Changing Literary Culture reading at the Asheville Area Arts Council

In Asheville there are many poets and writers who tread off the beaten path of the publishing industry and have invested in creating a community of their own.

On Saturday, Mar. 1, the Asheville Area Arts Council will host a poetry reading featuring six female poets who have dedicated themselves to their craft.

As Audrey Hope Rinehart, one of the six featured poets at the Changing Literary Culture reading, says of her experience: “This reading celebrates our local arts community because it represents how Asheville’s small size, its passion for the arts, and its sense of rebellious creativity brings together people who want to create powerful, long-lasting, new work.”

Rinehart has served on the editorial staff of the independent literary anthology, The Lake of the Dead Sessions, and is the organizer for the upcoming reading.

“We must work outside the university, and especially outside the corporate-controlled publishing industry, in order to find out what comes next,” she adds. “Almost 100 years ago, Ezra Pound expressed a need to ‘make it new’ as the key to keeping the written word a viable force in arts and communication. Asheville is the perfect place for open exchange of ideas and effective networking, the perfect place to succeed at ‘making it new.’”

The poets featured in the Changing Literary Culture reading share a common goal of bringing together local writers of all walks of life. Such readers include Jennifer Callahan, a local poet, photographer and creator of the small-press literary magazine Pig: A Journal. Another reader is Asheville local Laura Hope-Gill, the executive director of Asheville Wordfest Media Outreach Project and organizer of the WordFest poetry event later this year. And perhaps the most noted reader will be Barbara Gravell, a feminist poet and author who made her mark in the San Francisco poetry scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Jess Clark, Jennifer Callahan and Jessica Newton will also read.

The event is free open to the public. For more information, call 712-3953.

About Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt
Aiyanna grew up on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. She was educated at The Cambridge School of Weston, Sarah Lawrence College, and Oxford University. Aiyanna lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she proudly works for Mountain Xpress, the city’s independent local newspaper.

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