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Wednesday, 25 March 2015 00:00

Events for readers and writers

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New teen space at Canton Library

Thanks to the generous support of the Haywood County Friends of the Library, the Canton Library now features a space within the library that local teenagers can claim as their own. 

The new teen area features a diner-style booth for group or individual work, a modern and flexible seating area with chairs that include built-in outlets, a technology bar with outlets for devices and new shelving for the Young Adult collection of books and books on CD. The Friends of the Library also funded the purchase of new tables and chairs for the computers in the main area of the library.

Teenagers are also invited to join our Teen Advisory Group, which meets the first Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m. to discuss YA books and teen program ideas. For more on upcoming teen events, visit Haywood County Public Library’s teen page at 



Bathanti poetry reading, signing

Poet, memoirist and novelist Joseph Bathanto will read from his most recent poetic prose at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.  

Some of his work includes The Life of the World to Come, Half of What I Say is Meaningless: Essays and Concertina: Poems. Bathanti’s reading will launch the celebration of National Poetry Month. Established in 1996, National Poetry Month is held every April and is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in culture.  

Bathanti is a former North Carolina poet laureate. Over the last 35 years, he has helped people of all walks of life express themselves through writing from prison inmates, to college students, and even to war veterans. He is currently a creative writing professor at Appalachian State University.  



New novel, coffee table book at Blue Ridge

Lin Stepp and Elise & Phil Okrend will offer new works at Blue Ridge Books in Sylva.

Stepp will present her novel Making Miracles at noon Saturday, March 28. Set in Tennessee’s postcard-perfect Smoky Mountains, the book is an inspiring tale that reveals why love and forgiveness are most important just when they seem most impossible.  

The Okrends will present their coffee table book Message to the Heart — Reflections of Beauty and Truth at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 4. Elise, a pastel painter and Phil, a writer and professional life coach came together to produce and release the inspiring book. 

828.456.6000 or


McPherson offers new graphic novels

Nevada McPherson will read from her two graphic novels, Uptowners and Piano Lessons, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.  

McPherson has written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, one short screenplay that she made into a short film, and two graphic novels: Uptowners, a dark comedy set in contemporary New Orleans, and Piano Lessons, a gay teen romance set in the 1950s rural South.  

McPherson received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English-Creative Writing and a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. 



Learn the history of NASCAR 

Daniel S. Pierce, author of Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay and Big Bill France, will give a presentation about the history of NASCAR on at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at the Canton Library.

Pierce is Professor of History, Chair of the department, at UNC-Asheville. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee, where he worked with distinguished Southern historian James C. Cobb. He is also the author of Corn From a Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as The Great Smokies: From Natural Habitat to National Park.

Pierce has had his work published in The New York Times, Southern Cultures, Smokies Life, and numerous encyclopedias including the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. He has appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, The History Channel, North Carolina People with William Friday, North Carolina Bookwatch, and the South Carolina ETV Emmy Award winning program Take on the South.  




Wieland to read from new book

Liza Wieland will present her novel Land of Enchantment at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

The story weaves the lives of three extraordinary women artists, beginning with a half-Navajo woman in the 1980s New Mexico, an assistant for the aging Georgia O’Keefe, and concluding in a stunning connection to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Wieland is the author of three novels, three collections of short fiction, and a volume of poems. Her work has been awarded two Puchcart Prizes, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and the Michigan Literary Fiction Award. 




• The Sylva Friends of the Library Used Bookstore has a large collection of books for homeschoolers on display. All are reasonably priced. The store is open seven days a week and is located at 536 West Main St. across from the Sylva Herald. All proceeds go to support the Sylva Library.

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