Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will host Wiley Cash, author of The Last Ballad, for its 2018 Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium.The college will host a reading and discussion session with Cash on Thursday, March 15 at 12 p.m. on CCC&TI’s Watauga Campus and at 7 p.m. at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. On Friday, March 16, the college will host a reading and discussion with Cash at 12 p.m. in the gym on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson. All events are free and open to the public.
New this year will be book clubs focusing on Cash’s The Last Ballad on both campuses for students, faculty, staff and the community.
The Watauga Campus in Boone will host its book club on Thursday, March 8 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Watauga Campus library. The Caldwell Campus in Hudson will host its book club from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 22, March 1 and March 8 in the Library (E Building). Light refreshments will be served and attendance will be taken for instructors who are offering extra credit. The book clubs are open to the public as well.
Cash, who is a native of Western North Carolina, earned his B.A. in Literature at UNC-Asheville, an M.A. in English from UNC-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Cash is the New York Times best selling author of the novels The Last Ballad, A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy. He currently serves as the writer-in-residence at UNC-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives with his wife and two daughters in North Carolina.
Many CCC&TI students are reading Cash’s novel, The Last Ballad, this semester as part of the English and Reading curriculum. The novel is set in 1929 Bessemer City, N.C. and focuses on the story of Ella May Wiggins, a young, single mother working the night shift at a textile mill to support herself and her four children. When Union organizers begin circulating information, Ella May decides to join the movement – a decision that has lasting consequences for her children, her friends and her town. Spanning three generations, the story brings to life the struggle of the labor movement in early 20th-century America.
Laurette LePrevost, former Dean of Arts and Sciences for CCC&TI, was instrumental in building the Writers Symposium into an annual event that has brought in such renowned writers as Maya Angelou, Ernest Gaines, Nikki Giovanni, Robert Morgan and Clyde Edgerton. Under her leadership and guidance, CCC&TI’s symposium has become the longest-running consecutively held Writers Symposium in western North Carolina and one of the longest in the Southeast. The Writers Symposium series was renamed in her honor when she retired in 2004.
Support for the Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium is provided by the Foundation of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. For more information on CCC&TI’s Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium, call 828-726-2321.