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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 00:00

Events for readers and writers

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Illicit history of moonshine

Barbara Mulder and Frank Stephenson Jr. will present their new book North Carolina Moonshine: An Illicit History at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

North Carolina holds a special place in the history of moonshine. For more than three centuries, the illicit home-brew was a way of life. NASCAR emerged from the illegal moonshine trade as drivers such as Junior Johnson, accustomed to running from the law, moved to the racetrack. 

A host of colorful characters populated the state’s bootlegging arena, like Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, known as the Paul Bunyan of moonshine, and Alvin Sawyer considered the moonshine king of the Great Dismal Swamp. Some law enforcement played a constant cat-and-mouse game to shut down illegal stills, while some just looked the other way. 

Mulder and Stephenson are longtime employees of Chowan University in Murfreesboro. Both grew up in rural Hertford County when moonshine was big business and moonshine stills could be found anywhere. While growing up, they heard numerous moonshine stories and knew people who were involved in moonshine one way or another. Their personal experience of and deep appreciation for the rural southern life experience was the catalyst for their writing this book. 

To reserve copies of North Carolina Moonshine, call City Lights Bookstore at 828.586.9499.


Teen Poetry Night

The annual Teen Poetry Night, an open-mic event for high school-age poets and poetry lovers, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, at The Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub in Franklin. 

To celebrate National Poetry Month, young poets are invited to read or recite their original works, as well as share their favorite works by other poets, earning RAT Bucks to be spent at the event on The Rathskeller’s beverages, sandwiches, snacks and desserts. There’s no pre-registration, participants are given stage time on a first-come basis. Family members and friends are invited to come and cheer their teens on.

Admission is free. This event is sponsored by the Arts Council of Macon County, supported in part by the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  

Contact the Macon Arts Council for details, 828.524.ARTS or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Joy to read new work

Acclaimed Jackson County author David Joy will read from his latest novel, The Weight of This World, at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.

A combat veteran returned from war, Thad Broom can’t leave the hardened world of Afghanistan behind, nor can he forgive himself for what he saw there. His mother April is haunted by her own demons, a secret trauma she has carried for years. Between them is Aiden McCall, loyal to both but unable to hold them together. Connected by bonds of circumstance and duty, friendship and love, these three lives are blown apart when Aiden and Thad witness an accidental death.

The event is free and open to the public.  



• Writer Bren McClain will present her latest work One Good Mama Bone at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. In the book, McClain gives us the story of Sarah Creamer, a recently widowed and dirt-poor single mother struggling to survive in rural South Carolina in the 1950’s. Sarah has been told by her own mother that she’ll never have “one good mama bone” in her, and Sarah believed it. But when she buys a steer for her son to enter into the local cattle show and sale, hoping it will help them with their money troubles, the calf’s mother follows and what Sarah needed to know about compassion and good mothering she learns from watching Mama Red.  

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