The North Carolina Writers’ Network has just announced the keynote speaker for its 2010 Spring Conference. Poet, novelist, short story master, critic — Fred Chappell has done it all, and he will bring his all to UNC-Greensboro on Saturday, April 24, when the NCWN hosts a full-day of workshops, readings and more. Chappell’s latest publications include both a collection of poetry, the brilliant Shadow Box, and a collection of new and selected stories, Ancestors and Others, both published last year. An array of other writers are also taking part in the program, including fiction writers Holly Goddard Jones, Chris Roerden and John McNally; poets Keith Flynn and Scott Owens; nonfiction writers Martin Campbell, Sheila Smith McCoy, Cynthia Nearman, and Ed Southern; and filmmaker Nathan Ross Freeman. More information (and registration forms) are available here.
While the NCWN Spring Conference is more than a month away, there’s plenty more on the region’s literary schedule in the immediate future, beginning tonight when Frances Mayes visits Durham’s Regulator Bookshop with her latest book, Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life. And a week from now — Tuesday, March 16 — brings a pair of terrific writers, one a local favorite and the other riding a tide of great national reviews. Edgar Award-winning children’s book writer Frances O’Roark Dowell comes to Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books that night with her new book, Falling In, and Adam Haslett visit the Regulator with Union Atlantic; see reviews of that novel at the Washington Post and the New York Times. (We hosted Haslett at Fall for the Book a couple of years back, so I can say firsthand that he’s a delightful reader.)
What else is on the schedule? For complete information of literary events in the Triangle and across Eastern North Carolina, visit the MetroBooks Calendar here.
And as for me, this is Spring Break, and I’m headed westward — to Kentucky, in fact, for a trip along the Bourbon Trail. Visit all the distilleries, and they give you a t-shirt — and I’m telling you now that I’m not coming home without it.