The ghosts that I have come across are not the rotted out bodies dripping with blood rising from a grave in a mysterious, forgotten cemetery. They are more like people who loved their home so much that they couldn’t bear to leave it, people who didn’t realize they were dead, and sometimes people just saying good-bye to loved ones before heading toward the light. It can be a very comforting experience if you are open-minded without horror stories lurking in the back of your mind.
One house noted in Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond has many ghosts and spirits living there and also some just passing through. A while after our interview an invitation came for me to attend a tea party with the ghost children who lived there. It was an unusual experience but not as unusual as the request that came later for them to come visit me in my home! I thought about that a bit before agreeing. After all, they were gracious enough to invite me. They came, giggling and smiling, happy little kids, giving me their names this time. It helped me to look at death very differently.
The passion of history often has a lot to do with a person’s spirit being held to the earth plane, especially on a battlefield where so many died at such young ages.. I went to Gettysburg once, rising early in the morning, before sunrise during the off-tourist season. I sat in Little Round Top and felt the enormous sadness wash over me. I didn’t see any of the ghosts that many have seen. I thought of the cries of those shot down so senselessly. Many of those fallen had no true idea of what it was all about. Why they felt they had to march off to war because some politicians were afraid they would be losing money with the new laws. War is always about the money hiding behind ideals spoken aloud.
For those of you who may not know -Oakley Hall Antiques & Art at 119 N. Main St. in Warrenton NC carries our Warren Artists Market (WAM) anthologies, i.e. Inspirations (all about Warren County) and our newest anthology This I Know. Both have many Warren County writers represented. Stop in Wed. – Sat. to pick up your copy. They also make great gifts!
That’s what we at WAM (Warren Artists Market) do and have been doing it since our first gathering in 2012. In February 2013, we sponsored an Art & Poetry reception where we poets wrote poems about the art exhibited by hometown artists and read the poetry while standing next to the artwork. It was great! The art and related-framed poems remained in the library (by request) for 2 months!
The artists were the late Jay Person, Wheeler Smith, and Ronnie Williams. The poets were Thomas Park, Sherman Johnson, and me. And so it began.
We hosted FFP open mic nights at the Warren Food Works, moved a few times when they were closed, and came back again. Their crew was always helpful and encouraging, supplying us with food and great liquid refreshments. Special nights were held, sometimes honoring particular holidays, sometimes featuring live music, sometimes dancers performed. Singers performed a cappela. Other special nights were held sponsoring Book Release Parties & Signings. Sterling Cheston added music selections to our events. Guest readers were featured. Often it was standing room only!
We facilitated a writing group at the Senior Center resulting in Chapbooks published; hosted play readings, and held workshops.
WAM began publishing an annual anthology in 2013 with SITTING WITH A DRUNKEN SORCERESS Poems and Prose to invite you, to incite you, to delight you, followed by Life Preserved: Memories An Anthology and INSPIRATIONS, an anthology on Warren County, and THIS I KNOW an anthology. Presently we are accepting submissions for HOME an anthology.
WAM is a writer’s collective and offers after school creative writing-arts programs. It was founded by writer, teacher Thomas Haywood Park.
We continue to grow and improve, to draw participants from greater distances, letting artists and writers know that our door is open and the mic is on.
FIRST FRIDAY OPEN MIC NIGHT! AT 108 S. MAIN ST. WARRENTON NC 7PM–
Join us in an evening of readings and who knows what or who, may appear to perform? Gabe will be offering foods, coffee, tea & cold drinks. BRING A FRIEND. Keep our literary tradition alive! Come out to read or just listen!
on The Show: WARR RADIO 1520 AM Sherman Johnson Miles in My Shoes, Years at My Side, author Patrick James Smith will be interviewed by Sherman Johnson about his book and experiences with UFOs, ghosts, and other strange occurrences happening in his lifetime. You can tune in online to listen 10 am to 11 am this Wed. March 22. Exciting!
This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.
WARREN ARTISTS’ MARKET
2014 & 2015 ANTHOLOGY
SEEKING SUBMISSIONS FOR 2016 ANTHOLOGY
The Warren County Anthology (working title) submissions considered are: poetry, and personal impression. Only one prose piece will be accepted per writer; the maximum is 1500 words per piece. You may submit up to 3 poems; maximum-30 lines per poem. Include a bio up to 75 words. Submissions must meet our guidelines to be accepted, include a bio.
Write about anything relating to Warren County, North Carolina i.e. about your living here, having family here, visited here, been impressed by reading about it, or seeing it through the eyes of another.
The anthology is open to all writers. Place your contact information in the upper left hand corner of each page submitted. Name, address, and email.
Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2016. You will be notified of acceptance by June 30. The anthology will be available for purchase by Nov. 15, 2016.
Mail your submissions and inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The Warren Artists’ Market; Arlene Bice, Thomas Park, Sterling Cheston, Vernita (Nana Vee) Terry.
It’s here on Friday-our First Friday Poetry, open mic night, 4th Dec. 7:30 to 9:30.
Come in; you can hear Reasons for the Season.
Come in to hear original works read by the poets who wrote them.
Come in to read your own words or the words of someone you enjoy.
Come in; just listen, FoodWorks, 108 S. Main St Warrenton NC
Come in, nibble on local foods and delectable desserts.
Come in, taste the wines and beers of North Carolina.
Come in and share a table with old friends or meet new ones.
The September First Friday continues to exceed my expectations! I thought that the holiday weekend would bring us a small group dedicated to our efforts of bringing poetry and oral expression to Warren County. Instead, the Warren Food Works (WFW) was packed with a diverse crowd from 18 to 80 mingling, enjoying each other while eating, drinking, and soaking up the words cast out into the atmosphere.
A wide range of poetic subjects seeping from the hearts of writers-Warren County writers, and Virginia writers, too, silenced the room with absorption. The always-welcome songs sung so beautifully by Shavon Russell Jones and afterwards, her sister, (forgive me I didn’t get her name.) A big surprise to everyone when volunteer from behind the bar, Cris Hunter ended the evening with the most beautiful rendition of Nature Boy. It brought some tears for the beauty of it. Their voices were like melted chocolate, velvety smooth and mesmerizing to everyone.
Miranda Medlin offered a stirring presentation, taking all into her realm. Devonte, a poet from our last year anthology Sitting with a Drunken Sorceress gave us his words and Travis Bullock continues to bring people in just to hear what he has to tell us.
So many others came to read, to share thoughts, feelings, and to merely listen. It was a very full night; a night to show Thomas Park what his dream has wrought; a night to make him proud for all his efforts.