Lewisburg (WV) Lit Fest
Would you believe it if I told you that a tiny West Virginia town with a population around 4,000 had Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, as the keynote speaker at their fourth annual Lit-Fest last weekend, August 7-8, 2015?
Me, either—but there she stood in all her Mississippi splendor before an excited packed house in little Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall. Stockett was very funny: “What do you say to your best childhood friend when he begs you for the movie rights to your best-selling novel?” (Pause.) “Hell, no!” But she did give him the rights, and the rest is history.
How did the Lewisburg Lit Fest organizers ever afford such a celebrity? Committed local businesses and individual donors enabled this cultural event to be held for free! Might Yellow Springs, Miamisburg or Tipp City, Ohio host such a worthy event? With committed sponsors and hosts, hell yes!
In addition to the workshops, readings and regional presses’ displays, Lewisburg itself was a big perk. The historic downtown, built on gently rolling hills, consists of small shops, art galleries and excellent eateries. I tried Stella’s, with loads of outdoor seating and found it delicious. If you are ever visiting nearby—or want to offer your own literary services to the dedicated board, contact them at their website.
Reading in Westerville
Columbus Creative Cooperative is including me and Daytonian Joe Downing (The Abundant Bohemian) in a reading at Java Central, 20 S. State St., in Westerville, Ohio from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 30, 2015. I’ll be reading “Cracked Blacktop,” a story adapted from The Psalms of Israel Jones, included in the CCC’s latest anthology, For the Road: Short Stories of America’s Highways. Stop in and meet these friendly folks who help area writers, from critiquing works-in-progress to publishing snazzy anthologies. I’d love to see you there!
Spiritual Poetry Wanted
Barbara Rohrer, editor of The Sycamore, an online as well as print publication, is looking for poems on the themes of prayer (fall issue) and service (winter issue). She writes: “I would be happy to consider the poems of any of your friends, particularly men whose work fits (or can fit) within the bounds of Christianity, interpreted widely. I have an extensive network of women’s poets . . . so I am looking to reach out more to men.”
The deadline for submission for the fall issue is August 28; for the winter issue, October 28. Here’s a link for the online publication: http://readthesycamore.com/
I was delighted to have my poem “Benediction: A World Such As Ours,” about a scary encounter which turned spiritual, included in the inaugural issue. Submit!
Got any literary news of your own to share? Let me know and I’ll include it next time. Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your summer.