Fast Food / Slow Food


, , ,

I arrived early for a lunch date at a local mall, so I do what I usually do when I have a moment of downtime. I read. I always have a book with me to read in places where I might have to wait. I have read in lines at post offices, waiting for service at a restaurant, while getting an oil change, or having a recall fixed on my car. On this day I read on a bench in a mall.

A woman came up to me and asked me what I was reading. I showed her the title, thinking she’d drift off. I was reading after all. But instead of leaving she settled on the bench beside me and said, “I used to read. I read all the time. I read a lot, but I just can’t anymore. All the political stuff that’s going on. All the trouble in the world. I just can’t read anymore. I’ve tried and tried but the world just keeps getting worse and worse off.”

She sounded angry. She nearly spat her words out, as though to blame someone else for her inability to focus on a book. It was something she used to do, but no longer could.

“You should read,” I said. “It will help the world.”

“I can’t,” she said. “How can you?”

“I have to read,” I told her. “I have to read no matter what’s going on.”

“But, how can you focus?” she asked.

I was tempted to tell her that I wasn’t focusing right now. That I had been, but then I was interrupted by a stranger, a stranger in need it seemed like.

“I sit down, and I open the book, and I read. That’s how I focus.”

“But the world,” she said. “All this terrible stuff going on. I’m so upset.”

“There’s plenty of time to be upset, and for now, if you have a roof over your head and food in your belly, you can make time to read. You need it,” I added, hoping I didn’t sound too insulting, hoping it wasn’t like screaming RELAX at someone who clearly couldn’t relax.

She stood up. “Enjoy your book,” she said stiffly, and left.

I’ve thought about that woman a lot. I felt a little judged, as though by insisting on reading instead of joining her in a stress-fest, I’d abandoned all that is good in the world. In fact, I felt I was embracing good in the world by insisting on reading.

And that’s what you have to do. You have to insist on things. You have to insist on cooking at home and not hitting the drive-thru for fast food in the evenings. You have to insist on weekends and time with your family. You have to insist on brushing your teeth and bathing. And if you want to read, you have to insist on it. You have to make the effort. You have to procure books and turn off the television and give it some time.

What would our world be like if we insisted on good habits instead of falling into the trap of bad ones? I know it’s not easy. The energy of the commercial world, the world that is so in your face all the time, is against you. The woman in the mall was right about that. She felt it. She felt crazed with it all, as most people do. She blamed the current political scene, but how much of this was already in place? How many hours are most people working just to pay their bills? How stressed are people as they drop their kids off here and there and try to make it to the office on time? How stressed are they when they get that memo from the idiot at work who dropped the ball on some project and now they have to work late to cover him, and themselves?

The commercial world, the world of buy/sell, the world of fast lanes and fast foods is totally against you doing anything worthwhile. It’s good for business to have you stressed out to the max. If you’re stressed out to the max, you’re unlikely to do something subversive like make art, or read.

I don’t know what the answers are to the world’s problems. I don’t know how to tell you to pay your bills and keep your head above water. I don’t know how to tell you to stay sane. But I do know this: Taking time and slowing down helps. Read a book. And when you’re done read another one. Reading novels actually reduces stress. It also increases empathy and helps you focus. If you’re feeling fractured and splintered and stressed, read. Please. And I don’t mean Facebook posts and Tweets and news stories. I mean novels and memoirs. Read stories. As Muriel Rukeyser once said, “The world is made up of stories, not atoms.”

Unplug and read a book. I don’t tell you this because I am an author and want you to buy my book. I tell you this because, like the woman in the mall, I see that the world is in a big fat mess, and as a human being, I think one of the strongest most important things I can do is slow down. Not give in to the super stress. Not let it take away from me the things I hold dear, and reading is one of those things. I read fiction and memoir. And I listen to people as much as I can, even if they interrupt my reading.

How Not to Write a Novel


, , , ,

The title says it all. I could just leave this space blank. The way to not write a novel is to not write. Or the way to not write a novel is to start and then stop writing. The way to not write a novel is to not dedicate yourself to it, to not develop the habit of writing, to expect it to be perfect first time around, beginning to end. If you get that far.

For me the way to not write a novel also includes talking about it. I don’t talk about my specific projects except to other writers, and even then I am selective. I tried once talking about a work-in-progess. I wanted to seem as though I was confident, and knew what I was doing with this novel, so I spoke about it publicly. I gave a brief summary that didn’t reveal very much. I mentioned the setting. I said the characters’ names. They didn’t like it. That’s all I can say. The story left me. It did not want to be paraded about. It wanted a private, intimate relationship with me. It wanted a partnership. It was not ready for relationship with anyone else. That’s what publication is for.

I know all this makes me sound like a nutcase. That’s okay. I am a bit of a nutcase. I believe in things we don’t know. I believe in working intuitively. It’s not always comfortable, and it doesn’t give me confidence, but that’s the point. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just doing it. It’s very hard to understand that for many writers, it’s a blind grope into a story. It’s stepping off a cliff. Sometimes we are caught by our characters, and sometimes we are allowed to crash to the bottom of story the canyon. But that’s the process. Always there’s a point of stepping out into the unknown, be it the stage of plotting a novel, if plotting’s your thing, or the stage of writing it for someone like me, who flies by the seat of her pants. Novels are unknown until they are written. And even then, throughout the process, they reveal themselves slowly, sometimes reluctantly. You have to keep showing up. You have to be committed.


It’s easy to not write a novel.

A Day in the Life of a Writer


, , ,

It’s no secret that I once cleaned houses for a living. I held this job for 15 years, off and on. I kept quitting, and then, needing money, I pulled my rags and mops and gear out of the closet and started up again. I cleaned a lot of houses. Two story houses, fancy houses, houses with lots of glass, houses with lots of mirrors, houses with furniture that was a nightmare to dust, houses with pots and pans never cooked in – I could go on. While mopping and making beds and folding sheets and cleaning sinks and bathrooms, I thought about my writing, which I had left on my desk in order to come to work, in order to pay my rent and bills. Sometimes, often in fact, while engaged in some physical activity, an insight regarding some sticky point in my novel would come to me, and I’d strip off my yellow rubber gloves and scribble it down on a notepad I kept in the pocket of my jeans.

My clients knew I was a writer. Many of them had copies of my books. I dusted my own books. I was pretty sure this was not how it was supposed to be for a writer who’d been reviewed in the New York Times, but it’s how it was for me, so there was nothing to do but roll with it.

One day, on my knees scrubbing an upstairs toilet (I highly recommend knee pads), my client came bounding up the stairs with a Newsweek in his hand. “Nancy,” he said. “My cousin is publishing a book. Her first novel.”

“That’s great,” I answered.

“She’s in Newsweek,” he said.

“That’s pretty good making it in Newsweek with her first book.”

I silently congratulated myself on my equanimity. I’d been writing for years and here I was cleaning a toilet while being told about a debut novelist featured in Newsweek. There was no need to be jealous. Even though I didn’t know any other writers who were cleaning houses for a living, there was no need to get a funk about it. Sometimes not getting in a funk was seriously hard work, but on this day I was actually doing quite well with it. On this day, I was peaceful and calm as I plunged the toilet brush up and down and scrubbed around the rim.

During my first book tour, I’d been advised by a (probably) well-meaning poet to never tell anyone that I cleaned houses for a living, or that I hadn’t been to college. “But it’s the truth,” I said. He slowed his voice and said, as if speaking to a child, “What I am trying to tell you is that no one is interested.”

That hurt. I also happen to think it’s not true. People are interested. People like to hear about struggle. They like to feel that their dreams are attainable. And after having worked so hard to be known as a writer, was I supposed to live a fictional life? Was I supposed to lie? What would I say when people asked (and they did ask) what university I’d attended, and what university I taught at? I didn’t follow the poet’s advice. I can write fiction, but I can’t live fiction.

Still, there was a wound. It hurt to feel so far on the outside. It hurt that I still scrubbed other people’s toilets for a living, but as I scrubbed this one with my client standing over me, Newsweek in his hand, I gave myself a huge invisible pat on the back for being OK with this scenario.  Big break for my client’s cousin. Good for her. It’s not easy for any of us. I flushed and spritzed cleaner behind the toilet so I could clean that grimy place, intimately known to so few.

“She got a three-million-dollar advance,” my client said.


“Yeah. Three million.”

“Three million?” I sputtered. “Geez.” I ran my rag behind the toilet. “You could have picked a better time to tell me this,” I said.

He laughed at that, but seriously, he could have picked a better time to tell me this.

But here’s the thing. No writing life is perfect. No creative life is how we imagine it before we begin. Once we’ve begun we find that out, and some of us still go on, and some don’t, and some rattle around in between doing it and not doing it. And that’s another place we all occupy. We do it and we don’t do it. We thrive and we struggle. We are published and we are not published. We write and we don’t write. It’s all of a whole cloth, or cleaning rag as the case may be.

My life as a housecleaner actually served me well. I didn’t know it at the time. Now I am supremely grateful for it.



On Getting Lost


, ,



Not everyone has a natural area to visit in their daily lives. I count myself blessed to be able to step into nature regularly. My studio is located on land that has been in the same family since the 1700s. They work hard to hold on to this land, but who lived here before this family arrived? I’ve never found arrowheads here, although I have found several along the Eno River, close to my home. Those arrowheads were surely made by the Occaneechi Tribe who occupied the area before the British colonized it. I am sure there were native people living and hunting the land my studio occupies too.

On that land there are many trails through the woods. The trails loop and connect to other trails, and backtrack on themselves and spiral within each other, or so it seems to me. When I first started walking these trails I tried to orient myself to the pond and know where I was, but I ended up places without really knowing how I got there. Whenever I am in the woods, I make sure to pay attention to landmarks as I walk. When I got lost, I would finally stumble across something familiar. The big rocks. A familiar fallen tree. Another tree with its bark stripped off. The stream flowing into the pond. A deer stand. I found my way by getting lost. And so it is with fiction.

A story is not a series of disconnected events. A story is a series of events that play off each other. If this happens to this character then what happens because of that? Every scene has a reason for being there, and ends with either conflict or a consequence. That’s a tough row to hoe if you ask me. I know, because I’ve done it.

But doing it, or having done it, doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing when I start out. Often, in the beginning, I have only a glimmer of a character, or an opening line, or a snippet of dialogue. Something that intrigues me that I’m willing to follow, like a path into the forest. I get lost often. Sometimes I thrash my way out and leave a trail of massacred scenes in my wake. Sometimes there’s a guiding hand. Always, I am looking for those landmarks, noticing points in the story that seem similar to other points in the story. For instance, I really don’t want to forget that a character does not eat meat, and then have her date a butcher. If I forget that she’s a vegetarian, then I have forgotten something major. A driving force for her, and a potential conflict or compromise between the two of them.

What I am saying here is pay attention. Get to know your characters the same as you get to know strange paths through the woods. Entering lightly is probably not a good idea, but neither is hanging back and not entering at all. Enter respectfully. Know you can get lost, and probably will. The great thing about writing is you won’t die of hypothermia (unless you can’t pay your heating bill) and you won’t starve (unless – well, you get the picture).

A walk in the woods, in my opinion is always worth it. I don’t always come out of it with an arrowhead, or a story, but I do come out closer to myself, and closer the bone of something deep and primal. And so it is with fiction.

A Poet and a Novelist

Here’s your chance to see two laureates in one post – 2017 Piedmont Laureate Mimi Herman, and 2018 Piedmont Laureate Nancy Peacock– in Mimi’s final post and Nancy’s first.

Welcome Nancy! We’re all wishing you a fabulous year of sharing your gifts with the writers and readers of the Piedmont.

How would describe yourself?

Mimi Herman: I’m a writer who brings out the writer in others, an inventor of ways for people to learn, and someone who can’t resist finding useful solutions to problems.

Nancy Peacock: When I think of how to describe myself, pairs of words come to mind. Reverent and irreverent. Serious and funny. A hard worker and lazy. I don’t see these paired words as opposite of each other. Irreverence is bred of knowing what to be reverent about. Humor is spawned by seriousness. A writer must be a hard worker, and, in order to avoid burnout, enjoy a fair amount of “moodling” time as Brenda Uhland called it in If You Want to Write.

What matters to you in your own writing?

Mimi Herman: I want my writing to be as evocative and engaging as possible – and to be of use to readers. I hope my writing will help see people through difficult times and give them ways to understand the world in which we live. I would love for people to say, “That’s how I’ve always felt, but I’ve never been able to say it.”

Nancy Peacock: Telling a story that wants to be told. Working with a character in a way that honors his or her voice, and his or her needs. This means that with each draft, I, the author, disappear more and more, and give over to the character.

How do you think poetry and fiction are connected?

Mimi Herman: I’ve always thought that poetry and novels – both of which I write – are somehow linked. Maybe poetry is condensed, freeze-dried fiction; maybe novels are what happen when you add the water of extended time to poems. In both, paying attention to how the world works is essential.

Nancy Peacock: When I was younger I wanted to be a poet. Not having any real knowledge of what it means to make a living or pay rent, I imagined what I thought would be a poet’s life: living in a big yellow house with my loving partner and a cat. Not having a job. Spending every day, writing and then taking care of cozy domestic things, like baking bread (which in my imagination was always warm, fresh out of the oven, and the dishes were cleaned), producing wonderful meals (ditto the appearance of food and absence of clean up) shared with a plethora of brilliant friends (never mind that I was very shy and had only a few friends). As I matured, I maintained this fantasy but transferred it to writing novels. And as I matured even more, I recognized that it would never pan out this way (exactly), and that this is okay. Good even.

While my desire to write poetry may have been more driven by fantasy than anything else, I did write poems. I like poetry for its succinctness and punch. I think my early efforts as a writer of poems helped me a great deal in learning to say a lot with only a few words, and in being precise in my use of words when telling a story. It also helped me learn to notice many small things in life that now feed my fiction. Poetry helped me appreciate the world I live in. This is a practice I think is very important to anyone who wants to write anything.

What are some ways you tempt people to become writers?

Mimi Herman: I like to get people thinking about the experiences and ideas that matter to them, and help them find the words to describe these things. We all share our five senses. When these are translated into images through writing, the words come alive on the page.

Sometimes, when people are struggling to write anything at all, I ask them to tell me what they want to say. Then I write it down for them until they’re speaking too quickly for me to write—at which point I hand them the paper and pencil and tell them to keep going. This ends up being pretty much irresistible for even the people who consider themselves complete non-writers.

Nancy Peacock: Writing from prompts in a group is one of my favorite things to do. I offer a free prompts class the second Saturday (10 to 12) of every month at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years, starting at the old Borders Bookshop, and migrating around different meeting places until the group landed such a great home in Flyleaf Books. I witness a lot of magic in this process of writing from prompts in groups. It’s wonderful to sit with a group of people telling stories. How often do we get to create something and immediately share it, without criticism? This temptation I offer is not so much about “becoming a writer” as it is about tapping into the subconscious and finding unknown stories inside, which we all have. It’s a lot of fun. Y’all come and join in.

What do you do when you can’t write?

Mimi Herman: I read. What I really like to do is to read someone else’s poetry until I get interested – then use the energy and fascination evoked by another writer to launch into my own poems.

Nancy Peacock: For me writing is a little dance. I have to make myself walk across the room and ask the partner I think I’m interested in to dance with me. That’s the going forward part, the making myself sit down at the desk even when I don’t know what I’m doing, or have a full plot or character in mind. Once the partner and I get out on the dance floor, I sometimes find that this person didn’t want to dance with me after all, in which case I drop the project. Or sometimes I find that this person isn’t so sure about me, in which case I try to prove my interest in her by showing up every day. Sometimes though the partner and I enter into a difficult relationship where we’re stepping on each other’s toes. When that happens, I back off from that particular material. Maybe it will hold something for me at some future date, and maybe it won’t. I move on. I ask someone else to dance. If this difficulty continues with other characters and projects, I know it’s time to just take a break from writing. I read. I take walks. I weave (I have a small tapestry loom). I clean the house (or plan to). I try to replenish the well by just being. I’m happiest when I have a writing project though, and feel a little bereft during this time of not writing. That’s the hardest part.

How can writing help people through challenges – both internal and external?

Mimi Herman: One of my favorite phrases is E. M. Forster’s “How can I know what I mean until I see what I say?” I think when we’re struggling with something, the process of writing it out helps us understand it – and perhaps even solve it.

Nancy Peacock: Writing in my journal always helps my state of mind, and helps me process what is going on around me. My journal is the place where I get to have an uncensored voice. If I’m grumpy or pressed for time, it helps to just write that I’m feeling grumpy and pressed for time. It allows it to be, and I don’t feel like I’m faced with fighting against it. The page holds my grumpiness and busyness for me, and allows me to move through it. Yet it remains a place that will also hold the spaciousness needed for art. Writing in my journal has been a way for me to learn to trust my own voice, and trust my own thoughts. I know artists in other mediums who also keep journals as a way of working through the daily onslaught of events and energy, and as a way to work out thoughts and insights on particular pieces of art they are producing.

And then there’s reading. Reading is so important. Stories help us become more empathetic to other people. Period. This is the most important life skill you can ever have, and you can hone it by reading fiction.

Why do we need laureates?

Mimi Herman: I think the job of a laureate is to open a door for writing and invite the community we represent to the party. We are ambassadors, helping people not only understand the country of poetry and prose, but inviting them to visit and even become citizens. Citizenship in the country of writing is open to anyone who has something to express. All are welcome.

Nancy Peacock: I think we need laureates now more than ever, to remind people of the written word and of storytelling, and to celebrate the work that has come before us, the work that writers do now, and the work that is not yet written. We need laureates to encourage people to read books other than those on the bestseller lists, and books that are not written by celebrities or about celebrities. Novels and stories reach deep into the human condition, the human experience and human nature that we all share. A laureate’s role is to spread this magic about as widely as possible. We need that.

The Year of Living Poetically

What if a small group of people sat you down and said, “We like who you are. We like what you do. Why don’t you spend a year doing all the things you’ve been wanting to do for years – and maybe make up  a few more?”

Want to see where I’ve been? On the map above, you’ll find the places I visited this year (some of them several times) as the 2017 Piedmont Laureate in Poetry.

It’s been an amazing year. Magical. I’ve gotten to invent several workshops, pull other classic favorites from my cedar chest and air them out, and give readings throughout the area. The four fairy godmothers of the Piedmont Laureateship (in alphabetical order) – Belva Parker of the Raleigh Arts Commission, Eleanor Oakley of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, Margaret DeMott of the Durham Arts Council, and Katie Murray of the Orange County Arts Commission – have spent the year waving their wands and making my reading and teaching dreams come true. Most important, I’ve been able to spend time with people of all ages, from 5 to 85, as they discovered what wonderful writers they were.

Here are a few highlights from my year of living poetically:

This past spring I got the chance to teach Haikai no Renga, a traditional Japanese poetry game, amid the cherry trees of Duke Gardens. Writers came out to find trees that spoke to them, and slowed down enough to hear, smell, see, feel and taste everything around them, transforming their observations into collaborative poem.

Duke-Gardens-spring-flowersWriters often forget to imagine a reader on the other side of their words, someone they might want to charm, engage and possibly entertain. So I created a workshop called “Flirting with your Reader.” This year, I got to teach that workshop at two branches of the Durham Public Library to packed houses of flirts! I taught them to make eyes at each other, and then led them through an exploration of flirting in life and literature though “balancing opposites in delicious suspension.”

The Friends of the Library in Chapel Hill and in Hillsborough invited me to read at their respective libraries. Giving a reading is one of my favorite things. It’s like a conversation with smart, kind people with time enough to talk about the things that matter. I spent a lot of time in libraries throughout the Piedmont this year, and I’m grateful to the librarians and Friends of the Libraries I’ve met, those people who work quietly, often behind the scenes, to share the treasure of words with their community.

In honor of Poetry Month, I read to poetry to the Orange County Board of Commissioners, not something you do every day. I’d planned to read three poems: “The Trees,” a spring poem by Philip Larkin, and two I’d written. But as I was waiting my turn in the agenda, I realized that my poem “There Goes the Neighborhood,” had a line that went “someone is paying off the sanitation engineers,” and wisely limited it to two. 

In November, I joined science educators Melissa Dowland and Megan Chesser of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in creating “Find Your Muse on the Millpond,” an exploration of the connections between nature and writing. With teachers in kayaks, we explored an amazing swamp ecosystem on beautiful Robertson Millpond in eastern Wake County, and used the beauty of nature and the wonder of science as means to express ourselves through poetry. 


In early December, Laureates past and present met at Mordecai Historic Park, where we taught workshops and had a reading in small buildings rich with history: an old Post Office, Andrew Johnson’s birthplace, an early law office and a chapel.

23915508_1976582055895529_2258818442474702301_nIn two events at the Durham Arts Council, one for Thanksgiving and one for the winter holidays, Durham residents wrote their gratitudes and hopes on sentence strips (Remember those from elementary school?), which we gathered together to make a list poem that hung in the window, fluttering in the warm air from the heating vent.

25443153_10155164661466347_4252447130117054409_nThe last event of my Piedmont Laureate year was one of my favorites, a workshop called The Geography of Your Life (which I’ll be teaching next summer as a weeklong art-integrated workshop for Family Week at Georgia O’Keefe’s home Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.) We had a full house of adults and kids, including an amazing family composed of four of the most innovative, deep-thinking kids (aged 5-12) I’ve ever met, and their wonderful parents. We delved into their histories by making maps of the journey of their lives, finding find intersections among important people, strong emotions and landmark events.



And throughout it all – maybe not every day, but often enough – I wrote new poems and revised older ones, and created a new booklength collection of poetry which I’m working on getting out in the world.

It’s been an extraordinary year. I’m so grateful to the fairy godmothers of the Piedmont Laureateship, to all the people who have helped make these events happen, to the journalists of radio and print and to the poets of the Piedmont – many of whom might not have known they were poets –  for this year of living poetically. For those of you who are interested in seeing the entire year in order, you’ll find it below.

Thanks to you all. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and many poems in the coming year.

2017 Piedmont Laureate Events

December 26, 2016 – Bob Burtman interview on WHUP Radio.

December 31, 2016 – “You’re a Poet and You Don’t Know It,” article by David Menconi, Raleigh News & Observer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 –  Introduction (Coronation) of the 2017 Piedmont Laureate, Mimi Herman at the Wake County State of Arts and Culture Meeting at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Saturday, March 11, 2017 – Revision Workshop at the Orange County Library 

Sunday, March 19, 2017 – Reading and Workshop at Springmoor Lifecare Retirement Community

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 – Reading at the Orange County Board of County Commissioners Meeting

Saturday, April 8, 2017 – Haikai no Renga Poetry Party in Duke Gardens

Monday, April 17, 2017 – Word Bowl Poetry at Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy

Monday, April 17, 2017 – Poets Laureate Reading with North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson, Piedmont Laureate Mimi Herman, Hillsborough Poet Laureate William Davis & Carrboro Poet Laureate Gary Phillips at the The Orange County Library in Hillsborough to celebrate National Poetry Month. 

Friday, April 21, 2017 – Ekphrasis/Open Mic at The ArtsCenter for the Second Friday Art Walk 

Friday, May 2, 2017 – Word Bowl Poetry/Ekphrastic Poetry at the United Arts Council for First Friday 

Friday, May 26, 2017 – Word Bowl/Ekphrastic Poetry (with homemade chocolate chip cookies) at Margaret Lane Gallery for the Fourth Friday Art Walk

Thursday, June 15, 2017 – Flirting with Your Reader workshop at the South Regional Branch of the Durham Public Library

Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Flirting with Your Reader workshop at the East Regional Branch of the Durham Public Library

August 17, 2017 – Word Bowl Poetry for 1st- 5th grade students and their families at the Fuquay-Varina Regional Library

August 17, 2017 – “Piedmont Laureate: Every Day You’ll Write the Book,” article by David Menconi, Raleigh News & Observer

August 29, 2017 – Interview with Bob Burtman, WHUP Radio

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 – Summer Sonnets Reading at the Orange County Public Library

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 – Word Bowl Poetry at the United Arts Council Board Retreat

Thursday, October 19, 2017  – Curated Open Mic Reading for West End Poetry Festival at 2nd Wind in Carrboro with Gary Philips, Carrboro Poet Laureate

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 –”The Laureate’s Thanksgiving Reading” at the Orange County Public Library

Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Educator Trek: Fine Your Muse on the Millpond on Robertson’s Millpond. (This link leads you to a wonderful blog by science educator Mike Dunn where you’ll find his musings and photos from the day.)

Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Hands-on Poems of Gratitude at the Durham Arts Council’ s Art Walk Holiday Market

Saturday, December 9, 2017 – A Gathering of Laureates with James Maxey, Scott Huler and Ian Finley at Mordecai Historic Park

Thursday, December 14, 2017 – Author’s Tea and Reading with the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library

Friday, December 15, 5:00-8:00 pm – Poems of Gratitude/Poems of Hope at the Durham Arts Council’s Third Friday Art Walk

Saturday, December 16, 2017 – Geography of Your Life at Sertoma Arts Center

Duke Gardens:
Find Your Muse on the Millpond: Cornelia Barr
Durham Arts Council: Susan Tierney
The Geography of Your Life: John Yewell