Past Authors
2010 Authors

Tony Earley (Saturday Banquet Keynote)
Tony Earley was born in San Antonio, Texas, but grew up
in North Carolina where his stories are often set, as are
his novels Jim the Boy and The Blue Star. (Read the New
York Times Review here.)
Earley studied English at Warren Wilson College and after
graduation in 1983, he spent four years as a reporter in
North Carolina. Later he attended the University of
Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he received an MFA in
creative writing.
In 1996, Earley’s short stories earned him a place on
Granta’s list of the “20 Best Young American Novelists”,
and shortly after that announcement, The New Yorker
featured him in an issue that focused on the best new
novelists in America. He has twice been included in the
annual Best American Short Stories anthology.

Paul Cuadros
(Friday Morning Keynote)

Paul Cuadros’s family moved to the United States from Peru
in 1960. An award-winning investigative reporter, he has
written for Time magazine and Salon.com, among others. In
1999 Cuadros won an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship
to write about the impact of the large numbers of Latino
poultry workers in rural towns in the South. He moved to
Pittsboro, North Carolina, to conduct his research and
stayed on to document the growing Latino community in the
Southeast. His book A Home on the Fieldis about faith,
loyalty, and trust. It is a parable in the tradition of
Stand and Deliver and Hoosiers—a story of one team and
their accidental coach who became certain heroes to the
whole community.
Alan Gratz is the author of one of the ALA’s 2007 Top Ten
Best Books for Young Adults, Samurai Shortstop (Dial
2006), and a 2008 ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Readers,
Something Rotten (Dial 2007). A sequel,Something Wicked
(Dial 2008), now out in paperback. His latest book is The
Brooklyn Nine (Dial 2009), a middle grade novel about
family, baseball, and American history. He lives with his
wife and daughter in Bakersville, North Carolina. Visit
hiswebsite.
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle was born in Cherokee, North
Carolina. A 1999 graduate of Smoky Mountain High School,
Annette earned her B.A. from Yale University in 2003 with
a degree in American Studies and Secondary English. She
also earned a M.A. in American Studies from the College of
William and Mary. After completing her education, Annette
came home to Cherokee to work for the Cherokee
Preservation Foundation and as an assistant to Principal
Chief Michell Hicks. She currently teaches English at
Swain County High School. Annette writes poetry,
children’s literature, and fiction. As a student, her
poetry was published and most recently, a series of three
children’s books written by her and illustrated by
Cherokee artists were released through the Principal
Chief’s Children’s Book Project. Annette lives with her
husband Evan, son Ross, and two dogs in Cherokee, NC.
Brian Lee Knopp is the bestselling author of Mayhem in
Mayberry: Misadventures of a P.I. in Southern Appalachia.
Knopp has provided legal support investigations, both
criminal and civil, for over twenty years in North
Carolina. His clients have ranged from huge corporate law
firms to the indigent. He is a former professional sheep
shearer with an M.A. degree in English Literature from The
University of Texas at Austin. For the past twenty-one
years he has lived in the mountains north of Asheville,
North Carolina. His book reviews and essays have been
published in several regional magazines and local media.
As a licensed P.I., sheep shearer, and avid outdoorsman,
he has roamed extensively throughout western North
Carolina.
Cathy Smith Bowers North Carolina’s recently appointed
Poet Laureate, teaches at both UNC Asheville and Queens
University in Charlotte. Bowers’ poems have been
published widely, from The Atlantic Monthly to The Kenyon
Review. She has written three collections of poetry: The
Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas (winner of the Texas
Tech University Press Poetry Award Series); Traveling in
Time of Danger; and A Book of Minutes. Bowers is also a
much-lauded teacher. She received the J.B. Fuqua
Distinguished Educator Award in 2002.
Chris Hollifield is a native of Spruce Pine, North
Carolina, where he teaches North Carolina History to 8th
Graders at Harris Middle School. A veteran teacher,
Hollifield was the 2009-2010 Mitchell County Teacher of
the Year. Hollifield holds a BA Degree in History from
Mars Hill College. An avid North Carolina and local
history buff, Hollifield has collected pictures and
historical documents for many years. He and co-author and
producer, David Biddix first teamed up to produce a DVD
documentary for Central Baptist Church’s 75th Anniversary
in 2007. In 2009 they published Images of America: Spruce
Pine, as part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America
series. Images of America: Little Switzerland is the
latest work of Chris Hollifield and David Biddix, released
in June, this work was published to coincide with the
Little Switzerland Centennial Celebration in June, 2010.
Christopher Blake’s Linville Gorge Wilderness Area came
out from Arcadia in 2008. It followed an earlier title of
his, the 2005 River of Cliffs:a Linville Gorge Reader
(Parkway Pubs) now, alas, out
of print. He is the publicist for the Toe River Arts
Council and a former college English instructor who
specialized in W.B. Yeats in his doctoral work at Georgia
State. He has edited and published work by William S.
Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Blake is also director of
the Friends of Linville Gorge, a non-profit with no 501-c
papers, no website, no dues, and all inclusive world
membership, including you. They maintain the Devils’ Hole
Trail on the east side of the Gorge and promote sane and
decent use of this great wilderness which is within
walking distance of the cabin where he writes.
Colby Martin realized his passion for writing at an early
age. By 13, he had completed his first novel and by 18 had
five tucked away on a shelf. Now as an emerging Western
North Carolina author, Colby has trail blazed to the
reading public’s eyes through a series of articles
published weekly in the Yancey Common Times Journal about
local residents and the triumphs and challenges facing
them over the last 100 years. Additionally authoring such
works as “The Beautiful Room” and “The Famine,” he has
furthermore harnessed his love for writing by carving a
career for himself in grant writing and administration.
David Biddix, a native of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, is
Webmaster/Coordinator of Multimedia at Mayland Community
College. He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he
earned a degree in Radio/Television/Motion Pictures and of
Western Carolina University, with a Master of Public
Affairs degree. A love of local history and its
preservation led him to form Longleaf Media with Chris
Hollifield (www.longleafmedia.com) in 2008. The company
has produced two titles in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of
America series for Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland,
plus Longleaf Media has released its first documentary DVD
This is the place…Little Switzerland in June, 2010, with
plans to produce future documentaries for Spruce Pine and
Mitchell County. In addition to preserving local history,
Biddix enjoys reading, college basketball, and spending
time with his family.
Elizabeth Baird Hardy who grew up in Kentucky in a family
ofstorytellers , teaches English at Mayland Community
College where she was awarded the 2006 Excellence in
Teaching award. She is the
author of Milton, Spenser, and the Chronicles of Narnia:
Literary Sources for the C.S. Lewis Novels (McFarland
2007) and contributed two chapters to the recently
released Twilight and History (Wiley 1010). A popular
speaker, she has appeared at national literary conferences
and is also a storyteller and historic interpreter who
brings to life history, literature, and Appalachian
culture for students and audiences of all sizes. She works
closely with her husband, Michael C. Hardy, the region’s
premier Civil War author and historian. They live with
their children on the side of a mountain in Avery County.
George Ivey was born and raised in Asheville, North
Carolina, and graduated from Duke University with a degree
in political science. He spent his first years out of
college working for United States Senator Terry Sanford in
Washington, D.C., serving as a legislative aide for
environment and energy issues. He then spent more than
seven years with The Nature Conservancy, including three
years coordinating a community-based conservation program
to benefit the Conasauga River. He then served more than
six years as the Director of Development and North
Carolina Office Director for Friends of Great Smoky
Mountains National Park in Waynesville, North Carolina.
More recently, George has published his first novel, Up
River: A Novel of Attempted Restoration. He has also
written a short story, “Creekside Conspiracies,” which was
a finalist for the 2009 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. This
same story was also selected for inclusion in the
forthcoming anthology,Echoes Across the Blue Ridge.
Gina Farago Winner of the New York Book Festival Award,
the Benjamin Franklin Silver award, and top finalist for
the Compton Crook and IPPY awards, Gina Farago is the
author of Ivy Cole and the Moon and Luna, the first books
in the Ivy Cole werewolf series. Her studies have included
research on werewolf legends and lore, and personal
interaction with a gray wolf pack, observing first-hand
the animals’ social behavior and hunting techniques.
Farago’s other works include coauthoringMaking Do: How to
Cook Like a Mountain MeMa with Lois Sutphin. She lives in
North Carolina with her husband, Karl, and their numerous
four-legged friends. When not busy writing, Farago
volunteers with her therapy dog, Skittles.
Hal McDonald is a Professor of English at Mars Hill
College. In January, 2007, he won Court TV’s “Search for
the Next Great Crime Writer” contest, and had his winning
entry, The Anatomists, published by Harper Collins the
following year. Having been primarily a writer of regional
fiction and poetry for most of his adult life, The
Anatomistsis his first foray into detective fiction. He is
currently at work on a sequel to The Anatomists titled The
Death Hunters. A long-time resident of Western North
Carolina, McDonald lives in Asheville with his wife Nancy,
and their children Hillary, Lawson, and Eleanor.
Holly Iglesias teaches in the Master of Liberal Arts
Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
She has two poetry collections, Souvenirs of a Shrunken
World (Kore Press, 2008) and Angles of Approach (White
Pine Press, forthcoming in 2011), and a critical work,
Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry (Quale Press,
2004). She has published translations of the poems of
award-winning Cuban poet, Caridad Atencio. Her current
projects are Walking to Cuba, poems based on her
experiences as a transplanted Midwesterner in the Cuban
exile community in Miami, and Boom, which looks at civil
defense manuals aimed at housewives in the 1950s. She is
a recipient of the 2009–2010 North Carolina Arts Council
Fellowship Award.
Janice Willis Barnett’s love of writing comes from growing
up around mountain people who spent about as much time
telling tales as they did being awake. Her first book,
Unicoi and Limestone Cove, an Arcadia Images of America
book, came out Dec. 2009. Her short stories, essays,
articles, and poems have appeared in numerous
publications. Janice’s essays also air frequently on West
Virginia Public Broadcasting’s “Inside Appalachia.” She is
a freelance columnist and feature writer for Unicoi
County, Tennessee’s The Erwin Record. Though she lives
across the mountain in Unicoi, Tennessee in the county
where she was born, friends tell Janice that she has
western North Carolina “written all over her.” This may be
because both her Higgins and Willis ancestors came from
Yancey County.
Jean Boone Benfield was born and raised in western North
Carolina and is a descendant of Israel Boone, brother of
American frontiersman Daniel. Her ancestors came to
America in the seventeenth century and were among the
first settlers in Buncombe County. Proud of her rural
heritage, she preserves through the remembrances in her
book Mountain Born (2009) a chronicle of country life
during the 1940s and 1950s. Her interests are history,
etymology, place names, and surnames in the southern
Applachians. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband
and Welsh corgi.
Jeff Davis attended UNC-Greensboro’s MFA program, recieved
his Master’s Degree from the State University of New York
at Buffalo, and apprenticed to a Kwakwaka’wakh carver of
ceremonial masks and totem poles in Alert Bay, British
Columbia, from 1971 to 1975. He later taught Anthropology
and History at UNC-Asheville. His poems have appeared in
Lillabulero, Iron, Asheville Poetry Review, the Nantahala
Review, and other little magazines. His books include
Transits of Venus (2005), and NatureS: Selected Poems,
1972 – 2005 (2006). Since 2005 he has hosted the radio
program Wordplay, which celebrates poets and writers of
creative prose; it’s now available each Sunday at 5:00 PM
via AshevilleFM.org, and a catalog of the show archive is
at naturespoetry.blogspot.com. He is a member of the
advisory board of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts
Center.
Joseph Bathanti is a professor of creative writing &
co-director of Appalachian State University’s Visiting
Writers Series. His collection of short stories, The High
Heart, was chosen as the St. Andrews College (Laurinburg,
N.C.) One Book, One Community 2008 Summer Reading Book.
This year, he received the 100 Scholars Research Award
given annually by ASU to recognize exemplary research or
creative activities of a tenured faculty member. He’s now
writing the second novel in a trilogy that began with the
novel, East Liberty, set in the nearly vanished little
Italy in Pittsburgh where he grew up. His novel,
Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. His poetry
collection, Land of Amnesia, was published by Press53. He
is a recipient of the 2009–2010 North Carolina Arts
Council Fellowship Award.
Judy Goldman’s two novels are: Early Leaving (called
“masterfully written and fast-paced… highly recommended”
by Library Journal) and The Slow Way Back (Sir Walter
Raleigh Fiction Award, Mary Ruffin Poole First Fiction
Award, finalist for SIBA”s Novel of the Year). She’s
published two prize-winning poetry collections. Her
honors: Mary Frances Hobson Prize for “distinguished
achievement in arts and letters,” Fortner Writer and
Community Award for “outstanding generosity to other
writers and the larger community,” and the Beverly D.
Clark Author Award from Queens University.
Karen Chávez is an editor for the Asheville Citizen-Times
newspaper, directing coverage of outdoor recreation,
environmental and health and fitness issues. She is also
the author of Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina (The
Mountaineers Books, 2007). A native of New York, she has a
degree in environmental studies from the State University
of New York at Binghamton and a master’s in journalism
from the University of Montana. She is a former ranger
with the National Park Service and has lived and hiked in
the mountains of Western North Carolina with her black
Lab, Shelby, since 2000.
Kathryn Newfont (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, 2001) specializes in U.S. History, where she
has broad interests in environmental history, women’s
history, regional studies, and oral history. Convinced
that Appalachian history is important to U.S. History and
beyond, she spends much of her time working with the rich
Southern Appalachian Archives in the college’s Ramsey
Center for Regional Studies. Her research centers on the
history of Southern Appalachian forests and the people
they have sustained. She is currently working on a book
project focused on twentieth-century forest politics in
the mountains of Western North Carolina. Her book Commons
Environmentalism will be published next year by University
of Georgia Press.
Kristen & Stephanie Whitson are co-authors of the
historical non-fiction novel Red Hill: The Untold Story of
the Whitson Brothers and the Murder of Kit Byrd.
Originally instigated by an inquest into their own family
history, their current book, Red Hill, expanded to explore
the post-Civil War history and culture of Mitchell and
Yancey Counties. Both authors are graduates of Vanderbilt
University and are currently university professors of
physics and chemistry at the University of Tennessee in
Chattanooga. Identical twins and lifelong residents of
East Tennessee, they have always enjoyed reading,
researching, and spending time with relatives in and
around Red Hill. They are also the authors of several
peer-reviewedscientific journal articles and short
stories.
Laura Hope-Gill is the Director of Asheville Wordfest, a
free poetry festival which Frank X Walker calls “the new
shining star in the poetry scene.” Her first collection of
poems is a collaboration with photographer John Fletcher,
Jr., entitled The Soul Tree: Poems and Photographs of the
Southern Appalachians (Grateful Steps Press, 2009). Laura
has most recently founded, with Trey Moore, Liz Bradfield,
Ravi Shankar and Linda Hogan, The Poetry Action Response
Team (PART), an effort to merge poetry and citizen
journalism in response to environmental disaster and
social injustice. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the
Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and is an NC Arts
Fellow for her nonfiction writings on deafness. She has
recently produced a series of short videos in which she
explores creative alchemy as the foundation for the
world’s religions. They can be viewed on her website.
Michael C. Hardy is one of North Carolina’s best known
Civil War historians. Not only does he have numerous books
and articles to his credit, but he also writes and edits a
blog on North Carolina during the war years. Michael’s
latest book,North Carolina Remembers Gettysburg, a
compilation of first-person accounts of the famous battle,
is being released by Ten Roads Publishing in 2010. He
lives in western North Carolina with his wife, renowned
literary critic Elizabeth Baird Hardy, and their children,
Nathaniel and Isabella. You can learn more by visiting his
web site at www.michaelchardy.com
Peggy Poe Stern grew up on small farm in the Appalachians
near Jefferson, NC; married young; finished school; made
handcrafted folk toys; established her own farm on
Grandfather Mountain near Boone; raised six children in a
single-wide while growing burley tobacco, Christmas trees,
and small fruits; built a house; raised small animals –
all – while helping her husband do land surveying. Now,
still farming, she enjoys her grand and
great-grandchildren while creating novels sprinkled with
the flavor of her mountain heritage. Her thirteenth novel,
Running Wild (about a girl who lives in a cave and is
sequel to Wild Thing) should be available at the Festival.
Contemporary fiction writer, Rose Senehi, is noted for
weaving environmental themes into her romantic thrillers.
Her novel, In the Shadows of Chimney Rock is nominated for
the 2009 SIBA Book Award by members of the Southern
Independent Bookseller’s Alliance as the Best in Southern
Literature for the year. Now a resident of Chimney Rock,
NC, she moved to Murrells Inlet, SC, from Upstate New York
in 1996. Her first novel, Shadows in the Grass was
published in 2001, her second, Windfall, in 2002, and her
third, Pelican Watch in 2006. Her fifth novel, The Wind in
the Wood, that came out in April of 2010. Visit her
website.
Tommy Hays’s latest novel, The Pleasure Was Mine (St.
Martin’s Press), was chosen for the One City, One Book
program in Greensboro, North Carolina and for the Amazing
Read—Greenville, SC’s first community read. Read on NPR’s
“Radio Reader”, it was a Finalist for the SIBA 2006
Fiction Award. His other novels are Sam’s Crossing
(Atheneum) and In the Family Way (Random House), winner of
the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is Executive
Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Lecturer
in the Master of Liberal Arts Program at the University of
North Carolina Asheville. He also teaches in the Master of
Fine Arts Creative Writing Program at Murray State
University.
Wayne Winkler is the Director of WETS-FM, East Tennessee
State University’s public radio station. A native of
Detroit, Winkler received his B.A. in Communications from
ETSU in 1988 and received his M.A. in History in 1993. He
is president of the Melungeon Historical Society, and the
author of Walking Toward the Sunset, The Melungeons of
Appalachia (2003, Mercer University Press). Winkler lives
in Jonesborough, Tennessee with his wife Andrea and their
children Claire and Josef.
2009 Authors
Alan Gratz is the author of one of the ALA’s 2007 Top Ten
Best Books for Young Adults, Samurai Shortstop (Dial
2006), and a 2008 ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Readers,
Something Rotten (Dial 2007). A sequel, Something Wicked
(Dial 2008), makes its paperback debut this month. His
latest book is The Brooklyn Nine (Dial 2009), a middle
grade novel about family, baseball, and American history.
He lives with his wife and daughter in Bakersville, North
Carolina. Visit his website.
Ann Pancake grew up in Romney and Summersville, WV. Her
first novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been
(Counterpoint 2007), features a southern West Virginia
family devastated by mountaintop removal mining. Based on
interviews and real events, the novel was one of
KirkusReview’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007
Weatherford Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion
Book Award.
Pancake’s collection of short stories, Given Ground,
won the 2000 Bakeless award, and she has also received
a Whiting Award, an NEA Grant, a Pushcart Prize, and
creative writing fellowships from the states of
Washington, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Her
fiction and essays have appeared in journals and
anthologies like Glimmer Train, Poets andWriters,
Narrative, and New Stories from the South. She earned
her BA in English at West Virginia University and a
PhD. in English Literaturefrom the University of
Washington. Currently, she teaches in the low-residency
MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.
Visit her website.
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle was born in Cherokee, North
Carolina. A 1999 graduate of Smoky Mountain High School,
Annette earned her B.A. from Yale University in 2003 with
a degree in American Studies and Secondary English. She
also earned a M.A. in American Studies from the College of
William and Mary. After completing her education, Annette
came home to Cherokee to work for the Cherokee
Preservation Foundation and as an assistant to Principal
Chief Michell Hicks. She currently teaches English at
Swain County High School. Annette writes poetry,
children’s literature, and fiction. As a student, her
poetry was published and most recently, a series of three
children’s books written by her and illustrated by
Cherokee artists were released through the Principal
Chief’s Children’s Book Project. Annette lives with her
husband Evan, infant son Ross, and two dogs in Cherokee,
NC.
Dr. Betty Jamerson Reed, a native of WNC, is an educator
by profession but continues to pursue her life-long
interest in writing. She is the author of poems, short
stories, essays and non-fiction. Involved in on-going
research regarding Latino, African American, and Asian
communities of WNC, Betty collects local histories from
residents of the region. A member of the Appalachian
Studies Association, she wrote The Brevard Rosenwald
School: Black Education and Community Building in a
Southern Appalachian Town, 1920-1966 (2004, McFarland
Publishers), which won a certificate of commendation by
the American Association for State and Local History.
Beth Cagle Burt co-editor of Kakalak Anthology of Carolina
Poets and short prose journal moonShine review, has served
as a newspaper reporter, college educator, and writing
consultant. She has received several poetry awards in
national contests including first place for poetry
chapbook, The Fearless Tattoo. Featured photographer for
two literary journals, Beth’s poems and photographs have
appeared in journals in the US, the UK, and Australia
including New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Tulane Review,
Blue Collar Review, Main Street Rag, Iodine Poetry
Journal, Palo Alto Review, Maelstrom, Monas Hieroglyphic,
and others. Her poetry chapbook is available here.
Bruce Stewart
Colby Martin realized his passion for writing at an early
age. By 13, he had completed his first novel and by 18 had
five tucked away on a shelf. Now as an emerging Western
North Carolina author, Colby has trail blazed to the
reading public’s eyes through a series of articles
published weekly in the Yancey Common Times Journal about
local residents and the triumphs and challenges facing
them over the last 100 years. Additionally authoring such
works as “The Beautiful Room” and “The Famine,” he has
furthermore harnessed his love for writing by carving a
career for himself in grant writing and
administration.Dale Mettam is a writer currently living a
stone’s throw away from Raleigh, NC. He’s written a
novel, a bunch of comic-books, as well as a TV show pilot
that’s currently in development out in Hollywood. In
addition to a movie script he’s wrestling (for a movie
franchise you’ve heard of – but have probably never seen),
there are comics in the pipeline from Hard Way Studios,
Viper Comics, and Atomic Pop Art. When he’s not writing,
reading, attending conventions, being talked into editing
scripts, or bouncing around ideas for new projects with
people significantly more talented than he is, he writes
bios about himself in the third person (and feels slightly
strange about it).
Dwayne Biddix is the co-founder, co-creator, and penciler
of Hard Way Studios, a comic book studio. Some of his
credits include; penciling and co-creation of comic titles
Morbid Myths, a title selected by Wizard Magazine as
number 39 of the top 40 independent books of 2007, House
at the Edge of Nowhere, The Supremacy, and Captor of
Torments, as well as co-creator of all other titles from
the studio. He is also responsible for various other jobs
ranging from writing to editing to coloring.
Eleanora E. Tate is the author of eleven novels for
middle-grade readers, including her recent historical
fiction novel Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance, the 2007 AAUW
North Carolina Book Award Winner for Juvenile Literature
and a 2008 IRA Teachers’ Choice Award winner. Her other
North Carolina books are To Be Free and Don’t Split the
Pole: Tales of Down-Home Folk Wisdom. Her award-winning,
acclaimed South Carolina trilogy consists of The Secret of
Gumbo Grove; Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!, and
A Blessing in Disguise. In addition to her fiction, Ms.
Tate is the author of the biography African American
Musicians, which was a major contributor to the book Black
Stars of the Harlem Renaissance. She lives in Knightdale,
NC, with the spirit of her beloved late husband Zack E.
Hamlett, III. Her website.
Elizabeth Ellison is a watercolorist-papermaker who has a
gallery-studio in Bryson City, NC. Ellison’s pen-and-ink
drawings and watercolor washes long have graced the work
of her husband, writer/naturalist George Ellison, and
others. Publishing venues include The Asheville
Citizen-Times, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Outdoor Traveler,
Friends of Wildlife, High Vistas, and Chinquapin. In
September of 2006, The History Press (Charleston, SC)
published Blue Ridge Nature Journal: Reflections on the
Appalachians in Essays and Art by George and Elizabeth
Ellison. Her website.
George Ellison who resides in Bryson City, NC, wrote the
biographical introductions for the reissues of two
Appalachian classics: Horace Kephart’s Our Southern
Highlanders and James Mooney’s History, Myths, and Sacred
Formulas of the Cherokees. He writes a “Nature Journal”
column for the Asheville Citizen-Times and a regional
history “Back Then” column for Smoky Mountain News. A
selection of his “Back Then” columns published in 2005 by
The History Press in Charleston, SC, as Mountain Passages:
Natural and Cultural History of Western North Carolina and
the Great Smoky Mountains. His website.
Gloria Houston With a Ph. D. in interdisciplinary studies
from the University of South Florida, Dr. Houston was
faculty and Author-in-Residence there. A Rawlings Scholar
for three years, ASU’s Belk Distinguished Lecturer, and
Distinguished Educator of the IRA, she presents writing
and literature workshops internationally. She serves on
the international Advisory Board for Computers across the
World (CPAW) and is International Writers Week faculty.
Her best selling book, THE YEAR OF THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS
TREE (Dial/Puffin) was a Best Book of the Decade by the
American Library Association and is presented annually as
an opera, a musical, and a ballet. Her website.
Hal McDonald is a Professor of English at Mars Hill
College. In January, 2007, he won Court TV’s “Search for
the Next Great Crime Writer” contest, and had his winning
entry, The Anatomists, published by Harper Collins the
following year. Having been primarily a writer of regional
fiction and poetry for most of his adult life, The
Anatomists is his first foray into detective fiction. He
is currently at work on a sequel to The Anatomists titled
The Death Hunters. A long-time resident of Western North
Carolina, McDonald lives in Asheville with his Wife Nancy,
and their children Hillary, Lawson, and Eleanor.
Jim Clark has published Notions: A Jim Clark Miscellany,
two books of poems Dancing on Canaan’s Ruins, and
Handiwork, and has edited Fable in the Blood: The Selected
Poems of Byron Herbert Reece. His first full-lenght play
The Girl with the Faraway Eye, was given a public staged
reading at The Portland Actors Conservatory Theatre,
Portland, OR. He also has several CDs of poems and
Appalachian folk music: Buried Land, The Near Myths, and
Words to Burn. His stories and poems have appeared in
numerous anthologies, journals and magazines. He lives in
Wilson, North Carolina, where he is Professor of Southern
Literature, Writer-in-Residence at Barton College, and an
editor of Crucible. His readings often include music and
songs performed on the guitar, banjo, autoharp, and
mountain dulcimer. His website.
John Hoppenthaler’s books of poetry are Lives Of Water
(2003) and Anticipate the Coming Reservoir (2008), both
titles from Carnegie Mellon University Press. With Kazim
Ali he has co-edited a book of critical essays on the
poetry of Jean Valentine. He served as Personal Assistant
to Toni Morrison for nine years and as Poetry Editor of
Kestrel for twelve years. He now teaches at East Carolina
University. Visit his university webpage.
Joseph Dabney has received national attention for his
books Mountain Spirits, More Mountain Spirits, HERK and
Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine. Smokehouse
won the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s top book
prize in 1999, “Cookbook of the Year,” considered the
“Oscar” of food world literature. Dabney is now working on
a “cultural cookbook” that will cover the coastal areas of
the Carolinas and Georgia (2010). TIME Magazine described
Dabney’s first book, Mountain Spirits as “a splendid and
sometimes hilarious history” of the Southern Appalachian
moonshine culture. Joe Dabney is a native of South
Carolina, a graduate of Berry College and a veteran of the
Korean War. He has homes in north Atlanta and at Euharlee
in north Georgia where he completed a novel set in the
Cherokee Nation in the 1800’s. He is married to Susanne
Knight Dabney and they attend Dunwoody Baptist Church.
Judy Goldman
’s two novels are: Early Leaving (called “masterfully
written and fast-paced… highly recommended” by Library
Journal) and The Slow Way Back (Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction
Award, Mary Ruffin Poole First Fiction Award, finalist for
SIBA”s Novel of the Year). She’s published two
prize-winning poetry collections. Her honors: Mary
Frances Hobson Prize for “distinguished achievement in
arts and letters,” Fortner Writer and Community Award for
“outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger
community,” and the Beverly D. Clark Author Award from
Queens University.
Karen Miller

Katey Schultz writes from her home in Bakersville, North
Carolina. Her work has appeared in Writers’ Dojo, Cadillac
Cicatrix, Perigee, M Review, Southern Arts Journal, Now &
Then and more. She edits for Silk Road, Main Street Rag,
and Memoir (and). Her art essays appear regularly in
national magazines. She is the author of Lost Crossings: A
Contemplative Look at Western North Carolina’s Historic
Swinging Footbridges and edited the fiction anthology,
Dots On a Map: A Collection of Small Town Stories. Visit
her website for more information.
Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor of Press 53, a
small, independent literary publishing company in
Winston-Salem. As a publisher, he has worked with writers
ranging from first-time published authors to winners of
the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. As a writer,
his short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in
numerous publications, including the 2002 TallGrass
Writers Guild/Outrider Press anthology Take Two—They’re
Small, where his short story “Sunny Side Up” won first
prize. Kevin also serves as an advisor for student
adaptation of short stories to screenplays with the
screenwriting faculty at the University of North Carolina
School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking.
Laura Hope-Gill is the Director of Asheville Wordfest, a
free poetry festival which Frank X Walker calls “the new
shining star in the poetry scene.” Her first collection of
poems is a collaboration with photographer John Fletcher,
Jr., entitled The Soul Tree: Poems and Photographs of the
Southern Appalachians (Grateful Steps Press, 2009). Laura
has most recently founded, with Trey Moore, Liz Bradfield,
Ravi Shankar and Linda Hogan, The Poetry Action Response
Team (PART), an effort to merge poetry and citizen
journalism in response to environmental disaster and
social injustice. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the
Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and is an NC Arts
Fellow for her nonfiction writings on deafness. She has
recently produced a series of short videos in which she
explores creative alchemy as the foundation for the
world’s religions. They can be viewed on her website.
After several years spent in corporate communications and
as an advertising copywriter, Lisa Zerkle
turned her attention to poetry. Her work has appeared
Crucible, Pinesong, moonShine review, Main Street Rag and
literarymama.com. Her poems have earned awards from
Press 53, North Carolina Poetry Society, Charlotte
Writer’s Club and Jubilee Literary Arts Festival. In 2008,
she served as a community columnist for The Charlotte
Observer. Zerkle currently resides in Charlotte, NC with
her husband and their three children.
Mark Kneece published his first comic story in Alien
Worlds in 1987. His credits include a story arc for
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and a stint as the
writer of Tarzan for the syndicated comic strip. He
co-authored The Bristol Board Jungle (NBM Publishing) with
Bob Pendarvis in 2003. The novel is based on his
experience as a sequential art teacher. Kneece also wrote
a graphic novel entitled Trailers which was nominated for
a YALSA Award. Most recently Kneece adapted 8 episodes of
the Twilight Zone television series to graphic novel
format for Walker Books. Kneece came to Savannah College
of Art and Design in 1993 to teach writing in the
sequential art department.
Marlin Barton’s short stories have appeared in Shenandoah,
The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Sewanee Review and The
American Literary Review. “Jeremiah’s Road,” a story from
his first collection The Dry Well was included in Prize
Stories 1994: The O. Henry Awards. Barton was awarded an
Individual Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State
Council on the Arts in 2006, and received the Andrew Lytle
Prize in 1995. Barton’s debut novel A Broken Thing was
published in 2003. A short story collection, Dancing by
the River came out in 2005. Barton lives in Montgomery
with his wife Rhonda. He is assistant director of the
“Writing Our Stories” project, a program for juvenile
offenders.
More Information
Michael Joslin has written about and photographed the
mountain region for over 25 years. He has published five
books on Southern Appalachia, including Highland
Handcrafters, Appalachian Bounty, and Our Living Heritage,
as well as hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles. He
has taught at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North
Carolina, for 20 years. He is a professor of humanities
and communication arts and the Director of the Stephenson
Center for Appalachia. He and his wife, Pam, live in the
Buladean community of Mitchell County, North Carolina,
where he works his draft horses, gardens, and wanders the
woods.
Pat Riviere-Seel is the author of two poetry collections,
The Serial Killer’s Daughter (Main Street Rag, 2009) and
No Turning Back Now (Finishing Line Press, 2004). She is
Associate Editor of Asheville Poetry Review and has taught
poetry classes for UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program. A
former political reporter for The Fayetteville Observer,
she was editor of Voices, the journal of Rural Southern
Voice for Peace based in Celo, NC. A Shelby, NC, native,
she lives in Asheville with her husband and two cats. She
received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.
Visit her website to learn more.
Peggy Poe Stern grew up on small farm in the Appalachians
near Jefferson, NC; married young; finished school; made
handcrafted folk toys; established her own farm on
Grandfather Mountain near Boone; raised six children in a
single-wide while growing burley tobacco, Christmas trees,
and small fruits; built a house; raised small animals –
all – while helping her husband do land surveying. Now,
still farming, she enjoys her grand and
great-grandchildren while creating novels sprinkled with
the flavor of her mountain heritage. Her thirteenth novel,
Running Wild (about a girl who lives in a cave and is
sequel to Wild Thing) should be available at the Festival.
Richard Allen Taylor co-editor of Kakalak Anthology of
Carolina Poets, is the author of Something to Read on the
Plane (Main Street Rag 2004). His poems have appeared in
Rattle, Iodine Poetry Journal, Ibbetson Street, South
Carolina Review, ken*again, The Powhatan Review, and The
Main Street Rag, among others.

Rob Amberg ’s photographs and writing from the rural south
have been published and exhibited internationally. He has
received fellowships and awards from the National
Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim
Foundation, the Center for Documentary Studies, Alternate
Roots, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His books
include: Sodom Laurel Album, 2002, which received the
Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award from the Western
North Carolina Historical Association; Quartet: Four North
Carolina Photographers, 2007; The Living Tradition: North
Carolina Potters Speak, 2009; and The New Road: I-26 and
the Footprints of Progress, 2009. Amberg lives in Madison
County, North Carolina, with his wife, Leslie Stilwell,
their daughter Kate, and an assortment of animals.
Noted Cherokee scholar Robert J. Conley, a prolific author
with 80 books to his credit during a career spanning 40
years, is the new Sequoyah Distinguished Professor in
Cherokee Studies at Western Carolina University in
Cullowhee, N.C. An Oklahoma Cherokee, Conley has held
teaching and administrative positions at numerous
institutions during his career, including Northern
Illinois University, Southwest Missouri State University,
Eastern Montana College, Bacone College, Morningside
College, University of New Mexico and Lenoir-Rhyne
College. Conley has won numerous awards for his writing,
including the Wordcraft Circle “Wordcrafter of the Year”
in 1997, and “Writer of the Year” in 1999 for fiction for
his War Women.
Contemporary fiction writer, Rose Senehi, is noted for
weaving environmental themes into her romantic thrillers.
Her novel, In the Shadows of Chimney Rock is nominated for
the 2009 SIBA Book Award by members of the Southern
Independent Bookseller’s Alliance as the Best in Southern
Literature for the year. Now a resident of Chimney Rock,
NC, she moved to Murrells Inlet, SC, from Upstate New York
in 1996. Her first novel, Shadows in the Grass was
published in 2001, her second, Windfall, in 2002, and her
third, Pelican Watch in 2006. She is currently writing her
fifth novel, Listen to the Wind, that will come out in
2010. Visit her website.
Seabrook Wilkinson was based in Charleston when he resumed
writing poetry in 2004. In September 2007, after visiting
for a decade, he became a full-time resident of Key West,
which has proved an ideal nursery for verse. He more than
doubled opus numbers in less than two years. Now, as
Amendment of Life creeps towards publication, he is
working to cull two more collections from these Key West
poems. He finds some landscapes are better for
inhabiting, others for remembering; the Carolina Mountains
are excellent for both. His first collection of poetry is
entitled A Local Habitation.
Susan Woodring
award-winning short story writer and novelist, grew up in
Greensboro, North Carolina. She also lived in California,
Alabama, Illinois, and Indiana as a child. Upon graduating
from Western Carolina University, she spent a year
teaching in Vologda, Russia before moving to the foothills
of North Carolina to teach middle school. Susan is a
graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Queens
University in Charlotte. She is the author of the novel,
The Traveling Disease and a short story collection,
Springtime on Mars (Press 53). Susan currently lives,
writes, and home-schools her two children in Drexel, North
Carolina. (Her website)
Suzanne Adair is the nom de plume for Suzanne Williams, a
native Floridian who currently lives with her family in
North Carolina. She is a member of Mystery Writers of
America, Sisters in Crime, the Historical Novel Society,
and the North Carolina Writers Network. Paper Woman, the
first book of her historical mystery/suspense series,
received the 2007 Patrick D. Smith Literature Award from
the Florida Historical Society. The Blacksmith’s Daughter
and Camp Follower continue her fictional ventures into the
Southern theater of the Revolutionary War. Camp Follower
is a 2009 nominee for the Daphne du Maurier Award and the
Sir Walter Raleigh Award. Visit her website and author
blog for more info and an event calendar.
Tamara Baxter’s collection of fiction, Rock Big and Sing
Loud won the Morehead State and Jesse Stuart Foundation’s
First Author’s Award for Fiction. Her short fiction,
poetry, and essays have been widely published in journals
such as Now & Then, Artemis, Appalachian Heritage,
Wellspring, and in anthologies such as the 2000 O. Henry
Awards Anthology, and The Night Shade Nightstand Reader,
edited by Fred Chappell. Baxter has received many awards,
including the Harriette Arnow Award, the Sherwood Anderson
Award, a Leslie Garrett Award in fiction, and theNational
Rose Post Award for creative non-fiction for her essay,
“Some Living Room.” She is an Associate Professor of
English at Northeast State Community College where she
teaches literature and creative writing, and is an editor
for the literary magazine, Echoes & Images.
Tim Silver is professor of history at Appalachian State
University in Boone, North Carolina. His book Mount
Mitchell & the Black Mountains: An Environmental History
of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America (2003) earned him
the Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing
on the Southern Environment, given by the Southern
Environmental Law Center in the book category (2004) and
and the Ragan Old North State Award of the North Carlonina
Literary and Historical Association for the year’s best
work of non-fiction (2003) among other awards. His
previous publications include A New Face on the
Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in South
Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800.
Vicki Lane is the author of the critically acclaimed
Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam
Dell — Signs in the Blood, Art’s Blood, Old Wounds, and
In A Dark Season (Romantic Times nominee for Best
Contemporary Suspense 2008 and a 2009 nominee for a Best
Paperback Original Anthony), as well as The Day of Small
Things, a standalone coming in early 2010. Vicki draws
her inspiration from the past and present of rural North
Carolina where she and her family have tended a
mountainside farm since 1975. Visit her website & blog.
Wayne Winkler is the Director of WETS-FM, East Tennessee
State University’s public radio station. A native of
Detroit, Winkler received his B.A. in Communications from
ETSU in 1988 and received his M.A. in History in 1993. He
is president of the Melungeon Historical Society, and the
author of Walking Toward the Sunset, The Melungeons of
Appalachia (2003, Mercer University Press). Winkler lives
in Jonesborough, Tennessee with his wife Andrea and their
children Claire and Josef.
Will Leverette has been paddling his entire life. His
parents and grandparents were pioneers in whitewater
paddling in Western North Carolina. His mother was one of
the first people of the modern era to canoe the
Nantahala—now a premier paddling and rafting
destination—and one of the most famous rapids on the
French Broad is named after his grandfather, Frank Bell.
He has taught paddling through such institutions as Warren
Wilson College, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Outward Bound,
and several camps. His book, A History of Whitewater
Paddling in Western North Carolina, was put out by The
History Press.

2008

Suzanne Adair
Suzanne Adair (historical novelist focusing women’s roles)
Adair is the nom de plume for Suzanne Williams, a
native Floridian who currently lives with her family
in North Carolina. She grew up intrigued by stories of
suspense and high adventure, Spanish St. Augustine,
and the South’s role in the Revolutionary War. After
visiting the ruins of colonial-era Ft. Frederica on
St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, she began writing Paper
Woman, the first book of her series and the recipient
of the 2007 Patrick D. Smith Literature Award from the
Florida Historical Society. She enjoys participating
in living history to commemorate events from the
Southern Theater of the Revolutionary War — a hobby
that helps her depict colonial life in writing.
More Information

Sarah Addison Allen (novelist)
Allen was born and raised in Asheville, North
Carolina, and continues to live there. Garden
Spells, her first novel, debuted at #7 on the New
York Times Bestsellers List and made the USA Today,
Publisher’s Weekly, Wall Street Journal and Book
Sense bestseller lists. Her second novel The Sugar
Queen is due out in May 2008 from Bantam. Garden
Spells won the SIBA award for 2007.
More Information
Sarah Addison Allen

John Alger

photo credit Chris John
Marlin Barton (novelist)
Barton’s short stories have appeared in Shenandoah,
The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Sewanee Review
and The American Literary Review. “Jeremiah’s Road,”
a story from his first collection The Dry Well was
included in Prize Stories 1994: The O. Henry Awards.
Barton was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship
from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 2006,
and received the Andrew Lytle Prize in 1995.
Barton’s debut novel A Broken Thing was published in
2003. A short story collection, Dancing by the River
came out in 2005. Barton lives in Montgomery with
his wife Rhonda. He is assistant director of the
“Writing Our Stories” project, a program for
juvenile offenders.
More Information

Tamara Baxter (poet, editor, novelist) Register
Workshop Description
Baxter’s collection of fiction, Rock Big and Sing Loud
won the Morehead State and Jesse Stuart Foundation’s
First Author’s Award for Fiction. Her short fiction,
poetry, and essays have been widely published in
journals such as Now & Then, Artemis, Appalachian
Heritage, Wellspring, and in anthologies such as the
2000 O. Henry Awards Anthology, and The Night Shade
Nightstand Reader, edited by Fred Chappell. Baxter has
received many awards, including the Harriette Arnow
Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, a Leslie Garrett
Award in fiction, and theNational Rose Post Award for
creative non-fiction for her essay, “Some Living
Room.” She is an Associate Professor of English at
Northeast State Community College where she teaches
literature and creative writing, and is an editor for
the literary magazine, Echoes & Images.

Tamara Baxter

Danny Bernstein
Danny Bernstein (hiker, writer)
Bernstein started the website, Hiker to Hiker, after
being active in outdoor groups for many years. She is
an avid hiker, an active member of the Carolina
Mountain Club (CMC) and a life member of the
Appalachian Trail Conservancy. She has hiked the
whole Appalachian Trail and completed the South
Beyond 6000, all the 6,000 foot mountains in the
Southern Appalachians. I have hiked internationally,
including Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I was a
college professor for many years before I switched
careers. Now when I’m not hiking, I write about the
outdoors. My book, Hiking the Carolina Mountains was
published in April 2007.
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Dwayne Biddix
Biddix is the co-founder, co-creator, and penciler
of Hard Way Studios, a comic book studio. Some of
his credits include; penciling and co-creation of
comic titles Morbid Myths, a title selected by
Wizard Magazine as number 39 of the top 40
independent books of 2007, House at the Edge of
Nowhere, The Supremacy, and Captor of Torments, as
well as co-creator of all other titles from the
studio. He is also responsible for various other
jobs ranging from writing to editing to coloring.

Jeff Biggers (radio correspondent, writer, educator)
Biggers has worked as a writer,educator, radio
correspondent, and community organizer across the
United States, Europe, India and Mexico. His
award-winning stories have appeared on NPR, PRI, and
in scores of travel, literary and music magazines,
and national and foreign newspapers. He has been a
commentator on National Public Radio’s Morning
Edition and for Pacific News Service national
syndication. He is the author of In The Sierra Madre
and The United States of Appalachia. His work has
been the recipient of an American Book Award.
More Information

Jeff Biggers

Sallie Bissell Sallie Bissell
Bissell, a Nashville native, is the author of four
novels of suspense featuring the half-Cherokee
prosecutor, Mary Crow. The first two novels, In The
Forest of Harm and A Darker Justice received critical
acclaim from Kirkus Review and Publisher’s Weekly,
among others. People Magazine called In The Forest of
Harm a “top-notch thriller” while the Los Angeles Times
dubbed A Darker Justice one of the Ten Best Mysteries of
2002. Her third and forth novels are Call The Devil By
His Oldest Name (2004) and Legacy of Masks (2005).
Sallie currently lives near Asheville, North Carolina.
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John Buchanan (historian)
Buchanan is an historian who was an archivist at
Cornell University and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
During his nearly three decades on the staff of the
museum he was, for twenty-two years, chief registrar
in charge of worldwide art movements. He is the
author of the highly regarded histories The Road to
Guilford Courthouse, The Road to Valley Forge and
Jackson’s Way. He is at work on The Road to Charles
Town, a forthcoming account of the final phases of the
Revolutionary War in the South. He lives with his
wife in New York City.
Ged Carbone
Gerald Carbone (historian, biographer)
Carbone is the author of the forthcoming book
Nathanael Greene: A Biography of the American
Revolution. Carbone has been recognized as an expert
on the life of Nathanael Greene by various historical
societies. He has won two of American journalism’s
most prestigious prizes–the American Society of
Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and a
John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. He
lives in Warwick, RI.

Gary Carden (playwright, storyteller)
Carden’s latest success, a one-man-show entitled
The Prince of Dark Corners (performed by Milton
Higgins of Burnsville) has been filmed by Heritage
Films (filmmaker, Neal Hutcheson) and is scheduled
for broadcast by PBS. Carden’s other dramatic works
include The Raindrop Waltz and a series of dramatic
monologues, including Nance Dude, Birdell and Coy.
Mason Jars in the Flood received the Appalachian
Writers Association Award for Book of the Year
(200l) and his video, “Blow the Tannery Whistle”
filmed by Tom Davenport has become a storytelling
classic. He is a 2006 recipient of the Brown-Hudson
Folklore Award from the NC Folklore Society.
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Judy Carson

Fred Chappell (poet, novelist) Keynote Speaker at
Saturday Banquet Register
Born near Candler, Chappel has produced almost thirty
volumes of literature. Perhaps his most ambitious
accomplishment has been four poetry collections
paired with four novels, each based on one of the
four elements — earth, air, fire, and water — and
all reflecting Chappell’s Appalachian roots as he
examines the core of human experience: love,
community, and mortality. In 1997, following the
tenure of Sam Ragan, Chappell’s remarkable
versatility and skill earned him the title of North
Carolina Poet Laureate.
As professor at the University of North Carolina at
Greensboro, Chappell has mentored several of our
state’s fine poets, including Sarah Lindsay,
Pulitzer-prize winner Claudia Emerson, and Kathryn
Stripling Byer. His excellence in teaching was
recognized by the statewide O. Max Gardner Award.
Other honors include the Bollingen Prize, the T.S.
Eliot Award, and the North Carolina Award for
Literature. Now retired from teaching, he lives in
Greensboro with his wife Susan, and continues to
compose poetry, which he calls “the noblest secular
endeavor that the human mind undertakes.”

Fred Chappell

Jim Clark
Jim Clark (poet, musician, playwright, professor, editor)
He has published Notions: A Jim Clark Miscellany,
two books of poems Dancing on Canaan’s Ruins, and
Handiwork, and has edited Fable in the Blood: The
Selected Poems of Byron Herbert Reece. His first
full-lenght play The Girl with the Faraway Eye, was
given a public staged reading at The Portland Actors
Conservatory Theatre, Portland, OR. He also has
several CDs of poems and Appalachian folk music:
Buried Land, The Near Myths, and Words to Burn. His
stories and poems have appeared in numerous
anthologies and in journals and magazines such as
The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern
Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Appalachian
Heritage, Now and Then, and Rolling Stone. He lives
in Wilson, North Carolina, where he is Professor of
Southern Literature, Writer-in-Residence at Barton
College, and an editor of Crucible. His readings
often include music and songs performed on the
guitar, banjo, autoharp, and mountain dulcimer. More
Information

Dr. Dennis Conrad (historian)
Conrad works as a historian at the early history
branch of the Naval Historical Center in
Washington, DC. There he helps edit the Naval
Documents of the American Revolution series. He has
served as editor and project director of the
monumental Papers of General Nathanael Greene. He
directed the completion of volumes 7 through 12 of
that series covering Greene’s campaigns in the
South. He also served as contributing editor for
volume 13. The monumental Greene papers are
recognized for having set a new standard for
annotated documentary collections. Gen. Greene was
also the subject of Conrad’s doctoral dissertation
at Duke University. Dennis Conrad

Carol Conrad (education specialist with the National
Archives)
Conrad is an Education Specialist with the National
Archives. She was a contributor to the
Archivist-in-Training Kit, an educational tool for
elementary and middle school classrooms. This book
presents the National Archives in an exciting,
kid-friendly way.
More Information about the National Archives

Abigail DeWitt (novelist, writing instructor, short story
writer) Register
DeWitt has been teaching creative writing for
twenty years. She has led workshops all over the
U.S. and in Europe, and has taught at the Duke
Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University Summer
School, Appalachian State University and
UNC-Asheville. A firm believer that everyone has a
story to tell, Abigail enjoys working with both
beginning and advanced students. She has taught
published authors as well as those who have never
written, and has learned immeasurably from both.
The recipient of several awards and fellowships,
she is the author of the novel, Lili, as well as
many short stories.

Myrtle Driver
Driver, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, has
translated Charles Frazier’s Thirteen Moons: Removal
(Tsogadu Nvdo: Tsigegvwovdisgei), the inaugural
publication of the Yonaguska Literature Initiative
from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian Press. She
has also translated “Thirteen Moons” by Charles
Frazier, frequently appearing with Frazier at
readings in both English and Cherokee.
Myrtle Driver
Dr. Barbara Duncan Barbara Duncan (historian, educator,
writer, storyteller)
Duncan is the author of Origins of the Milky Way and
other living stories of the Cherokee. She was the
editor of Living Stories of the Cherokee (Winner of a
1999 Storytelling World Award and Winner of the 1998
Thomas Wolfe Literary Award, Western North Carolina
Historical Association) and coauthor of the Cherokee
Heritage Trails Guidebook. Dr. Barbara R. Duncan is
Education Director of the Museum of the Cherokee
Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Pamela Duncan (novelist)
Duncan was born in Asheville and raised in Black
Mountain, Swannanoa, and Shelby, North Carolina,
and currently lives in Saxapahaw, NC. She holds an
MA in English/Creative Writing from North Carolina
State University in Raleigh. Her first novel, Moon
Women, was a Southeastern Booksellers Association
(now Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance)
Award Finalist, and her second novel, Plant Life,
won the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction.
She is the recipient of the 2007 James Still Award
for Writing about the Appalachian South, awarded by
the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her third
novel, The Big Beautiful, was published in March
2007.
More Information photo by John Rosenthal

Elizabeth Ellison (artist/illustrator)
Elizabeth Ellison is a watercolorist-papermaker who
has a gallery-studio in Bryson City, NC. Ellison’s
pen-and-ink drawings and watercolor washes long
have graced the work of her husband,
writer/naturalist George Ellison, and others.
Publishing venues include The Asheville
Citizen-Times, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Outdoor
Traveler, Friends of Wildlife, High Vistas, and
Chinquapin. In September of 2006, The History Press
(Charleston, SC) published Blue Ridge Nature
Journal: Reflections on the Appalachians in Essays
and Art by George and Elizabeth Ellison. The
Ellisons are currently editing and illustrating a
two-volume collection titled High Vistas: An
Anthology of Nature and Descriptive Writing from
Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky
Mountains. Volume I (1540-1900) will be published
by the History Press in spring 2008. More
Information

George Ellison (naturalist, columnist)
Ellison, who resides in Bryson City, NC, wrote the
biographical introductions for the reissues of two
Appalachian classics: Horace Kephart’s Our Southern
Highlanders and James Mooney’s History, Myths, and
Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees. He writes a
“Nature Journal” column for the Asheville
Citizen-Times and a regional history “Back Then”
column for Smoky Mountain News. A selection of his
“Back Then” columns published in 2005 by The
History Press in Charleston, SC, as Mountain
Passages: Natural and Cultural History of Western
North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains. The
Ellisons are currently editing and illustrating a
two-volume collection titled High Vistas: An
Anthology of Nature and Descriptive Writing from
Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky
Mountains. Volume I (1540-1900) will be published
by the History Press in spring 2008; volume II
(1901-2007) in spring 2009.
More Information

Georgann Eubanks
Georgann Eubanks (poet, musician, reviewer, editor)
Eubanks has published short stories, poems, reviews, and
profiles in many magazines and journals including The
Washington Monthly, Oxford American, Bellingham Review,
Southern Review, Duke Magazine, Boston Globe Sunday
Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, and North American
Review. She is a North Carolina Arts Council Literary
Fellowship winner (1985), recipient of a regional Emmy
for songwriting (2001), and has been Director of the
Duke University Writers’ Workshop since 1989. Eubanks’
current writing project is the creation of a series of
literary guidebooks commissioned by the NC Arts Council
and published by UNC Press. The first of the the
guidebooks is Literary Trails of the North Carolina
Mountains.
More Information

Alan Gratz (teen novelist)
In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and
a few episodes of A&E’s City Confidential, Gratz has
taught catapult-building to middle-schoolers, and
written more than 6,000 radio commercials. Gratz is
the author of one of the ALA’s 2007 Top Ten Best
Books for Young Adults, Samurai Shortstop (Dial
2006), and Something Rotten (Dial 2007), a
contemporary young adult murder mystery based on
“Hamlet.” He is currently at work on a sequel,
Something Wicked (Dial 2008), and a middle-grade
novel about family, baseball, and American history,
called The Brooklyn Nine (Dial 2009). He now lives
with his wife Wendi and his daughter Jo in the high
country of Western North Carolina.
More Information

Alan Gratz
Anthony Grooms (poet, novelist, educator)
Grooms is a writer and arts administrator who is
well known for his work in organizing arts events
and for his support and encouragement of other
writers. Grooms graduated from the College of
William and Mary in 1978 with a B.A. in theatre and
speech. Later he studied at George Mason
University, where he developed a professional
interest in creative writing, and graduated in 1984
with a master of fine arts in English. Grooms is
the author of a collection of poetry, Ice Poems
(1988), a collection of stories, Trouble No More
(1995), and a novel, Bombingham (2001). Trouble No
More was named The 2006 Book ALL GEORGIA READS by
the Georgia Center for the Book, a project similar
to the Western North Carolina Together We Read
program. It also won the Lillian Smith Award, the
South’s oldest literary honor.

Michael Joslin (writer, historian, photographer, professor)
Joslin grew up in the Southeast, living from
Northern Virginia to Key West, Florida, as his
father served in the Navy. He received his Ph.D. in
English Literature from the University of South
Carolina in 1977. Dr. Joslin joined the faculty at
Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC in 1989. He
teaches literature, writing, and photography. In
addition to his teaching, writing, and hours of
taking photographs, Joslin has his farm chores.
Highland Handcrafters: Appalachian Craftspeople
(Parkway Publishers 2006)

sketch by Kevin Burkhalter
Mark Kneece (graphic novelist)
Kneece published his first comic story in Alien
Worlds in 1987. His credits include a story arc for
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and a stint as
the writer of Tarzan for the syndicated comic strip.
He co-authored The Bristol Board Jungle (NBM
Publishing) with Bob Pendarvis in 2003. The novel is
based on his experience as a sequential art teacher.
Kneece also wrote a graphic novel entitled Trailers
which was nominated for a YALSA Award. Most recently
Kneece adapted 8 episodes of the Twilight Zone
television series to graphic novel format for Walker
Books. Kneece came to Savannah College of Art and
Design in 1993 to teach writing in the sequential
art department. He has lived in Savannah ever since.

Catherine Landis (novelist, journalist)
Landis was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but grew up in
Chattanooga. She graduated from high school in 1974
and went to Davidson College in North Carolina,
graduating receiving her BA in English in 1978. She
worked in the media for several years, first at a
newspaper and later at a television station. During
these time periods Landis wrote short stories, one of
which won the Leslie Garrett Award from the Writer’s
Guild. In 1995, she started a novel, Some Days There’s
Pie, which was published in 2002. Her second novel,
Harvest, was released in late 2004.
More Information

Catherine Landis
Vicki Lane
Vicki Lane (novelist) Register Workshop Description
Vicki Lane, author of Signs in the Blood (Dell
2005), Art’s Blood (Dell 2006), Old Wounds (Dell
2007, a Book Sense Notable, nominated for 2008
SIBA Book Award for fiction), and In a Dark Season
(Dell 2008), lives with her family on a mountain
farm in North Carolina. She is at work on a
stand-alone which will be published by Bantam Dell
in 2009.
More Information

Dorianne Laux Register Workshop Description
Laux has worked as a sanatorium cook, a gas station
manager, and a maid before receiving a B.A. in English
from Mills College in 1988. Her fourth book of poems,
Facts about the Moon (W. W. Norton & Company) is the
recipient of the Oregon Book Award and was shortlisted
for the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for the most
outstanding book of poems published in the United
States in the previous year. Laux also has three poetry
books from BOA Editions, Awake, What We Carry (1994),
finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award,
and Smoke, (2000). She is co-author of The Poet’s
Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry
(1990). Her work has appeared in the Best of The
American Poetry Review and The Norton Anthology of
Modern and Contemporary Poetry, and has been included
twice in Best American Poetry. She has been awarded
with a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from the
National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim
Fellowship. Laux is a professor at North Carolina State
University’s creative writing program.

Dorianne Laux
Myra MacPherson (journalist, biographer)
Her most recent book “All Governments Lie!”:The
Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I. F. Stone was
published by Simon & Schuster in 2006. MacPherson
is the author of three previous books, including
the Vietnam War classic Long Time Passing. She was
a highly regarded journalist at the Washington Post
for many years, and has also written for the New
York Times and numerous magazines, including Vanity
Fair. She lives in Palm Desert, California, and
Washington, D.C. She is also a critic of this
year’s media campaign coverage for Harvard’s
NiemanWatchdog.org

Joanne Mauldin (editor, biographer)
Mauldin is an independent scholar and author of
Thomas Wolfe When Do the Atrocities Begin?. She began
her Wofle Studies in 1982. She is currently working
on Wolfe’s unpublished manuscript, “The Return of the
Prodigal,” about the author’s first visit to Yancey
County and his final visit to Asheville in 1937. Her
articles have appeared in Southern Exposure, The
Thomas Wolfe Review, and Pembroke Magazine. She is
the owner of Levelheaded Editing Services.
(pictured with her is Thomas Woof)

Joanne Mauldin

Dale Mettam
After a varied career that showed very little
likelihood of ending up in writing, Dale found
himself relocating to North Carolina from England,
married, with a mortgage, a baby and no job. Writing
was a way to save his sanity. Six years later he’s
written screenplays, comics, a novel,
short-stories… in fact the only thing he hasn’t
written are the comments in restroom stalls and
Romance novels. Considering where he started, some of
his work has been quite well received. He is
currently working on several projects for Viper
Comics and Hard Way Studios and shameless neglecting
his website.

Joe Millar Joseph Millar (poet) Register
Workshop Description
Millar’s writing includes two books of poetry, Overtime
(Eastern Washington University Press 2001) and Fortune
(Eastern Washington University Press 2006), as well as
two chapbooks, “Slow Dancer” and “Midlife: (Passionate
Lives: Eight Autobiographical Poem Cycles).” In 1995,
Millar was awarded first place in the Montalvo Biennial
Poetry Competition, and won second place in the
National Writers Union competition, judged by Philip
Levine. He is the recipient of a 2003 NEA Poetry
Fellowship.His work has appeared in many magazines and
journals, including The Alaska Quarterly Review,
Ploughshares, Poetry International, and Prairie
Schooner. He now teaches writing at Oregon State
University, the University of Oregon, and the MFA in
Writing Program at Pacific University. He is married to
poet Dorianne Laux.

Karen Hokanson Miller (educator, children’s novelist)
Protesting “There’s nothing to read,” Karen
Miller’s 6th grade students convinced her to write
a book just for them. “Everyone likes monsters,”
they told her. But there weren’t any books about
real monsters. So Miller began a six year study of
undiscovered beasts. Her first book, Monsters,
Shapeshifters and Water Beasts, will be published
by Henry Holt in spring 2007.
A teacher, literature consultant, bookseller and
mother of four, Karen Miller lives in Burnsville,
North Carolina with her husband, Bob and dog Lucy.
She has four adult children, aged 22-31 years old.
More Information photo by Emilee Rose

photo by Curt Richter Robert Morgan (novelist, poet)
Morgan is the author of the award-winning and
bestselling novel Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club
selection in 2000 and winner of the Southern Book
Award for fiction. Morgan has published five books
of fiction, including The Truest Pleasure, and
Brave Enemies: A Novel of the American Revolution..
He has published nine volumes of poetry and has
published poems in many magazines. Additional
awards and honors include four NEA Fellowships, a
Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation
Bellagio Fellowship, the North Carolina Award for
Literature, the James G. Hanes Poetry Award from
the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His book Boone
is the 2008 Together We Read selection.
More Information

Rob Neufeld (journalist, editor, writer, advocate of WNC
literature)
Rob Neufeld is the book critic and local history
feature writer for the Asheville Citizen-Times. He
is the editor The Making of a Writer: The Journals
of Gail Godwin (Random House 2006); and the author
of A Popular History of Western North Carolina
(History Press 2007). He is also the director of
Together We Read, western North Carolina’s
21-county reading, discussion, and heritage
program, now in its sixth year. He is an
experienced lecturer, performer, and discussion
moderator. He has been studying and writing about
local history all his adult life. His book
Asheville’s River Arts District will be published
by Arcadia in July 2008.
More Information
Troy Wayne Poteete Troy Wayne Poteete (historian)
Poteet, an enrolled member of the Cherokee nation, is
an oral historian. He received his J. D. degree in
May 2001 from the University of Tulsa-College of Law.
He currently serves on the Cherokee Nation Supreme
Court. He was a founding member of the National
Trail of Tears Association and served on the National
Park Service Trail of Tears Advisory Council as an
appointee of the governor of Oklahoma.

Charles F. Price (historical novelist)
Price has published four novels to date: Hiwassee:
A Novel of the Civil War, Freedom’s Altar, (1999
Sir Walter Raleigh Award), The Cock’s Spur
(Independent Publisher’s 2001 Book Award as one of
the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Clark Cox
Historical Fiction Award) and Where the Water-Dogs
Laughed.
One of the chief characters in his new
Revolutionary War novel Nor the Battle to the
Strong is a maternal ancestor who served in the
Continental Army. Nor the Battle to the Strong is
being released July 4, 2008 from Frederic C. Beil
Publisher of Savannah, GA. He currently lives in
Yancey County.
More Information
Ron Rash (poet, novelist)
Rash is the author of six books: The Night The New
Jesus Fell to Earth (short stories), Casualties
(short stories), Eureka Mill (poetry), and Among the
Believers (poetry), Raising the Dead (poetry), One
Foot in Eden (novel) and Saints at the River (novel)
and The World Made Straight (novel). Rash is a past
winner of an NEA Poetry Fellowship. One Foot in Eden
received the Appalachian Book of the Year award and
Foreword Magazine’s Gold Medal in Literary Fiction.
Saints at the River was the 2006 Together We Read
book. His new novel Serena is due out in October
2008.
More Information

Rose Senehi
Senehi is noted for weaving environmental themes into
her plots. In the Shadows of Chimney Rock was
inspired by her love of the Western North Carolina
mountains where she has a home. In her last novel,
Pelican Watch, she drew upon her love of the people
on the South Carolina Coast who are fighting to
preserve the nesting grounds of the Loggerhead
turtle. She moved to the South from Upstate New York
in 1996. Her first novel, Shadows in the Grass, was
published in 2001, her second, Windfall, in 2002, and
her third, Pelican Watch, in 2006. Senehi was a
featured author at the 2007 Readers in the Rockys
Symposium in Crested Butte, Colorado, and the Piccolo
Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, in 2006 and 2007.
More Information

Rose Senehi
Timothy Silver (professor, environmental scholar, historian)
Silver is professor of history at Appalachian State
University in Boone, North Carolina. His book Mount
Mitchell & the Black Mountains: An Environmental
History of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America
(2003) earned him the Phillip D. Reed Memorial
Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern
Environment, given by the Southern Environmental
Law Center in the book category (2004) and and the
Ragan Old North State Award of the North Carlonina
Literary and Historical Association for the year’s
best work of non-fiction (2003) among other awards.
His previous publications include A New Face on
the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in
South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800.
More Information

Peggy Poe Stern
Peggy Poe Stern is a native of North Carolina, born
and raised in Ashe County and living in Foscoe for
the past thirty-four years. Her greatest pleasure
lies in writing about her beloved mountains and their
inhabitants. She studied creative writing at ASU,
UNCA, NCSU, and CCC. Since 2003, she has completed 10
novels including Tamarack, When Robin’s Weep, The
Hills of Home, Mountain Splendor, Blood Moon Rising,
Above All, and Joppa. She has also written Mountain
Talk and To Everything There is a Season. Her
eleventh novel, Hillbilly should be released in the
fall of 2008. When asked about her prolific writing,
she says: “Honey, I’m just getting warmed up.”
More Information

Peggy Poe Stern

Neal Thompson Neal Thompson (freelance journalist,
writer, writing professor)
Thompson began his award-winning journalism career as
a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. For the
next 15 years, he worked up and down the East Coast –
specializing in profiles, narratives and
investigations – at such papers as the Roanoke Times
& World-News in southwest Virginia, the St.
Petersburg Times, and the Bergen Record in northern
New Jersey. At the Baltimore Sun he covered the
military and began researching his book Light This
Candle. Other published books are Driving with the
Devil and Hurrican Season: A Coach, His Team, and
Their Triumph in the Time of Katrina (soon to become
an HBO film). As a freelance journalist, he has
written for numerous national publications: Outside,
Esquire, the Washington Post Magazine, and Christian
Science Monitor. Thompson teaches creative
non-fiction at the University of North
Carolina-Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program.
More Information

Kevin Watson (publisher, writer)
Watson is co-owner and founding editor of Press 53.
His short stories have appeared in ART Magazine,
Amarillo Bay, The Rose & Thorn Literary E-zine, and
others. His short story “Sunny Side Up” won the
2002 OutRider Press/TallGrass Writers’ Guild short
fiction contest and appeared in the 2002 anthology
TAKE TWO—THEY’RE SMALL. Prior to moving to
Winston-Salem, NC, in 1997, Kevin spent ten years
in Nashville, TN, as a songwriter, writing
primarily for Crosswinds Music and Maypop Music,
the publishing house for the band Alabama. He has
shared the stage with Garth Brooks, Bill Monroe,
Holly Dunn, Mary Chapin Carpenter and others.
More Information

Barbara Webster Barbara Webster (quilter, editor)
Since moving to Burnsville, Webster has had a book
published about quiltmaking, and now is Executive
Director of Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina.
This project is a heritage project, focused on
capturing the history of both Yancey and Mitchell
counties. Each quilt block that goes up has a story
behind it. She has been coordinating efforts by various
local writers to capture these stories, and is editor
and publisher of a newsletter every other month about
the project. A book of the stories is in the works, and
interim publications are coming out to meet the growing
curiosity of the local community and the touring
public.
More Information

Seabrook Wilkinson (poet, historian, educator, literary
critic)
Wilkinson’s connections with Charleston and the
Carolina Lowcountry go back to 1670. Most of his
education was far afield, at Harvard (A.B., History
of Art) and then Oxford (B.A., M.A., Theology). He
remained in Britain to work in another ancestral
city, Edinburgh, as Head of English at Fettes
College. As Charlestonians tend to do, he came
home to roost, and while teaching at local colleges
began to ascend the Ph.D. salmon-leap, whose top
rung he is now approaching. His published
criticism ranges from Marlowe to Frost. After
decades of scrutinizing the poems of others, he
began to write his own again; A Local Habitation
was released in 2008.

Susan Woodring Susan Woodring (short story writer,
novelist)
Woodring grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, among
other midwest states. Upon graduating from Western
Carolina University, she spent a year teaching in
Vologda, Russia before moving to the foothills of
North Carolina to teach middle school. Susan is a
graduate of the MFA program at Queens University in
Charlotte. She is the author of one novel, The
Traveling Disease. Her short fiction has earned many
honors, including the 2006 Elizabeth Simpson Smith
Short Fiction Award and the 2006 Isotope Editor’s
Prize. Her work has appeared in Quick Fiction,
Yemassee, Ballyhoo Stories, The William and Mary
Review, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and
Science Writing, Passages North, and Surreal South
(Press 53). Susan currently lives, writes, and
home-schools her two children in Drexel, North
Carolina. More Information

* The ideas and opinions expressed by authors at the
Carolina Mountains Literary Festival or on their web
sites linked to from our web page are not necessarily
those of or endorsed by the Carolina Mountains Literary
Festival.

2007

Dr. Lloyd Bailey (historian, professor)
Born in Yancey in 1936, Dr. Bailey taught for 28
years in the divinity school of Duke University,
and is (in retirement) professor of religion at
Mount Olive College and Methodist College. He has
published five large volumes of the series Heritage
of Toe River Valley and has four more in
preparation. As an authority on the history and
genealogy of the Toe River Valley (the counties of
Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey in Western North
Carolina) he has published several other volumes:
History of the Methodist Church in the Toe River
Valley, History of the Bailey family of Yancey
County and News from Yancey among others.
More Information

Charles Baxley (historian)
Baxley earned a B.A. and J.D. from the University of
South Carolina. He is a practicing attorney in
Lugoff, SC, and is the publisher and editor of the
magazine, Southern Campaigns of the American
Revolution. He has served as president of the
Kershaw County Historical Society, a USAF reserve
officer, a Municipal Judge, adjunct professor of
law, and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the
Kershaw County public school system. He has served
as a planner, host, and tour guide at symposia on
Banastre Tarleton, the Camden Campaign, Thomas
Sumter, and the Nathanael Greene; for US Army staff
rides; and for other tours of Southern Campaigns
Revolutionary War sites.

Bill Brooks (novelist, closet poet)
Before turning pro in 1992 with his first novel,
Brooks spent 16 years in the Health Care profession
in the midwest. Prior to that he had the typical
writer’s background, having worked a plethora of
jobs including shoe salesman, shipyard laborer,
factory worker, and gas station attendant and
journalist.
While Brooks publishes mostly western novels, he is
most proud of his non-western novels, The Stone
Garden, Pretty Boy, and Bonnie & Clyde: A Love
Story. In the last several years he has begun to
teach creative writing in various venues,
including, last year a week at the famed Chautauqua
Institute.
More Information

John Buchanan (historian)
Buchanan is an historian who was an archivist at
Cornell University and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
During his nearly three decades on the staff of the
museum he was, for twenty-two years, chief registrar
in charge of worldwide art movements. He is the
author of the highly regarded histories The Road to
Guilford Courthouse, The Road to Valley Forge and
Jackson’s Way. He is at work on The Road to Charles
Town, a forthcoming account of the final phases of the
Revolutionary War in the South. He lives with his
wife in New York City.

photo by Chris English Kathryn Stripling Byer (poet,
essayist)
Coming To Rest, Byer’s fifth book of poetry, is due out
in April 2006. Also published are Catching Light
(2002); Black Shawl (1998); Wildwood Flower (1992),
which was the 1992 Lamont Poetry Selection of The
Academy of American Poets; and The Girl in the Midst of
the Harvest (1986), which was published in the
Associated Writing Programs award series. Among her
other accolades are the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize, the
Brockman-Campbell Award, and appointment as Poet
Laureate of North Carolina. She lives in Cullowhee,
located in the western mountains of the state.
More Information

Wayne Caldwell (novelist)
Caldwell was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and
was educated at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University, and Duke
University. He began writing fiction in the late
1990s. He has published four short stories and a
poem, and won two short story prizes. Caldwell lives
near Asheville with his wife, Mary. Cataloochee is
his first novel.

Gary Carden (playwright, storyteller)
Carden’s latest success, a one-man-show entitled
The Prince of Dark Corners (performed by Milton
Higgins of Burnsville) has been filmed by Heritage
Films (filmmaker, Neal Hutcheson) and is scheduled
for broadcast by PBS. Carden’s other dramatic works
include The Raindrop Waltz and a series of dramatic
monologues, including Nance Dude, Birdell and Coy.
Mason Jars in the Flood received the Appalachian
Writers Association Award for Book of the Year
(200l) and his video, “Blow the Tannery Whistle”
filmed by Tom Davenport has become a storytelling
classic. He is a 2006 recipient of the Brown-Hudson
Folklore Award from the NC Folklore Society.
More Information
Congrats to Gary who can’t be with us because of his
upcoming chochlear implant surgery!

Bill Carson

Jo Carson (playwright)
Carson is an award-winning playwright who has written
20 performance projects with communities all over
America, based on their own life stories,
includingSwamp Gravy in Colquitt, Ga., and Cross
Tides in Newport News, Va. She’s also written short
stories, books for children, essays and poems, and
been a regular commentator on NPR’s “All Things
Considered.” Carson, who hails from East Tennessee,
has won numerous prestigious writing awards,
including the Kesserling Award in 1989 for Daytrips,
her hilarious and compassionate play about a family
dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease. She is a
quintessential community artist, with a true ear for
the way people talk and what they really mean to say.

Judy Carson

Richard Chess (poet, professor)
Chess has published two books of poetry, Tekiah and
Chair in the Desert. His poems have appeared in
several anthologies, including Telling and
Remembering: a Century of American-Jewish Poetry,
as well as many journals. His third collection,
Third Temple, will be published by the University of
Tampa Press in February 2007. He directs the Center
for Jewish Studies at UNCA and UNCA’s Creative
Writing Program. He has also taught in the MFA
Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and he
has been writer-in-residence at the Brandeis Bardin
Institute. He lives with his wife, son, and two
step daughters in Asheville.

Dr. Dennis Conrad (historian)
Conrad works as a historian at the early history
branch of the Naval Historical Center in
Washington, DC. There he helps edit the Naval
Documents of the American Revolution series. He has
served as editor and project director of the
monumental Papers of General Nathanael Greene. He
directed the completion of volumes 7 through 12 of
that series covering Greene’s campaigns in the
South. He also served as contributing editor for
volume 13. The monumental Greene papers are
recognized for having set a new standard for
annotated documentary collections. Gen. Greene was
also the subject of Conrad’s doctoral dissertation
at Duke University.

photograph by Tim Barnwell Marshall De Bruhl
De Bruhl was for many years an executive and editor
with several major American publishing houses, most
notably as Senior Vice President of the Scribner Book
Companies and Executive Editor and Director of
Anchor Press at Doubleday. He is the author of
Sword of San Jacinto: A Life of Sam Houston (Random
House, 1993); Firestorm: Allied Air Power and the
Destruction of Dresden (Random House, 2006); and
co-compiler of The International Thesaurus of
Quotations (HarperCollins, 1996). He has also served
as editor of, and contributor to, the Dictionary of
American History and the Dictionary of American
Biography. He was born and now lives in Asheville,
North Carolina.
We regret that a scheduling difficulty has arisen and Mr.
DeBruhl cannot come this year.

Abigail DeWitt (novelist, writing instructor, short story
writer)
DeWitt has been teaching creative writing for
twenty years. She has led workshops all over the
U.S. and in Europe, and has taught at the Duke
Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University Summer
School, Appalachian State University and
UNC-Asheville. A firm believer that everyone has a
story to tell, Abigail enjoys working with both
beginning and advanced students. She has taught
published authors as well as those who have never
written, and has learned immeasurably from both.
The recipient of several awards and fellowships,
she is the author of the novel, Lili, as well as
many short stories.

M. Scott Douglass
M. Scott Douglass is the publisher and editor of
Main Street Rag. He recently released his third
book, Steel Womb Revisited. A chapbook, Dip Says Hi,
is due out in May from Rank Stranger Press.
More Information

John Ehle (novelist)
Ehle was raised in Asheville and sets many of his
books in North Carolina. He has written 11 works
of fiction including Move Over, Mountain, Winter
People, The Journey of August King, Widow’s Trial
and The Road (which recounts building the railroad
across the Appalachian mountains). His most
recent book of non-fiction is Trail of Tears: The
Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. Ehle has
received the North Carolina Award for Literature,
the Thomas Wolfe Prize and the Lillian Smith Award
for Southern Fiction, and he is a five-time winner
of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction.
Two of his books are being re-issued by Press53 in 2007.

Elizabeth Ellison (artist/illustrator)
Elizabeth Ellison is a watercolorist-papermaker who
has a gallery-studio in Bryson City, NC. Ellison’s
pen-and-ink drawings and watercolor washes long
have graced the work of her husband,
writer/naturalist George Ellison, and others.
Publishing venues include The Asheville
Citizen-Times, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Outdoor
Traveler, Friends of Wildlife, High Vistas, and
Chinquapin.
In September of 2006, The History Press (Charleston, SC)
published Blue Ridge Nature Journal: Reflections on the
Appalachians in Essays and Art by George and Elizabeth
Ellison.
More Information

George Ellison (naturalist, columnist)
Ellison, who resides in Bryson City, NC, wrote the
biographical introductions for the reissues of two
Appalachian classics: Horace Kephart’s Our Southern
Highlanders and James Mooney’s History, Myths, and
Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees. He writes a
“Nature Journal” column for the Asheville
Citizen-Times and a regional history “Back Then”
column for Smoky Mountain News. A selection of his
“Back Then” columns published in 2005 by The
History Press in Charleston, SC, as Mountain
Passages: Natural and Cultural History of Western
North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains has
gone into a third printing. More Information

Francie Hall (storyteller, educator, children’s author)
Hall is the author of Appalchain ABC’s and
Scottish Highland Games. She has served four years
as a radio control operator for jungle aircraft
serving humanitarian needs in Suriname, South
America; for nine years as a televisio
writer/producer of a weekly educational program for
the Kenyan government in Nairobi, Kenya, East
Africa; and for sixteen years as a
teacher/administrator in Watauga County Schools.
She is currently supervising student teachers for
Appalchian State Universtiy and continuing to
write. She has appeared on the Today Show and has
spoken to a variety of curches, organizations, and
schools. Francie is married, has three children
and eight grandchildren.

Elizabeth Baird Hardy (storyteller, educator)
Originally from Berea, Kentucky, Hardy comes from a
family of storytellers. She began telling stories in
public at the age of fifteen, and has hardly stopped
since then. Her tales include her “Tales from Two
Creeks,” named after Indian Creek, where her mother’s
people lived, and “Jellico Creek,” where her father
grew up. She also relates the adventures of the
hapless circuit-riding Preacher Templeton. Her first
book, Milton, Spenser and the Chronicles of Narnia:
Literary Sources for the C.S. Lewis Novels, was
published in 2007. Hardy is an English Instructor at
Mayland Community College and lives in Avery County
with her husband and son, her two favorite
characters.

Michael Hardy (historian, photographer)
Hardy is an award winning author and historian
whose work focuses mostly on western North
Carolina, a place where portions of his family
first settled in the mid-1700s. Michael’s work
includes histories of Confederate regiments and
Civil War battles, and scholarly or pictorial
histories of Watauga, Yancey, Caldwell, and Avery
Counties. His most recent work is Remembering Avery
County: Old Tales from North Carolina’s Youngest
County (The History Press, 2007). Michael was
nominated for North Carolina Historian of the Year
in 2006. He lives with his wife Elizabeth, son
Nathaniel, and daughter Isabella, near Grandfather
Mountain.
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Irene Honeycutt (poet)
Irene Blair Honeycutt, award-winning poet and
teacher, founded CPCC’s annual literary festival
and directed it for 14 years. Upon her recent
retirement, the college established in her honor
the Irene Blair Honeycutt Distinguished
Lectureship. She leads writing retreats/workshops
around the region. She has published two poetry
books—It Comes As a Dark Surprise (Sandstone
Publishing 1992); Waiting for the Trout to Speak
(Novello Festival Press 2002)—and one children’s
book, The Prince with the Golden Hair (D-NP 2006).
More Information

Gloria Houston (educator, children’s author)
Currently living again in her native western North
Carolina, Dr. Houston works as a writing consultant
from her home and speaks as an author and writing
consultant when her health permits. Houston’s
historical fiction has won more than 40 national and
one international awards. Her innovative writing
methods text and teacher handbook, How Writing Works:
Imposing Organizational Structure within the Writing
Process, was released in 1994 by Allyn &
Bacon/Longman. She is working on a language arts
text and handbook, Teaching the Language Arts through
the Arts, also for Allyn & Bacon/Longman.
More Information

Anthony Grooms (poet, novelist, educator)
Grooms is a writer and arts administrator who is
well known for his work in organizing arts events
and for his support and encouragement of other
writers. Grooms graduated from the College of
William and Mary in 1978 with a B.A. in theatre and
speech. Later he studied at George Mason
University, where he developed a professional
interest in creative writing, and graduated in 1984
with a master of fine arts in English.
Grooms is the author of a collection of poetry, Ice Poems
(1988), a collection of stories, Trouble No More (1995),
and a novel, Bombingham (2001).
Due to a conflit in schedules, Tony will not be able to
attend in 2007–but 2008 perhaps.

Dot Jackson (reporter, novelist)
Jackson turned an abiding curiosity into a lifelong
career in newspapers, going from murder trials to
snake-handling prayer meetings to some of the
hardest-fought environmental battles of our times.
As an investigative reporter for the Charlotte
Observer, she wrote about, and often brought to
justice, the industrial polluters whose stories
garnered Jackson several Pulitzer Prize nominations
and a National Conservation Writer of the Year
award. She also has collaborated on several
acclaimed books of non-fiction. Refuge is Dot
Jackson’s first book-length work of fiction.

Hunter James (investigative reporter, editorialist,
novelist)
James has spent more than thirty five years as an
editorialist and correspondent for such papers as
the Atlanta Constitution and Baltimore Sun, winning
numerous press association awards for his work, as
well as a share of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for
Public Service. His articles and stories have
appeared in Newsweek, National Geographic (book
division), Historic Preservation, Southern
Magazine, The Southern Review. He has published
eight books (including All the Forgotten Places and
Last Days of the Big Grassy Fork) and a novel.
Alas, Hunter James will not be able to attend the 2007
festival for health reasons.
More Information

Steve Kirk (editor, non-fictionalist)
Kirk has been the editor at John F. Blair, Publisher,
since 1988. He is the author of Scribblers: Stalking the
Authors of the Appalachia, an IPPY Award finalist, and
First In Flight: The Wright Brothers in North Carolina,
one of the sources used in the national PBS documentary
commemorating the first-flight centennial. The second
story he ever wrote was selected for reprinting in the
Best American Short Stories series. He lives near
Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
More Information

Vicki Lane (novelist)
Vicki Lane, author of Signs in the Blood (Dell
2005), Arts Blood (Dell 2006), and Old Wounds
(coming in 2007) lives with her husband, sons, and
daughter-in-law on a mountain farm in North
Carolina. She is at work on the fourth Elizabeth
Goodweather novel, which will be published by
Bantam-Dell in 2008.
More Information
photo by Max Poppers
Myra MacPherson (journalist, biographer)
Her most recent book “All Governments Lie!”:The
Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I. F. Stone was
published by Simon & Schuster in 2006. (It was
recently announced as a finalist in the PEN USA
Literary Awards, a top ten biography for 2006-2007
Book List and a Best Book of 2006 by The Boston
Globe and The Rocky Mountain News.) MacPherson is
the author of three previous books, including the
Vietnam War classic Long Time Passing. She was a
highly regarded journalist at the Washington Post
for many years, and has also written for the New
York Times and numerous magazines, including Vanity
Fair. She lives in Palm Desert, California, and
Washington, D.C.
Myra MacPherson is experiencing house woes and must
supervise sustantial repairs due to water damage. She
regrets she has to miss the festival.

Dr. Greg Massey (professor, historian)
Massey earned a Ph.D. in History from the
University of South Carolina in 1992. He is the
author of John Laurens and the American Revolution
(2000) for which received the American Revolution
Round Table of New York’s Book Award in 2001. Dr.
Massey is Professor of History a Freed-Hardeman
University, Henderson, Tennessee.

photo by Emilee Rose Karen Hokanson Miller (educator,
children’s novelist)
Protesting “There’s nothing to read,” Karen
Miller’s 6th grade students convinced her to write
a book just for them. “Everyone likes monsters,”
they told her. But there weren’t any books about
real monsters. So Miller began a six year study of
undiscovered beasts. Her first book, Monsters,
Shapeshifters and Water Beasts, will be published
by Henry Holt in spring 2007.
A teacher, literature consultant, bookseller and
mother of four, Karen Miller lives in Burnsville,
North Carolina with her husband, Bob and dog Lucy.
She has four adult children, aged 22-31 years old.
More Information

Sheryl Monks (short fiction writer, editor)
Monks holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens
University of Charlotte and a BA in English from
Salem College. In 2005, she was awarded a Northwest
North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant a.
Her stories have appeared in RE:AL, Backwards City
Review, and Southern Gothic online. As an intern at
John F. Blair, Publisher in Winston-Salem, she
helped edit and write Travel North Carolina: Going
Native in the Old North State, 2nd ed. and later
wrote a book of folklore for Blair, Ghostly
Lighthouses from Maine to Florida. Monks is a
co-owner of Press 53 and teaches creative writing
at Salem College and Intro. to Literature at Surry
Community College.
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photo by Curt Richter Robert Morgan (novelist, poet)
Morgan is the author of the award-winning and
bestselling novel Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club
selection in 2000 and winner of the Southern Book
Award for fiction. His earlier novel The Truest
Pleasure was a finalist for the same award and was
a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a New
York Times Notable. Morgan has published five books
of fiction, including Brave Enemies: A Novel of the
American Revolution.. He has published nine volumes
of poetry and has published poems in many
magazines. Additional awards and honors include
four NEA Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a
Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship, the
North Carolina Award for Literature, the James G.
Hanes Poetry Award from the Fellowship of Southern
Writers.
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Rob Neufeld
Rob Neufeld is the book critic and local history
feature writer for the Asheville Citizen-Times. He
is the editor The Making of a Writer: The Journals
of Gail Godwin (Random House 2006); and the author
of A Popular History of Western North Carolina
(History Press 2007). He is also the director of
Together We Read, western North Carolina’s
21-county reading, discussion, and heritage
program, now in its sixth year. He is an
experienced lecturer, performer, and discussion
moderator. He has been studying and writing about
local history all his adult life.
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Michael Parker (novelist)
Parker is the author of five works of fiction
including the novels Hello Down There and If You
Want Me To Stay. His stories have appeared in the
Oxford American, Five Points, Shenandoah and many
other magazines and in the Pushcart, New Stories
from the South and O. Henry Award anthologies. A
new collection of stories, Don’t Make Me Stop Now,
is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in 2007. For
his work he has received fellowships in fiction
from the North Carolina Arts Council and the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the 2006 Mary
Frances Hobson Award in Arts and Letters. He
teaches in the MFA Writing Program at UNC
Greensboro.

Charles F. Price (historical novelist)
Price has published four novels to date: Hiwassee:
A Novel of the Civil War, Freedom’s Altar, (1999
Sir Walter Raleigh Award), The Cock’s Spur
(Independent Publisher’s 2001 Book Award as one of
the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Clark Cox
Historical Fiction Award) and Where the Water-Dogs
Laughed.
One of the chief characters in his new
Revolutionary War novel Nor the Battle to the
Strong is a maternal ancestor who served in the
Continental Army. Nor the Battle to the Strong is
forthcoming in 2007 from Frederic C. Beil Publisher
of Savannah, GA. He currently lives in Yancey
County.
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Glenis Redmond
Redmond is an award-winning performance poet,
praise poet, educator and writer from Asheville,
North Carolina. For the past thirteen years, she
has traveled both domestically and abroad carrying
the message of poetry to the masses. She has been
published in Meridians, Hearthstone, Black Arts
Quarterly, Obsidian II, Emrys Journal and
Appalachian Herigate Journal among others. She has
received numerous awards, including the Cary McCray
Literary Award, and has been the two time recipient
of both the Vermont Studio Center for the Arts
Fellowship and the Atlantic Center for the Arts
Fellowship. In 2005 she won the North Carolina
Literary Fellowship. Her two full length books of
poetry are Backbone(2000) and Under the Sun (2005).
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Pat Riviere-Seel (poet)
A native of Shelby, NC, Riviere-Seel lived, wrote,
and ran in Yancey County from 1992-1997 when she
married Ed Seel and moved to Germany. She has lived
in Asheville since 1999. Her poetry has been
published in a variety of literary journals and
anthologies including Asheville Poetry Review, Main
Street Rag, Pinesong Anthology of Award Winning
Poems, and Crucible, among others. Current work
appears in Kakalak 2007: An Anthology of Carolina
Poets and Passager. Her first collection of poetry,
No Turning Back Now was a finalist in Finishing
Line Press’s New Women’s Voices chapbook contest
(2004) and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She
teaches in the Great Smokies Writing Program at
UNCA.
photo by Ed Seel
Dr. Preston Russell (painter, writer, historian)
A native Tennesseean, he is a graduate of Tulane
University and Vanderbilt Medical School. Retired
from medicine, Dr. Russell now paints in his
Savannah studio and writes extensively about
historical themes. He was chief editor of Why
America is Free, a new fifth-to-eighth-grade
textbook on the contribution made by the
Revolutionary War generation to the founding of the
United States. He co-authored, with Barbara Hines,
Savannah: A History of Her People Since 1733 and
also wrote The History of the Georgia Society of
Colonial Wars; The Low Country: From Savannah to
Charleston; and a penetrating study Lights of
Madness: In Search of Joan of Arc.
More Information

Timothy Silver (professor, environmental scholar, historian)
Silver is professor of history at Appalachian State
University in Boone, North Carolina. His book Mount
Mitchell & the Black Mountains: An Environmental
History of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America
(2003) earned him the Phillip D. Reed Memorial
Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern
Environment, given by the Southern Environmental
Law Center in the book category (2004) and and the
Ragan Old North State Award of the North Carlonina
Literary and Historical Association for the year’s
best work of non-fiction (2003) among other awards.
His previous publications include A New Face on
the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in
South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800.
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Betty Smith (ballad singer, educator)
Smith has performed, taught and shared the traditional
music of the South for over thirty years in classrooms,
concert halls, workshops, and festivals. She has been
honored by the Appalachian Writers Association for her
contributions to Appalachian Literature, by the North
Carolina Folklore Society for her contributions to the
study and appreciation of folklife with the Brown-Hudson
Award, and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Award for
“significant contributions to Appalachian music”. Her
book, Jane Hicks Gentry: A Singer Among Singers, was
awarded the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award by
the North Carolina Society of Historians.
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Dr. Christine Swager
Swager is a retired professor of education,
storyteller and author of three award winning youth
books on the Southern Campaign: Black Crows and
White Cockades, If Ever Your Country Needs You, and
Come to the Cow Pens! Her latest book, aimed at
general readers, The Valiant Died is the first
modern study that covers in detail the Eutaws
Campaign of Gen. Nathanael Greene. Born in Canada,
she is a descendent of both an American who served
with the British Army and settled in Canada after
the war, and Continental soldiers who fought in
Connecticut and Maine. She is a highly sought
speaker, commentator and newspaper columnist.

Peter Turchi (novelist, non-fictionalist, educator)
Turchi is the author of a novel, a collection of
stories, and two books of nonfiction, including,
most recently, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer
as Cartographer. He has also co-edited two
anthologies, The Story Behind the Story and
Bringing the Devil to His Knees, and an exhibition
catalog for the artist Charles Ritchie. The
recipient of North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh
Award and fellowships from the NEA and the
Guggenheim Foundation, he has taught in and
directed the MFA Program for Writers at Warren
Wilson College since 1993.
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Kevin Watson
Watson is co-owner and founding editor of Press 53.
His short stories have appeared in ART Magazine,
Amarillo Bay, The Rose & Thorn Literary E-zine, and
others. His short story “Sunny Side Up” won the
2002 OutRider Press/TallGrass Writers’ Guild short
fiction contest and appeared in the 2002 anthology
TAKE TWO—THEY’RE SMALL. Prior to moving to
Winston-Salem, NC, in 1997, Kevin spent ten years
in Nashville, TN, as a songwriter, writing
primarily for Crosswinds Music and Maypop Music,
the publishing house for the band Alabama. He has
shared the stage with Garth Brooks, Bill Monroe,
Holly Dunn, Mary Chapin Carpenter and others.
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Seabrook Wilkinson (poet, historian, educator, literary
critic)
Wilkinson’s connections with Charleston and the
Carolina Lowcountry go back to 1670. Most of his
education was far afield, at Harvard (A.B., History
of Art) and then Oxford (B.A., M.A., Theology). He
remained in Britain to work in another ancestral
city, Edinburgh, as Head of English at Fettes
College. As Charlestonians tend to do, he came
home to roost, and while teaching at local colleges
began to ascend the Ph.D. salmon-leap, whose top
rung he is now approaching. His published
criticism ranges from Marlowe to Frost. After
decades of scrutinizing the poems of others, he
began to write his own again; A Local Habitation is
in press.

Isabel Zuber (poet, novelist)
Zuber was born and grew up in Boone, NC. She lives
in Winston-Salem, was a librarian at Wake Forest
University for many years, and is now writing full
time. Some of her prizes include the publication
prize in the North Carolina Writers Network poetry
chapbook contest, Lee Smith Award for Fiction from
the Appalachian Writers Association, University of
Tennessee Press prize for short story, Forsyth
County Arts Council grant, and she was selected as
one of the readers in the Blumenthal Writers and
Readers Series. Her poetry collections are
Oriflamb, from the North Carolina Writers Network,
and Winter’s Exile, from Scots Plaid Press. Her
novel, Salt, was selected in 2003 for Virginia
Commonwealth University’s First Novel.
More Information
photo by Elizabeth Zuber
2006

photo by Tim BarnwellSheila Kay Adams (novelist, ballad
singer, storyteller)
Adams shares stories of characters and events from
the small mountain community in western North
Carolina where she was born, and passes on the rich
musical heritage of her ancestors. A seventh
generation ballad singer, she is also an
award-winning author. Her book of short stories,
Come Go Home With Me, was a winner of the North
Carolina Historical Award for Historical Fiction,
and her novel, My Old True Love, was a finalist for
the Southeastern Booksellers Association 2004 Book
of the Year Award.
More Information
Dr. Lloyd Bailey (historian, professor)
Born in Yancey in 1936, Dr. Bailey taught for 28
years in the divinity school of Duke University,
and is (in retirement) professor of religion at
Mount Olive College and Methodist College. He has
published five large volumes of the series Heritage
of Toe River Valley and has four more in
preparation. As an authority on the history and
genealogy of the Toe River Valley (the counties of
Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey in Western North
Carolina) he has published several other volumes:
History of the Methodist Church in the Toe River
Valley, History of the Bailey family of Yancey
County and News from Yancey among others.
More Information
Bill Brooks (novelist, closet poet)
Before turning pro in 1992 with his first novel,
Brooks spent 16 years in the Health Care profession
in the midwest. Prior to that he had the typical
writer’s background, having worked a plethora of
jobs including shoe salesman, shipyard laborer,
factory worker, and gas station attendant and
journalist.
While Brooks publishes mostly western novels, he is
most proud of his non-western novels, The Stone
Garden, Pretty Boy, and Bonnie & Clyde: A Love
Story. In the last several years he has begun to
teach creative writing in various venues,
including, last year a week at the famed Chautauqua
Institute.
More Information
photo by Chris EnglishKathryn Stripling Byer (poet,
essayist)
Coming To Rest, Byer’s fifth book of poetry, is due out
in April 2006. Also published are Catching Light
(2002); Black Shawl (1998); Wildwood Flower (1992),
which was the 1992 Lamont Poetry Selection of The
Academy of American Poets; and The Girl in the Midst of
the Harvest (1986), which was published in the
Associated Writing Programs award series. Among her
other accolades are the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize, the
Brockman-Campbell Award, and appointment as Poet
Laureate of North Carolina. She lives in Cullowhee,
located in the western mountains of the state.
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Gary Carden (playwright, storyteller, writer)
Carden’s latest success, a one-man-show entitled
The Prince of Dark Corners (performed by Milton
Higgins of Burnsville) has been filmed by Heritage
Films (filmmaker, Neal Hutcheson) and is scheduled
for broadcast by PBS. Carden’s other dramatic works
include The Raindrop Waltz and a series of dramatic
monologues, including Nance Dude, Birdell and Coy.
Mason Jars in the Flood received the Appalachian
Writers Association Award for Book of the Year
(200l) and his video, “Blow the Tannery Whistle”
filmed by Tom Davenport has become a storytelling
classic. He is a 2006 recipient of the Brown-Hudson
Folklore Award from the NC Folklore Society.
More Information
photo by John RosenthalPamela Duncan (novelist)
Duncan was born in Asheville and raised in Black
Mountain, Swannanoa, and Shelby, North Carolina,
and currently lives in Saxapahaw, NC. She holds an
MA in English/Creative Writing from North Carolina
State University in Raleigh. Her first novel, Moon
Women, was a Southeast Booksellers Association
Award Finalist, and her second novel, Plant Life,
won the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction.
Duncan works at the NC Institute for Public Health
at UNC and is currently at work on a third novel,
titled The Big Beautiful (featuring Cassandra Moon),
which will be published in Spring 2007.
More Information
John Ehle (novelist)
Ehle was raised in Asheville and sets many of his
books in North Carolina. He has written 11 works
of fiction including Move Over, Mountain, Winter
People, The Journey of August King, Widow’s Trial
and The Road (which recounts building the railroad
across the Appalachian mountains). His most
recent book of non-fiction is Trail of Tears: The
Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. Ehle has
received the North Carolina Award for Literature,
the Thomas Wolfe Prize and the Lillian Smith Award
for Southern Fiction, and he is a five-time winner
of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction.
Elizabeth Ellison (artist/illustrator)
Elizabeth Ellison is a watercolorist-papermaker who
has a gallery-studio in Bryson City, NC. Ellison’s
pen-and-ink drawings and watercolor washes long
have graced the work of her husband,
writer/naturalist George Ellison, and others.
Publishing venues include The Asheville
Citizen-Times, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Outdoor
Traveler, Friends of Wildlife, High Vistas, and
Chinquapin.
In September of 2006, The History Press (Charleston, SC)
will publish Blue Ridge Nature Journal: Reflections on
the Appalachians in Essays and Art by George and
Elizabeth Ellison.
More Information
George Ellison (naturalist, columnist)
Ellison, who resides in Bryson City, NC, wrote the
biographical introductions for the reissues of two
Appalachian classics: Horace Kephart’s Our Southern
Highlanders and James Mooney’s History, Myths, and
Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees. He writes a
“Nature Journal” column for the Asheville
Citizen-Times and a regional history “Back Then”
column for Smoky Mountain News. A selection of his
“Back Then” columns published in 2005 by The
History Press in Charleston, SC, as Mountain
Passages: Natural and Cultural History of Western
North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains has
gone into a third printing. More Information
Jaki Shelton Green (poet, playwright)
Green received the North Carolina Award for
Literature in 2003 for her fine poetry and
“inveterate championing of the underdog.” Her
publications are Dead on Arrival, Dead on Arrival
and New Poems, Masks, Conjure Blues, singing a tree
into dance, and Blue Opal, a play. She has
performed her poetry and taught workshops in the
United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Brazil.
Green continues to teach creative writing to
marginalized populations of our society such as the
homeless, the newly literate, the incarcerated and
the writer-as-survivor. Breath of the Song,
Selected and New Poems by Jaki Shelton Green was
released August 2005.
More Information
Elizabeth Baird Hardy (storyteller, educator)
Originally from Berea, Kentucky, Hardy comes from a
family of storytellers. She began telling stories in
public at the age of fifteen, and has hardly stopped
since then. Her tales include her “Tales from Two
Creeks,” named after Indian Creek, where her mother’s
people lived, and “Jellico Creek,” where her father
grew up. She also relates the adventures of the
hapless circuit-riding Preacher Templeton. In
addition to telling stories and teaching workshops
throughout the Southeast, Hardy is an English
Instructor at Mayland Community College and lives in
Avery County with her husband and son, her two
favorite characters.
Michael Hardy (historian, photographer)
Hardy attended his first Civil War re-enactment at
the age of twelve, beginning a fascination with the
American Civil War that continues unabated. In
2003, McFarland released his first book, The
Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops: Tarheels in
the Army of Northern Virginia. His other books
include Avery County: Images of America (Arcadia
2005), A Short History of Old Watauga County
(Parkway 2006), and The Battle of Hanover Court
House (McFarland 2006). Hardy is a full-time
writer, historian, and photographer. He lives on a
mountain in Avery County with his wife Elizabeth
and their son Nathaniel.
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Tommy Hays (novelist)
Hays’s latest novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was
recently released in paperback. Hays has written
two other novels — Sam’s Crossing and In the
Family Way, a selection of the Book-of-the-Month
Club and winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Literary Award. He is Executive Director of the
Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC-Asheville and
Director of Creative Writing for the Academy at the
SC Governor’s School for the Arts. He is a member
of the National Book Critics Circle. He received
his BA in English from Furman University and
graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at
Warren Wilson College.
More Information
Irene Honeycutt (poet)
Honeycutt has published two poetry collections:
Waiting for the Trout to Speak (Novello Festival
Press 2002) and It Comes as a Dark Surprise, which
won Sandstone Publishing’s Regional Poetry Contest
in 1992. Honeycutt’s first children’s book, The
Prince with the Golden Hair, a fairy tale for
children of all ages, will be published in the
spring of 2006 by D-N Publishing. She is founder
and director of the Central Piedmont’s Community
College’s Annual Spring Literary Festival. In
January of 2006, she was featured as NC Poet of the
Week by poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer.
More Information (scroll down the page this links to)

Gloria Houston (educator)
Currently living again in her native western North
Carolina, Dr. Houston works as a writing consultant
from her home and speaks as an author and writing
consultant when her health permits. Houston’s
historical fiction has won more than 40 national and
one international awards. Her innovative writing
methods text and teacher handbook, How Writing Works:
Imposing Organizational Structure within the Writing
Process, was released in 1994 by Allyn &
Bacon/Longman. She is working on a language arts
text and handbook, Teaching the Language Arts through
the Arts, also for Allyn & Bacon/Longman.
More Information
presenting with
(illustrator, visual artist) Nicole Arnold

photo by Olan Mills

In 2006, High Country Publishers will debut the new
edition of Gloria Houston’s Littlejim with Arnolds’s
illustrations. Her first book, The ‘Reel’ Thing: A Story
of Hope and Joy written by Hunter Darden, was published in
2002. This book was set in the North Carolina mountains.
Nicole uses watercolor, pencil and colored pencil to
achieve a wholesome and colorful optimism in her
illustrations. Arnold is also the Outreach Coordinator
for a nonprofit art gallery where she plans art education
programs for disadvantaged children.
More Information

Dot Jackson (reporter, novelist)
Jackson turned an abiding curiosity into a lifelong
career in newspapers, going from murder trials to
snake-handling prayer meetings to some of the
hardest-fought environmental battles of our times.
As an investigative reporter for the Charlotte
Observer, she wrote about, and often brought to
justice, the industrial polluters whose stories
garnered Jackson several Pulitzer Prize nominations
and a National Conservation Writer of the Year
award. She also has collaborated on several
acclaimed books of non-fiction. Refuge is Dot
Jackson’s first book-length work of fiction.
Hunter James (investigative reporter, editorialist,
novelist)
James has spent more than thirty five years as an
editorialist and correspondent for such papers as
the Atlanta Constitution and Baltimore Sun, winning
numerous press association awards for his work, as
well as a share of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for
Public Service. His articles and stories have
appeared in Newsweek, National Geographic (book
division), Historic Preservation, Southern
Magazine, The Southern Review. He has published
eight books (including All the Forgotten Places and
Last Days of the Big Grassy Fork) and a novel. The
Famous Embroidered Towels of Dusseldorf: intrigue
and betrayal in a Foreign Land is due out later
this year.
More Information
Cameron Judd (historical novelist)
A native of Greene County, Tennessee, Judd writes
western fiction and is director of communications
for Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee.
Since 1980 Judd has written more than 30 novels
published in the U.S. and Canada; more than two
million copies of his novels remain in print,
including the highly acclaimed The Overmountain
Men, Crockett of Tennessee and Boone. He is also
the author of one nonfiction book about the Civil
War in East Tennessee, The Bridge Burners. His
novels Crockett of Tennessee and The Canebrake Men
were national finalists for the Western Writers of
America Spur Award.
Stephen Kirk (editor, non-fictionalist)
Kirk has been the editor at John F. Blair, Publisher,
since 1988. He is the author of Scribblers: Stalking the
Authors of the Appalachia, an IPPY Award finalist, and
First In Flight: The Wright Brothers in North Carolina,
one of the sources used in the national PBS documentary
commemorating the first-flight centennial. The second
story he ever wrote was selected for reprinting in the
Best American Short Stories series. He lives near
Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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photo by Greg Vaughn PhotographySharyn McCrumb (novelist)
McCrumb’s award-winning novels celebrating the
history and folklore of Appalachia have received
scholarly acclaim and ranked on the New York Times
Best-Seller lists. Among her works are Ghost
Riders, The Songcatcher, The Ballad of Frankie
Silver, The Rosewood Casket, She Walks These Hills,
and If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O. In her
newest novel, St. Dale (Kensington 2005), McCrumb
has crafted a moving tale of transformation and
everyday miracles that finds the seam of humanity
behind our need for perfect heroes.
In November 2003, she was presented with the Wilma
Dykeman Award for Regional Historical Literature by
the East Tennessee Historical Society
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Joan Medlicott (novelist)
Born in the Virgin Islands, Medlicott has lived in
many towns and cities in the US and in Europe.
After careers in Horticulture and as Program
Coodinator for a Senior Center in Florida, Joan
began a career in writing. At age 64 her first
Ladies of Covington novel was published. The sixth
in the series, Two Days After the Wedding, will be
published in June 2006. The seventh novel will be
out in 2008. Joan’s novel, The Three Mrs. Parkers,
was very well received and she is working on
another non-Covington novel. Joan can be
characterized as an optimist and a self-starter.
She lives and works in Barnardsville, north of
Asheville, North Carolina.
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photo by Emilee RoseKaren Miller (educator, children’s
novelist)
Protesting “There’s nothing to read,” Karen
Miller’s 6th grade students convinced her to write
a book just for them. Everyone liked monsters, they
told her. But there weren’t any books about real
monsters. So Miller began a six year study of
undiscovered beasts. Her first book, Monsters,
Shapeshifters and Water Beasts, will be published
by Henry Holt in spring 2007.
A teacher, literature consultant, bookseller and
mother of four, Karen Miller lives in Burnsville,
North Carolina with her husband, Bob and dog Lucy.
She has four adult children, aged 22-31 years old.
Michael Parker (novelist)
Parker is the author of five works of fiction
including the novels Hello Down There and If You
Want Me To Stay. His stories have appeared in the
Oxford American, Five Points, Shenandoah and many
other magazines and in the Pushcart, New Stories
from the South and O. Henry Award anthologies. A
new collection of stories, Don’t Make Me Stop Now,
is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in 2007. For
his work he has received fellowships in fiction
from the North Carolina Arts Council and the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the 2006 Mary
Frances Hobson Award in Arts and Letters. He
teaches in the MFA Writing Program at UNC
Greensboro.
Charles F. Price (historical novelist)
Price has published four novels to date: Hiwassee:
A Novel of the Civil War, Freedom’s Altar, (1999
Sir Walter Raleigh Award), The Cock’s Spur
(Independent Publisher’s 2001 Book Award as one of
the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Clark Cox
Historical Fiction Award) and Where the Water-Dogs
Laughed.
One of the chief characters in his new
Revolutionary War novel Nor the Battle to the
Strong is a maternal ancestor who served in the
Continental Army. Nor the Battle to the Strong is
forthcoming in 2007 from Frederic C. Beil Publisher
of Savannah, GA. He currently lives in Yancey
County.
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Jim Priesmeyer (historic storyteller)
During his seven years developing the Historic
McElroy House, the Museum of Yancey County History,
Priesmeyer uncovered the personal stories of the
home’s owners and their insights into 200 years of
the county’s history. Using his training as a
grant writer (a successful grant is a story told in
a compelling way) and his extensive experience as a
character actor, Jim wrote and performs CSA Gen.
J.W. McElroy’s (1820-1870) story “A Final Farewell”
and the companion story of US Capt. Wm. Moore
(1850-1900) “A Fond Farewell”. A cast of other
historical figures are fodder for other one man
shows.
Jack R. Pyle (novelist)
Pyle writes mysteries (The Death of Adam Stone),
love stories (After Many a Summer), young adult
fiction (The Gold Bug of Farrow Point) and has even
broached Civil War Era women’s rights in Black
Horse White Rider. The Sound of Distant Thunder was
chosen Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers
Association in 1999. He has co-authored the two
“moon” books with Taylor Reese because he came from
that background and because he could see this bit
of planting lore being lost on the “Computer
Generation.” Pyle has also published a book of
short stories Pieces of the Puzzle.
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Ron Rash (poet, novelist, short storyist)
Rash is the author of six books: The Night The New
Jesus Fell to Earth (short stories), Casualties
(short stories), Eureka Mill (poetry), and Among the
Believers (poetry), Raising the Dead (poetry), One
Foot in Eden (novel) and Saints at the River (novel)
His third novel, The World Made Straight, will be
published by Henry Holt in January, 2006. Rash is a
past winner of an NEA Poetry Fellowship. In 2002,
he was awarded Foreword Magazine’s Gold Medal in
Literary Fiction for his novel One Foot in Eden. The
novel was also named Appalachian Book of the Year.
Saints at the River has been chosen for Western
North Carolina’s Together We Read program.
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Taylor Reese (eclectic author)
Reese has authored several books including HUMOR
Is Where You Find It, HUMOR and A Little Bit
More, From Here To There (a memoir of the first 17
years of his life), and A Glimpse At Life (a book
of down-to-earth poetry written in four categories:
Nature, Encouragement, Humor and Miscellany.)
With co-author Jack R. Pyle, he has written two
books on how to use the farmer’s almanac: Raising
With The Moon and You and the Man in the Moon.
Reese was a court reporter for three decades,
taking down the words of everybody else, and
decided to write some of his own.
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Jacque Red Leaf (storyteller)
Both Cherokee and Choctaw, she is known by her
Cherokee name Eagle Woman. Her life is put into
teaching Indian arts, customs, games, songs,
cultural vaules, tradition and history. She is a
Traditonal Dancer, teaches beadwork, basketweaving,
and leather work. Perhaps better known for her
legend-telling than anything else, Eagle Woman
brings the native culture to life through the
legends not only of the Cherokee, but many other
tribes, as well. She has lectured and spoken at
many universitites, art centers, museums and civic
organizations all over the country. Currently she
lives in Yancey County, North Carolina.
photo by Ed SeelPat Riviere-Seel (poet)
Her first collection of poems, No Turning Back Now,
was published by Finishing Line Press in 2004 and
nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches in
UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program and at the
College for Seniors at UNCA. She holds an MFA in
Creative Writing from Queens University of
Charlotte.
She is the president of the North Carolina Poetry
Society and serves on the Board of Directors of the
Poetry Council of NC. A native of Shelby, NC, she
is a former resident of Yancey County. She
currently lives in Asheville with her husband and
two cats.
David Schulman (novelist, columnist, freelancer)
Schulman began his writing career in the second
grade in Sylva, North Carolina while stretched out
on the living room floor watching the Milton Berle
Show. After two decades developing his own chain of
clothing stores in Western NC, he began chronicling
his own and others’ history of growing up Jewish in
the South, eventually winning the NC Press Club’s
Best Personal Columnist Award for 1994 and 1995 for
his articles in Charlotte’s Times-Outlook magazine.
He now writes frequently for Our State: Down Home
in North Carolina magazine as well as other
periodicals. The Past Is Never Dead is his first
novel.
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Betty Smith (ballad singer, educator)
Smith has performed, taught and shared the traditional
music of the South for over thirty years in classrooms,
concert halls, workshops, and festivals. She has been
honored by the Appalachian Writers Association for her
contributions to Appalachian Literature, by the North
Carolina Folklore Society for her contributions to the
study and appreciation of folklife with the Brown-Hudson
Award, and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Award for
“significant contributions to Appalachian music”. Her
book, Jane Hicks Gentry: A Singer Among Singers, was
awarded the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award by
the North Carolina Society of Historians.
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photo by Jan HensleyShelby Stephenson (poet, editor,
musician)
Stephenson, professor of English at UNC-Pembroke,
edits Pembroke Magazine. He has received the Zoe
Kincaid Brockman Memorial Award, the Playwright’s
Fund of North Carolina Chapbook Prize, and the 2001
North Carolina Award in Literature. In addition to
a poetic documentary Plankhouse (with photos by
Roger Manley), he has published Middle Creek Poems,
Carolina Shout!, Finch’s Mash, The Persimmon Tree
Carol, Poor People, Greatest Hits, Fiddledeedee,
and POSSUM (Bright Hill Press Prize and
Campbell-Brockman Award). He has also made the CDs:
Hank Williams Tribute and The Stephenson Brothers &
Linda Sing the Old Songs.
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Peter Turchi (novelist, non-fictionalist, educator)
Turchi is the author of a novel, a collection of
stories, and two books of nonfiction, including,
most recently, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer
as Cartographer. He has also co-edited two
anthologies, The Story Behind the Story and
Bringing the Devil to His Knees, and an exhibition
catalog for the artist Charles Ritchie. The
recipient of North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh
Award and fellowships from the NEA and the
Guggenheim Foundation, he has taught in and
directed the MFA Program for Writers at Warren
Wilson College since 1993.
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Seabrook Wilkinson (educator, literary critic)
Wilkinson’s connections with Charleston and the
Carolina Lowcountry go back to 1670. Most of his
education was far afield, at Harvard (A.B., History
of Art) and then Oxford (B.A., M.A., Theology). He
remained in Britain to work in another ancestral
city, Edinburgh, as Head of English at Fettes
College. As Charlestonians tend to do, he came
home to roost, and while teaching at local colleges
began to ascend the Ph.D. salmon-leap, whose top
rung he is now approaching. His published
criticism ranges from Marlowe to Frost. After
decades of scrutinizing the poems of others, he
began to write his own again; A Local Habitation is
forthcoming.
Perry Deane Young (biographer, playwright)
Young has authored nine books, two plays and one
screenplay. Several of his books stem from Yancey
county hertitage: The Untold Story of Frankie Silver,
Was She Justly Hanged?, Hanged by a Dream, and Our
Young Family. His first book was the widely praised Two
of the Missing, a Vietnam memoir. The David Kopay Story,
spent nine weeks on the New York Times Bestseller and
was named one of the ten Best Books for Young Adults of
1977 by the American Library Association. He has also
published a drama, Mountain of Hope, based on the life
and death of UNC Prof. Elisha Mitchell, for whom the
county’s mountain is named.
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Isabel Zuber (poet, novelist)
Zuber was born and grew up in Boone, NC. She lives
in Winston-Salem, was a librarian at Wake Forest
University for many years, and is now writing full
time. Some of her prizes include the publication
prize in the North Carolina Writers Network poetry
chapbook contest, Lee Smith Award for Fiction from
the Appalachian Writers Association, University of
Tennessee Press prize for short story, Forsyth
County Arts Council grant, and she was selected as
one of the readers in the Blumenthal Writers and
Readers Series. Her poetry collections are
Oriflamb, from the North Carolina Writers Network,
and Winter’s Exile, from Scots Plaid Press. Her
novel, Salt, was selected in 2003 for Virginia
Commonwealth University’s First Novel.
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