“In the poet Walt Whitman’s words, the river contains multitudes,” writes Philip Gerard in the introduction to his new book “Down the Wild Cape Fear: A River Journey through the Heart of North Carolina” (University of North Carolina Press, $30, cloth).
A few years ago Rabbi John Friedman, of Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, took a sabbatical to study at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies. Friedman did research into the 13th-century trial of the Talmud in France.
Hillsborough author John Claude Bemis is the fifth Piedmont Laureate and the first to be chosen for children’s literature.
Bemis said being the laureate is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in the artistic life of the Piedmont. He’ll receive an honorarium and appear throughout the year at workshops, readings and public events.
The Durham County chapter of the Autism Society of North Carolina hosts a summer camp and programs fair for individuals with autism or other developmental disability tonight. About 20 organizations are expected to attend the event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Watts Street Baptist Church, 800 Watts St. For information, call Tiffane Land at 919-306-4497.
Chefs Ali Rudel (This & That Jam) and Elizabeth Turnbull (Old Havana Sandwich Shop) are gathering recipes for “Starting Fresh,” a cookbook they plan to publish next year.
Clear your schedule and get a comfortable chair to read “The Next Time You See Me” by Holly Goddard Jones.
The novel takes you for a suspenseful literary ride in a small Kentucky town in the fall of 1993, when factories were still open and most folks in town worked there.
Like a good recipe, the new novel “The Union Street Bakery” has a little bit of everything that makes a satisfying experience. Written by Mary Ellen Taylor – who also writes romance and suspense as Mary Burton – this novel is her first in the women’s fiction genre. It has elements of her other work, but the core of this story is Daisy McCrae’s upheaval as she figures out her life.
Crook’s Corner Café & Bar recently announced the first annual Crook’s Corner Book Prize, to be inaugurated with an award for best debut novel set in the American South. The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a free glass of wine at Crook’s Corner every day for a year.
When Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday became a federal holiday in the 1983, Kadir Nelson was just a kid. He remembers the push for the holiday. Before it became official, Nelson’s elementary school in Atlantic City decided to observe it anyway. First-grader Nelson recalls the Stevie Wonder song “Happy Birthday” playing all day at school.
Photographer Paul Kwilecki (1928-2009) had an association with Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies that dates to the 1970s. Some of his papers and photographs are in Duke’s collection of rare books and manuscripts.
Eliot Conte is a complex and troubled man. A private investigator by trade, he also is a former adjunct professor and could-have-been Herman Melville scholar, and an aficionado of the great Italian operas. Conte also is divorced, estranged from his ex-wife and his two daughters, whom he left 20 years previously, and from his father, Silvio Conte, a powerbroker and kingmaker in northern New York politics.
The Durham County Library will present the following programs beginning in January as part of its ongoing Humanities Program Series. All programs are free and open to the public.
The North Carolina Writers’ Network is accepting submissions for the 2013 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, which honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review. The competition is open to all writers regardless of geographical location or prior publication. The postmark deadline is Jan. 30, 2013.
Durham author Alice J. Wisler (author of “Rain Song,” “Hatteras Girl” and other novels) has started the Sandy Hook Comfort Project to help grieving families in Newtown, Conn. Last week, several friends approached Wisler about sending copies of her new book “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache” to families who lost children and loved ones in this month’s school shooting. Wisler’s book is her chronicle of loss: Her 4-year-old son Daniel died of cancer in 1997.
Marjorie Brown Pierson grew up in southern Louisiana and has photographed her beloved marshes, which represent a significant amount of her visual artwork. But so, too, does her fine art photography of Bald Head Island, the North Carolina barrier island she first visited four years ago. Now a collection of her Bald Head images has been printed as a coffee table book called “Struck By Nature: Photographs of Bald Head Island.”