Essays

Featured Work

Knitting Narratively

(Elice Behr)

"Casting Off" is a wonderful tale of knitting and life.  This is the first novel by Nicole Dickson and she has done an outstanding job of keeping your interest while at the same time weaving a challenging, complex tale full of interesting characters intersecting one another's lives.
 
The story's main character, Rebecca Moray, and her daughter, Rowan, leave their lives and travel to a small island off the coast of Galway, Ireland so Rebecca can document the history behind ‘Gansey’ sweaters, also known as the fisherman knit or aran sweaters.  

Here, on this tiny island, the sweaters have been used for generations by locals to combat the weather, but also to detail and define the history of the families that wear them.  It is the feelings stitched into rows and the memories in each pattern that make this story so enchanting.  Each sweater is a work of art and life. 

Dickson's story, as well as those told in the sweaters, also show us that an ideal life is unobtainable and that we have to work through our hurts and abuses.  She shows us that by letting people into our lives, maybe we will see a different side of our own story. 

The story and the sweaters aren’t so much the single stitches but rather what  they mean altogether.  

Although I have knitted fisherman knit sweaters for 40 years, knitting narratively has never been a part of my...

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The Accidental Capitalist

(Emilie Haertsch)

The Coco Puffs are clearly mine. I wrote my name on every side of the box in marker, pressing hard for emphasis.

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Image Courtesy of Grove Press

Explicitly Yours

(Kelly Borberg)

The reviews of Wetlands are effusive: “explicit,” “shocking,” “accomplished,” and even “a feminine manifesto.”  I was eager to tuck into the bold, bra...

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Jeff Gordinier Interview

(The Raleigh Quarterly)

Jeff Gordinier, author of "X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep the World from Sucking," talks with the RQ.

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Revisionist History Moments

(Lauren Turner)

My narrative collages aim to present a parallel history to the world. It is a history wherein the banal becomes beastly, and the mythological becomes ...

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Backsliders

(Scott Huler)

I did not go see a one-night reunion of the Backsliders last winter when they played in downtown Raleigh, so I have to figure that a chapter in my lif...

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The Too-Much Rainy Season

(Susan Bauer)

When I lived and taught in the arid African country of Namibia, my students never...

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Beyond Bored

(Karl Pearl)

Don't try to tell me otherwise. Don't try to sell me on the human race being a blizzard of beautifully distinct snowflakes. I know what life is like a...

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Kat Whitaker

Bury me in the backyard

(Jennifer King)

Last year three members of my extended family died: my husband's two grandmothers and my grandparents' dog...

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