Beer and poetry
It is now April in North Carolina and two of my favorite things are being celebrated this month. The state is recognizing April as North Carolina Beer Month and it also is National Poetry Month. So I encourage you to drink your favorite local beer and read your favorite poet — or better yet, discover a new favorite beer and a new favorite poet. And hopefully The Guide will be able to point you in the right direction this month.
This issue features a story about a local man Greg Copen who has been brewing beer form home for several years. He and his brew crew have won many awards for their creative concoctions, including Greg’s chocolate coffee stout. I’m dying to try that one Greg, (hint, hint.) Check out his story on page XX. Greg also has agreed to write a beer column for The Guide and his first one is scheduled to appear in the April 17 issue. If you have any beer questions for Greg, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass them on to him.
For my own beer month celebration, I have two friends driving up here from Athens, Georgia this Saturday to spend the day with my husband and me and tour many of the local microbreweries. I have yet to find a beer that my husband Matt actually enjoys so this will be a challenge. He just isn’t a beer person, but he also hasn’t tried any North Carolina beer so there is hope.
My itinerary includes beginning in Asheville to have lunch at Jack of the Woods before brew hoping. (And yes, we have a designated driver.) We’ll see how many we can fit in, but we will definitely be visiting Asheville Brewing, Wedge’s, Altamont and Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain. We will roll back into Waynesville in the evening to attend The Classic Wineseller’s “Suds Sampling.” The Wineseller has partnered with Highlands Brewing Company to sample five of their beers paired with yummy foods like hot wings, sliders and more. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We will have to make it to Bearwaters and Frog Level to try out some of the beers Greg recommended to me. So far Catcher in the Rye at Frog Level has been my favorite.
I must thank Allison Lee, owner of Blue Ridge Books for calling me last week and giving me so many great story ideas for National Poetry Month. Poetry may not be everyone’s favorite thing, but we have a lot of wonderful writers/poets in this county and I think it’s important to highlight their work. Tomorrow I will be interviewing Bill Everett, a local poet who has a new collection of poetry called “Turnings: Poems of Transformation.”
He grew up in and around Washington, D.C., and has taught for more than 30 years in the U.S. as well as Heidelberg and Frankfurt, Germany; Bangalore, India; and Cape Town, South Africa. With his advanced degrees in Christian social ethics, I’m pretty excited to talk to him about his life and his poetry. He and his wife Sylvia Johnson Everett, just returned from a six-week trip to South Africa so I’m looking forward to hearing about that too.
I have a couple of other local poets I’m trying to get a hold of for stories so stay tuned. If you know of someone or would like to submit your own poem to be considered for publication, please email it to me.
Blue Ridge Books will be hosting several events in honor of National Poetry Month, including having Everett speak and read form his book at 3 p.m. April 13. On April 16, Blue Ridge will host a Book Club Bash at 6 p.m. to help readers find the perfect club for them. Haywood County has a huge variety of different book clubs to join. If you have a book club, give me a call so I can include it in a story I’m working on for next week — 276-6286.