Together We Read

Barbara Bates Smith performs passages of My Antonia in sign and spoken word.

Now in its seventh year, Together We Read reaches out to 21 counties in Western North Carolina with its reading, discussion and heritage programs. TWR draws on people’s love of words to engage this region’s 1 million residents in the appreciation of community-reading choices.

TWR is comprised of two seasons. The first, from January to June, begins with a book sponsored by “The Big Read,” an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. The following season, July to December, is tailored around a book with regional significance. This winter and spring, the book is My Antonia by Willa Cather. In the summer and fall, the book will be Boone by Robert Morgan.

The programs that surround the selected titles range from discussions to multi-media galas. The events serve to foster a reading society. Last year, author Lee Smith, whose book On Agate Hill was chosen for the second season, stated in her Nov. 25 New York Times op-ed piece that she was “dazzled by the range of events involved in this imaginative program.”

This year’s “The Big Read” season is currently underway. For a list of our area’s happenings, please refer to “The Big Read” listing under the “Spoken & Written Word” section of the Arts calendar. Info: 505-1973, or

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