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By Sandra Redding

Upcoming Events

The number one secret of being a successful writer is this: Marry an English major. — Stephen E. Ambrose

March 8 (Sunday, 3–5 p.m.). Sable Books’ International Women’s Day Reading. Scuppernong Books, Greensboro. Celebrate women and, yes, aging with music, discussions and readings by Barbara Kenyon, Hillsborough Poet Laureate; Trudi Young Taylor, author of Breasts Don’t Lie; Debra Kaufman, author of The Next Moment; and Sheryl Rider, plus other Greensboro contributors to Letters for My Little Sister. Info: March 14 (Saturday, 7 p.m.). Reading/discussion by Joseph Bathanti and Gilda Morina Syverson. Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh. Former N. C. Poet Laureate joins an artist, teacher and memoirist to instruct — and reminisce — about the writing process. Info: March 19 (Thursday, 3–4 p.m.). Humorist and storytelling scholar extraordinaire Elliot Engel channels William Sydney Porter as part of The Explorations for Adults Series with a talk on O.Henry: His Surprise Endings . . . and Beginnings, Southern Pines Public Library, 170 West Connecticut Avenue, Southern Pines. Free, but tickets required. Info: (910) 692-8235 or March 19–22 (Thursday through Sunday) Table Rock Spring Studio 2015: Writing Retreat on N.C.’s Inner Banks. Time to write, explore nature and enjoy the area around the Scuppernong River in Columbia, where writers will share their work in sessions led by Georgeann Eubanks. Some scholarships available. Info: April 18 (Saturday, all day). North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference 2015, UNCG. Intensive fiction, nonfiction and poetry workshops, faculty readings, open mic sessions and so much more. Info:


O, the shamrock, the green, immortal shamrock! Chosen leaf for bard and chief, Old Erin’s native shamrock. — Thomas Moore

Honoring St. Patrick’s Day, Wake Forest University Press has released The Shack: Irish Poets in the Foothills and the Mountains ( . . . Big Cactus, the latest novel by prolific novelist Sylvia Wilkinson, of The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Durham, combines desert scenery with Southern humor. Free excerpt at . . . In Front Row, Section D, Greensboro writer John Hitchcock shares the thrills and chills of viewing Greensboro wrestling matches from the 1960s–1980s . . . Amazon’s Best Books includes Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir by Michael White, director of the Creative Writing Program at UNC Wilmington. . . . Hotel Worthy, Val Nieman’s just-released book of poetry, received high praise from distinguished poet, Sarah Lindsay “At last, a book that states clearly the purpose of life.” Prime Number Magazine announces 2015 contest prizes for top three entries in Poetry, Short Fiction and Creative Nonfiction. Deadline: March 31, 2015. Guidelines:

Writing Lesson

The voices that guide my writing life are older than I am — the umbilical cord forever unwinding and yet tethered to and dependent on a place called home. — Jill McCorkle

Never mind the flap. To everybody’s relief, Gov. Pat McCrory named Shelby Stephenson of Benson North Carolina’s eighth Poet Laureate, commending his plans to “work with helping nursing home residents express themselves through poetry.” “This is great news for North Carolina,” Ed Southern, executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, wrote. “Our state and its writers could wish for no better ambassador.” Kathryn Stripling Byer, former State Poet Laureate, describes Stephenson as “A singer, an old-time raconteur, a poet attuned to the rhythms of our state and its people. And for those who keep saying they don’t like poetry, just wait till you hear Shelby. You will change your mind in a flash.” A professor of English and editor of Pembroke magazine until 2010, Stephenson’s writing includes poems about possums, mules, tractors and a slave girl. “My early teachers were the thirty-five foxhounds my father hunted,” he explains. “The trees and streams, fields, the world of my childhood — all that folklore — those are my subjects.” An accomplished musician, former radio announcer and a farmer, his magnanimous grin, generous spirit and laid-back attitude help students and fellow poets find their authentic voices by advising them to do as he does: Write about what you know. b Avoid getting pinched; wear green on St. Patrick’s Day! Keep me updated on writer happenings. Greensboro writer Sandra Redding’s novel, Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale, is a riveting story about heartbreak and hope in a Quaker community.

March 2015 •



Profile for Salt

March Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

March Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington