27 Views

Elizabeth Woodman

27 Views is the podcast dedicated to exploring the South through writers and stories. Produced in Hillsborough, North Carolina, each episode showcases a writer and his/her storytelling. Featured writers include Jill McCorkle, the late Randall Kenan, Jaki Shelton Green, Daniel Wallace, and Allan Gurganus. read less
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Episodes

Episode 25: Eating Grape Pie with Humorist Celia Rivenbark
Apr 23 2024
Episode 25: Eating Grape Pie with Humorist Celia Rivenbark
Writer Celia Rivenbark reaches back to her high school days to explore the humor and challenges of waiting tables at her small town’s only sit-down restaurant. It served the best food in town, and featured the most elaborate salad bar east of Raleigh. It also came with a sizeable portion of unapologetic Lost Cause nostalgia. It might have been 1974, but social change, and extending a warm welcome to Yankees passing through on their way to Florida, were not necessarily on the menu. Humorist Celia Rivenbark was born and raised in Teachey, North Carolina, just down the road from Wallace, NC, and Norris’s Restaurant. She began her writing career at age twenty, when she was hired as a reporter and jack-of-all-trades for the Wallace Enterprise. From there she went on to the Wilmington Star News after an editor read a story she wrote for the Enterprise about the rare birth of a mule. She eventually began writing a weekly humor column that became widely syndicated. It continues to this day, but now with a more political bent. Celia is a New York Times best-selling author who has published seven books, including We're Just Like You, Only Prettier; You Can't Drink All Day, If You Don't Start in the Morning; and most recently, Rude Bitches Make Me Tired. She wrote the essay, “Grape Expectations on Highway 17,” for Eno Publishers’s The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food, as well as the the Introduction to Eno Publishers’s anthology, 27 Views of Wilmington: The Port City in Prose & Poetry. Celia has written or co-written a number of plays, including a stage adaptation of “Rude Bitches,” which won Best Original Play at the annual Wilmington Theater Awards, and a rollicking political comedy, “High Voter Turnout,” staged at historic Wilmington’s Thalian Hall in 2023.
Episode 23: Practicing Radical Hospitality with Diya Abdo
Mar 12 2024
Episode 23: Practicing Radical Hospitality with Diya Abdo
Diya Abdo has settled into life in Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s thousands of miles from Jordan, where she, the daughter of Palestinian refugees, was raised. A professor at Guilford College, Diya is working hard to reshape the refugee experience in America. She is challenging university campuses everywhere to step up and host families fleeing war and violence around the world. It stems from her own experience, as well as her belief in radical hospitality and radical accountability. Every Campus a Refuge, the program she founded, is changing hearts and minds. Diya Abdo is the Lincoln Financial Professor of English at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. She is a second-generation Palestinian refugee, born and raised in Jordan. Her teaching, research, and scholarship focus on Arab women writers, Arab and Islamic feminisms, and refugee studies. She writes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Her book, American Refuge: True Stories of the Refugee Experience, was selected as a North Carolina Reads 2024 Book. In 2015, Diya founded Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR), which advocates for housing refugee families on college and university campus grounds and supporting them in their resettlement. The flagship chapter at Guilford College has hosted nearly 90 refugees thus far. Diya is the recipient of several awards, including the J.M. Kaplan Fund’s Innovation Prize. Diya contributed her story, “Food and Other Weapons,” to Eno Publishers’ anthology The Carolina Table. She also contributed an essay to 27 Views of Greensboro. She lives in Greensboro with her partner, two daughters, and four cats.
Episode 22: Anticipating Spring with Poet Michael McFee
Feb 27 2024
Episode 22: Anticipating Spring with Poet Michael McFee
Poet Michael McFee talks about his anticipation of winter ending and spring beginning when he strolls through Coker Arboretum on the UNC–Chapel Hill campus. The harbinger of spring is the First Breath of Spring, also known as Lonicera fragrantissima, or winter honeysuckle—also known as “a gorgeous weed.” Michael talks about his years of visiting the arboretum, “the Central Park” of Chapel Hill, and the importance of paying attention, which is at the heart of all writing. Michael McFee earned his B.A. (1976) and M.A. (1978) from UNC–Chapel Hill. He left graduate school to work a variety of jobs—editorial assistant, librarian, and freelance journalist among them—while he completed his first book. After it was published, he taught part-time at N.C. State University and  UNC–Greensboro. In the late 1980s, McFee was poet-in-residence at Cornell University, and also at Lawrence University. He began teaching at UNC–Chapel Hill in 1990, where he is now Professor of English in the Creative Writing Program. In 2018, McFee was awarded the North Carolina Award for literature, the state's highest civilian honor. Much of McFee's work deals with his native North Carolina mountains. His book of poems Earthly (University of Chicago Press, 2001) was co-winner of the Roanoake-Chowan Award for Poetry from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Society, and was an honorable mention for the Poets' Prize; his next collection, Shinemaster (University of Chicago Press, 2006), won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award from the Western North Carolina Historical Association. He also wrote a book of one-line poems, The Smallest Talk (Bull City Press, 2007); That Was Oasis (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012); We Were Once Here (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2017); and A Long Time to Be Gone (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2022).
Episode 21: Paul Cuadros on the Cocineros of Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street
Nov 6 2023
Episode 21: Paul Cuadros on the Cocineros of Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street
Journalist Paul Cuadros has written a lot about the Latino communities of North Carolina. He moved here more than 25 years ago to write about life in Siler City, a small town in the central part of the state that was experiencing a seismic demographic shift. When Paul joined the faculty of the journalism school at UNC–Chapel Hill, he got to know another Latino community, when he headed each day to the lunch counter at Sutton’s Drug Store. There, the cocineros have become as much a Chapel Hill institution as the drug store itself. Journalist Paul Cuadros is the author of the story “The Cocineros of Franklin Street,” featured in 27 Views of Chapel Hill, published by Eno Publishers. Paul is an award-winning investigative reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Time, and other national and local publications. He has focused on issues of race and poverty in America. In 1999, he won a fellowship with the Alicia Patterson Foundation, one of the most prestigious in journalism, to report on emerging Latino communities in rural poultry-processing towns in the South. The culmination of this reporting was his book, A Home on the Field: How One Championship Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America, which tells the story of a predominantly Latino high school soccer team as Siler City grapples with Latino immigration. A Home on the Field was the summer reading selection at UNC–Chapel Hill in 2009, as well as at other universities in North Carolina and beyond. A professor of journalism at UNC–Chapel Hill, Paul is co-recipient of the 2006 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award for his contribution to the radio series “North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty,” broadcast on WUNC. He has won the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Award for Online Reporting, and the UNC Diversity Award in 2012 for his work on campus, opening doors for minority students, faculty, and staff. He was involved in a documentary film and episodic series based on his book, chronicling the lives of Latino youth on the soccer team he coaches in Siler City. He is working on his second book on migration.
Episode 19: Hanging Out in Hillsborough with Bob Burtman
Sep 27 2023
Episode 19: Hanging Out in Hillsborough with Bob Burtman
In a world of "boomburbs" and generic downtowns, Hillsborough, North Carolina, stands out. Cohesive, walkable, its streets lined with 250 years of architectural styles, the town has gone from sleepy to vibrant in the last 20 years. Journalist Bob Burtman lives and works there, and keeps a watchful eye for storm clouds on the town’s horizon.  A veteran investigative journalist and radio DJ, for the past eight years Bob Burtman has combined his passion for both as co-founder and president of WHUP, a community radio station in Hillsborough. Bob hosts the station’s local news show five mornings a week, as well as a Sunday night music show, “Roots Rampage.” Bob’s early career revolved around jobs that provided free LPs, such as writing music reviews, which evolved into a full-time journalism job with the Independent Weekly (now called Indy Week). During his tenure at the Houston Press from 1995-2001, he won numerous state and national honors for his long-form stories about criminal justice, the environment, local politics, and people behaving badly. His freelance work has appeared in The Nation, Mother Jones, and other publications. After interest in local and regional journalism waned, Bob turned his focus to investigative research for private clients. When not at the WHUP studios, he can often be found kicking back and listening to music from his record collection, which reflects his long-time obsession with vinyl.
Episode 17: Unveiling Secrets with Writer Daniel Wallace
Aug 28 2023
Episode 17: Unveiling Secrets with Writer Daniel Wallace
Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, young Daniel Wallace was drawn to William Nealy’s world. William was brilliant, talented, a maverick, an adrenaline junkie. He was the boyfriend of Daniel’s sister Holly. Daniel had been pegged to take over the family’s successful import/export business, a role he instinctively knew he wasn’t cut out for. William became like a brother to him, showing him how to live a creative and fulfilling life outside the mainstream. Daniel’s new book, This Isn’t Going to End Well, is a personal narrative of their decades-long friendship, its ups and downs, and how he unraveled and ultimately accepted William’s deeply obscured but very real shadow self. Daniel Wallace is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of six award-winning novels, including Big Fish, Extraordinary Adventures, and Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician. Big Fish, his first novel, was made into a film directed by Tim Burton and was also adapted into a Broadway musical.  He has also written and illustrated a children’s book, The Cat’s Pajamas. This Isn’t Going to End Well, published by Algonquin, is his first work of nonfiction. He wrote the introduction to 27 Views of Chapel Hill, and his work is featured in the anthology, The Carolina Table, both published by Eno Publishers. Daniel is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, the Harper Lee Award, and the Alabama Author Award. He is a prolific cartoonist.
Episode 16: Gardening With Poet Lenard Moore
Aug 7 2023
Episode 16: Gardening With Poet Lenard Moore
The vegetables on the Moore family’s supper table, along with the potatoes and the fish, more often than not had been harvested and/or caught, cleaned, and cooked by the family themselves. Lenard D. Moore— now a poet, a gardener, a writer, a lover of jazz—learned early the value of reaping what you sow, in the best and most literal sense. Food on the table was the result of teamwork. Lenard’s fascination with words, his connection with earth and garden, took shape when he was growing up in Eastern North Carolina. There he learned about the summer garden, and by age 12, he took charge of prepping, planting, and maintaining his family’s summer vegetable patch. At the same time, he became interested in the written word. To him, poetry and gardening are interwoven. Writer and poet Lenard D. Moore grew up in Eastern North Carolina, the inspiration for his story “An Onslow County Tradition,” which was featured in the anthology, The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food, published by Eno Publishers. Lenard is an award-winning poet who writes in various poetic forms. He has been writing haiku for more than 40 years, and was the first Southerner and African American to be elected president of the Haiku Society of America. He writes and publishes fiction and nonfiction. Lenard has published several books, including The Open Eye and Forever Home. His most recent book is entitled A Million Shadows at Noon, published by Cuttlefish. Lenard is founder and director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective. He is also a contributor to 27 Views of Raleigh: The City of Oaks in Prose & Poetry, and The Elizabeth Keckley Reader, both published by Eno. His work is featured in All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective.
Episode 13: Unravelling Mysteries With Michael Malone
Jun 27 2023
Episode 13: Unravelling Mysteries With Michael Malone
When writer Michael Malone moved back to his native North Carolina, he discovered that fiction came pouring out of him, as did other creative pursuits—plays, songs, imaginative parties, and fundraisers. He was the impresario the small, formerly quiet town of Hillsborough had been waiting for. Among the work inspired by his new hometown was a young adult (YA) story, entitled “Uncle Tatlock and the Town Clock.” Set in a fictionalized version of Hillsborough, the story explores a small town’s past, from its revolutionary roots, to its Civil War surrender, to its contemporary complications and small victories. The town clock has been through it all. Michael Malone was the author of 12 internationally acclaimed novels, including the classic Handling Sin; Dingley Falls; Fool’s Cap; and The Four Corners of the Sky. He also wrote the popular “Hillston” mysteries, set in a small North Carolina town. The three novels are narrated by two incompatible Piedmont homicide detectives, Justin Savile V and Cuddy Mangum, who over their years of working together forge a close friendship. Michael also published a collection of short stories, entitled Red Clay, Blue Cadillac, as well as two books of nonfiction, one on American movies, one on Jungian psychology. His television writing credits include daytime dramas on ABC, NBC, and Fox. His stories, essays, and criticism have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Wilson Quarterly, Mademoiselle, Harper’s, The New York Times, The Nation, The Partisan Review, and Playboy. His short works have often been included in anthologies, and his novels have been translated into many languages. Michael also wrote plays, songs, and poems. Among the many prizes he was awarded over his career are the O Henry, the Edgar, the Writers Guild Award, and an Emmy for ABC’s “One Life to Live,” where he was head writer for nearly a decade. He taught at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Swarthmore. Most recently, he was a professor in the theater and English departments at Duke University. His story, “Uncle Tatlock and the Town Clock,” is a young-adult prequel to his novel, The Last Noel. The Tatlock story appears in Eno Publishers’s anthology, 27 Views of Hillsborough: A Southern Town in Prose & Poetry.  Michael died in August 2022 at the age of 79.
Episode 12: Making a Wonderful Mess With Food Writer Nancie McDermott
Jun 13 2023
Episode 12: Making a Wonderful Mess With Food Writer Nancie McDermott
The Lloyd family reunion was, and still is, a summertime ritual for chef and cookbook author Nancie McDermott. Generations have gathered for over a century in rural Orange County for an afternoon of feasting and visiting. Nancie savors the dishes, the shared experience, and the meaningful connection with her big extended family. Nancie McDermott has published fourteen cookbooks, most of which are based on the cuisines of Asia and of the American South. Among her books are the award-winning Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations; Real Thai: The Best of Thailand's Regional Cooking; and Fruit: A Savor the South Cookbook. A North Carolina native, Nancie grew up watching her maternal grandmother cook and bake in her dairy farm kitchen. It sold her on the idea of the kitchen being a fun, fascinating lab for creating and playing, a place made for celebration and connection. Her interest in Asian food was inspired by the three years she spent as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. She has published articles in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, and other publications. Her cover story for Southern Living was nominated for a much-coveted James Beard award. Her television appearances include playing the role of cake historian on Alton Brown’s “Good Eats,” on the Food Network; leading Thai market tours on the Discovery Channel; regular appearances on "Hallmark Home & Family"; and video cooking classes for Craftsy.com. Her essay “The Family Reunion” is included in Eno Publishers’ anthology, The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food. Nancie lives with her family in Chapel Hill, in a house with a productive and sometimes-messy kitchen, and a garden where okra, basil, Armenian cucumbers, and lemongrass thrive.
Episode 8: Elizabeth Spencer and Allan Gurganus in Conversation
Nov 23 2022
Episode 8: Elizabeth Spencer and Allan Gurganus in Conversation
Living in neighboring towns in North Carolina’s Piedmont, writers Elizabeth Spencer and Allan Gurganus were close friends for decades. A few months before she died in 2019, he visited her one afternoon to talk to her about her story, “Rising Tide” (featured in Eno Publishers’s 27 Views of Chapel Hill: A Southern University Town in Prose and Poetry). They discussed writing, and how leaving her native Mississippi sharpened her focus on racism. Elizabeth Spencer was the author of nine novels, including The Voice at the Back Door, The Salt Line, and The Night Travellers, as well as short fiction collections, such as The Southern Woman and Starting Over. Her novella, The Light in the Piazza, was adapted to stage and screen. She also published a memoir, Landscapes of the Heart. She won many awards, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2021, two years after her death at age 98, Library of America issued a forever-in-print edition of Elizabeth Spencer: Novels and Stories. Allan Gurganus is an award-winning author whose books includes The Practical Heart, Plays Well With Others, Local Souls, White People, and Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. His short stories have been published regularly in The New Yorker, and were recently collected in The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus. He is also the subject of a previous episode of the 27 Views podcast, entitled “At Home With Allan Gurganus.”