Sunday, 16 December 2018

Great Reading for Mothers and Strangers with Daniel Wallace at Frank Gallery Decemebr 15, 2018

A standing room only audience graciously applauded Daniel Wallace (filling in for Lee Smith) and myself at a reading in conjunction with the opening photo exhibit for Barbara Tyroler and Peter Filene at Frank Gallery in Chapel Hill. Daniel Wallace and I read from our respective essays in the upcoming anthology, Mothers and Strangers. If the book launch in early April is as successful as our two preview readings have been, this is very promising!

Saturday, 27 October 2018


Big success for our Mothers and Strangers Preview Reading October 24 at Block Gallery, Raleigh.
Eight writers, including me and co-editor Lee Smith, read to a standing room only audience. Also reading: Novelist Jill McCorkle, NC Poet Laureate '18 Jaki Shelton Green, Lynden Harris, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Belle Boggs, Margaret Rich.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Preview Reading for Mothers & Strangers October 24th!

Exciting Day, Wednesday October 24: Our Preview Reading for Mothers & Strangers!
Raleigh Television News will be filming the entire event, Noon to 1 pm.
At Block Gallery, 222 Hargett St, Raleigh downtown.
Reading with me is a high-powered roster in the ranks of Southern literature: best-selling novelists Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle, Jaki Shelton Greene, Lynden Harris, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Belle Boggs, Margaret Rich. Barbara Tyroler photographed me, see below, for the concurrent exhibition along with five other authors, and Elizabeth Matheson photographed three others.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Mothers, Daughters and the Writing Life Artists Reception at Block Gallery, Raleigh

The opening night of the photography exhibition on October 6 was a notable success, with the photographers Barbara Tyroler and Elizabeth Matheson; Raleigh Arts Curator Stacy Bloom-Rexrode, and several of the writers featured in the photos, including Jill McCorkle, Margaret Rich, Lynden Harris, and myself; as well as several writers from our anthology, Mothers and Strangers, who were not featured in the exhibition. So gratifying to see the success of an idea that Barbara Tyroler and I conceived months ago!

Sunday, 30 September 2018

The Origin Story

Two years ago almost to the day, my friend Margaret Rich emailed to tell me her mother had just passed away in Greenville, SC, and I wrote back to tell her that my mother had just passed away on the same day in Cairo, Egypt, and that I was at the airport on my way there. Of that strange  coincidence was conceived the idea for this book, and with Lee Smith instantly and enthusiastically involved, it saw the light of day. So today is a day of bittersweet remembrance, as well as gratitude for good friends.
In remembrance, here is a black and white photo of my mother on her wedding day, as I believe she would best want to be remembered.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Who Wears a Mask?

I'm comfortable with masks. You have to be, when your past and present are irreconcilable, when you straddle different worlds, constantly calibrating language and body language, treading the tightrope of mannerisms and mores, as you segue from one to the other. It becomes second nature, and there is no hypocrisy involved, only the universal imperative to make others comfortable. You yourself are always comfortable in your skin, as the French say, "bien dans sa peau," only you have more than one skin to slip into.
But isn't it true of everyone to some extent, that as we play our many roles in life, child and parent, lover and colleague, we don subtly different masks?
In the photo above, a fragment of gold-thread embroidered velvet overlays my face like a mask. The fabric comes from my grandmother, and was used in her day to wrap fresh linens. I've framed a section of it on a wall in my home in North Carolina, where it hangs, a little incongruous perhaps, but comfortable in its own skin, so to speak.

Photo Exhibit Poster Up!

Excited to see the poster and flyers for this photo exhibit, in which I am one of seven writers photographed in conjunction with the anthology I edited, Mothers & Strangers, to be published early spring 2019.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Women, Writers, and Images

I am thrilled to be one of seven women writers photographed for an exhibition, Mothers, Daughters & the Writing Life, on display at Block Gallery in Raleigh September through November 2018. The photographers are Barbara Tyroler, who made the stylized portrait below of me on my website, and Elizabeth Maatheson. I will be in illustrious company: Jaki Shelton Green, NC Poet Laureate, Frances Mayes, best-selling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, Jill McCorkle, and more. especially gratifying: the exhibition was inspired by the anthology I co-edited, with Lee Smith as my co-editor, Mothers & Strangers, a collection of essays on motherhood by 28 celebrated Southern writers.

Photo by Barbara Tyroler.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018