown to him; and his mom has just died in a car accident. Relocated to his aunt’s beach house, Marcus, despite the safety of the place, finds himself in trouble. He’s communicating with a ghost.  He’s having dreams about a non-existent older…See More
Jun 3

Not the evening news: Asheville Poetry Review’s latest offering

by Rob Neufeld

 

            What has always been impressive about “Asheville Poetry Review,” now offering its 23rd issue in 20 years, is its variety and balance.

            It’s got its authors of the region, and its national and international contributors; it’s got lyrical, narrative, philosophical, and experimental works.  Vets and still-wets.  Interviews, reviews, and news that stays news (as Ezra Pound liked to call poetry).

            Let me give you a few examples from Vol. 20, no. 1.

 

That’s a sonnet?

 

            Robert West’s poem, “Sonnet,” contains 14 lines—and only 12 words.  It abandons the traditional meter, but sticks to a rhyme scheme, ending with “on-/ ly/ Thou,/ own/ me/ now.”

            Yes, West likes to play, and also pray, as is evident, too, in his first poem in the volume, “Nadir,” which goes:

            “Each morning you’d recite, Let there be light,/ and face the day repeating that refrain. / Whatever terrors chased you through the night, / each morning you’d recite, Let there be light.”

            The poem continues using rhyme and repetition to create a circular feeling.

            Turn the book over, flip pages from the back, and you come to Philip Belcher’s “Gentle Slaughter,” a very different twist.

            Belcher, Vice President of Programs at the Community Foundation of WNC, takes us to a local scene and engages in purposeful anti-lyricism.

            “The women and liberated men thumping melons/ at Whole Foods this year,” he begins, “require chickens labeled gently slaughtered…”

            He continues his specific report with a visit to Syglenda (Syglenda Smith Saziru, farmer at John Smith’s Hill Harm), whom he observes closely as she goes to a shed “where the birds are gassed before uncrating,/ before exsanguination.”  The scientific word works very well in its drawn out anti-poetry.

            And it supports Belcher’s point.  You may love gentleness, but survival and industry are raw.  Belcher gives us three images: Tyson’s painful mechanized process; Syglenda’s mother’s lullaby-singing prelude to the instant kill; and her father, picking up a wing-shot dove and “slapping its head/ against his heel to be sure that it was dead.”

            That may not be Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “bird thou never wert”; but it is imagery.

 

Gauntlet tossed

           

            So, what’s happening with American poetry—involved as it is in a Golden Age of productivity, seriousness, and variety; but in a slump in terms of general popularity?

            “Asheville Poetry Review” is one of the best places to find out.

            The new issue contains a pertinent interview (conducted by Vermont poet Chard deNiord) with one of contemporary America’s greatest poets, Jack Gilbert, who died in Nov. 2012.

            “If a poem is abstract it’s not human and therefore can’t have an emotional impact,” Gilbert said.

            deNiord asked Gilbert about what has happened with contemporary poets, many of whom, Gilbert explained, had to get experimental to break away from their predecessors, those of the great Eliot, Williams, Stevens, and Pound generation.

            “Much of postmodern poetry has no significance at all,” Gilbert elaborated.  “Unless you like puzzles…It’s nice, but it’s not going to change your life.”

            The gauntlet has been thrown down to poets.  Dig deep.  Change our lives.

 

Backwaters of the future

 

            Let’s apply the challenge to “New Songs,” a poem that APR received from Thomas P. Feeny, an N.C. State Foreign Languages professor, who translates the immortal Federico Garcia Lorca, whose poem begins: “The afternoon says: I am thirsty for shade!” 

The thirst then extends to a wish for “new songs…A morning song that startles the air/ at the tranquil backwaters/ of the future.  And fills with hope/ their ripples and their silty depths.”

            The poet restates his theme in various and exciting ways, putting Gilbert’s prosaic entreaty into—as the title indicates—song.

            Is it a weakness that the poem is abstract—not only in that it has no historical context, but also that it uses such words as “hope,” “sadness,” and “soul”? 

No.  It just goes to show that abstractions such as “Don’t be abstract,” have problems.  Gilbert meant scientific abstractions, not emotional ones.

 

Ticket to ride

 

            Universal versus specific—we see the same division in pop songs: Beatles versus Springsteen (though the Beatles did produce “A Day in the Life” and “Eleanor Rigby”).

            It some ways, it’s a false distinction.  The main trick is to give a reader or an audience member something on which to hitch a ride, whether it’s an archetype or a Friday night.

            I say, “Friday night,” because that’s the turning point in “Meanwhile,” a poem by Melissa Crowe of Asheville.

            “In the gypsy language, the word for tomorrow/ is the same as the word for today,” she begins; and then, like Garcia Lorca, repeats her theme in interesting new ways.  “I long and am lit up,” she writes.

            She also writes, “Once the phrase a Friday night/ wracked me with cries—there are only so many/ and we don’t know when we’re having the last…”

            I love this.  The poet gets our attention because she’s crying over a phrase.  “Friday night,” a specific experience shared by contemporary Americans becomes a universal thing.

 

Latent power

 

            Gaylord Brewer, a poet and professor from Middle Tennessee, contributes “More Honored in the Breach: The Long Departure”—a pumped-up title for an elegantly subversive poem.

            His touchpoint is a man—that one, there, out of sight of the singing crone—who believes he’s the archangel of “The Great Deity of Faithlessness.”

            Is he a street person?  We are asked to “follow as he approaches/ a last time the dark men congregated/ in the door of the village bar.”

            Gilbert said in his interview that we don’t want puzzles, but we do want riddles, especially ones that are puzzling enough to spark interpretation, but not discourage it.

            Brewer’s “holy man” is about to have his “last morning,” his passage—to homeless death?—marked by the raging sun he’d prophesized.  “And thus/ the cold clouds of heaven descended./  I tell you, such is his terrible power.”

            The irony and pathos in that last line is a killer.  A wretch does have the power to mythologize his or her fate.

            There are a lot of other discoveries to be made in this latest APR—William Wright’s memoir-like, “Boyhood Trapped Behind the Eyelids,” a feast of sounds and images; Katherine Soniat’s “Flash Karmas,” visions, prompted by 11 key words, of the kinds of things that end up being memorable; Douglas Rutledge’s review of Steven Haven’s book of poems, “The Last Sacred Place in North America.”

            Haven leads off, Rutledge immediately notes, with the line, “They failed to show it on the evening news,” which Rutledge connects to “a failure of a method of thinking.”

            Here, the two writers share a faith common among poets, going back to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, “Things are in the saddle and they ride mankind.”  We need a revolution of consciousness; but whom do we trust?

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