Area authors launch poetry-of-place chapbook “Every Breath Sings Mountains” (videos)

They came together Sept. 23 in Sylva to launch a new chapbook, Every Breath Sings Mountains, which is part of the national project “Voices from the American Land”

The videos below, produced by the Canary Coalition’s Avram Friedman, capture the evening festivities, which featured readings, music and discussion.

Voices from the American Land is an unusual land conservation program that uses contemporary poetic voices to “move the message of the land.” Through chapbook publications, local readings, and educational activities, the group aims to “revive and amplify a dominant tradition in American letters: the poetry of place.”

Part 1:
Music by Ian Moore Song and Dance Bluegrass Ensemble, introductions, speaker Matt Tooni

Part 2:
Music, speakers George Frizell and William Shelton

Part 3:
Thomas Rain Crowe reads from new book
Barbara Duncan speaks and sings
Brent Martin speaks

Part 4:
Robert Johnson speaks
Panel Discussion begins with Keith Flynn, George Ellison, John Lane, Wayne Caldwell, Charles Frazier

Part 5:
Panel Discussion continues

Part 6:
Panel Discussion is completed
Music by Ian Moore & Co.

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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