Kakalak is open for submissions, and I encourage you to check them out and consider submitting your own work. I know I plan to submit mine. Here’s what you need to know: The Kakalak 2021 poetry and art contest is now open for submissions, and the deadline for submitting is May 23, 2021. Kakalak evokes the spirit of the Carolinas from the Outer Banks and Low Country to the Piedmont and Appalachia. Originally a regional Read More
I’ve always been a prolific reader, able to pick up and put down a book, read for a few minutes here, a few there, stay engaged in a story no matter how tiny my reading window. I’ve never needed a cozy corner, away from the brouhaha in order to concentrate. I’ve been known to stand at the stove, book in hand, eyes glued to the page while I stir sauce or soup or pasta. But Read More
by Jane Austen, fiction My favorite Austen novel, Persuasion explores constancy versus fickleness, lasting affection as opposed to youthful infatuation, the things we do to please family rather than satisfy our own desires. As always, there is a satisfying ending, in this case two endings, both penned by Austen, one only shortly after the other’s completion.
by Sarah Jio, fiction This book had me weeping at the end. To quote one of the characters, this story “was both tragic and heartbreaking, but also redemptive and triumphant.” Though often hard to read, these stories of survival are important, paint a detailed, personal face on what can often become a blurred brushstroke of history.
by Connilyn Cosette, fiction Cosette’s insightful view into the Biblical Exodus presents a freed slave’s perspective of the Hebrew’s departure. Full of pertinent historical detail, this story shows the heart’s tug toward freedom, the desire to protect loved ones, and the enormity of multitudes exiting Egypt while being led by a God some didn’t believe in.
by David Rawlings, fiction Rawlings offers a revealing view into characters who are forced to confront their deepest fears and their deepest passions, to confront their own willingness to let go of weighted baggage they are carrying, whether it’s their own baggage, or baggage others have thrust upon them and they have refused to put down.
by Brigid Kemmerer, fiction Kemmerer offers a powerful story of grief and loss and their many facets, how we judge ourselves and other based on a single event, action, or day and how guilt impacts our perceptions. Ultimately it is a story of hope and healing, of being seen and known, recognized for the true self.
by Camilla Blythe, fiction This campy, sleuthing tale became more predictable as the story unfolded. I’m sorry to say there was little character development and the dialog was often stilted and not very believable. Far too much was spelled out for the reader which made for a great deal of redundancy and a less enjoyable read.
by Katherine Reay, fiction This story of friendship, forgiveness and finding one’s passion unfolds beautifully as three women face challenges from choices they’ve made. Sometimes the pacing/timeline was slightly confusing with multiple points of view, but overall this is well told and made me miss independent bookstores, want a shop like the one these characters inhabit.
by Linda Sue Park, fiction Park is adept at historical detail in this tale about a young Korean boy that comes to life on the page and ultimately brought me to tears. It is a beautiful and touching story of hard work, respect, taking one obstacle at a time, and ultimately, a story of purpose and belonging.