Author Appearance

Dale Neal Returns with His New Novel

Asheville author, Dale Neal will visit City Lights bookstore on Tuesday, September 17th at 6:30 p.m. He will present his new novel, Appalachian Book of the Dead. Ron Rash said of the novel, "Appalachian Book of the Dead is a novel whose excellence defies easy categorization. To call it a metaphysical thriller conveys only a part of the novel’s strengths, for the novel’s characters are as complex and vividly realized as we’d expect in more character-driven fiction.  Dale Neal’s novel, once begun, will be hard for any reader to put down.” 

Dale Neal is also the author of The Half-Life of Home and Cow Across America. He currently teaches fiction at the Lenoir-Rhyne University Graduate Center in Asheville.

Appalachian Book of the Dead Cover Image
ISBN: 9781970137897
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sfk Press - September 3rd, 2019

Fred Chappell Poetry Reading

Fred Chappell will visit City Lights Bookstore on Friday, August 2nd at 6:30 p.m. He will present his new poetry collection, As If It Were.  Inspired by ancient, modern, and contemporary writings, Fred Chappell's sprightly new collection of verse, As If It Were, presents tales, anecdotes, pointed stories, and aphorisms to spark the conscience of readers young and old. Playful and even zany, the humor in these poems pulls readers into a world filled with noble lions, crafty foxes, predacious wolves, longsuffering asses, and fashionable peacocks. Chappell illustrates how the fable offers a timeless form of wisdom, surprising us with revelations that challenge what we think we already know, along with fresh observations of daily experiences. With its informal, even nonchalant tone of address and lush, polished language, As If It Were endows homespun materials with alchemical insights.

Fred Chappell is the author of more than thirty volumes of poetry and prose. He has received the Bollingen Prize, the T. S. Eliot Award, and the Thomas Wolfe Prize. His fiction has been translated into more than a dozen languages and received the Best Foreign Book Award from the Académie Française. He was the poet laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002.

As If It Were: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807169605
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: LSU Press - April 3rd, 2019

Todd May Returns with His New Book


Clemson University professor, Todd May will return to City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, October 19th at 3 p.m. He will present his latest book, A Decent Life: Morality for the Rest of Us.  With this book, Todd May has answers. He's not the sort of philosopher who tells us we have to be model citizens who display perfect ethics in every decision we make. He's realistic: he understands that living up to ideals is a constant struggle. In A Decent Life, May leads readers through the traditional philosophical bases of a number of arguments about what ethics asks of us, then he develops a more reasonable and achievable way of thinking about them, one that shows us how we can use philosophical insights to participate in the complicated world around us. He explores how we should approach the many relationships in our lives--with friends, family, animals, people in need--through the use of a more forgiving, if no less fundamentally serious, moral compass. With humor, insight, and a lively and accessible style, May opens a discussion about how we can, realistically, lead the good life that we aspire to.

A Decent Life: Morality for the Rest of Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226609744
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - March 22nd, 2019

A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226439952
Availability: We can probably get this title but the price is subject to change.
Published: University of Chicago Press - March 1st, 2017

Mary Joyce’s Book on Bigfoot

Mary Joyce will visit City Lights Bookstore on Tuesday, October 22nd at 6:30 p.m. She will present her latest book Bigfoot: Beyond the Footprints.  Joyce said of her book, “There is so much more to know about the Bigfoot than their footprints.  They have families. They have made friends with some humans. They have helped and even rescued people in trouble. They have preferences, language, and unique biology. This book presents all this and more as reported by eyewitnesses and research scientists.”

Bigfoot: Beyond the Footprints Cover Image
ISBN: 9780991181537
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mary A. Joyce - October 1st, 2019

Cherokee Little People Were Real Cover Image
ISBN: 9780991181513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mary A. Joyce - April 4th, 2013

Underground Military Bases Hidden in North Carolina Mountains Cover Image
ISBN: 9780991181520
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mary A. Joyce - June 23rd, 2015

Mark Barr Book Signing and Reading

Mark Barr will visit City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, October 26th at 3 p.m.  He will present his new novel, Watershed, the second title in the Cold Mountain Fund Book Series which is a collaboration between Hub City Press and National Book Award-winning author Charles Frazier. 

Amidst construction of a federal dam in rural Tennessee, Nathan, an engineer hiding from his past, meets Claire, a small-town housewife struggling to find her footing in the newly-electrified, job-hungry, post-Depression South.

As Nathan wrestles with the burdens of a secret guilt and tangled love, Claire struggles to balance motherhood and a newfound freedom that awakens ambitions and a sexuality she hadn’t known she possessed. The arrival of electricity in the rural community, where prostitution and dog-fighting are commonplace, thrusts together modern and backcountry values. In an evocative feat of storytelling in the vein of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong and Ron Rash’s Serena, Watershed delivers a gripping story of characters whose ambitions and yearnings threaten to overflow the banks of their time and place. 

Watershed Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938235597
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hub City Press - October 8th, 2019

Brent Martin’s Essay Collection

City Lights Bookstore welcomes back local author Brent Martin on Friday, July 12th at 6:30 p.m. He will read from his new collection The Changing Blue Ridge Mountains: Essays on Journeys Past and Present. With his new book, Brent Martin guides the reader on a journey through history and the present to explore the concept of wilderness and change in Western North Carolina and what the future holds for the individuals and species who call those mountains home.


Brent Martin is the author of a non-fiction book, Hunting for Camellias at Horseshoe Bend and several collections of poetry including Poems from Snow Hill Road and co-author of Every Breath Sings Mountains with authors Barbara Duncan and Thomas Rain Crowe. His poetry and essays have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, Pisgah Review, New Southerner, Chattahoochee Review, and many other journals. He is a Western North Carolina local committed to wildlife preservation and bringing attention to the natural world all around us. 

The Changing Blue Ridge Mountains: Essays on Journeys Past and Present Cover Image
ISBN: 9781467142649
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: History Press - June 17th, 2019

Rod Picott Book Signing and Concert

Singer-songwriter Rod Picott will visit City Lights Bookstore on Wednesday, June 19th at 6:30 p.m. He will present his book of short stories Out Past the Wires and perform songs from his companion album.

Rod Picott is a former construction worker turned singer-songwriter. Born in New Hampshire and raised in South Berwick, Maine he has released nine albums since his debut Tiger Tom Dixon's Blues in 2000. Out Past the Wires is Rod Picott's first work of fiction. To reserve copies please call City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC at 828-586-9499.

Out Past the Wires Cover Image
ISBN: 9781940595672
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Working Title Farm - June 1st, 2019

Thomas Rain Crowe’s Yvan Goll Collection

Thomas Rain Crowe will visit City Lights Bookstore on Friday, May 31st at 6:30 p.m.  He will present the collected poems of Yvan Goll he edited titled, The Inner Trees.  Yvan Goll is one of the most important but neglected European writers of the 20th century Because he wrote in several languages and was not claimed by any country his work is not well known here. This book includes translations spanning sixty years which have been out of print for decades. The translators include Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Bly, W.S. Merwin, Galway Kinnell, William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Patchen, Paul Zweig, and Nan Watkins.

Thomas Rain Crowe is an internationally-published and recognized author and translator of more than thirty books, including the multi-award winning nonfiction nature memoir Zoro's Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods.

The Inner Trees: Selected Poems of Yvan Goll Cover Image
By Thomas Rain Crowe (Editor)
ISBN: 9781945680250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: White Pine Press (NY) - May 14th, 2019

Zoro's Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820328621
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Georgia Press - September 1st, 2006

Benjamin Cutler Poetry Launch

Swain county poet Benjamin Cutler will read from his debut collection on Saturday, June 1st at 6:30 p.m. Catherine Carter said of The Geese Who Might Be Gods, Ben Cutler’s first book of poems is rooted in a particular soil, or bone, of this world, the mountains and rivers of the southern Appalachians; but its branches and crowns stretch out to the hope of a post-apocalyptic tomato sandwich and back to Eden. Cutler’s imagination, like his vulture, is endlessly hungry, but it quivers, “lip-torn and breathless”, with empathy for and identification with everything it touches—bees, bats, children, god-geese whose necks write the letter S “for all their secrets.”  These are quirky, accessible poems full of the music of common language. The casual browser, in picking up this collection, need not fear being bullied or patronized—nothing too scary here, unless you count loneliness, death, the perils of love, or the end of the world. But it is in their setting that the poet’s perilous love for the world finds its context and its meaning. The Geese Who Might Be Gods will reward reading and re-reading with passage into a familiar world both rendered strange and seen anew, as on “the first day’s morning—// when everything first opened / and reached for the new light.”


Catherine Carter and Megan Lucas will also be on hand to read poems, prose and to introduce Benjamin. To reserve copies of The Geese Who Might Be Gods please call City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC at 828-586-9499.


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