By Coble Gable
At the Ashe County Literary Festival next month, some of the most prominent local authors in the High Country will be gathered for workshops, readings, and discussions about some of their past and more recently created projects. Thursday, September 19th, will feature Georgann Eubanks, author of the Literary Trails series commissioned by the NC Arts Council and published through the UNC Press. She has published poetry, fiction, profiles, reviews, and essays, in many magazines and journals such as Southern Cultures, South Writ Large, Our State, and Oxford American. Since 2000, she has been a principal with Donna Campbell in Minnow Media, LLC, and Emmy-winning multimedia company. After serving as Duke University’s Writers Workshop for close to 20 years, she is currently the director of the Table Rock Writers Workshop, a program for adult writers of all levels of experience held each fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a founder and member of the board of trustees of the NC Writers’ Network. She has also taught creative writing in public schools, universities, prisons, and corporate settings.
In her latest book, The Month of their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods, Eubanks uses local foods which hold a historical significance in the cultural anatomy of North Carolina. To do so, she journeys across the state to talk to local farmers, fisherman, cooks, historians, and even scientists about the tradition and history intertwined with cuisine and specific regions of the state to discuss their culinary product parallel to the season they are finished growing and ready for harvest. Eubanks goes to the heart of the state’s history by returning even to the time of the Cherokee and how their production of specific crops are now endangered due to popularity in contemporary fine dining.
Some of her other renown works include, Literary Trails of North Carolina, a three-part series which covers the literary history of North Carolina based on geographical space. The first volume includes authors of mountainous districts of over 170 writers from the past and present, including Sequoyah, Thomas Wolfe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, while the two following volumes covers the Piedmont and then Southeastern regions of North Carolina, (essentially Raleigh to Wilmington), adding names like O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, and Maya Aneglou to the list.
All festival events are open to the public and most are free, but some require reservations or tickets. Eubanks will be speaking on the 19th at the noon Literary Luncheon, and the discussion lecture will require reservations which can be reached at the number 336-846-2787.