Book Report: Literary happenings

• Noted Irish poet Adrian Rice (pictured) visits Asheville to teach a class for beginning and experienced writers. Poets looking to shape and polish their work have the unique opportunity to learn from one of the important contemporary voices in that genre. Rice’s first full poetry collection, The Mason’s Tongue was nominated for the 2001 Irish Times Prize for Poetry.
The workshop is help Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Writers’ Workshop. $75, $70 for members. Info: 254-8111..

The Asheville Art Museum hops on board the National African American Read-In (which urges citizens to “make literacy a significant part of Black History Month”) with a book discussion of Stigmata: A Novel by Phyllis Alesia Perry. The debut books tells of Lizzie DuBose who believes the bleeding marks on her back are linked to her ancestors’ treatment as slaves.  Stigmata was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
The event is held Sunday, Feb. 3, 2-3 p.m. in the museum’s WNC Resource Center. Free. Info: 253-3227.

• UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies hosts a talk by award-winning journalist, author and lecturer J.J. Goldberg, who, in his day job, is also editorial director of Jewish daily The Forward. Goldberg’s discussion is titled, “Israel, the Lobby and the Media: A Look at the Public Image of Israel and the Challenges to the Jewish Community.”
Thursday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m. at UNCA’s Reuter Center. Free. Info: 251-6576.

• UNC-Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program kicks off workshops this week. Already in progress:
—Program Director and Tommy Hays will leads the advanced writing class, “Keeping Ourselves Company: An Advanced Creative Prose Workshop.” (began Jan. 29, runs for 15 Tuesdays at the Asheville School, 360 Asheville School Rd.). Contact Hays at for admittance.
—Freelance feature writer Elizabeth Lutyens leads “Hanging in There: An Advanced Prose Writing Workshop” (15 consecutive Wednesdays beginning Jan. 30, also at the Asheville School). Contact Lutyens at for admittance.
Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave.
—Vicki Lane teaches “It Doesn’t Have to be a Mystery: A Prose Workshop.”
—Sebastian Matthews leads “True Stories: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop.”
—Christine Hale teaches “Befriending the Blank Page: A Generative Workshop for Creative Prose.”
—Steven Samuels will lead “The Higher Speech: Dialogue for Stage, Screen and Fiction.”
Other upcoming workshops:
—Pat Riviere-Seel leads “Wordplay: A Poetry Workshop” for 10 Mondays evenings beginning Feb. 11 at Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church, 181 Edgewood Rd.
—Gary Lilley leads “Merging the Imagined Experience with the Lived Experience: A Poetry Workshop” beginning Feb. 14 at the YMI Cultural Center, 39 South Market St.
For information on class times, requirements and fees, click here or call 232-5122.

• Local authors are battling it out to the Amazon’s next break-through author. The competition is closed to new entries at this point, but qualifying authors who’ve made it to the semi-finals are counting on readers to review excepts from the competing novels and post reviews. Learn more about that here.

Novels excepts from our area include: Commencement Exercises by Amy Martin from Cullowhee, and Tuckaseegee by Betty Cloer Wallace, Girls, Girls, Out by Lockie Hunter, Dragonmark by Douglas A. Sanburn, and Calling Shotgun by A.E. Sullivan, all from Asheville.
Go online and rate these novels through Sunday, March 2: One reviewer will win a prize package including an Amazon Kindle, a $2,000 gift certificate, and an HP photo printer.


About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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