09/07/13 — Annual event will raise funds for county literacy program

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Annual event will raise funds for county literacy program

By Staff Reports
Published in News on September 7, 2013 10:33 PM

Imagine being able to only make out a few words on a sign at the DMV -- or having to tell your grandchild you can't read him a bedtime story.

Those are the realities that those who are dealing with illiteracy face every day.

And it is a problem Literacy Connections is trying to solve.

And now, Wayne County residents can help, too.

The annual Reading Between the Wines benefit is a chance for those who love the written word to gather for an evening of literature, wine and good works.

Money raised from the event, which is in its second year, will go toward providing tutoring, materials and hope for the hundreds of Wayne County residents who want to learn to read.

In addition to its paid staff, the organization uses more than 275 volunteer tutors, who have worked or are working with 475 students.

This year's event is scheduled for Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the home of Judith McMillen, at the corner of George and Mulberry streets in downtown Goldsboro.

This year's featured author will be Wiley Cash -- the New York Times bestselling author of "A Land More Kind than Home."

Cash holds a bachelor's degree in literature from the University of North Carolina, Asheville, and a master's degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He has a doctorate from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Review and The Carolina Quarterly, and his essays on Southern literature have appeared in American Literary Realism, The South Carolina Review and other publications.

Cash teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University.

A native of New Hampshire, he and his wife live in West Virginia.

In addition to Cash, the event will also feature a presentation by North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Bathanti holds bachelor and master's degrees in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a master's degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College.

He is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, where he is also the writer in residence for the university's Watauga Global Community and director of writing in the field.

Bathanti is the author of seven books of poetry. His new book of poems, "Concertina," is coming from Mercer University Press this year.

In addition to the presentations by the authors, the event will feature a selection of heavy hors d'oeuvres and wine selections chosen by local wine expert Bob Crenshaw of HealthHabit.

Tickets are $60 each and are available at the Wayne County Library.

Space is limited and the event is filling up fast. To reserve your ticket, call the library at 919-735-1880.