Schedule

This schedule is subject to – and probably will – change.  Printed (abridged) hard-copy schedules will soon be available for pickup in various downtown Burnsville locations.  You may, meanwhile, copy and paste the printable schedule from the link under this one.  On the days of the festival, the popular “Where’s My Favorite Author?” poster will be on the front window of the Town Center.  We highly recommend you visit the Welcome Desk there to pick up a schedule and to check for last minute changes before proceeding to sessions.

 (Please note that this year the banquet (sold out) is on FRIDAY, not Saturday.  There is no meal on Saturday night, also sold out.)


THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 10 – 7pm Burnsville Town Center

FREE – no reservation required.

First Public Screening of First in Forestry.

http://www.firstinforestry.org/

George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate in Asheville is home to many forestry firsts: The first scientifically managed forest in the United States, the proving ground for the nation’s first forester, America’s first forestry school and, in the person of Carl Schenck, its first forestry teacher. First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School, the new documentary film from The Forest History Society, examines the forgotten contributions of German-born forester Carl Schenck and America’s first forestry school to American forest and conservation history.

During its 15 years of operation under Dr. Schenck’s direction, the Biltmore Forest School graduated nearly 400 foresters, many of whom became leaders in government and industrial forestry in the early 20th century. The land where the school resided later became part of the Pisgah National Forest, which turns 100 years old next year, and is home to the Cradle of Forestry in America National Historic Site.
Produced by Bonesteel Films, with funding provided in part by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership, First in Forestry blends beautiful re-creation footage with historical photos and interviews with scholars, foresters, and conservationists. The 54-minute film will begin airing on public television stations around the country in 2016. You can learn more about the film and Carl Schenck by visiting FirstInForestry.org.  The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is hosting the first public screening of First in Forestry. http://www.firstinforestry.org/

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership.

FRIDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 11

Fri 9:00 – 11:45 MEMOIR WORKSHOP WITH CATHERINE REID – WORKSHOP IS FULL – SORRY!

Sponsored by Katherine and George Nero

Shaping a Life Story: The Art of Memoir Writing

Well written memoirs contain a fascinating paradox: the more specific their scenes, the more a reader will relate to them.  The memoirs that stay with us have resisted the impulse to generalize life lessons or emphasize high adventure and noble values; instead they tend to portray small domestic moments that stop us in our tracks.  In this workshop, we’ll examine ways to make our memories equally compelling on the page.  Our time will be spent discussing short examples, compiling useful techniques, and crafting our own remembered scenes through a series of writing exercises.    WORKSHOP IS FULL – SORRY!

Fri 9:00 – 9:45 Town Hall 2nd Floor  CHRISTOPHER SCOTTON  The Secret Wisdom of the Earth  (Reading and Discussion)  Christopher Scotton will read from and discuss his critically acclaimed debut novel, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth.  Among its accolades, the novel was chosen as a #1 Indie Next Pick, an Amazon Featured Debut, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, an Editor’s Pick by the Chicago Tribune, a SIBA Okra Pick and a New and Noteworthy Book by USA Today.  The novel, called “a powerful epic of people and place, loss and love, reconciliation and redemption” by Kirkus Reviews (starred review) is set in a small town deep in the Appalachian coalfields.  Scotton has been a carpenter, an amusement park ride operator, a kite flyer, a bouncer, a tennis racket stringer and CEO of a few technology companies.

Fri 9:00 – 9:45 Design Gallery JASON MOTT   The Freedom to Try: Tips for Attempting Your First Novel  This session will focus on providing help for first-time writers, aspiring writers, or readers simply interested in the process by which ideas can become books. The session will revolve and discussion of such topics as “How to tell when an idea is meant to become a novel” and “How to build a road map for your novel.” The session will try to take away some of the anxiety and fear that can come when people say to themselves “I think I’ve got a book in me…but now what?”

Fri 9:00 – 9:45 TRAC Gallery   MARCI SPENCER   The History of Pisgah National Forest in the Appalachian Ranger District   After Congress passed the Weeks Act in 1911, Pisgah National Forest was the first national forest created in the East. Today, its half a million acres are divided into three incredible districts. In 1936, North Carolina’s highlands were acquired by the US Forest Service and were added to Pisgah National Forest. Now known as the Appalachian Ranger District, it stretches across six counties, including Yancey County, and protects some of the state’s most rugged natural scenery.  Marci Spencer will explore the human, political, and natural history of this region.

Fri 9:00 – 9:45  Town Center Legacy Room ALAN GRATZ  Choose Your Own Speech!  Using an interactive PowerPoint presentation, Alan lets YOU vote on which direction you want his talk to go. Want to hear about his disastrous Little League adventures, or his abject failure as a youth soccer player? Want to hear about Prisoner B-3087, or The Brooklyn Nine? It’s up to the audience!

Fri 10:00 – 10:45 1st Baptist Church  SHELBY STEPHENSON, Poet Laureate of North Carolina:  A Reading; Perhaps a Song

Fri 10:00 – 10:45 Town Center Legacy Room  SARO LYNCH-THOMASON Songs of Strength and Struggle from Appalachia   Saro’s performance will explore Appalachia’s social and environmental history through an exciting multimedia experience of images, ballads and group song. Since the early 1800s, industries have mined and timbered the Mountain South’s resources for use outside the region. These industries brought in diverse peoples from Eastern Europe, the Deep South, Northern industrialized cities and more. All of these groups learned to sing their own stories about the land and their labor. In this presentation Saro will share and teach songs sourced from events like the Union movements, the Black Lung Movement, the Anti-Strip Mining Movement, the Clean Water Movement and more while emphasizing the need to continue to protect the manifold gifts of the Appalachia’s rich ecosystems.

Fri 10:00 – 10:45 Town Hall 2nd Floor  BETH REVIS AND ALEXANDRA DUNCAN All-Access Q&A Session with Two Sci Fi Writers   Ask anything of best-selling YA science fiction authors Beth Revis and Alexandra Duncan. With novels that range from outer space to artificial intelligence, from new planets to what happens in the future to this one, these authors will answer any questions you may have about writing, publishing, and science fiction.

Fri 10:00 – 10:45 NuWray Inn Upstairs Parlor  MARY ANN CLAUD  A Two-Way Street: The Author-Reader Connection   Some of us write to open a conversation with our readers, especially those of us who write fiction.  We collect feelings and pictures and characters and offer them to you in the hope that they will become as real to you as they are to us.  As readers you bring your life experiences to our work, our view of the world, however large or small.  Spinning our stories, we aim for the point at which you say “Yes!” to an idea or an experience we have put into words.  If you do, we are richly rewarded.  You are the other half of our equation.

Fri 10:00 – 10:45 TRAC Gallery  ALAN GRATZ  Choose Your Own Speech!  Using an interactive PowerPoint presentation, Alan lets YOU vote on which direction you want his talk to go. Want to hear about his disastrous Little League adventures, or his abject failure as a youth soccer player? Want to hear about Prisoner B-3087, or The Brooklyn Nine? It’s up to the audience!

Fri 11:00 – 11:45 NuWray Inn Upstairs Parlor  ASHLEY ADAMS ENGLISH  Using Foods as a Catalyst for Writing  Foods offer countless writing possibilities. The text doesn’t necessarily have to be about the food or the food culture itself. That’s just the entry point, the shallow end.  Foods can be used to discuss foods, of course, but they can also discuss a relationship, or a revelation, or a challenging moment, or even an action one encountered with a specific food.  From memoirs to magazine articles, blog posts, short stories, children’s stories, or simple writing exercises, foods offers a wealth of places to dive into and explore the written word.

Fri 11:00 – 11:45 Town Center Legacy Room  SOULSPEAK ASHEVILLE   Feelings, the Future, Fears and Fun: Join the teen poets from Soulspeak  Asheville as they share their views of the world through original performance poetry. Hear them talk about using poetry as therapy, as freedom of expression and in their work as activists. Join us in creating a group poem!

Fri 11:00 – 11:45 Design Gallery  ANNETTE SAUNOOKE CLAPSADDLE   Penning Collective Memory: The Trail of Tears in Literature.  This session will explore how literature, in its broad definition, helped to create a removal-conducive environment leading up to The Trail of Tears and how “legal fictions” and western-Native American imagery continues to play a role in Cherokee identity and governance.

Fri 11:00 – 11:45 TRAC Gallery  CHRISTOPHER SCOTTON   How I Ran Out of Excuses, Started Writing and Got a Major Publishing Deal at Age 53   Christopher Scotton spent much of his adult life manufacturing excuses to not write.  Then finally, at age 38, He had an epiphany and began writing The Secret Wisdom of the Earth.  While holding down a full-time job and raising two young boys, he rose every day at 5:00 a.m. to write in the quiet of the morning.  This session will focus on the discipline and process of writing as well as Scotton’s tips on finding an agent, getting a publishing deal and understanding the business of publishing.

 


FRIDAY AFTERNOON, SEPTEMBER 11

12:00 – 12:30 BOOK-SIGNING Town Center Legacy Room

12:30 – 2:00 BREAK FOR LUNCH

Fri 2:00 – 4:45 FICTION WORKSHOP WITH MINDI MELTZ WORKSHOP IS FULL – SORRY!

Sponsored by Mountain Medical Arts PLLC

Your Life as a Fairy Tale   What if you are the hero or heroine of your own unfolding story: what will happen next?  Fairy tales aren’t just for children.  Every culture has myths that explain the meaning of life and reveal reality in a deeper way through the language of beauty.  If you are willing to get a little whimsical, stretch your imagination, and be playful with magical symbolism, this workshop will guide you in transforming a powerful issue in your life into a fairy tale with an inspiring trajectory and perhaps even some unexpected answers.  Our time together will include brief bouts of guided visualization, group brainstorming, individual writing, and anonymous sharing and feedback.  Enhance your fictional writing through development of imagination and an intuitive sense of mythical structure.  Invite personal transformation by understanding stories and life as partners that nourish and heal one another.  WORKSHOP IS FULL – SORRY!

Fri 2:00 – 2:45 NuWray Inn Upstairs Parlor  ASHLEY ADAMS ENGLISH   Using Foods as a Catalyst for Writing   Foods offer countless writing possibilities. The text doesn’t necessarily have to be about the food or the food culture itself. That’s just the entry point, the shallow end.  Foods can be used to discuss foods, of course, but they can also discuss a relationship, or a revelation, or a challenging moment, or even an action one encountered with a specific food.  From memoirs to magazine articles, blog posts, short stories, children’s stories, or simple writing exercises, foods offers a wealth of places to dive into and explore the written word.

Fri 2:00 – 2:45 Town Center Legacy Room  WILL HARLAN   The Wildest Woman in America   A discussion with the author of the national bestseller Untamed.  Carol Ruckdeschel eats road kill, wrestles alligators, rides horses bareback, and lives in a ramshackle cabin that she built herself in an island wilderness.  She’s had three husbands and many lovers, one of whom she shot and killed. A combination of Henry David Thoreau and Jane Goodall, Carol is a self-taught scientist who has become a tireless defender of sea turtles on Cumberland Island, a national park off the Georgia coast.  Steel magnate Thomas Carnegie owned much of Cumberland Island, and his widow Lucy made it a Gilded Age playground.  But in recent years, Carnegie heirs have clashed with Carol over the island’s future.  What happens when a dirt-poor naturalist with only a high-school diploma tries to stop one of the wealthiest families in America?  Untamed is the story of an American original standing her ground and fighting for what she believes in, no matter the cost.  Will Harlan shadowed Carol for two decades and will offer a rare glimpse inside the mind and heart of the country’s most courageous conservationist.

Fri 2:00 – 2:45 TRAC Gallery  BETH REVIS & ALEXANDRA DUNCAN  Girls in Space Discuss with two YA science fiction authors what it means to be a woman writing science fiction in a typically male genre, the importance of feminism in publishing, and more. Be sure to bring your questions for the end of the session!

Fri 2:00 – 2:45 Design Gallery  CATHERINE REID  The Ordinary Extraordinary   How do we write about wonder in the age of irony? How do we write about love and awe and the earth and wild things and maintain our personal integrity and writerly aesthetics? This session will include several short readings from various writers’ published work, as well as brief descriptions (and hand-outs) of some of the techniques authors use to render the ordinary truly memorable, truly extraordinary.

Fri 3:00 – 3:45 Town Center Legacy Room  WILEY CASH  Works-in-Progress: Writers may talk about the book that is published and sitting on the shelf, but their minds are always on the unfinished book that’s sitting on their desks. In this session, I’ll talk about the ideas and books I have up in the air and in my mind, and I’ll discuss ways in which an idea becomes a story, and how a story becomes a book. I’ll use my current project, a novel about the 1929 Loray MIll strike in Gastonia, North Carolina, as an example.

Fri 3:00 – 3:45 First Baptist Church  SARO LYNCH-THOMASON   Songs of Strength and Struggle from Appalachia   Saro’s performance will explore Appalachia’s social and environmental history through an exciting multimedia experience of images, ballads and group song. Since the early 1800s, industries have mined and timbered the Mountain South’s resources for use outside the region. These industries brought in diverse peoples from Eastern Europe, the Deep South, Northern industrialized cities and more. All of these groups learned to sing their own stories about the land and their labor. In this presentation Saro will share and teach songs sourced from events like the Union movements, the Black Lung Movement, the Anti-Strip Mining Movement, the Clean Water Movement and more while emphasizing the need to continue to protect the manifold gifts of the Appalachia’s rich ecosystems.

 

Fri 3:00 – 3:45 Design Gallery BRENT MARTIN  Poems of Place: A Reading, followed by a Q & A

Fri 3:00 – 3:45 TRAC Gallery  SUSAN LAUGHTER MEYERS   Nature’s Neglected: Poems Celebrating the Uncelebrated   Taking a cue from Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “Pied Beauty”—and its “Glory be to God for dappled things”—we’ll read and discuss poems that bring our attention to such overlooked wonders as the capybara, the pipefish, maybe even witchgrass and mud. Poems by Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, A. R. Ammons, and others will give us this brief opportunity to deepen our appreciation of the Earth—and learn more about ourselves—as we celebrate the uncelebrated.

Fri 4:00 – 4:45 Town Hall 2nd Floor MARCI SPENCER   Potluck  In 1929, newspapermen from North Carolina and Tennessee hiked from opposite sides of Clingmans Dome, the highest mountain in the Great Smokies, to celebrate the creation of the new national park. After letters were exchanged from each state’s governor, a messenger pigeon, named “Potluck,” was released to bring the good news back to Asheville. This true story is the subject of Marci Spencer’s new children’s book. She will discuss Potluck’s journey, the incredible natural instinct of homing pigeons, and their service during world wars, saving the lives of soldiers.

Fri 4:00 – 4:45 TRAC Gallery  LISA BLACKBURN, LYNN MCLURE, & SUE WASSERMAN   Books as Art   From ancient pictographs to graphic novels, visual art and story often dance together. Artists books, the integration of text with photographs, and the haiga with sumi-e imagery of ancient haiku poets all explore variations of this relationship. At times text and image fit together so seamlessly that the result is a whole that is more powerful than the separate parts.  These panelists, each with her unique approach to the combination of text and art, will discuss and show examples of how visual art and the written word can resonate to create an enriched experience for the reader.

Fri 4:00 – 4:45 Town Center Legacy Room  BOOK CLUB BUZZ    The Book Buzz is a free-for-all Lit Fest Book Buzzers 2015discussion of every book you’ve loved or hated or that made you quit your book club and start another one!  If you want, bring a favorite 1-2 minute clip from your favorite book to share with the group.  We will discuss anything and everything! Lists of favorite books and authors from the 2013 and 2014 Buzzes will be provided.

Fri 4:00 – 4:45 Design Gallery  HILDA DOWNER   A Reading:  These Are My Mountains   Downer will mainly read poetry from her book, Sky Under the Roof, which strongly depicts a sense of place. She grew up in Bandana in Mitchell County, NC and continues to learn from her own childhood where a creek soothed her to sleep and a distant train whistle along the Toe River beckoned her to travel. There is still so much to say about the people and these mountains, the mountains she thinks to.

Fri 5:00 – 5:30 BOOK SIGNING Town Center Legacy Room

Fri 7:00 Town Center Legacy Room BANQUET with Keynote JAY ERSKINE LEUTZE – SOLD OUT – SORRY!


 SATURDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 12

9:00 – 11:45  POETRY WORKSHOP WITH SUSAN LAUGHTER MEYERS Advance Registration Required – $30

Sponsored by The Grapevine, 11 West Main St., Burnsville

Dear Snakeskin & Other Marvels of the Earth: Letter Poems & Odes   What better opportunity to speak from the heart—to say what needs saying to wonders of the Earth—than through poetry? Whether we, on behalf of the human race, have gratitude to express or an apology to pay, here’s the chance to add our voices.  We’ll read some exemplary letter poems and odes that strike up a conversation with the Earth—whether written to an atamasco lily, sunset, blackbird, or bumble bees.  As readers, we expect from poems the imaginative and the relevant, the truthful and the surprising.  Always, we hope, beneath the surface of them lies urgency.  Let’s immerse ourselves in both poetry and the natural world—with discussion, a writing activity or two, and a wealth of published poems to bend our ear closer to the earthly marvels we live in the midst of.   CLASS SIZE LIMIT – 15  Advance Registration Required – $30

Sat 9:00 – 9:45 Town Center Legacy Room  JASON MOTT   The Freedom to Try: Tips for Attempting Your First Novel  This session will focus on providing help for first-time writers, aspiring writers, or readers simply interested in the process by which ideas can become books. The session will revolve and discussion of such topics as “How to tell when an idea is meant to become a novel” and “How to build a road map for your novel.” The session will try to take away some of the anxiety and fear that can come when people say to themselves “I think I’ve got a book in me…but now what?”

Sat 9:00 – 9:45 TRAC Gallery  LISA BLACKBURN, LYNN MCLURE, & SUE WASSERMAN   Books as Art  From ancient pictographs to graphic novels, visual art and story often dance together. Artists books, the integration of text with photographs,
and the haiga with sumi-e imagery of ancient haiku poets all explore variations of this relationship. At times text and image
fit together so seamlessly that the result is a whole that is more
powerful than the separate parts.  These panelists, each with her unique approach to the combination of text and art, will discuss and show examples of how visual art and the written word can resonate to create an enriched experience for the reader.

Sat 9:00 – 9:45 Design Gallery  JIM R. ROGERS  Looking Around Together: A New Poetry Reading   Written before the theme of the 10th Carolina Mountains Literary Festival was made public, Jim’s current collection of poetry coincidentally reflects the theme through his observations of Our Earth, Our Time, Our Space, celebrating and lamenting some stories of our shared earth.  Looking Around takes subjective yet shared word pictures of the world from where Jim stands and reflects on his long past, while offering hope about the possibilities for an uncertain future.  His poems, written down in his 79th year, reveal the depth and richness of his life’s experiences with some conclusions that he has found to be common concerns of many others.  Most of the poems look around at the serious conditions of our society while a few others poke a little fun at who we are and wonder about our choices.  Exploring meaning and purpose of the work with Q&A time will be a part of the reading.

Sat 9:00 – 9:45 Town Hall 2nd Floor   JEREMY JONES   Appalachia Through Memoir and Song   Jeremy Jones explores the culture and history of the Blue Ridge Mountains through song and reading. Performing old-time banjo tunes and reading excerpts from his book, Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland, he presents the sounds and stories of his native Appalachian mountains in a blending of personal narrative and folklore.

Sat 10:00 – 2:00  MARCI SPENCER   Join author Marci Spencer on a hike to Green Knob Fire Tower to discuss her latest book, Pisgah National Forest: A History.   HIKE IS SOLD OUT – SORRY!

Sponsored by Burnsville Mayor Theresa Coletta

The hike, from the Green Knob overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the fire tower is a one-mile in-and-out with 300-feet of elevation gain.  Views from atop the fire tower include the Curtis Creek drainage and Mackey Mountain (the first tract of land bought in the east by the US Forest Service), and the Black Mountains with seventeen peaks over 6,000-feet, including the highest peak in the east, Mount Mitchell at 6,684.  The hike includes transportation from Burnsville to Green Knob overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway and back.   HIKE IS SOLD OUT – SORRY!

Sat 10:00 – 10:45 Town Center Legacy Room  WILL HARLAN  The Wildest Woman in America   A discussion with the author of the national bestseller Untamed.  Carol Ruckdeschel eats road kill, wrestles alligators, rides horses bareback, and lives in a ramshackle cabin that she built herself in an island wilderness.  She’s had three husbands and many lovers, one of whom she shot and killed. A combination of Henry David Thoreau and Jane Goodall, Carol is a self-taught scientist who has become a tireless defender of sea turtles on Cumberland Island, a national park off the Georgia coast.  Steel magnate Thomas Carnegie owned much of Cumberland Island, and his widow Lucy made it a Gilded Age playground.  But in recent years, Carnegie heirs have clashed with Carol over the island’s future.  What happens when a dirt-poor naturalist with only a high-school diploma tries to stop one of the wealthiest families in America?  Untamed is the story of an American original standing her ground and fighting for what she believes in, no matter the cost.  Will Harlan shadowed Carol for two decades and will offer a rare glimpse inside the mind and heart of the country’s most courageous conservationist.

Sat 10:00 – 10:45 First Baptist Church  SHELBY STEPHENSON, Poet Laureate of North Carolina:  A Reading; Perhaps a Song

Sat 10:00 – 10:45 Town Hall 2nd Floor  BRENT MARTIN  Poems of Place: A Reading, followed by a Q & A

Sat 10:00 – 10:45 Snap Dragon BOOK CLUB BUZZ   The Book Buzz is a Lit Fest Book Buzzers 2015free-for-all discussion of every book you’ve loved or hated or that made you quit your book club and start another one! If you want, bring a favorite 1-2 minute clip from your favorite book to share with the group. We will discuss anything and everything! Lists of favorite books and authors from the 2013 and 2014 Buzzes will be provided.

Sat 11:00 – 11:45 Town Center Legacy Room  SARA GRUEN  Amber Westall Briggs, Director of the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library, will talk with Sara Gruen about her latest international bestseller, At the Water’s Edge, the gripping and poignant story of a privileged young woman’s awakening as she experiences the devastation of World War II in the Scottish Highlands.


SATURDAY AFTERNOON, SEPTEMBER 12

12:00 – 12:30 BOOK-SIGNING Town Center Legacy Room

12:30 – 2:00 BREAK FOR LUNCH

Sat 2:00 – 4:45  NONFICTION WORKSHOP with BRENT MARTIN   WORKSHOP IS FULL – SORRY!

Sponsored by The Garden Deli, 107 Town Square, Burnsville

Interpreting the Power of Place:  We are all from somewhere, but what does this mean?   The writer Wendell Berry says in Imagination in Place that knowing one’s place allows the imagination to inspire and instill “a practical respect for what is there besides ourselves.”   This course will explore how place informs our lives and writing, and connects us to the natural and physical world.  We will utilize writing exercises to connect the writer to place, with readings and examples to guide the participant, along with opportunities for the participants to present their own stories and connections to place.   WORKSHOP IS FULL – SORRY!

Sat 2:00 – 2:45 Town Center Legacy Room   A Rash of Stories  – Ron Rash’s, that is – will feature actress BARBARA BATES SMITH and musician JEFF SEBENS in selections highlighting Rash’s variety of styles — Burning Bright, Lincolnites, and The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth — in an informal format with feedback.  Actress Smith is best known as Off-Broadway’s “Ivy Rowe” from Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies.  “Vivid storytelling by Barbara and idyllic music by Jeff Sebens,” (from the Triangle’s Independent Weekly) has become a trademark of this Smith-Sebens duo.

Sat 3:00 – 3:45 Town Center Legacy Room  WILEY CASH   The Story of a Novel: Unlike most workers, writers don’t really have colleagues, but there are people we rely on in incredible ways.  This session will discuss the role of writers’ groups, trusted readers, agents, and editors as a book comes into existence.  I’ll discuss how these many people affected the process of writing my first novel, A Land More Kind Than Home.

Sat 3:00 – 3:45 TRAC Gallery  CHRISTOPHER SCOTTON   The Secret Wisdom of the Earth  Reading and Discussion  Christopher Scotton will read from and discuss his critically acclaimed debut novel, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth. Among its accolades, the novel was chosen as a #1 Indie Next Pick, an Amazon Featured Debut, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, an Editor’s Pick by the Chicago Tribune, a SIBA Okra Pick and a New and Noteworthy Book by USA Today. The novel, called “a powerful epic of people and place, loss and love, reconciliation and redemption” by Kirkus Reviews (starred review) is set in a small town deep in the Appalachian coalfields. Scotton has been a carpenter, an amusement park ride operator, a kite flyer, a bouncer, a tennis racket stringer and CEO of a few technology companies.

Sat 3:00 – 3:45 Town Hall 2nd Floor  MINDI MELTZ   Lonely in the Heart of the World: A Reading   Join Mindi Meltz in a reflection on longing and reconnection, mythical journeys, and the sacred feminine, as she reads from her lyrical, nature-based fairy tale of personal and world healing. Lonely in the Heart of the World traces the quest of a “princess” forgotten by a soulless city, as she descends from her tower and travels through realms of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, among wise creatures and outcast gods, in search of the prince who never showed up. “Upending the conventions of fairy tales” in a story of “luscious prose that contains many universal truths” (ForeWord Reviews), this epic journey of erotic and spiritual awakening is a dream-like meditation for the listener; it will “reward the reader with a pantheistic glimpse of destruction, rebirth, and the tantalizing nature of desire and union.” (Publishers Weekly starred review)

Sat 3:00 – 3:45 First Baptist Church  SUSAN LAUGHTER MEYERS   Nature’s Neglected: Poems Celebrating the Uncelebrated   Taking a cue from Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “Pied Beauty”—and its “Glory be to God for dappled things”—we’ll read and discuss poems that bring our attention to such overlooked wonders as the capybara, the pipefish, maybe even witchgrass and mud. Poems by Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, A. R. Ammons, and others will give us this brief opportunity to deepen our appreciation of the Earth—and learn more about ourselves—as we celebrate the uncelebrated.

Sat 4:00 – 4:45 Town Hall 2nd Floor  HILDA DOWNER  A Reading:  These Are My Mountains   Downer will mainly read poetry from her book, Sky Under the Roof, which strongly depicts a sense of place. She grew up in Bandana in Mitchell County, NC and continues to learn from her own childhood where a creek soothed her to sleep and a distant train whistle along the Toe River beckoned her to travel. There is still so much to say about the people and these mountains, the mountains she thinks to.

Sat 4:00 – 4:45 TRAC Gallery  CATHERINE REID  The Ordinary Extraordinary   How do we write about wonder in the age of irony? How do we write about love and awe and the earth and wild things and maintain our personal integrity and writerly aesthetics? This session will include several short readings from various writers’ published work, as well as brief descriptions (and hand-outs) of some of the techniques authors use to render the ordinary truly memorable, truly extraordinary.

Sat 4:00 – 4:45 Town Center Legacy Room  ANNETTE SAUNOOKE CLAPSADDLE  Author Reading & Discussion from work-in-progress.   Synopsis: Clapsaddle’s work-in-progress introduces us to nineteen-year-old Cowney Sequoyah and the mountains of western North Carolina during the summer of 1942. Cowney is spending the season as an undervalued member of the Grove Park Inn’s grounds crew. The Grove Park is currently home to Axis diplomats and their families being held under armed guard as prisoners of war. Cowney struggles to balance the often conflicting worlds of life at home on the Qualla Boundary, where stories of a pet Capuchin monkey who roams the woods at will and political debates over tribal /U.S. citizenship color his world; and life at the Inn where foreign diplomats quietly discuss their own politics and a secret room provides the rare opportunity for Cowney and Essie (his enigmatic and beautiful carpool companion) to construct their own world views. When a diplomat’s young daughter goes missing, Cowney finds himself in the center of suspicion and betrayal.

Sat 4:00 – 4:45 Design Gallery  MARY ANN CLAUD   A Two-Way Street: The Author-Reader Connection   Some of us write to open a conversation with our readers, especially those of us who write fiction.  We collect feelings and pictures and characters and offer them to you in the hope that they will become as real to you as they are to us.  As readers you bring your life experiences to our work, our view of the world, however large or small. Spinning our stories, we aim for the point at which you say “Yes!” to an idea or an experience we have put into words.  If you do, we are richly rewarded.  You are the other half of our equation.

Sat 5:00 – 5:30 BOOK SIGNING for afternoon authors ONLY.  Town Center Legacy Room

 

SOLD OUT Sat 6:30  Town Center Legacy Room In Conversation with BARBARA KINGSOLVER and ANN PATCHETT   SOLD OUT

Barbara Kingsolver and Ann Patchett will sign books after the  In Conversation.  Each attendee will be limited to two books per author.