KNOW HOW: "We’ve all heard — and possibly given — the advice 'Write what you know,'" says Peter Turchi in his new book, A Muse and a Maze. "But that implies that one knows quite enough. … So the better advice might be, 'Know what you write.' And know it as deeply, as comprehensively, as possible. Then acknowledge the remaining mystery." Photo by Dana Kroos

Word problems: Peter Turchi’s book A Muse & a Maze explores the puzzles of writing

It’s been a number of years since Peter Turchi lived in Asheville — he’s now based in Houston — but Western North Carolina still finds its way into his writing. “I tend to write more about places that I’ve left,” says the former director of Warren Wilson College’s MFA program. “The stories that I’m writing […]

GENEAOLOGY OF A SONG: From left, Wayfaring Stranger authors Doug Orr and Fiona Ritchie interview the late folk musician Pete Seeger. Photo by Darcy Orr

Wayfaring Strangers traces the evolution of Appalachian music

When Fiona Ritchie (the presenter of NPR’s long-running program, “The Thistle and the Shamrock”) first came to North Carolina, “people heard my accent and they’d say, ‘Oh, I’m Scots-Irish,’” she remembers. “I was confused. I thought they meant one parent was Scottish and one was Irish. It took me a wee while to realize this […]

NATURAL SELECTIONS: WNC-based authors (clockwise from top left) Kathryn Stripling Byer, Wayne Caldwell, Catherine Reid and Thomas Rain Crow speak about setting prose and poetry in wild places. Byer's photo by Corinna Byer, other photos courtesy of the authors

In quotes: Creative Perspectives on Wilderness writers panel

Six writers participated in a panel on Friday night as the final installment in the three-part Within the Lines: Creative Perspectives on Wilderness. The exhibit and monthly panel discussions, held at HandMade in America’s offices, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Friday’s discussion seemed especially poignant as the recent election put a number […]

NATURAL SELECTIONS: WNC-based authors (clockwise from top left) Kathryn Stripling Byer, Wayne Caldwell, Catherine Reid and Thomas Rain Crow speak about setting prose and poetry in wild places. Byer's photo by Corinna Byer, other photos courtesy of the authors

Regional writers panel celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Southern writing evokes a certain set of expectations, from Flannery O’Connor’s “Christ-haunted” prose to Gail Godwin’s glimpses into shifting society. But when talking about North Carolina writers, there’s one theme that returns again and again: place. From Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Robert Morgan’s Gap Creek to Ron Rash’s Serena and Vicki Lane’s A Day […]