If athletics and poetry seem like strange bedfellows, then you haven’t read Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s sports desk columns for The Best American Poetry blog. “Two days later it still feels awfully good to think about that game,” she wrote after the 2010 Super Bowl (New Orleans won). “And yet, like the jambalaya I made on Sunday, […]
Why wait for the second quarter, or spring or summer to rack up a prestigious writing prize? Local and regional contests are currently accepting submissions. Prize purses, publications and accolades await. Plus, several of these contests honor local literary greats (Thomas Wolfe and Carl Sandburg among them). 1. North Carolina Poetry Society poetry contests The […]
Author, teacher and creativity coach Nina Hart has just released her first prose poetry collection, Somewhere In a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere. The book is equal parts engaging and absurdist, stretching the mind of the reader to connect emotionally with the likes of a waitress who lives inside an air conditioner (à la […]
Check your coat and your drama at the door. The Cosmic Happy Slam! youth poetry event was created to remind stressed teens that “in the midst of our crazy, busy lives, we can always access joy, laugh and have fun,” according to Soulspeak Asheville founder Mel Kelley. Word wranglers ages 12-21 are invited to compete […]
If someone was making a movie of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard’s life, Jared Leto would fall all over himself to land the lead role: An Asheville-born artist and writer (Dillard grew up on Sunset Mountain) leaves North Carolina for the bright lights of 1970s Los Angeles. He immerses himself in the excitement and excess of that […]
Unlike larger book festivals, the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival deliberately sets out to create a “festival of ideas.” As anyone who has attended a previous festival knows (the gathering is now in its ninth year), events are informal, and are more akin to conversations than presentations.
Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. STEVE SHELL POETRY Steve Shell, […]
Bob Falls had been working on an idea for a show using poetry to explore the stages of a person’s life but didn’t initially see himself as one of the performers. After moving to Asheville in the early 1980s, he was cast in a play at the Asheville Community Theatre, and as he gained experience, […]
Poetry has long been an action-packed artistic genre in Western North Carolina. Here, it’s not merely written but spoken, slammed and taken into schools (thanks to Poetry Alive! — which celebrates its 30th anniversary with an event at The White Horse on Aug. 15 — and LEAF in Schools & Streets, among other initiatives). In […]
Sixteen Youth poets compete for slots on this year’s Grand Slam Championship team. The contest takes place at NC Stage on Tuesday, April 22. Photo from Asheville Youth Poetry’s Facebook page.
“I was initially intimidated by slam,” says Kimbi Mullins, also known as Kimbi the Goddess. With a stage name like that — not to mention her magnetic stage presence — it’s hard to picture the Greenville, S.C., poet as anything but confident. “What it did,” she continues, “was bring out a fire in me and my writing through the true spirit of a poetry slam. This is the same advice I give to others who may fear it or be against it for whatever reasons: It allows you to tap into that fire within.”
If great art comes from suffering, there were plenty of hard knocks to be had in embattled Belfast, Northern Ireland. That’s where poet Adrian Rice grew up and published collections including Impediments and The Mason’s Tongue. Nobel Prize recipient Seamus Heaney said that Rice “has a nice sense of what he is up to as […]
Spoken word events around Asheville The Asheville spoken word scene, vibrant since its ’90s-era heyday, has continued to grow steadily over the years. Between several ongoing reading series, there’s now a network of vibrant, recurring events where a large rotating cast of local poets (from polished veterans to earnest students) strut their stuff and […]
LAST CALL! Xpress seeks submissions for a special April issue. Deadline for short-form poems is Friday, March 14.
Local poet and performer Griffin Payne, pictured above, teaches theater-workshop participants how to share their stories in new and creative ways. The weekly workshops are for people affected by mental illness, whether directly or indirectly, and is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Western Carolina. (Photo by Max Cooper)
Each week in July, different jazz artists and poems will be discussed at pack Memorial Library as part of a month-long series.
Upcoming readings, book launches, book signings and two writing contests contest.
Get into the spirit of hearts and flowers (or whatever manifestations of love spring to mind) with two special events (poet Daniel Ladinsky at Malaprop’s and Asheville Symphony at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium) slated for this weekend.
Asheville’s most famous writing student, actor James Franco, was commissioned by Yahoo! News to write a poem about the inauguration of President Barack Obama, taking place today, Jan. 21, in Washington D.C. It focuses on the history of Asheville and its most well known visitors, including Obama.
In this, the second installment in a two-part story on the much-loved local used bookstore, we learn about rare and crazy book finds, music events and the story behind the “Drink. Smoke. Read.” slogan.
Local poet Barbie Angell launches her new book of “poems for children and the child-like,” with a Sunday, Sept. 30 event at Altamont Theatre. There’s a 6 p.m. set for children and a 7 p.m. set for everyone. David Earl also performs.