Scuppernong Books in Greensboro Welcomes Native Son Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places” on January 27

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FRANK HARMON (Photo by Christine Simeloff)

Multi-award-winning architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, grew up in the 1950s on Rolling Road in Greensboro. In the introduction to his new critically acclaimed book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, Harmon relates that he “discovered reading in the Greensboro Public Library” and that he “learned most of what I needed to know to be an architect” playing by his favorite stream, which “ran between rocky banks in East Greenway Park.”

A professor in the NC State University College of Design as well as a practicing architect, Frank Harmon has called Raleigh home for many decades. But on Sunday, January 27, he will return to his hometown when Scuppernong Books hosts a special book-signing event for Native Places and its native son. Free and open to the public, the book-signing event will begin at 3 pm.

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Delight in Ordinary Places:  Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, nature, and everyday objects and places that first appeared on his popular online journal NativePlaces.org. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.

Harmon’s goal for Native Places is, in fact, “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.” He will explain both concepts in his presentation.

What others are saying about Native Places: In a letter to the Harmon, poet, author, and former North Carolina poet laureate Fred Chappell wrote, “Native Places…has afforded me happy pleasures, different from any that I have before derived from a book. It is unusual in many ways, one of which is that it defies strict classification. It is a sketchbook, a memoir, travel journal, aesthetic experiment, a collection of small familiar essays, and maybe in some respects even a manifesto.”

Mike Welton, the architecture critic for the Raleigh News & Observer, calls Harmon’s book “delightful” and suggests that it is “destined to change how we see this world.”

Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olsen Kundig Architects in Seattle, WA, praises Harmon and his book for “reminding us in brilliant, thoughtful, quiet meditation our unbelievable luck to be alive and to think. A masterful legacy on all levels.”H

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Scuppernong Books is located at 304 South Elm Street. For more information: www.scuppernongbooks.coim (336-763-1919).

For more details on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit the book’s website (nativeplacesthebook.com) and Facebook page.

Charleston’s Blue Bicycle Books Hosts Architect/Author Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places” on January 17th

Architect and author Frank Harmon, FAIA, who designed the modern, award-winning Sunday School addition to the historic Circular Congregational Church in Charleston and the “Seven Sisters” residence on St. Helena Island, will present his new, critically acclaimed book  Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See when Blue Bicycle Books hosts a book-signing event on Thursday, January 17, beginning at 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event will begin with an introduction of the Raleigh, NC-based author by South Carolina architect Whitney Powers. Harmon will then give a presentation about his book and his passion for hand sketching. After a Q&A with the audience, he will sign copies of Native Places, which will be available for purchase in the bookstore.

Frank Harmon bookDelight in Ordinary Places:  Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, everyday objects and sites, and nature that first appeared on his internationally popular blog NativePlaces.org. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.

Harmon’s goal for Native Places is, in fact, “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.” He will explain both concepts in his presentation.

What others are saying about Native Places: In his review of the book, Charles Linn, FAIA, architect, writer, former deputy editor of Architectural Record, wrote, “For those who love drawing, seek enlightenment and inspiration from the things they may pass by every day, and perhaps want to capture them in their own sketchbooks, I give Native Places my highest recommendation.” (Linn also helped Harmon select and organize the sketch-essay pairs for the book.)

Mike Welton, the architecture critic for the Raleigh News & Observer, calls Harmon’s book “delightful” and suggests that it is “destined to change how we see this world.”

Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olsen Kundig Architects in Seattle, WA, praises Harmon and his book for “reminding us in brilliant, thoughtful, quiet meditation our unbelievable luck to be alive and to think. A masterful legacy on all levels.”

Owned and operated by Jonathan Sanchez, Blue Bicycle Books is located at 420 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403 (843.722.2666); bluebicyclebooks.com.

For more details on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit the book’s website (nativeplacesthebook.com) and Facebook page.

Edisto Art Guild to Host Architect/Author Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See’

Frank Harmon at Edisto Art GuildArchitect and author Frank Harmon, FAIA, who designed the modern, award-winning Sunday School addition to the historic Circular Congregational Church in Charleston and the “Seven Sisters” residence on St. Helena Island, will present his new, critically acclaimed book  Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See when the Edisto Art Guild hosts a book-signing event on Monday, January 14, in the Edisto Beach Civic Center.

Free and open to the public, the Art Guild’s event will begin at 6:30 pm when South Carolina architect Lloyd Bray introduces the Raleigh, NC-based author. Harmon will then give a presentation about his book and his passion for hand sketching. After a Q&A with the audience, he will sign copies of Native Places, which will be available for purchase in the civic center.

Frank Harmon by William Morgan

Delight in Ordinary Places:  Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, everyday objects and sites, and nature that first appeared on his internationally popular blog NativePlaces.org. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.

Harmon’s goal for Native Places is, in fact, “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.” He will explain both concepts in his presentation.

What others are saying about Native Places: In a letter to the author, Fred Chappell, poet, author, and former North Carolina poet laureate, wrote, “Native Places…has afforded me happy pleasures, different from any that I have before derived from a book. It is unusual in many ways, one of which is that it defies strict classification. It is a sketchbook, a memoir, travel journal, aesthetic experiment, a collection of small familiar essays, and maybe in some respects even a manifesto.”

Mike Welton, architecture critic for the Raleigh News & Observer, calls Harmon’s book “delightful” and suggests that it is “destined to change how we see this world.”

Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olsen Kundig Architects in Seattle, WA, praises Harmon and his book for “reminding us in brilliant, thoughtful, quiet meditation our unbelievable luck to be alive and to think. A masterful legacy on all levels.”

The Edisto Beach Civic Center is located at 42 Station Court, Edisto Island, SC. (edistoartguild@gmail.com)

For more details on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit the book’s website (nativeplacesthebook.com) and Facebook page.

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Production Details
Designer: AnLe Bahn
Editor: Charles Linn, FAIA
Publisher: ORO Editions
Binding: Hardbound with Dust Jacket
ISBN: 978-1-940743-45-5
Pages: 168pp published in four colors
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Size: 7″ x 9″ Landscape
Retail Price: $24.95

So & So Books To Host An Afternoon with Frank Harmon – a book signing event for ‘Native Places: Drawing as Way of Seeing”

Blueplate PR client: Frank Harmon, FAIA, author
FH_sm_by William MorganFRANK HARMON, FAIA (Photo by William Morgan)

 So & So Books, an independent bookstore in downtown Raleigh’s trendy Person Street commercial district, will host a book-signing event for architect/author Frank Harmon, FAIA, and his new book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See on Saturday, December 1.

Beginning at 5 p.m., Harmon will discuss his book and his passion for hand sketching. After a Q&A with the audience, he will sign copies of Native Places, which will be available for purchase in So & So Books.

Frank Harmon book

Delight in Ordinary Places

Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, everyday objects and sites, and nature. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most take for granted.

Harmon’s goal for Native Places is, in fact, “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.” He will explain both concepts in his presentation.

Bookstore + design studio

So & So Books shares space with in situ studio. One of the studio’s founders, Erin Sterling Lewis, AIA, will introduce the author at the event. Sterling Lewis worked with Harmon in his multi-award-winning architecture firm for several years before he retired. She considers him her “greatest mentor,” she said recently, and “remains grateful every day for the opportunities he afforded me during my time at Frank Harmon Architect.”

Praise for Native Places

In her review of Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See,, author and entomologist Eleanor Spicer Rice, PhD., wrote, “Like a child picking up fistfuls of seemingly commonplace stones, Harmon gathers places in all their forms and meanings and thoughtfully lays them in his book, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and everyday life takes on a new texture and meaning.”

In a letter to Harmon, Fred Chappell, former North Carolina Poet Laureate, offered, “Native Places…has afforded me happy pleasures, different from any that I have before derived from a book.”

Mike Welton, architecture critic for the News & Observer, called Harmon’s book “delightful” and suggested that it is “destined to change how we see this world.”

So & So Books is located at 704 North Person Street, Raleigh 27604 (919-426-9502). For more information, visit the store’s Facebook page.

For more details on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit the book’s website: http://nativeplacesthebook.com.

The Path from Concept to Critically Acclaimed Documentary

Blueplate PR client: Mark Spano, filmmaker, author

Thunderfoot Press Releases Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey by Mark Spano

Book Cover ArtA year ago, after four years of multiple trips to Sicily for research, interviews, impressions, writing, re-writing, and, finally, filmmaking, writer/director/producer Mark Spano began introducing his feature-length documentary “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” to audiences in the U.S. and Canada, often selling out the venues that host these special screenings.

Now Thunderfoot Press has released the companion book Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey, by Mark Spano. The 130-page book reveals the process by which Spano was able to capture on film the island nation’s natural beauty, its passionate people and epic human struggles, the depth and diversity of its culture, the philosophic insights that originated there, and its wealth of historic sites. “All of the facets of Sicily that have been obscured by its association with organized crime,” he says.

A first-generation Sicilian-American, Spano invites readers to follow him on his quest to celebrate the real Sicily and, therefore, change public perception of his family’s homeland.

In her Foreward to the book, Karen La Rosa of La RosaWorks Sicily Tours & Travel, writes of Spano’s journey: “A writer/filmmaker is always asking questions and his documentary, ‘’Sicily: Land of Love & Strife’ is the answer to some of his… To his own eye, a broader picture of Sicily’s history, its complicated issues, and unique evolution, presented itself.” The companion book “enables a better understanding of his journey,” she notes, “both as a child in a Sicilian neighborhood in Kansas City and as an adult walking the narrow lanes of the Vucciria in Palermo.“

She concludes: “Mark has generously shared a very personal and unique view of Sicily in the direction of his terrific documentary. This intriguing companion book, which peeks inside its author, will bring you along on his continuing Sicilian odyssey —  his quest to understand and describe this fascinating Italian island.”

Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey is available on Amazon.

For more information on the film, including places and dates of future screenings, visit markspano.wordpress.com and follow it on Facebook.

Production details

Paperback: 130 pages
Publisher: Thunderfoot Press;
Publication Date: First edition, September 18, 2018
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997602716
ISBN-13: 978-0997602715
Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Retail price: $14.95

Continuing Ed from OLLI: Filmmaker Mark Spano To Teach “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife”

Spectacular beauty, epic human struggle, the depth and diversity of culture – these are Mark for OLLIamong the many facets of the island of Sicily that students will discover during a continuing educating course conducted by filmmaker Mark Spano. Based largely on Spano’s new feature-length documentary film “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife,” the course is being offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at NC State University, Duke University, and UNC-Wilmington in February and March.

“But for crime, Sicily has gone largely unexplored,” said Spano, whose family heritage is Sicilian. (He holds dual citizenship.) “Yet Sicily is more fascinating and diverse than other Italian regions and few places compare to Sicily for a story of spectacular beauty, epic human struggle, depth and diversity of culture, philosophic insights and historic sites.”

The island’s great natural abundance and its strategic location in the Mediterranean, at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia, have made it “the most invaded place on the planet,” said Spano, who spent months in Sicily during the making of his film. “So ownership of this rugged and fertile terrain has been contested for millennia. Few people realize that Sicily rivals Greece and Egypt as a primary source for Western ideas.”

Along with screening his film, Spano will lecture on his family homeland and facilitate class discussions. His recommended reading for the course is Peter Robb’s Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra (ISBN: 978-0312426842).

At NC State University, the course is entitled Re-imagining Sicily: Land of Love and Strife (page 10). It will be held on Fridays, February 9, 16, and 23, from 9 to, 10:30 a.m., in the McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman Street in Raleigh. The course fee is $35.

At Duke,  Reimagining Sicily: Land of Love & Strife will be held on Thursdays, March 1, 8, and 15, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 West Cornwallis Road, Durham. The fee is $30.

At UNC-Wilmington, Film and Discussion –  Sicily: Land of Love and Strife  (page 6) will be held as one session on Friday, March 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the OLLI center at 620 S College Rd, Wilmington. The fee is $30.

About the instructor: Mark Spano is a writer and filmmaker. Among several others, his films include “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell.” He is also the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. His critically acclaimed novel Midland Club is available on Amazon. His next novel, Kidding The Moon, is due out in 2018. He lives in rural Orange County, NC. For more information, visit https://markspano.wordpress.com/.

About OLLI: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a university-led and member-supported organization that provides lifelong learning opportunities for adults aged 50 and older in the southeastern North Carolina region. Through educational and experiential programming, OLLI connects the adult and university communities. Founded by philanthropist Bernard Osher in 1997, OLLI is offered at 120 institutes, including Duke, NCSU, and UNC-W. For more information: http://www.osherfoundation.org/.

 

Scuppernong Books Hosts Frank McNair, Author of “Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption”

Life-on-the-LineWinston-Salem-based author Frank McNair will appear at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on Saturday, October 28, at 3 p.m. for a book signing to promote his new award-winning football novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption (featured in Yes!Weekly June 29, 2017)      

Published by Bagpiper Press, the novel was named Best Book in the Young Adult category during the Spring 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.

Frank McNair is a veteran author of business-oriented books but this is his first work of fiction.

The book revolves around two boys on the same middle school football team who despise each other as soon as they meet on the practice field. Their animosity simmers throughout the season until it finally boils over in a “dramatic confrontation” that Forsyth Family Magazine’s Vonda Henderson describes as “swift, surprising, and rattles and shocks them and those around them.” She adds: “The outcome illustrates well that stage between boy and man.”

As a former football player himself, McNair offers his readers authentic, play-by-play gridiron action. Yet Life on the Line is about much more than football

“I thought football was a good petri dish in which to tell a story about adolescence and coming of age,” McNair told the Winston-Salem Journal recently. “My book is a good yarn about two young men living regular lives in a small Southern town. The story looks like it’s about is. But it’s also about boys trying to figure out what it means to be authentically male. It is about class differences, religion, grief, and coming of age. And  ultimately it is about rage, reconciliation, and redemption.”

Intended for middle- and high-school readers, Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemptionis receiving a steady stream of positive reviews among Amazon Customer Reviews from parents of teenagers. One wrote, “Outstanding! Don’t let your sons (or daughters) miss this gripping story of boys growing up in the world of football.” The mom of now-grown boys said, “I wish Frank had written the book 10 years earlier when my son and his friends were this age.”

After reading selections from the book, McNair will take questions and sign copies that will be available for purchase.

Scuppernong Books is located at 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.  For more information and directions: www.scuppernongbooks.com.

For more information on Frank McNair and Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, including sample chapters, visit www.lifeonethelinebook.com.

Coming Oct. 1: “Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik,” a collection of new stories that celebrate Jewish history, culture, and the Old Country


1.chanukah-tales-from-oykvetchnik-cover-300dpi copy On October 1, in time for National Jewish Book Month (November) and Chanukah 2017 (December), Jewish Storyteller Press will release its latest title, Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik , via  Amazon.com, BN.comPowells.com, and other online and local bookstores. The publisher predicts that the 120-page book will become a new tradition for an ancient holiday.

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a collection of eight original Jewish folk tales – one for each night of the Festival of Lights – written by Scott Hilton Davis (Souls Are Flying!, Between Heaven and Earth), with illustrations by Amy F. Levine.

On its website, Jewish Storyteller Press offers, “Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a storybook to be read each year as the chanukiyah (nine-branched Chanukah menorah) comes off the shelf, dreidels start spinning, and the smells of freshly fried latkes waft through the house… [It] will fill your heart with the light of Jewish history, culture, and values.”  The eight stories are:

  1. Chaim the Chanukiyah
  2. Myzeleh the Mouse
  3. Dvorah Rohkl’s Chanukah Party
  4. How Oykvetchnik Got Its Name
  5. Reb Shimon the Shammus
  6. Peter Markovich the Soldier
  7. The Rabbi’s Daughter
  8. The Pawnshop Menorah
2.scotthdavis-photo-300dpi copy
Scott Hilton Davis

An Emmy Award-winning public television producer and storyteller, Davis has spent many years bringing the works of his favorite 19th-century Yiddish writers to 21st-century English-speaking readers by publishing new translations, adaptations, and original stories based on the works of once-famous writers such as Sholem Abramovitsh (Mendele Moykher Sforim), Jacob Dinezon, Sholem Aleichem, and I. L. Peretz.

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik (Oy + Kvetch + Nik) is Davis’s first completely original book.

“Chanukah has always been my favorite Jewish holiday,” the author explains. “So it’s not surprising that when I finally began writing my own short stories, they turned out to be Chanukah tales set in the ‘Old Country’ – the tiny towns and villages of Russia and Eastern Europe – before the turn of the 20th century. For many of us who are Jewish, this was the birthplace of our alte bobes and zaydes – our great-grandmothers and grandfather.”

In his review for Readers’ Favorite.com, book critic Jack Magnus writes, “Scott Hilton

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnic
Illustration for “The Pawnshop Menorah” by Amy Levine

Davis brings to life the little village of Oykvetchnik and shares a glimpse into the village’s celebration of the Festival of Lights with his readers… I was hooked by the stories and the history I was learning about this special holiday, as well as the culture and lifestyle found in the shtetls. Davis’s stories are grand fun for reading aloud, and Amy Levine’s black and white drawings work perfectly with each tale.”

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik will be available in paperback ($9.95) and hardback ($16.95) at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Powells.com, and other online and local bookstores.

About Jewish Storyteller Press: Founded in 2007 as a way of celebrating Jewish literature, culture, and values, Jewish Storyteller Press is a small independent publishing company committed to using print‑on‑demand and e‑book technology to bring the works of 19th century Yiddish writers to 21st-century English-speaking readers. For more information: www.jewishstorytellerpress.com.

 

FORSYTH FAMILY: “Frank McNair, Life on the Line”

82FF-FrankMcNairLifeOnTheLine

By Vonda Henderson

Frank McNair, a native North Carolinian, knows about football. He loves the game. The football team of his youth was the Laurinburg Fighting Scots, the same as that of his characters. “I had a 72-hour career as a football player for the University of North Carolina,” Frank shared. “I was invited to walk on on Sunday and left on Wednesday. I know when to walk away.” Frank did continue to enjoy playing football while in college, and with other club football teams well into his twenties.

After graduating from UNC, Frank worked for a time in the banking industry. He earned his MBA at Wake Forest and worked for a number of years in corporate America. He and his wife have worked together in their consulting business for the past 30 years. He has written two non-fiction books, and Life on the Line–Football, Rage and Redemption is his debut novel, a ten-year labor of love.  READ MORE…

THE INDIE VIEW: “Interview with Frank McNair, author of Life on the Line”

Life-on-the-Line

My agent retired and I am a 65-year-old man with a first novel. Given the state of publishing today, I was never going to find an agent.

Frank McNair – 28 August 2017

The Back Flap

Life on the Line is the ideal book for the sports novel enthusiast or the reluctant teenage reader. It is the gripping story of two middle school boys struggling to understand themselves and the world around them. Life on the Line gives teens and adults a front row seat to authentic gridiron action, the struggles and joys of adolescence, and the redemptive power of love and faith.

About the book

 What is the book about?

The book is about two eighth-grade boys and the struggles they face as they overcome their differences (and deep mutual antipathy) to lead the Fighting Scot football team to an undefeated season. The book is nominally about football (hence the title: Life on the Line), but it encompasses coming-of-age, the effects of family circumstances on the boys, and – as the subtitle says: “Football, Rage, and Redemption.”

When did you start writing the book?

I began the book in a class at the Duke University Writer’s Workshop in the summer of 2007.

How long did it take you to write it?  READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW…