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For three years, Weymouth has been lucky to partner with AIMS (Author in Moore Schools) in cooperation with The Country Bookshop.
AIMS arranges visits with children’s book authors in Moore County Schools and gives autographed books to the students. The mission is “To promote the love of reading by bringing students, parents, schools, communities, and authors together through great books.”
AIMS received grants from three private donors, two Weymouth members, and one Country Bookshop patron.
AIMS served 15 schools and 1252 students this school year.
Nine donors sponsored events including two individuals who honored a loved family member through an AIMS event. The Mebane Foundation’s generous donation funded events at three elementary schools for a total of 313 autographed books distributed to young readers following the authors’ presentations. Following these events teachers and parents report students having a greater interest in books, reading more words and longer hours, and checking out a greater number of books from school libraries, therefore continuing AIMS goal of developing a love of reading that will improve reading proficiency, fluency, and performance that will translate into school success, college acceptance and future positive community contributions.
In the three years, the AIMS program has been in cooperation with the Friends of Weymouth, 34 bestselling and award-winning authors have presented to 37 schools and 3,789 students received personalized autographed books from the authors.
In 2018-19, AIMS will become a standalone literary nonprofit with a board composed of a professional bookseller, a middle school principal, two reading specialist teachers, an author and a local community representative. AIMS goals for the 2018-19 school year are to hold events in every K-5 school in the county as well as the three middle schools providing books to more than 1,700 students in order to promote the love of reading by bringing students, parents, schools, communities together through great books.
A grant from the Mebane Foundation for $4,420 will fund an event for K-2 students at Aberdeen Primary with New York Times Bestselling author Grace Lin for her new picture book Big Mooncake for Little Star as well as a similar event for K-2 students at Southern Pines Primary school. These events are tentatively on the schedule for the publishers, but their actuality is contingent upon AIMS funding.
Wednesday, August 16, 5:30 pm: Tara Laskowski read from her short story collection Bystanders, which won the Balcones Fiction Prize in 2017. Tara is also the author of Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons, tales of dark etiquette. Her fiction has been published in the Norton anthology Flash Fiction International, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and numerous other journals, magazines, and anthologies.
Art Taylor read from On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories, winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. His work has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories. He is an associate professor of English at George Mason University, and he contributes frequently to the Washington Post, the Washington Independent Review of Books, and Mystery Scene Magazine.
Thursday, September 21, 5:30 pm: Daniel Wallace, author of the best selling novel, Big Fish, among others, read from his hilarious new novel, Extraordinary Adventures. Professor Wallace is the director of the Creative Writing Program at UNC Chapel Hill.
Wednesday, October 18, 5:30 pm: Dawn Reno Langley, author of several novels, read from her latest, The Mourning Parade. Set in Thailand, its themes of grief and healing and focus on elephants appealed to many.
Wednesday, November 15, 5:30 pm: Murray Dunlap, short story writer and poet, read from his work created before and after a traumatic brain injury. During his reading to a full room, Murray discussed the ways in which a life-changing accident affected his life and eventually led him to the love of his life and back to writing.
Friday, January 12, 3:30 pm: Pat Riviere-Seel, author of three poetry collections, including The Serial Killer’s Daughter, read to residents at Belle Meade from her memoir-in-progress.
Wednesday, April 11, 5:30 pm: The publisher and editors of KAKALAK journal presented a reading of poetry from their latest anthology. Several poets participated. KAKALAK, a journal of poetry and art published annually, showcases work by poets and artists of North and South Carolina. This year’s presenters included Dorothy Baird, Beth Copeland, Sarah Edwards, Valerie Macon, Ty Stumpf, and Nancy Young.
Wednesday, April 18, 5:30 pm: John Amen, the author of four poetry collections read from his acclaimed, Strange Theater and Illusion of an Overwhelm . He is the founder and editor of Pedestal Magazine and his work has been translated widely throughout the world.
Wednesday, May 23, 5:30 pm: John Kessel will read from his latest novel, Pride and Prometheus, published by Simon and Schuster in February of this year. His other works include The Moon and the Other, Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.
Tuesday, June 12, 6:30 pm: Aaron Ballance will read from his award-winning stories. Ballance is the recipient of the 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award for his entries of “Sugarfoot,” “Old Trouble,” “The Peaks,” “One-Eyed Jenny,” “The Brink,” “Leading Flash to the Barn – January,” and “Rust.” Originally from Winston-Salem, Aaron Ballance is a lecturer in English at Appalachian State University. He is the winner of the Noel Callow Poetry Award, the Amon Liner Poetry Award, and his work has appeared in The Greensboro Review and Poetry Daily. He is also an accomplished musician and was the dobro player for the band Dehlia Low, whose fifth album, Ravens and Crows, was released on Rebel Records in 2011.
Wednesday, June 27, 5:30pm: Erin Chandler will read from her memoir, June Bug Versus Hurricane. Erin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and a Masters in Theatre from UK. Her play June Bug Versus Hurricane was produced at the Lost Studio in Los Angeles. Erin lives in Kentucky, is a professor at BCTC, and teaches playwriting at the Carnegie Center in Lexington.
The WIR program had a presence at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance conference in New Orleans last September. Kimberly Daniels Taws invited me to the conference as their Author Event Liaison, representing both the Country Bookshop and the Weymouth Center. I was able to connect with several North Carolina authors and attend informative panels.
Max Perkins room received a fresh coat of paint. Many thanks to Kathryn who helped me paint. Kathryn and I also bought a new bed frame and dresser for this room, the room most in need of updating
Whole House Deep Cleaning: The Carolina Cleaning Company cleaned the windows, inside and out, as well as the inside of the house in great detail in support of our excellent regular housekeeping staff.
Mattresses: Thanks to a generous donation from The Frye Foundation, and a considerable discount from Keith at Sweet Dreams, we were able to purchase five new mattresses for the writers’ rooms. Thanks also to Kathryn, who went out and purchased and assembled a new bed frame when it was discovered that the frame in the Paul Green room was too small for the new mattress.
The NC Poetry Society board members were the first to sleep on the mattresses and they all reported an excellent night’s sleep.
More donated items: two boxes of silverware for the writers’ kitchen, five new mattress covers, three new bed skirts, four new pillows, a new pan, a small side table, and a small throw rug.
Experienced writing instructors, Beth Copeland, Laurie McKay and Karen Poppele were joined by artist, Ellen Burke, forming an outstanding team under the direction of Chair, John Amen, for last year’s Write-On Camp. Copeland is a highly acclaimed author, poet and essayist whose work has been featured on PBS Newshour. McKay is the author of the popular young reader series, The Last Dragon Charmer. Poppele is a skilled writer and editor, specializing in creative writing. Amen, the author of multiple books of poetry is currently on tour with his highly acclaimed, Illusion of an Overwhelm.
The focus was on observation and developing the skills to see the world and translate that vision. Burke, an experienced educator and local artist taught the art of “in-depth observation by exploring not only what they see, but what they think.” Students also explored inspired writing using personal experience, imagination and the beautiful gardens and grounds at Weymouth Center.
The students gave a fabulous performance for parents and guests at the end of the camp.
The cost for the camp was $50.00 per child. The cost included instruction, snacks and drinks.
Thank you to Turnberry Press, who underwrote scholarships for students unable to meet the cost.
Submissions: We received a little over 40 submissions. This fellowship was open during the months of June and July. Submissions closed July 30th.
A late starter to writing fiction, Anita Collins won the 2016 Doris Betts Fiction Prize with her story, “The Anderson Kid,” published in the North Carolina Literary Review. Anita was also a named a Finalist (2016) and awarded an Honorable Mention (2015) for the James Hurst Prize for Fiction competition held by North Carolina State University. She completed a two-week residency at the Weymouth Center in August and is looking forward to another residency next spring as the Cos Barnes Fellow in Fiction. Anita will be taking her residency in the spring when she will also receive her stipend.
A copy of Anita’s story is available in the front office for anyone who wishes to read it.
Total fees collected after Submittable was paid: $421.83 This total will go toward paying $500 stipend.
The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. It is more than a museum housing photographs and archives. Working closely with libraries and schools, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame honors North Carolina writers through programs, services, and opportunities for children and adults.
In the spirit of those who over the centuries have graced North Carolina with literature of such quality, beauty and power, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame proudly honors writers who have achieved enduring stature in their devotion to their writing and to their state.
The State Committee for the Literary Hall of Fame, led by Ed Southern of the N.C. Writer’s Network met in early 2018 at Weymouth after the new inductees for this year were chosen:
Funded by a grant from the Donald and Elizabeth Cooke Foundation, this program gives local writers of all ages the opportunity to be published. Judged by professional NC writers, the number of entrants is rising and the size of our publication is growing. Last year’s award ceremony was attended by 100+ people. Last year 200 entries were received.
For decades, the Women of Weymouth have gathered monthly to enjoy informative programs and plan activities for the Weymouth membership in order to raise funds to care for the Boyd house. This work continues in full measure today.
Activities of the Women of Weymouth include:
WOW’s current initiative is to raise funds to replace the veranda external curtain/surround
A Christmas love story a centure old, celebrating the 100th wedding anniversary of Katharine Lamont and James Boyd
Young Affiliates brings a dynamic group of young business people and young families to Weymouth. Their energy and cooperative spirit is a welcome addition.
Back by popular demand, SOUNDS ON THE GROUNDS returns!
The committee is excited about new initiatives. From light bulbs to painting, the changes are coming. We want the treasures your family doesn’t want.
Whether we use them or sell them, your gift supports Weymouth!
PastPerfect 5.0 museum collections management software is now up and running.
Eventually, it will provide complete information storage and retrieval for the Boyd Archives, the FOW Archives, Weymouth’s four book collections, and all House furnishings. It is also used in Weymouth front office for membership, etc.
Original FOW by-laws and amendments for 1978, 1993, 1998, 2001, and 2010 (currently in force) were located. Information was needed at previous annual meeting to underscore current Board compliance with bylaws.
Provided background information and historical photographs for the Christmas House 100th Anniversary of the wedding of James Boyd and Katharine Lamont; for Annie Hallinan’s book Brinkley Boyd of Weymouth, and for docent guides.
Corresponded with 3 Boyd family descendants: Julia Sokoloff (daughter of Nancy Boyd Sokoloff), Pamela Boyd Binder (granddaughter of Boyd sister Eleanor Boyd), and Brenna Boyd (granddaughter of Daniel Boyd).
At the September meeting of the Women of Weymouth, I gave a talk on the history of the Boyd family and Weymouth going back to the early 1900s, with a power point photo presentation.
Toured Inchalene, home of Eleanor Herr Boyd, James Boyd’s mother, with Bill Sahadi.
Continue to receive photographs and papers relevant to Boyd family history.
This is not a “membership” book club. Everyone is welcome. There are several people who show up every month, some who come only for a particular book or author. Attendance varies month to month, low was 8 participants, highest was 16. 16 is top number of people who will fit into the Weymouth Library!
Aside from the routine maintenance of the Weymouth property, the Dirt Gardeners highlight the following accomplishments:
September 10, 2017
The Wilderness Poet, George Ellison read from his book of poetry and his wife, Elizabeth Ellison, an artist exhibited her paintings of illustrations of George’s poems published in his books.
October 30, 2017
There was a collaboration with Moore County High Schools and Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities of NATIVE, (EbZb Production) which was filmed at Weymouth in the spring. There will be a theatre workshop with students from all the Moore County High Schools and a free performance for the student body during the day. That evening there was a performance of NATIVE for the public at Robert E Lee Auditorium for $10.
Banned Books in America – The Politics of Sex, Misogyny, and Religion
FEBRUARY 11: Larry Allen, a retired professor of English at Sandhills Community College and founding member of the Ruth Pauley Lecture Series opened with an overview centered around the history of banned books and how that history parallels the development of the nation.
MARCH 11: Lois Holt, a past president of Friends of Weymouth joined Ron Layne, professor of English and film at Sandhills, providing a gendered perspective on banned books in America. They discussed addressing the Venus/Mars viewpoints.
SUNDAY, APRIL 15. Stephen Smith, poet, essayist, and literary critic focused on Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio and how Anderson’s psychological character studies and thematic explorations offended readers, angered critics and led to the banning of a book that’s now considered an American classic. Anderson was a close friend of the Boyds and a frequent visitor at Weymouth. Smith is also a retired professor of English at Sandhills.
MAY 2, 2018: The Power of the Press: Frank Daniels Jr. former Publisher of Raleigh News & Observer and David Wornonoff, Publisher of The Pilot will talk about the Power of the Press in our current political climate. Frank Daniels was a friend of Catherine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post.
Five performances were given in the regularly scheduled Chamber Music Concerts so far in the 2017-2018 season:
Pianist Thomas Sauer on October 1, 2017, sponsored by the Charlie Cook and Martha Parsons
The Boylan Bridge Brass on November 5, 2017, sponsored by Jane and Josiah Stevenson
The Blue Mountain Ensemble (flute, piano, bassoon and percussion) on February 4, 2018, sponsored by JoAnn and Dale Erickson
The UNCG Vocal Ensemble on March 4. 2018, (all Mahler German lieder music sung by a bass/baritone and mezzo soprano accompanied by piano) was sponsored by Elaine and Milton Sills
The Larkin Duo Plus One performed on Sunday, April 8, 2018. The trio (including cellist Bonnie Thron, principal cellist at the UNC Symphony) performed a broad-based classic repertoire. Ray Owens and John and Catherine Earp were the sponsors.
Two additional concerts remain in this concert season:
The All Gershwin Evening played by John Hatcher and Friends will feature fine voices, Megan Causey and Dr. Marc Bernard, on June 7, 2018.
The Young Music Festival held auditions on Saturday, February 17, 2018, for 18 entrants. We had two highly qualified judges this year: Kevin Lawrence, violinist and string department chair at UNC School of the Arts and Inara Zandmane, collaborative pianist at UNC Greensboro. Twelve students were chosen as finalists to be presented at a recital on Sunday, February 18. An overall winner, as well as a first place winner from each of three divisions, was chosen by the judges. There was a full house for the recital on Sunday. After the students played, certificates and award money were distributed to each winner and finalist. An anonymous donor gave a $100 scholarship in honor of Ruth Sinclair, a local teacher who has recently retired after teaching for many years in the area. Mrs. Sinclair has entered students in the Festival every year since its beginning. This scholarship will be given to all senior finalists each year. This year’s recipient is Charlotte Cox.
Weymouth’s Yamaha G7 grand piano received a major rehabilitation by Ruggiero Piano Service of Raleigh, rebuilding parts, replacing hammers, shanks and flanges, regulating action and alignment, and regulating damper timing. The $5,964 cost was covered by the Benefit Jazz Concert and private donations. Music Committee members Sue Aceves and John Hatcher monitored the project.
Plans are under way for scheduling the 2018-2019 concert season including a jazz concert. Concert sponsors are needed at the $500. $1000 and $1500 levels.