Monday 1/13, 7 pm
North Carolina Arts Council 2019 literature fellowship recipients Sarah Bryan, Pam Baggett, Marianne Erhardt, Danielle Spratley, and Jennie Malboeuf will read from their work at Flyleaf Books on Monday, January 13 at 7pm.
Sarah Bryan, Durham
Sarah Bryan’s essays and fiction are drawn from a lifelong dedication to the narrative experience of Southerners. “I write about the people I come to know in my work as a folklorist in the Carolinas; the experiences of my family elders from the Carolinas and Cuba; and traditional music and musicians of the South,” she says.
Bryan has dug deep into these narratives through her work as Executive Director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute, Executive Director of the Old-Time Music Group, and editor of its publication, The Old-Time Herald. She coauthored African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina (UNC Press, 2013), a project of the N.C. Arts Council in collaboration with the N.C. Folklife Institute working with numerous musicians in the region to create a visitor’s guide to the heritage of African American music in Eastern North Carolina.
Also, a fluent Spanish speaker and writer, she carried out field research and interviews to document Charlotte-area immigrants’ religious, culinary, sports, and material culture for the Levine Museum of the New South’s 2009 exhibition, Changing Places: From Black and White to Technicolor.
Bryan holds an M.A. in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her articles, essays, and stories have been published in the Oxford American, Potomac Review, and New Haven Review, among many others. In 2016, she was awarded the Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and the following year she earned a Pushcart Prize Special Mention for her essay in The Southern Review, "Life and Death of the Father of Modern Miniature Golf."
Pam Baggett, Cedar Grove
Much of Pam Baggett's recent work focuses on her experience as a caregiver during her mother’s last decade as she became increasingly disabled by Alzheimer’s disease. Her poems examine the beautiful and challenging relationship between mother and daughter as their roles begin to blur because of the ever-declining capacity of the parent.
She writes about love and laughter as well as the grief, frustration, and powerlessness caregivers endure. In her poem Motherload, she captures the vertigo of identity that family members often experience: “Unmoored, untethered, unmothered, / you call yourself a daughter, but she's forgotten/the child you were at nine or five or two...”
Baggett is now building a body of poems about nature, primarily centered on the beautiful land she lives on in Orange County. She has won two Artist Project grants from the Orange County Arts Commission and was the recipient in 2017 of an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council. She has been active in the local literary community, organizing and participating in readings and workshops at libraries, bookstores, and events hosted by community groups. Her work has been included in numerous anthologies and journals and her book, Wild Horses, was a runner-up for the Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest in 2018.
Marianne Jay Erhardt, Winston-Salem
Marianne Jay Erhardt’s writing often centers on the awakening of told, seemingly fixed stories. “These might be names, histories, fairy tales, or formulas,” she says. Her current project is a collection of lyrical essays exploring personal and social mythologies of motherhood in which she writes letters to mothers in works of fiction.
Her own development mirrors some of the themes she explores in her writing, including a constant re-imagining of who she is and who she can be. “One story that I’m still working to upend is the story of who I am as writer,” she says. It is one she continually tries to rewrite in new forms.
Erhardt is an assistant teaching professor and teaches writing at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem and previously taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she earned an M.F.A. Her résumé includes stories in Conjunctions and Phoebe, and most recently, "You Call That Wild" in Oxford American magazine (2019).
D.M. Spratley, Durham
“I am a third-generation poet,” says D.M. Spratley. “My father, Marvin Spratley, and my grandmother, Ella Spratley, wrote poems, and used their writing to contribute to their families and communities.”
“One of my favorite early memories is of writing a poem so that I could share that way of seeing the world with my father,” she adds, but “before I sound too precocious, it was rhyming couplets about McDonald’s.”
Spratley currently serves as director of Programs and Strategy for Village of Wisdom in Durham, N.C., a community-based movement of Black parents protecting Black genius. She counts writers, artists, comedians, scholars, dancers, and activists as her major influences. “I find there is much for me to learn from those in other fields who are working to change how we think and see the world,” she said. Among the poets she finds herself turning and returning to include Tracy K. Smith, her thesis advisor at Princeton, former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, Whiting Award winner Jericho Brown, and others.
Spratley received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hollins University. Her work has been published in 32 Poems, Shenandoah, POETRY, and Lambda Literary Poetry Spotlight, among other magazines and journals.
Jennie Malboeuf, Greensboro
“Ultimately, the objective of my writing is to explore the relationships between the body (animal) and the mind (God),” says Jennie Malboeuf. Her work has traced the issues of authority, control, and violence and how these themes intersect with gender, sex, and memory.
Born and raised in Kentucky, she received an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and currently serves as a visiting assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Guilford College. Her work has been represented in the Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, and The Southern Review, among many others, and her first collection, God had a body: Poems (Indiana University Press, 2020), was selected for the Blue Light Books Prize. She received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention for her poem, “Hubris” (first published in New South) in 2019 and has been named twice to the Best New Poets list, a series featuring emerging writers published by the University of Virginia Press.
Monday, January 13, 2020 - 7:00pm
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514