So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label Karen Holmes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karen Holmes. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2019

Headliners for WNO - Jones and Cone in Blairsville, GA October 11

For my readers who live near Blairsville, Georgia, you would enjoy the program for Writers Night Out on October 11. Karen Holmes, host, has planned an excellent evening with Linda Jones, poet and Alan Cone, author. They will entertain you, make you laugh, and make you think. You will enjoy them both.

Click here to read more about these two excellent writers.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


August 29, 2018 – Well-published poets, Janice Townley Moore and Robert Lee Kendrick, will headline Writers’ Night Out at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA, at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 14. The event is free and open to the public. Following the reading is an open microphone where audience members can share their own poetry or prose.
Janice Townley Moore

Robert Lee Kendrick
Moore, who lives in Hayesville, NC, is an Atlanta native and Associate Professor Emerita of English at Young Harris College. Her poetry chapbook is Teaching the Robins (Finishing Line Press) and her work has appeared in esteemed journals including The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Connecticut Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and numerous others. Among the anthologies that include her poetry are The Bedford Introduction to Literature and three volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology (Contemporary Appalachia, Georgia, and North Carolina) from Texas Review Press. Moore serves as the coordinator of the North Carolina Writers Network - West poetry critique group, which meets at Tri-County Community College.
Robert Lee Kendrick grew up in Illinois and Iowa, but now calls Clemson, South Carolina home. After earning his M.A. from Illinois State University and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, he held a number of jobs, ranging from house painter to pizza driver to grocery store worker to line cook. He now teaches. Kendrick’s poems appear in Birmingham Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Tar River Poetry, Louisiana Literature, and elsewhere. His first full-length collection, What Once Burst With Brilliance, was released in 2018 by Iris Press. His chapbook is Winter Skin (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2016)

Anyone wishing to participate in the open mic can sign up at the door to read three minutes of poetry or prose. Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092. Food and drinks are available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night Out, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Writers' Night Out in Blairsville, Georgia

Each month on the second Friday evening, Karen Paul Holmes hosts a night for writers in Blairsville, GA. This event is sponsored by the NC Writers Network West, a program of the state literary organization created for the writers in the far western part of North Carolina and includes bordering counties of North Georgia.

Writers' Night Out: 
  • Friday, Aug 10, 7-8:30 pm
  • Featured readers: Mary Ricketson and Maren Mitchell
  • Followed by open mic*
  • Union County Community Center, Blairsville, GA 
  • Optional dinner or drink: The View Grill (arrive by 6 to order food)
*Note: We must vacate the room by 8:30 this year, so we reserve the right to limit the number of open mic readers to the first 10 who sign up at the door. Limit 3 minutes per reader. Please time yourself at home. This is normally 1 page of poetry or prose (12 pt Times New Roman). 

Maren O. Mitchell, an internationally published poet, has had poems in POEM, The Comstock Review, Slant, The Pedestal Magazine, Tar River Poetry, Poetry East, Hotel Amerika, The Lake (UK), Skive (AU), and many other literary journals. Her work is also included in The Crafty Poet II: a Portable Workshop; The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins; The Southern Poetry Anthologies, V & VII; Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems; and more. She has had two poems nominated for Pushcart Prizes and received a first-place award from the Georgia Poetry Society.

A North Carolina native, in her childhood Maren lived in France and Germany. Due to spinal cord surgery when forty, she spent many years learning how to live well in spite of chronic pain. She shares her experiences and advice in her nonfiction book, Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide, (Line of Sight Press, 2012) .  For over thirty years, across five southeastern states, Maren has taught origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

Mary Ricketson has been writing poetry 20 years. She is inspired by nature and her work as a mental health counselor. Her most recent full-length collection is Shade and Shelter: Poems of Breaking and Healing (Kelsay Books, 2018).  Her poetry has also been published in Wild Goose Poetry Review, Future Cycle Press, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Red Fox Run, It’s All Relative, Old Mountain Press, Whispers, Voices, and two other books: I Hear the River Call my Name and Hanging Dog Creek. 

Currently Mary is using her own poetry to present empowerment workshops, combining roles as writer and her helping role as a therapist. Her writing and activities relate with nature, facilitate talk about a personal path and focus on growth in ordinary and unusual times. She also writes a monthly column, “Women to Women,” for The Cherokee Scout.

Mary is Cherokee County representative for North Carolina Writers’ Network-West, president of Ridgeline Literary Alliance, and an organic blueberry farmer.
Hope you'll come hear these two local poets. Come and read something of your own at Open Mic. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Writers’ Night Out Announces 2018 Schedule

Karen Paul Holmes began Writers' Night Out in Blairsville several years ago and it is one of my favorite literary events in our area. She has created another outstanding schedule of readers for this year. I am excited, of course, that Estelle Rice and I are on this schedule. We will read in November from our soon to be released book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins, Stories and Poems about Our Pets and Other Creatures. 

Writers’ Night Out begins its eighth season on April 13 and continues the second Friday of the month through November. Featured readers present their work at 7 p.m., and an open microphone follows, where audience members can share three minutes of their own poetry or prose. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA.

The 2018 schedule of featured readers from North Carolina and Georgia

April 13: Mike James and Michael Walls
May 18: Jennifer Lux and Rupert Fike
June 8: Michelle Castleberry and Karen Paul Holmes
July 13: Joan Howard and Jane Simpson
Aug 10: Kimberly Simms and Mary Ricketson
Sept 14: Robert Kendrick and Janice Moore
Oct 12: Danielle Hanson and Loren Leith
Nov 9: Glenda Beall and Estelle Rice

April reader, Mike James, is the author of eleven poetry collections. His most recent books include: Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog, 2017), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle, 2017), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag, 2016.) 

His work has appeared in over 100 magazines throughout the country in such places as Tar River Poetry, Soundings East, and Laurel Review. He has also been active as an editor for The Kentucky Review, Autumn House Press, and his own Yellow Pepper Press. After years spent in South Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, he now makes his home in Chapel Hill, NC with his large family and a large assortment of cats. 

 James will also teach a poetry class on April 14 at Writers Circle in Hayesville, NC. For more information, visit . (see the studio schedule)

Michael Walls has had poetry published in a variety of journals and magazines including The New York Quarterly, South Carolina Review, Atlanta Review, Chattahoochee Review, Poetry East, The Midwest Quarterly and others. 

His chapbook is The Blues Singer and his full-length collection is Stacking Winter Wood (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, 2017). His poems and articles have also appeared in law reviews and journals. He is a retired labor lawyer who now spends his time working as a volunteer on environmental and other issues, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, writing poems and letters to the editor, and listening to rock and roll, blues and jazz. He spends time in Atlanta and the North Georgia Mountains.

Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092.

Food is available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Have a Little Fun and Learn Something, too. The poetry of Thomas Lux

If you are a  poet you don't want to miss Karen Holmes' class on Saturday, July 15, 1 - 4 p.m. at Writers Circle around the Table in Hayesville, NC.

Karen is an excellent poet whose book, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014, is highly praised. Karen lives in Atlanta where she has had the  opportunity to meet and study with some of the best poets in the country.

We are fortunate that she will be teaching in Hayesville, NC , our rural area in the Smoky Mountains, where local writers and poets can have the opportunity to learn from Karen about poet, Thomas Lux, who recently passed away. 

The New York Times called Lux a “poet who wrote of life’s absurdities,” and the Atlantic wrote that his “quirky, wily, incorrigibly uncanny poems left their mark far and wide.” Indeed, poets all over the world praised his poetry and his devotion to teaching in articles and social media posts upon his death on February 5 this year. His poems, while wildly original, often also have a warm undercurrent of joy. (Read more about him at )

"What makes Tom’s work special, and what can you learn from him and his methods/beliefs about how to craft a good poem? 
In this workshop, we’ll look in depth at some of his poems, and we’ll apply his principles to our own work through writing prompts. You’ll leave with the start of a brand new, fabulous poem (or two) that sound like you, but maybe with a little pinch of Tom thrown in for good measure." Karen says about this class. 

Have a Little Fun and Learn Something, Too: The Poetry of Thomas Lux
Fee $40.00  - Class limited to ten students
To register for this class click on the Studio Schedule at the top of this page.
Instructor: Karen Paul Holmes

Karen Paul Holmes is the author of the poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014), which tells a story of loss and healing “with grace, humor, self-awareness and without a dollop of self-pity,” according to Poet Thomas Lux.  She was chosen for Best Emerging Poets 2015 (Stay Thirsty Media), and her poems appear in many journals and anthologies, including Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Cortland Review, Poet Lore, and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia(Texas Review Press)). She has studied with Lux as well as other well-known poets, such as Dorianne Laux and Denise Duhamel.

Karen splits her time between Atlanta and Hiawassee, GA.  For the NC Writers’ Network, she originated and hosts a monthly Writers’ Night Out in Blairsville, GA.  Karen is also a freelance business writer and has taught writing at the John C. Campbell Folk School and elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Poetry Class deadline looming. Don't wait.


Read more about class and instructor HERE

Visit Schedule page at link below.

Share, please.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Looking into 2016

Writers Circle around the Table, my studio in Hayesville, NC, will not hold a writing class in October. In November, Karen Holmes will teach a  poetry class. See more on the Schedule Page.

Students gather around the table for class at Writers Circle

We already have two instructors on the calendar for 2016. A poet, publisher and visual artist, for the first time, will join our group of writers and poets who have taught here in the past six years. 
Jonathan Rice, publisher of Iodine will hold a workshop in June. 

In July, we will welcome back the terrific writer and instructor, Steven Harvey, author of his most recent publication, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder. The comments from his class here this year were the class was not long enough, and this was after a three hour class.

We hope to  have Tara Lynne Groth back to speak on another subject. Her class on marketing and publishing made our heads swim with all the information she had to offer. 

Let us hear from you, our readers, on what you think about these instructors on our schedule for 2016.

We appreciate our loyal writers who come to classes at Writers Circle. Each class we hold is designed with you in mind. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

What will 2014 bring?

We will soon begin a new year.

Looking back on 2013, we have enjoyed the many writers and poets who have come through our doors this year. Joan, a student at Writers Circle said, "You have brought us so many good poets that we would not have been exposed to if it were not for Writers Circle."
That is our purpose  - to bring excellent writing instructors here to this area because we can't all travel long distances to classes and workshops in other cities. We keep our fees reasonable, but offer teachers enough to make the trip worthwhile for them 

This area is jam-packed with experienced published and non-published writers. Often we overlook what is in our own back yard. We don't want that to happen here.  We provide the opportunity for our local writers to teach what they have learned in their studies of poetry and prose. 
Around our table we give instruction to those beginning poets and writers who have not yet made the step to publishing their work. No one should ever be fearful of what they might encounter at this studio. We are non-competitive. We encourage each other and we give constructive feedback, in a gentle manner. 

The coffee pot is ready and some goodies are on the table. Ice tea is in the fridge.

We hope you will come and take a class with us in 2014. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Writers Night Out - last of this season - Don't Miss it!!

Last month, we had a small group of 10 in attendance, so please come this Friday to give these wonderful poets a large and enthusiastic audience as we usually do for Writers' Night Out. November is our last meeting of the year -- we'll resume in March 2014.
Writers’ Night Out
Friday, Nov 8
Brothers Willow Ranch Restaurant, Young Harris, GAPrivate Room upstairs (can access by ramp from upper parking lot)

6:00-7:00 eat dinner or munchies and socialize (come early to order dinner)

7:00-ish announcements and featured reader
7:45-ish Open mike, sign up at door, limit 3 minutes per poetry or prose reader (Please time yourself at home, let's make it fair to everyone. Prose readers can often eliminate some details and still captivate the audience with their piece).

Featured Poets' Bios:

Katie Chaple is the author of Pretty Little Rooms (Press 53, August 2011), winner of the 2012 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry through Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She teaches poetry and writing at the University of West Georgia and edits Terminus Magazine. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review, Mead, New South, Passages North, StorySouth, The Rumpus, Washington Square, and others.

Travis Denton is the Associate Director of Poetry @ TECH as well as a McEver Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech. He is also founding editor of the literary arts publication, Terminus Magazine. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, such as Mead, The Atlanta Review, The Greensboro Review, Washington Square, Forklift, Rattle, Tygerburning, Birmingham Poetry Review, and the Cortland Review. His second collection of poems, When Pianos Fall from the Sky, was published in October 2012 by Marick Press.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Michael Diebert's class on line breaks in poetry

L-R: Michael, Marsha Barnes, Karen Holmes, Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin, Joan Howard, Brenda Kay Ledford

We had six students and were happy to have Marsha Barnes, second from left below, and Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin who drove over from Cullowhee. She is in blue with scarf.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Will Wright will teach poetry at Writers Circle

Call for registration now 404-316-8466 or 828-389-4441 
Registration fee: $30

Will Wright, poet, editor
What makes “good poetry” good?
WritersCircle Saturday, October 13, 10 – 1 pm.  Contact for information or visit Writers Circle

Will describes his workshop:
 In the overwhelming world of poetry publishing—the innumerable journals and editors, as well as the innumerable poets attempting to publish—it’s often discouraging, even disenchanting, to attempt to figure out how to find one’s way into publication. As an editor myself, a lot of poetry hits my desk from all over the world, and much of it, unfortunately, is little more than lineated prose; that is, there is not much, if any, attention to craft.
There are certain things poets can learn about the craft so that their work is noticed.
I will dedicate half of the WritersCircle meeting to how good poetry works in distinction to lineated prose or “flat” poetry.

The poem needs to be coherent, and it must cater—in some form—to both the heart and the intellect. 
I hope to embolden and encourage poets during this class and to help them identify ways to improve their work and more carefully attune their voice so that they stand out from the crowd. I welcome writers of all levels to join the class and what I hope will be a convivial, helpful conversation.

William Wright, Series Editor and Volume Editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology, is author of five collections of poems: the full-length Night Field Anecdote (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011), Bledsoe (Texas Review Press, 2011), Dark Orchard (Texas Review Press, Winner of the Texas Review Breakthrough Poetry Prize, 2005), and the chapbooks The Ghost Narratives (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and Sleep Paralysis (Winner of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Prize, 2011, forthcoming from Stepping Stones Press). Wright recently won the Porter Fleming Prize in Poetry. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Techniques to Improve Your Reading to the Public

We in the region of southwest NC and N Georgia are fortunate to have Karen Holmes teach a public speaking class at Writers Circle.

Karen has spoken at international conferences. She is experienced and comfortable standing in front of an audience, and was a student of the Speakeasy Intensive Workshop.
We could pay hundreds of dollars for a workshop similar to Karen's classes at Writers Circle.

All of us can improve our reading before an audience. Not only do we want and need to be comfortable speaking in public, we want our audience to understand us, to enjoy our reading, and we want to connect with the people who come to hear us read our work.
Although I have been studying for years the art of connecting with my audience, I want to see what others see when I stand up to speak. I want to see what I need to do to improve my presentation. With Karen's help, I know I will find out ways to make my readings better.

A publisher at a conference last year told me he doesn't like to publish books by authors who are not good readers. He even made up a booklet that he gives to his authors on how to give a good reading. Good readings sell books.

I urge any writer who has written a book or hopes to write a book and who reads before the public to take classes. No matter how terrific our writing, if we don't present it well, it will not be appreciated.

Karen Holmes' classes at Writers Circle are $30 for one class (the first one) and $50 for both classes. She will teach on Sunday afternoons, March 20 and 27, 1:30 to 4:30 PM. Please contact Karen at or Glenda Beall at with any questions.

To register by mail, send a check made to Writers Circle, 581 Chatuge Lane, Hayesville, NC 28904 - include your name, phone number and email address.