Smart Bets

Evening of poetry at The Altamont

Part swanky date-night, part world tour, on Friday, May 6 The Altamont hosts five area poet-translators reading English-language versions of renowned bards. Thomas Rain Crowe reads Hafiz; Caleb Beissert reads Pablo Neruda and Federico García Lorca (both readers perform to musical accompaniment). Other readers include Malaprop's owner Emöke B’Racz, Asheville Poetry Review associate editor Luke Hankins and author Nan Watkins. 9 p.m., suggested donation of $10/$5 students. myaltamont.com.

Mark O'Connor

Violinist Mark O'Connor plays both bluegrass and classical; he's been mentored by both old-time fiddler Benny Thomasson and French jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. He's won fiddle championships (seven) and Grammys (two). On Friday, May 6, he and his string quartet will share the spotlight at the Porter Center with WNC-area youth. The concert is a benefit for Transylvania Youth Strings. In the second half of the concert, O'Conner will be joined by students of the Brevard-based non-profit, which is dedicated to providing music experience to the youth of Transylvania County. 7:30 p.m., $25-$30. http://avl.mx/2x.

Robin Black at Malaprop’s

Robin Black (the author, not the Canadian glam rock band), recently published If I loved you, I would tell you this. The book is a collection of short stories "fraught with loss, usually of a loved one." Characters include a father who takes his blind teenage daughter to meet her new seeing-eye dog, neighbor-couples battling over a fence and a woman torn between the memory of her dead husband and a new lover. Black, a Warren Wilson MFA grad, will read and sign copies of the book at Malaprop's on Monday, May 9. 7 p.m. malaprops.com.

Peter Parpan show at the Artery

If you caught Peter Parpan's excellent show at Push Gallery last summer, then you know. If not, you've got another opportunity: Parpan has organized a group show including local visual artists Julie Armbruster, Galen Frost Bernard, Katie Daisy, Nigel Esser, Alli Good, Ursula Gullow, Ted Harper, Rob W. Hunt, Anna Jensen, Tara Jensen, Taiyo La Paix, Brian Mashburn and more. FlyPaper performs at the opening, which takes place Friday, May 6, 7-10 p.m. at The Artery (The Asheville Area Arts Council's new gallery space in the River Arts District). ashevillearts.com.

Lens on the land

Poets, authors and through-hikers alike have waxed rhapsodic about the diverse and many-splendored landscapes of North Carolina. Now photographers have their say (in the "a picture tells a thousand words" sense). Lens on the Land is the newest exhibit at Castell Photography, featuring the works of Greenville-based documentary photographer Todd Cook and Robin Dreyer of Penland School of Craft. The show runs through June; an opening is held on Friday, May 6, 5-8 p.m. castellphotography.com.

Jonathan Edwards

Many musicians get a little sick of their hit (Arlo Guthrie swore off "Alice's Restaurant" for a while; Don McClean refused to play "American Pie") but not folk singer Jonathan Edwards. He penned "Sunshine" ("Some man's gone, he's tried to run my life / He don't know what he's askin'") when another song was lost in the process of recording his self-titled 1971 album. This year marks the 30th anniversary of that tune — go ahead and request it, he'll likely play it at The White Horse on Saturday, May 7. 8 p.m., $25. whitehorseblackmountain.com.

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