National Poetry Month 2020: Los Angeles 2025 by Sarah Archer

For National Poetry Month 2020, we present the Poetry and prose from our Members.

Los Angeles, 2025
by Sarah Archer 

The car door parts for you like lips.
All night this vessel has sketched a silver web
over the contained chaos of L.A., taking fares like lovers.
You are not the only one this hour, or on this corner;
a queue of feet bisects the block,
each pair’s face lit by its hand’s cool, compartmentalized glow.

Each man to machine neatly assigned,
algorithmic fate, calculated invisibly in the emptiness above your heads,
triangulated in the stars.
Yours murmurs you down the street on a current and a spell.

The city is gussied up tonight:
the street signs slick and skinny, the all-night
donuts awning hot, tawdry pink. Bars wink
from the strings of unlit storefronts like gold
in a fortune teller’s bow of teeth.
A rare recent rain has slicked motor oil to the skin
of the asphalt.  It glimmers off the curves
of Melrose like the tips of cigarettes.
Each scene flames out in a frame.

And everywhere the cars are streaming, gliding,
they zip perfectly around parabolas as if magnetized to a track,
they are clean as needles, dazzling in their voltaic wills,
they are everyone’s and no one’s,
they conceal us.

It feels good to own nothing,
you are pure, sanitary, as empty as a reflection.
You leave nothing but air.

Sarah Archer’s first novel, The Plus One was published in July 2019, by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahArcherM


National Poetry Month 2020: Trolls by Sarah Thompson

For National Poetry Month 2020, we present the Poetry and prose from our Members.

by Sarah Thompson

A troll controls my backpack
So that he can hitch a ride.
He should be guarding bridges,
But he says he’s occupied.

My troll demands a pittance
Every time I crack the top.
My back will break from pennies
If this troll won’t ever stop.

He eats my pens and pencils
Like my school supplies are snacks.
He dines on work for math class;
All that work I won’t get back!

He tears the strings from string cheese
When he breaks into my lunch.
He likes to drain my thermos
Of hot soup or icy punch.

He’s got to leave my book bag;
I won’t change my mind a smidge.
Rude trolls are not for backpacks . . .

Do you maybe have a bridge?

–from Sarah Thompson’s book Yard Art, A Collection of Children’s Poetry (Missing Goat Press, January 2020). Illustrated by Bree Stallings.
Follow Sarah Thompson on Twitter @authorFT

Join us March 9th for our Spring “Meet the Authors” Evening

park road books picJoin us for our
Spring Meet the Authors Evening
Monday, March 9th, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Park Road Books
4139 Park Rd, Charlotte

Join us for an evening of conversation with three prominent, southern-based authors, invited by the chapter.

(Author Bios & Book Summaries, click here)


Abigail DeWitt, author of News of Our Loved Ones (Harper Perennial TP)






Donna Everhart, author of The Moonshiners Daughter (Kensington, TP)






 Susan Beckham Zurenda, author of Bells for Eli (Mercer University Press HC)



Each will speak briefly about their new novels, then give opportunity for one-on-one questions and discussion.

We’ll have wine, refreshments, and a chance to mingle with the authors as well! For more info or questions, contact Susan Walker, 


Book Club Meetup: Tuesday, March 3rd

last year of warCome and discuss The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner (Berkeley, HC) 
Tuesday, March 3, 7:00pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte

Synopsis: A German American girl and a Japanese American girl sent to the same internment camp during WWII become close friends before each being repatriated, with their families, to the country of their parents, countries neither child has ever known, during the last years of the war. This is a fresh look at WWII and internment, one that might give us pause given the rising shadow of increased nationalism we’re seeing today.

All are welcome to attend, to give your input or learn about a new book to read!

😊 📚 All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List.

Book Club Meetup, Tuesday, February 4th

E43301A3-1323-474B-BC4E-336EBA2E21E9Come and discuss Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin, TP) 
Tuesday, February 4, 7:00pm
AMELIE’S BAKERY (updated!) 4321 Park Road., Charlotte, NC.

Synopsis: An evangelical minister in Tennessee reexamining his beliefs and teachings finds himself at odds with his congregation and his wife over the issue of homosexuality in this soul-searching novel about tolerance, family, right versus wrong, and forgiveness.

All are welcome to attend, to give your input or learn about a new book to read!

😊 📚 All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List.
Interested in knowing more about that committee? Contact Kristen Knox,

Book Club Meetup: Tuesday, December 3rd

laurentian divideCome and discuss Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich (Univ. of Minnesota Press, TP) 
Tuesday, December 3rd, 7:00pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte, NC

Synopsis: A small, northern Minnesota community waits for semi-hermit Rauri Paar to reappear in their midst, signaling the end of winter. As the residents wait, their own lives move forward even without Rauri. This is a warm, wise, and wonderful look at the inhabitants of a small town, at connection, and support in good times and bad.

Please come, whether you’ve read / liked the book or not!

All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List. Interested in knowing more about that committee? Contact Kristen Knox,

Publishing Panel “How to Gain Readers and Sell More Books”

Tuesday, November 21st
6:00 – 7:30pm
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Morrison Regional Branch
7015 Morrison Blvd., Charlotte, NC
Cost: Free!

Whether you have a book published/being published with a top five house, a small/indie press, or by yourself, knowing how to help sell from the author’s end is always beneficial.

These panelists will give tips and insight into how authors can help with marketing and promotion of their book on their end, and gain sales and exposure. This event is also beneficial to those interested in PR/Publicity/Media in the Queen City and beyond! Light refreshments served! 

Panelists include:

LyndaBouchard pubLynda Bouchard, Founder of Booking Authors Ink, a marketing firm dedicated to Southern authors.  Lynda collaborates with publishing houses on Southern publicity campaigns and serves as an ‘author concierge’ for authors traveling throughout the South. Follow her @AuthorSink



PriscillaGoudreau-Santos Pub

Priscilla Goudreau-Santos, WNBA-Charlotte Publicity Chair (2012-19), and owner of Priscilla Goudreau Public Relations & Marketing. Her expertise includes traditional and online marketing from strategy through implementation with a focus on public and press relations. Follow her @priscillagoudre



RickMiles pubRick Miles, CEO and co-founder of Red Coat PR, and co-founder of Penned Con, a book convention hosted annually in St. Louis, Missouri, where all proceeds are donated to charity.


Jennifer Moxley pubJennifer Moxley, founder of Sunshine Media Network. She has worked in the news for 21 years.  Moxley teaches workshops on understanding the media to help people better connect with newsrooms. Follow her at @JennMoxley


NICOLE280Nicole Ayers (Moderator), owner of Ayers Edits. and writer of three companion books due out in early 2020: Love Notes to My Body; Love Letters to My Body: Writing My Way to (Self-)Love; and Writing Your Way to (Self-)Love: A Guided Journal. Follow her @AyersEdits



Book Club Meetup: Tuesday, November 5th

Tomorrow'sBread MayhewCome and discuss Tomorrow’s Bread by Anna Jean Mayhew (Kensington Books)
Tuesday, November 5th, 7:00pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte, NC

In 1961 Charlotte, North Carolina, the predominantly black neighborhood of Brooklyn is a bustling city within a city. Self-contained and vibrant, it has its own restaurants, schools, theaters, churches, and night clubs. There are shotgun shacks and poverty, along with well-maintained houses like the one Loraylee Hawkins shares with her young son, Hawk, her Uncle Ray, and her grandmother, Bibi. Loraylee’s love for Archibald Griffin, Hawk’s white father and manager of the cafeteria where she works, must be kept secret in the segregated South.

Loraylee has heard rumors that the city plans to bulldoze her neighborhood, claiming it’s dilapidated and dangerous. The government promises to provide new housing and relocate businesses. But locals like Pastor Ebenezer Polk, who’s facing the demolition of his church, know the value of Brooklyn does not lie in bricks and mortar.

 Please come, whether you’ve read / liked the book or not!

All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List. Interested in knowing more about that committee? Contact Kristen Knox,


BIBLIOFEAST is one week away!

Join us at our “Movable Feast”
Celebrating  National Reading Group Month


Monday, October 21st
Maggiano’s Little Italy Restaurant, SouthPark Mall, Charlotte
6:00pm: Cocktails (cash bar)
6:45pm: Dinner & Moveable Feast

Bibliofeast is WNBA Charlotte’s annual signature event in celebration of National Reading Group Month. Our festive dinner is open to both WNBA members and the public. Book clubs are invited and encouraged to attend as groups, and group seating can be arranged.

Tickets MUST be purchased IN ADVANCE!



Belle Boggs, author of The Gulf (Graywolf Press) — SIBA Okra Pick

Jim Hamilton, author of The Last Entry  (Working Title Farm)  — 2019 TRIO Pick

Karla FC Holloway, author of A Death in Harlem (TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press)

Bruce Holsinger, author of The Gifted School (Riverhead Books/PRH)

Anna Jean Mayhew, author of Tomorrow’s Bread (Kensington)–2019 TRIO Pick, 2019 Great Group Reads Selection

Diane C. McPhail, author of The Abolitionist’s Daughter (John Scognamiglio Books/Kensington)

Jon Sealy, author of The Edge of America (Haywire Books) — SIBA Okra Pick

Amber Smith, author of Something Like Gravity (Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster)


Tickets: $55 Members / $70.00 Non-Members
To purchase online by credit card, click here.  To purchase with cash or checks,
visit Park Road Books in Charlotte, or at Main Street Books in Davidson. 

Tickets MUST be purchased IN ADVANCE!


QUESTIONS?  Please contact Susan Walker, National Reading Group Month Events Manager,

Charlotte Chapter BOOK CLUB PICKS for 2019-2020

NRGM GGR No DateOctober is National Reading Group Month!  And this month, titles were picked for our next 12 reading group meetups! Chosen from the newest Great Group Reads list. Part of GGR titles are selected by a committee of WNBA Members, on the basis of their appeal to reading groups. They represent timely and provocative topics, from the intimate dynamics of family and personal to major cultural / global issues.

The WNBA-Charlotte GGR Book Club meets the first Tuesday of every month, at Panera Bread in SouthPark.

Mark your calendars and reserve/order the following titles for the following meet ups: 

November 5th: Tomorrow’s Bread by Anna Jean Mayhew (Kensington, TP) African-American History, Historical Fiction, Southern Fiction

December 3rd: Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich (Univ. of Minnesota Press, TP) Women’s Fiction, Small Town & Rural Fiction,

January 7th: Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (Atria, HC) Family Life, Women’s Fiction

February 4th: Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin Books, TP) Family Life, LGBTQ, Southern History

March 3rd: The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner (Berkeley, HC) Historical/WWII, Women’s Fiction

April 7th: The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek  by Kim Michele Richardson (Sourcebooks, TP) Southern Fiction, Small Town & Rural, Women’s Fiction

May 5th: The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib (St. Martins Press, HC) Women’s Fiction, Family Life, Psychological/Eating Disorders

June 2nd: The Tubman Command: A Novel by Elizabeth Cobbs (Arcade, HC) Civil War, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction

July 7th: Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice (ECW Press, TP) Dystopian Fiction, Native American & Aboriginal

August 4th: All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir  by Nicole Chung (Catapult, HC) Adoption & Fostering, Personal Memoir, Cultural/Ethnic Stories

September 8th: Tonic and Balm by Stephanie Allen (Shade Mountain Press, TP) Fiction, African American Studies, Early 20th Century Fiction

October 6th: Death of A Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein (Kaylie Jones Books, TP)Mystery & Detective Series, Historical Fiction

More about Great Group Reads at