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The history of Oakley 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Sheilah Jastrzebski May 16.

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Family of Earth by Wilma Dykeman

Wilma Dykeman’s discovered memoir is essentialby Rob Neufeld             Fresh insight into the power and pertinence of the writing of Wilma Dykeman, Southern Appalachia’s preeminent spokesperson, comes to us through her posthumously published memoir, “Family of Earth: A Southern Mountain Childhood” (UNC…See More
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William Roy Pipes posted a blog post

The Sinister Smile, A Sequel to A haven for Willa Mae by William Roy Pipes

THE SINISTER SMILE, an adult fiction thriller complete at 63,500 words and featuring William and Willa Mae Lawrence, and Howard Thomas. Howard, the affluent son of a wealthy and influential family, who is suspected of feigning insanity to avoid capital punishment for murdering Willa Mae’s mother plus three others.The novel begins with William and Willa Mae visiting Howard Thomas, a patient who had been in a mental hospital for almost thirteen years. His psychiatrist thought him to be…See More
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Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Award-winning novelist captures fleeting youthby Rob NeufeldAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (Amistad: HarperCollins, Aug. 9, 2016)            The amazing, unusual thing about Jacqueline Woodson’s new novel, “Another Brooklyn,” I realize as it sinks in, is that the initial mystery—that is, why the narrator can’t…See More
Aug 18
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A rare interview, a story about an acid plant

A worker’s view of tannery work in Rosmanby Rob Neufeld             Haskell Luker was 11 when the Flood of 1916 caused his dad, Americus Alfred Luker, to leave the farm where he worked and take a job with an acid (tannin) plant in Pisgah Forest.             “Daddy was going down there to make big…See More
Aug 15
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Interview with Chitra Divakaruni about Before We Visit the Goddess

A talk with Chitra about her benediction of a novelby Rob Neufeld             Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, one of our country’s most engaging and inventive novelists, first came to this region six years ago for Western Carolina University’s Spring Literary Festival.  That’s when I got to know her and began…See More
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Gary Carden's Outlander--about Kephart--at UNCA July 31--with author

Is Carden's Kephart play controversial?Gary Carden's play, "Outlander," receives a "staged reading" in the Reuter Center, UNC Asheville, 2 p.m., Sun., July 31.  Carden will be on hand to discuss the play with the audience.  It is a controversial play in that it has been criticized by the descendants of Horace Kephart who felt that the play "demeaned" Kephart.  "Ironically," Carden says, "my original purpose in writing the play was to 'redeem' Kephart. who has often been denounced by the…See More
Jul 29
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Bring Back the Game

BRING BACK THE GAME     Anna and I basically spent a month in Asheville, NC this summer. We returned to Georgia a few days ago, and while we were glad to get home, as we got out of the car, we were met with the suffocating heat that I still have not become acclimated to even though we have lived in Middle Georgia for over 30 years. Every plant in our backyard had dried up and only the belligerent squirrels had survived the summer’s inferno.      We had a great time in Asheville. We visited our…See More
Jul 20
Catherine Carter, an assistant professor Western Carolina University, has won the 2009 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition with a dazzling poem, titled, “Toast,” about a tall tale attraction to an electric man. The contest was recently judged by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Carter states in her biography that she’d been “raised by wolves and vultures on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.” (Click attachment below to read bio.) Now, she coordinates the English education program at WCU and writes. Her work has appeared in major poetry journals, and has made it into “Best American Poetry 2009.” Her first book, The Memory of Gills (LSU Press, 2006), won the 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Award. Her chapbook, The Swamp Monster at Home, is currently circulating.

“Toast” begins, “Here’s to a man like the swoop and rise of an electric line,” and remarks on him as he approaches. He’s so hot, “his tie-knot crisps with heat…rattlesnakes lair in his hair.” Read the full poem below, or click the attachement.

TOAST


Here’s to a man like the swoop and rise of an electric line.
At a distance he’s some anonymous steel tower
stalking across the hillside, but come nearer
and you can’t miss the power
vibrating through him. It could toast your skin
like bread. At ten feet he’s no great beauty,
but at six the room gets warmer.
At four feet the heat’s banked, a dormant ruby,
and you don’t get to three. Maybe you’re not the electrical kind;
maybe you like beeswax candles, the snap of woodfire,
maybe you’ve your own fire at home,
lively and hot. But there’s that wire,
thrumming with acquiescence and resistance,
singing with force, lighting up streets.
Stripped of whatever insulates him, he’d fry
mountainsides; his tie-knot crisps with heat;
in November, rattlesnakes lair in his desk.
One day a condor tangled in his wiry hair;
it didn’t end well. You wouldn’t survive being locked to that grid,
hooked in by manmade power. But the shimmering air
around him buzzes, fidgets, seethes, kinetic;
it takes some doing to resist the field
pulling your hand that way, while you wonder
if he’s noticed when you reel
or stammer. So it’s no good pretending
you never liked the shock-streak down your spine
grounding you to the dirt: no, here’s to him,
that man, humming like a power line.

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The piece ,itself, makes an interesting analogy between electrical power and
sexual attraction. I can see that. The structure is fluid and organic,
an interesting contrast to the 'hardwired' nature one associates with power grids.
The inherent rhyme works at times, but sentence length may enhance that aspect,
it it were, indeed, the intention of the author. Great metaphoric references, too:
(i.e., "rattlesnakes lair in his desk", and ""he'd fry mountainsides." Good writing.

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