On the second Wednesday of the month writers and poets gather at the Brandy Bar for a feature and open mic punctuated by the Blues. I attended on January 11, when the feature was Dr. John W. Quinly, author of: Discovering Carl Sandburg, The Eclectic Life of an American Icon. The book is available at local bookstores, and nationwide if you ask for it. You can also find it at Amazon.com
Dr. Quinley gave a humble and humorous recap of the journey to publication of his book, and also of Sandburg’s rise to, and fall from, fame. Some of the reasons why we should indeed revisit Sandburg as an American icon are his prolific accomplishments in several fields and genres. Not only was he a self-professed poet of the people, but also an award winning biographer of Abraham Lincoln and a tireless social activist. The 147 page book serves as an introduction to the man, and offers an extensive bibliography for further reading about a truly unique American author.
On this MLK weekend I found myself imagining what kind of conversation they might have had together if they met. I’m sure there would have been some mutual admiration. Apparently I’m not the only one. An internet search did not reveal information about a meeting but did lead me to this article from Naomi Law about the similarities between the two men.
After a very jazzy blues break with Mr. Jimmy and Charlie Wilkinson, Kathleen Calby, a representative of the North Carolina Writers Network amiably hosted an open mic that was fun to participate in. Among the readers was Hendersonville’s own children’s author and poet, Tony Robles. Recently relocated from San Francisco, he is a former poet in residence of the Carl Sandburg House.