Bruce Spang and Gavin Dillard

Join authors Bruce Spang and Gavin Dillard for a reading and conversation.

In Bruce Spang's new novel, Those Close Beside Me, a young man with a secret, the nation's internal strife mirrors his own struggle to find himself. A Midwesterner, Jason leaves his suburban home to attend Vanderbilt Divinity School. There, in Nashville, Tennessee, he meets a man who challenges his view of America, and offers him the assistant director position at a folk school, deep in the Appalachian Mountains. It's among the families that live in the Cumberland Mountains where Jason discovers a truth about himself that changes his life forever.

Bruce Spang, former Poet Laureate of Portland, is the author of two novels, The Deception of the Thrush and this last spring, Those Close Beside Me. He’s written four books of poems. All You’ll Derive: The Caretaker’s Journey will come out this spring. It’s a book that chronicles his caring for his mother in her last years of life. He’s also published To the Promised Land Grocery and Boy at the Screen Door along with several anthologies and several chapbooks. His poems have been published in journals across the United States. He teaches courses in fiction and poetry at OLLI and lives in Candler, NC with his husband Myles Rightmire and their four dogs, five fish, and twelve birds.

Graybeard Abbey is the thirteenth book from Gavin Geoffrey Dillard -- poet, playwright, songwriter, librettist, and comedy writer to the stars. Though the book is in poetic form, including free verse, koans, haiku, and traditional waka form, "Graybeard Abbey" also is a journal of a year on the poet's wee tea farm in Southern Appalachia, capturing the seasons and their foibles, the dramas of the woods and field and their critters, and life with eight obstreperous kitties. Once a gay icon and noted romantic poet, Dillard now turns to paganism, naturism, and Taoism for emotional content, spiritual edification, and poetic flavor. Having been described as a cross between Rumi and Gary Larson, Gavin sets his noetic wits on the tribulations, myths and magic of forest and farm life. From the author of "In the Flesh--Undressing for Success," and the award-winning opera, "When Adonis Calls," come more tales of flesh and spirit in rural America.

Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, an Asheville native, has published nine collections of verse, two anthologies, and his infamous Hollywood tell-all, IN THE FLESH: Undressing for Success. Also known as “The Naked Poet,” his poems have been recorded by James Earl Jones, and published in anthologies and periodicals worldwide. 
 The author of dozens of songs, Gavin has written lyrics with and for such luminaries as Peter Allen, Jake Heggie, Anne Rice, and Disney Studios. His classical art songs ("Of Gods and Cats") have been featured at Lincoln Center by mezzo Jennifer Larmore. He has written comedy with and for Dolly Parton, Joan Rivers, Peggy Lee, Lily Tomlin … Gavin is the co-author of BARK!, the musical, which has played throughout North and South America, and which ran the month of August at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. An opera, When Adonis Calls, fashioned entirely of Dillard’s poems, won the “best new work” award from OPERA America and officially premiered in 2018 by the Asheville Lyric Opera. 

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Event address: 
Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe
Those Close Beside Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944393892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Piscataqua Press - May 29th, 2018

Graybeard Abbey: Metaphors, Mumblings and Meditations Cover Image
ISBN: 9780998288703
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gavin Dillard Poetry Library & Archive - June 2017