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Tuesday, 03 May 2016 00:00

Events for readers and writers

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Blue Ridge welcomes Lix, Ehrmam, Resor

Authors Courtney Lix, Dr. Bart Ehrman and Joy Resor will both be discussing their recent works at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.

• Lix will read from her new book Women of the Smokies at 2 p.m. Friday, May 6. As told by Lix, who brings the 20th female voice in this compilation, we learn in three parts how each woman’s strength of character and accomplishments has contributed to the Smokies as we know them today.

• UNC Professor Ehrman will read from and discuss his new book Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7.

• Resor will read from her book Go In Joy! An Alphabetical Adventure at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7.  The book offers an authentic ride beyond inspiring, lyrical words. This engaging, relatable book of essays, poems and questions offers touchstones that deliver “ah-ha” moments.

To reserve copies of these books or for more information, visit


Cook to release latest book

Franklin native and Western Carolina University alumnus Tyler Cook will release his second novel Aluria at a special release party at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin.

In order to save his teenage crush, Jason Conner allows an extra-terrestrial spirit, named Aluria, to inhabit his body. At that moment, Jason vowed to protect the innocent and hunt down the guilty, avenging those that were tragically taken from him.  But while Jason thought that his first enemy, Raiz, was long deceased, the evil sorcerer returns to Canton to obtain what Jason robbed him of — magical item that grants anyone who possesses, it infinite power. Aluria is the first in a series that tells a story about heroism, love and hope.

In 2014, Cook released A Guide to Historic Dillsboro, now an award-winning book that celebrates the historic town of Dillsboro, as well as raising money for the Appalachian Women’s Museum. Later that year, he wrote The One, which was released in early 2015. 

Books Unlimited will provide copies of Cook’s books at the event on May 7. Reservations can be made by calling 828.369.7942.

For more information, contact Cook at 828.371.8519 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.. 


Casada to discuss Swain ‘mountain characters’

Well-known outdoors writer and enthusiast Jim Casada will host the presentation “Profiles in Mountain Character: Memorable Swain County Folks” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society library in Bryson City. 

Casada will be sharing stories of local people with “at least an underpinning of the hard truth, although it’s a mighty poor piece of cloth that can use no embroidery.” 

Some of these mountain characters were Mark Cathey, Frank Young, Britt McCracken, childhood neighbor Aunt Mag, Grandpa Joe, Granville Calhoun, Sam Hunnicutt, Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Black, Quill Rose, Granville Calhoun, and others. 

Casada, who calls himself a “son of the Smokies” is a native of Bryson City. After teaching at Withrop University for 25 years, he retired to devote all of his energies to writing. He is a long-time member of a number of outdoor writers’ groups and has served as president of several of those organizations. He was a founding board member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association. He has won upwards of 170 awards from regional and national organizations for his writing, photography and contributions to angling literature.  

Conversation and refreshments will follow the presentation. After the presentation, Casada will sign books and they will be available for purchase. Open to the public and no admission charge. 


WCU faculty book reception

There will be a reception for two WCU professors to celebrate the release of their recently published books at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

Associate professor Justin Menickelli and Ryan Pickens wrote The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf. This book is much more than just a basic “how to” manual — it is a thoughtful, fascinating, and thoroughly enjoyable exploration of the history, nature, science, and skills of disc golf.

Jessie Swigger, director of WCU’s Public History Program, has written History is Bunk: Assembling the Past at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. This book examines the large outdoor museum Henry Ford established in 1929. Swigger analyzes the dialogue between museum administrators and their audiences by considering the many contexts that have shaped Greenfield Village. The result is a book that simultaneously provides the most complete extant history of the site and an intimate look at how the past is assembled and constructed at history museums.

There will be light refreshments served at the reception. To reserve copies of the book, call 828.586.9499.


Chappell releases fantasy novel

Poet and novelist Fred Chappell will read and sign his new fantasy novel A Shadow All of Light at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

In the book, a young man sets off on a journey to become the apprentice of a master shadow thief. His mysterious master challenges him with difficult mental and physical tests, setting in motion adventures with con men, monsters, ingenious detection, cats and pirates.

Chappell is a former professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002. His 1968 novel Dagon was named the Best Foreign Book of the Year by the Academie Francaise. Chappell’s literary awards include the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers, the Bollingen Prize, and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He has also won two World Fantasy Awards.



History of Women in the Smokies

Courtney Lix will present her book Women of the Smokies at 10 a.m. Friday, May 6, at the Swain County Visitor Center in Bryson City. She will also speak at 2 p.m. that day at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, and at 6:30 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

The book chronicles the women who contributed to making the Smokies what we know today. The idea for the book, according to Lix, came from a series of articles she began writing for Smokies Life Magazine, GSMA’s bi-annual magazine featuring stories about an array of Smoky Mountain-centric topics. 

“My research suggested that the lives and contributions of women in the national park area were under-documented and underappreciated,” she said. “The book emerged in response to that.”

Lix will share some of the stories of these women and sign books. 


How Langston Hughes influenced MLK Jr.

N.C. State English professor Jason Miller will present his book Origins of the Dream: Hughes’s Poetry and King’s Rhetoric at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. 

For years, some scholars have privately suspected Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was connected to Langston Hughes’s poetry, and the link between the two was purposefully veiled through careful allusions in King’s orations. In Origins of the Dream, Miller lifts that veil to demonstrate how Hughes’ revolutionary poetry became a measurable inflection in King’s voice, and that the influence can be found in more than just the one famous speech.



WWII vet to present poetry

Canton resident, World War II veteran and poet Paul Willis will read from his collection Reflections of a World War II Veteran at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

Willis fought in the hedgerows of Normandy, across Europe and survived the Battle of the Bulge. His poetry reflects his rich personal experiences and his love of history. 

To reserve copies of the book, call City Lights Bookstore at 828.586.9499.



•Author Joy Resor will read from her book Go In Joy! An Alphabetical Adventure at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. The book offers an authentic ride beyond inspiring, lyrical words. This engaging, relatable book of essays, poems and questions offers touchstones that deliver “ah-ha” moments. 

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