The Transylvania Times -

Looking Glass Rock Writers' Conference Set


May 7, 2018

Craig Johnson

The Transylvania County Library Foundation and Brevard College are once again serving as co-hosts for the Looking Glass Rock Writers' Conference, May 17-20. The conference takes place at Brevard College and will consist of public readings and workshops from renowned guest faculty.

Exploring the theme "A Sense of Place," the small, select group of conference attendees will experience working under the guidance of notable writers Craig Johnson, Marilyn Kallet and Janisse Ray.

In addition, the writers will give public presentations on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19. Highland Books will be on hand both evenings with books for sale and signing.

Best known for his series of novels and stories depicting Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire, award-winning author Johnson will have his public reading and presentation on Friday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Ingram Auditorium at Brevard College. There is no charge to attend, but seating is first come, first served. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

Johnson lives on a ranch he built himself in Ucross, Wyo. (population 25). He is the author of 13 novels, two novellas and a collection of short stories featuring the iconic sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyo. These form the basis of the A&E hit series "Longmire," now on Netflix. For more information about Johnson, visit

Saturday's event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will feature Marilyn Kallet and Janisse Ray. The readings and presentations will be held in the Rogow Room at the Transylvania County Library. There is no charge to attend, but seating is first come, first served. Doors to the Rogow Room will open at 7 p.m. A dessert reception in the library will follow the presentations.

Kallet was born in Montgomery, Ala., and grew up in New York; this tension between North and South is one of the themes in her poetry. She attended Tufts, the Sorbonne and Rutgers University.

Kallet has published 16 books, including six volumes of poetry, translations, critical essays, children's books, pedagogy and anthologies of women's literature. In addition to teaching at the University of Tennessee, she teaches a poetry workshop for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts at their site in Auvillar, France. Among other honors, she has won the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in poetry and was inducted into the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame in poetry in 2005. Kallet has performed her poetry on campuses and in theaters across the United States, in France and in Warsaw and Krakow, Poland, as a guest of the U.S. Embassy's "America Presents" cultural arts program. For more information about Kallet, visit

Ray is an American writer, naturalist and environmental activist. She hails from Baxley, Ga. and attended North Georgia College, Florida State University and the University of Montana.

Her first book, "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood," recounts her experiences growing up in a junkyard, the daughter of a poor, white, fundamentalist Christian family. The book interweaves family history and memoir with natural history writing - specifically, descriptions of the ecology of the vanishing longleaf pine forests that once blanketed much of the South. The book won the American Book Award, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Southern Environmental Law Center Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern environment. It also was chosen for the "All Georgia Reading the Same Book" project by the Georgia Center for the Book.

Ray's second book, "Wild Card Quilt," recounts her experiences of moving back home to Georgia with her son after attending graduate school in Montana.

Her third book, "Pinhook," tells the story of Pinhook Swamp, the land that connects the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and Osceola National Forest in Florida.

Her fourth book, "Drifting into Darien," published in 2011, describes her experiences on and knowledge about the Altamaha River, which runs from middle Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean at Darien. Ray published a book of poetry, "A House of Branches," in 2010, and has been a contributor to Audubon, Orion and other magazines, as well as a commentator for NPR's Living on Earth.

An environmental activist, she has campaigned on behalf of the Altamaha River and the Moody Swamp. She teaches in the Chatham University Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, in Pittsburgh, Pa. For more about Ray, visit

Janisse Ray

For additional information or questions, visit or contact the Transylvania County Library at 828-884-3151.

Since 1944, the Transylvania County Library Foundation has worked to enhance public library services to the citizens of Transylvania County. For more information, visit

Brevard College is committed to an experiential liberal arts education that encourages personal growth and inspires artistic, intellectual and social action. To learn more, visit


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