Famous last words: Local mystery novelist Sallie Bissell tried her hand at other projects, but fans demanded that she return to her Mary Crow collection. “I guess I’ll just write Mary Crow until I drop dead," she says. Photo courtesy of the author

Building a mystery

Local author Sallie Bissell returns to her Mary Crow series Sallie Bissell describes herself as a “flatland Southerner,” and you can hear it in her voice. But this Nashville native who grew up reading Nancy Drew and the historical fiction of William O. Steele (now her touchstone for a good read), developed an ambition to […]


Bulgarian authors in translation event at Malaprop’s Bookstore

If you haven’t been paying attention to Bulgarian literary fiction lately, you will have an opportunity to set things right this weekend at Malaprop’s Celebrating Bulgarian Authors in Translation event. On Sunday, April 13 at 3 p.m., Bulgarian authors Virginia Zaharieva (Nine Rabbits, Black Balloon) and Albena Stambolova (Everything Happens as it Does, Open Letter Books) will visit the bookstore […]

SLAM DUNK: Last year’s Asheville Wordslam winners pose with the coveted gold trophy. From left: Sam Bible Sullivan, Devon Dunbar, Devin Jones, and Nian Avery. Photo courtesy of Janet Hurley

The fire within: Asheville Writers in the Schools hosts slam poetry competition

“I was initially intimidated by slam,” says Kimbi Mullins, also known as Kimbi the Goddess. With a stage name like that — not to mention her magnetic stage presence — it’s hard to picture the Greenville, S.C., poet as anything but confident. “What it did,” she continues, “was bring out a fire in me and my writing through the true spirit of a poetry slam. This is the same advice I give to others who may fear it or be against it for whatever reasons: It allows you to tap into that fire within.”

BET Adrian  RIce

Smart Bets: Adrian Rice

If great art comes from suffering, there were plenty of hard knocks to be had in embattled Belfast, Northern Ireland. That’s where poet Adrian Rice grew up and published collections including Impediments and The Mason’s Tongue. Nobel Prize recipient Seamus Heaney said that Rice “has a nice sense of what he is up to as […]

Words With Friends: Members of Juniper Bends Reading Series (from left, Dana Middleton, Reid Drake and Lockie Hunter) hold four standing-room-only events each year. Other popular spoken word programs range from open mics to curated showcases with out-of-town featured performers. Photo by Shara Crosby

Sound off

  Spoken word events around Asheville The Asheville spoken word scene, vibrant since its ’90s-era heyday, has continued to grow steadily over the years. Between several ongoing reading series, there’s now a network of vibrant, recurring events where a large rotating cast of local poets (from polished veterans to earnest students) strut their stuff and […]

"The points are not the point; the point is poetry" said Allan Wolf (pictured at The Green Door Retrospective at Malaprop’s, in 2008) prior to the 1994 National Poetry Slam in Asheville. The phrase became the Slam moto; Wolf and the Asheville team become slam champions in ’95. Photo by John Fletcher Jr.


An ode to the poems and poets of the region

Western North Carolina’s connection to poetry may have crystallized during the 1990s, at the height of slam and spoken word poetry: The National Poetry Slam was held in Asheville in 1994, and the local team won that competition in ’95. The green door, a since-closed venue on Carolina Lane, was home to performers like Allan Wolf, Glenis Redmond, Christine Lassiter, James Navé and Laura Hope-Gill. The venue’s [...]

Out of bounds: Adventurous art at [Re] HAPPENING 2014-attachment0

Out of bounds: Adventurous art at [Re] HAPPENING 2014

The event, now in its fifth year, will take place Saturday, April 5, at Lake Eden, Black Mountain College’s former home. The [Re] HAPPENING, a collaboration between Black Mountain College +Arts Center and The Media Arts Project, “reimagines Black Mountain College’s tradition of Saturday night parties and performances, and pays homage to the innovative artists of the legendary Black Mountain College,”

COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY: Firestorm co-founder Libertie Valance led a Feb. 18 discussion about the worker-owner, collectively managed organization’s next move.


About 50 people squeezed into Firestorm Café and Books on Feb. 19 to talk about the café’s upcoming relocation and restructuring. Firestorm’s worker-owners were expecting a fraction of that turnout, but greeted all attendees and invited them to get coffee and snacks and join in discussions about the collective’s future. On March 1, Firestorm will […]