Fit to Print: Spring 2014

by Tommy Hays, Executive Director, Great Smokies Writing Program

Patrick Bahls had a piece titled “Persimmons” published online by Green Mountains Review on December 19, 2013. He wrote the piece for his flash fiction course in Beth Kefauver’s GSWP class last summer. Patrick is Director, University Honors Program, and Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, at UNC Asheville.

Marie Bartlett’s novel, Pearl, MD was published by an independent press, Taylor & Seale, LLC. Book signings to date have taken place at Malaprop’s, Henderson County Library System, and the Greeneville (Tennessee) Library System. Marie also presented a historical perspective on daily life in the nineteenth century to more than 120 students and to teachers at the West Pines Elementary School in Greeneville. Following the presentation, she donated the miniature replica of the Pearl, MD dual office/living quarters with all furnishings to the school library so that children can enjoy learning more about the 1880s.

The sequel to Pearl, MD is now underway (as yet untitled) and will be published sometime this summer.

Carol Pearce Bjorlie won the NCPS Griffin-Farlow Haiku prize for 2014. The haiku will be published in Pinesong, the NCPS journal. She reads from her book, Behind the Cello, at the Hendersonville library on April 11, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. This reading will be accompanied by a landscape/nature slide show and cello music. Ruthie Rosauer, photographer, and Carol have collaborated on a new venture called “Poemscapes.”

Jean Cassidy, poet, lyricist and local entrepreneur, announced the release of her Toward the Clearing Poetry CD & Book with a reading that was open to the public, Saturday, April 5 from 3 - 5 p.m. at the Katuah Market’s village café in Biltmore Village. Jean describes her poetry as “a choreography of words,” and with this release she has added instrumental improvisation. Area musicians provided accompaniment to the reading of the poetry and the book includes a CD of these poems with the music. Jean’s work has been published by The Great Smokies Review.

Tucker Cox is writing a weekly review of a book about travel (usually a memoir), travelogue, series of essays, or a combination of all three, almost always from a well-known publication in the genre. The review, for Zeteo, a literary journal for interdisciplinary writing based in NYC, appears every Thursday under “Today’s Reading” at the top right-hand corner of the home page.

Terry Gess has been invited to the International Artists Residency at Cill Rialaig, County Kerry, Ireland, in May, 2014. Terry is Program Manager, Professional Crafts at Haywood Community College.

Elizabeth Heaney was awarded a three-week April residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her recently completed book, The Honor Was Mine, is with an agent and about to move into the next phase (approaching publishers). Excerpts from the book have been published in the Journal of Military Experience, and Fort Da Psychoanalytic Journal. Two of the stories were chosen for a traveling one-act play production. And another story from the book won a “Tribute to Our Troops” competition with the Saturday Evening Post.

Ric Hunter has been on a book tour to promote his novel, Firehammer, which he re-wrote in a class with Vicki Lane. The publisher is Red Engine Press, and the official release was January 1, 2014. The book has received five-star reviews on Amazon and is selling well for this first-time author. Ric has been offering presentations across the Southeast and Midwest titled “Come Fly With Me: the F-4 Phantom II and the Last Battle of Vietnam,” which he accompanies with readings from Firehammer when time and the type of audience permit.

Alice Johnson has a poem in the latest edition of Kakalak and two poems in The Gulf Stream.

Deanna K. Klingel’s book, Rock and a Hard Place, A Lithuanian Love Story, was released March 8, 2014 by Shari Parker Publishing. Beth’s Birds, a picture book, and first in a series of backyard nature for Pre K-Primary, was released March 17, 2014 by Peak City Publishers.

Wendy Kobylarz-Chouvarda is now a student in Antioch University’s MFA program in Creative Writing. In June she will enter her final residency, set to graduate in December.

Constance Lombardo has signed a three-book deal with Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins. The first book in this middle grade graphic novel series, Mister Puffball, Stunt Cat to the Stars, will be released in fall 2015. Her agent is Lori Nowicki.

Al Lyons' flash-fiction short story, "Tilt O'Whirl," was published in April in the Dead Mule Journal of Southern Fiction. He wrote the story while in Beth Keefauver's flash-fiction class last summer.

Lisa Maxwell has published her novel, The Horse in the Mirror, on Smashwords. It went on sale at major online bookstores March 17, 2014. The sequel, The Horse Who Walked Through Time, will be available through Smashwords soon.

Kathy Nelson’s poetry chapbook, Cattails, was published in May 2013 by Main Street Rag in Charlotte. Although most of the poems included date from before Kathy’s involvement with GSWP, Katherine Soniat’s teaching and support were crucial to the completion of her book.

A.D. Reed sends Pisgah Press current news about local authors’ publications. Killer Weed, by RF (Bob) Wilson of Asheville, is the second in his Rick Ryder mystery series, and the first to be in print (his earlier Deadly Dancing was released in Kindle format). Swords in Their Hands: George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy, by Dave Richards of Hendersonville, is the first book-length treatment of a pivotal moment in early American history.

Whitney Setser had a piece of flash fiction published (September 30, 2013) on Every Day She began this piece, titled "The Alligator Purse,” in a spring 2013 GSWP class.

Sarah Shea’s short story “Shine” won the grand prize in Creative Non-Fiction in Quarterly West, spring 2013. Also in spring of 2013, Sarah won the poetry scholarship to WildAcres, where she studied with Janice Fuller and Ron Rash. She enrolled in a 2014 (winter/spring) graduate-level fiction class with Ron Rash at WCU Cullowhee and traveled to Florida in January of 2014 to participate in the Blue Flower Arts Winter Writers Conference, where she studied with Mark Doty. Also in January 2014, one of her stories was accepted by Amsterdam Quarterly. She is now working with the Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure, and the town, to launch the Lake Lure Literary Seminar at the resort.

Katherine Soniat, GSWP faculty member, won Honorable Mention in the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize for “Triptych: Early Life.” The competition was sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She will lead a workshop titled “The Heart of a Place” at the Gathering of Poets, Raleigh, April 4-5, 2015. In fall of 2013, Katherine led a poetry workshop at the Carolina Literary Festival in Burnsville and presented a reading and lecture at the Virginia Tech MFA Program.

Georganne Spruce, a Candy Maier Scholarship recipient, has completed her memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness. It is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online, at Malaprop’s Bookstore, and Grateful Steps. She independently published the book through CreateSpace and also writes an inspirational blog.

Kathy Weisfeld's poem "Equinox," which she wrote for Pat Revere-Seel's GSWP class, won second place in the Writers' Workshop of Asheville contest