Four of a Kind: Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle talks area literary scene

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle. Photo by Mallory Cash

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists will share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle is Qualla-based, award-winning author and an enrolled citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming literary event happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to experiencing?

Clapsaddle: Though it’s a few months away in October, I’m thrilled to participate in the inaugural Tremont Writers Conference. Taking place in the Great Smokies National Park, the conference offers small-group morning workshops in fiction, nonfiction and poetry, led by myself (fiction), Janet McCue (nonfiction) and Frank X Walker (poetry). Guest novelist Richard Powers, a MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer, is also leading several sessions. Tremont naturalists will provide instruction on the region’s cultural and natural history. This event combines my greatest loves of writing and being in the woods with amazing people

Outside of literature, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?

The Bear Shadow Festival in Highlands is playing host to Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit along with some other great bands, Friday-Sunday, April 28-30. I think Isbell is one of the finest songwriters of our lifetime, and his concerts never disappoint.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?

I am thrilled to be working with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian to develop a writing workshop series. We aim to bring in indigenous authors to work with our community and share their talents and skill sets. So often, our Cherokee writers are isolated from literary opportunities, and I believe that having access to the expertise of other indigenous writers is a positive step toward creating more avenues for Cherokee literature to receive the attention it deserves. It will take some time to develop, but we hope to begin offering sessions this year.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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