A Celebration Of Words:
Kaufmann, Allen To Read From Their Recent Work
Authors Zack Allen and Britt Kaufmann will hold a joint reading of their works at 7pm on November 11 in the Library Annex. All ages are welcome for this free reading of their stories and poetry.
Poet Britt Kaufmann’s chapbook of poetry was recently selected for publication by Finishing Line Press (Georgetown, KY). The collection of poems loosely chronicles her move from the Midwest to the mountains of Western North Carolina and calling a new place home. Included in the chapbook is the poem “These Lost Counties” which was written for and read at the 2008 Carolina Mountains Literary Festival.
Yancey County novelist Charles F. Price praises Kaufmann’s poems: “Transplanted to Southern Appalachia, she turns clear eyes on our abandoned tobacco barns, rock-ribbed heights, hardscrabble farms, tough good people. She sees a simple beauty in our rusticity. Whimsy, warm wisdom, a mother’s love, a good heart’s aspirations all live in these spare yet intricately woven lines; one hears unheard the four-part a capella harmony of her Indiana Sundays even as our mountain seasons turn, our rivers rise, our folk speak their highland talk.”
Kaufmann has lived in Yancey County for the last seven years and has served on the planning committee for the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival for five years. Her poems and prose have been published in Western North Carolina Woman, Now & Then, Main Street Rag, and SouthLit.com among others.
She is currently working on a joint project with local photographer Alicia Jo McMahan to coincide with the release of chapbook in January of 2011. Additionally, she is revising her play An Uncivil Union (based on historical events that occurred in Burnsville curing the Civil War) which the Parkway Playhouse will put on as a part of their 2011 season.
Author of the recently published, Eggtown and Other Stories, Burnsville resident and Asheville native Zack Clark Allen, says he is “way too busy” to be retired. In this collection from his years as a journalist, his stories and poetic insights “capture the flavor and essence of other times and other places; of people and dreams; and of life, as an unfinished poem. “
About his new collection he says, “Some of the stories in this book take place in the rolling hills rising to the south of the Rocky River in northern Anson County, North Carolina. These are memory pieces and reflect on my years with the grandfather whose name I bear. These were simple times that impressed vivid and comforting memories upon the heart of a young boy.
“The other stories are reflections in the waters of the French Broad River, in Western North Carolina, and many were columns appearing on the Sunday editorial pages of the Asheville Citizen-Times.
“One thing became increasingly clear as I looked back at what I had written: a newspaper is not in the business of publishing timeless prose. Writing on deadline makes it the art of the unfinished. So this book is what it must be – a retrospective collection of stories and poems, linked only by vague themes of rivers, currents and passages in my life.”
Allen’s serial careers have taken him on a diverse odyssey. After college, he worked briefly as a chemist in synthetic fiber research before his talent for writing steered him toward a 20-year journey as a writer, editor and columnist. He has published literally hundreds of articles in major newspapers, wire services, and, through syndication, in dozens of other publications around the world. His stories and columns have earned him many awards including being honored as the top columnist in the state for two years in a row by the North Carolina Press Association in the major newspapers category.
He is married to Maggie Lauterer, recently retired pastor of Burnsville First Presbyterian Church, who shares his love of singing ballads and early American shape-note music. He has two daughters, Sydney, and Sarah Addison Allen, who is carrying on the family tradition of writing as the author of three published books: Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, and The Girl Who Chased the Moon, two of which have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List. Her fourth book, The Peach Keeper, will be published by Bantam Books next March.