Chapel Hill, look out. Fuquay-Varina has become a writers’ Mecca. We’re not talking graffiti, either.
Published poets and fiction writers from as far away as Pinehurst, Charlotte, and Wilmington trek monthly to the Lazy Lion Bookstore on Broad Street. In that cozy setting, they share their considerable talents in public readings. And it’s all for free.
The March 15 event will feature flash fiction author and Pushcart Prize nominee Danny Johnson, whose work one critic compares to Tim O’Brien’s. Editor and publisher M. Scott Douglass will read in April from his new collection, “Hard To Love.”
“This is the best reading around,” says Fuquay-Varina novelist and editor Jan Parker. She hosts the literary gathering with the help of local author Laura Towne and poet Malaika King Albrecht.
Parker founded the event three years ago to showcase area talent and foster a supportive creative atmosphere. “The event is succeeding beyond our wildest imagination,” says Parker, “which is pretty wild, considering we’re writers.” She’s grateful to Main Street Rag, which sponsors the readings.
The town is currently enjoying a Renaissance in the arts. “Fuquay-Varina is moving towards more art venues than we’ve ever had before,” says the town’s Public Information Officer Susan Weis. Naomi Riley, Executive Director of Fuquay-Varina Downtown, welcomes the writers’ contributions to the artistic community. “The steady support for the writers’ group at the Lazy Lion Bookstore adds an additional layer of art that meets the needs of many people in and around our community who love the art of words,” she explained.
The writers lead varied second lives as attorneys, accountants, engineers, parents, and teachers, but the Thursday evenings stir their creative juices and help the ink flow. Regulars who participate include acclaimed poets Jodi Barnes, Glenn Cassidy, Mimi Herman, Alice Osborn, and Maureen Sherbondy.
The event is held the third Thursday of each month at 601 East Broad Street. The social time begins at 5 p.m., and readings and an open mic follow from 6-8 p.m.
For more information, contact Jan Parker at email@example.com.