Struggling Toward Eden




Join authors Glenda Bailey-Mershon and John Hughes as they tell stories and read poems set in the South, among people you might know or who may be new to you. Meet Black Cherokee, Roma, and other people of mixed heritage through Bailey-Mershon’s poetry in Weaver’s Knot, which has been called “entrancing" and “spellbinding." Through John Hughes novel, The Boys, meet Darling Jean, a young woman of the Ozarks who longs to be accepted into the world of Lucas and Lowell, two handsome and daring young men she meets at college. What happens after we get what we want?

1) General Admission (GA) - Free - Includes entry into the event. The book is NOT included. THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF FREE TICKETS.

2) General Admission (GA) - Book Bundle - Includes a copy of Weaver's Knot by Glenda Bailey-Mershon

3) General Admission (GA) - Book Bundle - Includes a copy of The Boys by John Hughes

All copies of Weaver's Knot and The Boys to be signed at the event need to be purchased through Writer's Block Bookstore.


Weaver's Knot immerses readers in the lives of textile mill workers, weavers, and needleworkers of Appalachia, and intrigues with the colorful tapestry of ethnic groups who mingle there. We are introduced to a traditional folksinger with a voice "granite rich and husky," and a Romani poet who beguiles a bored coffeehouse audience with Manouche jazz. "Everything's a song," she says. "Mountain girls" skat, dance to rain drumming on city roofs, and sass strangers who try to seduce with cock-eyed complements. Here mountains settle around one's shoulders like a familiar shawl, sacred streams flow with prayers, and grandmothers four generations removed sing echoing lullabies. Here also one finds love for humanity--"cunningly organized particles"-and devotion to the mountain "landscapes dipped in honey."


Glenda Bailey-Mershon edits the literary e-newsletter, The Inspiration Shelf, and a popular blog, Weaver’s Knot. A former bookseller, small press owner, and university administrator, as well as a noted community historian, she grew up at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, among a family of mixed Romani, Cherokee, Catawba, Scottish, Welsh, and English heritage. Her past publications include the novel Eve’s Garden (Twisted Road, 2014)the collections sa-co-in-ge/blue smokepoems (Jane’s Stories, 2006) and Bird Talk (Wild Dove, 1998); and four volumes as editor of Jane's Stories’ anthologies, including the immigration volume, Bridges and Borders (2013). Her work has appeared in publications as varied as The Daily Beast and Appalachian Heritage, and has been anthologized, most recently in Wagtail: The Roma Women’s Poetry Anthology (Butcher’s Dog, UK, 2022); in the forthcoming Stone by Stone (Propertius Press), as well as a forthcoming anthology from Salmon Press, UK. She enjoys speaking at book clubs, high schools, colleges, and writing conferences. Past venues include Chicago public schools; Southeast Booksellers Association; Florida Other Words Conference; Poet Fest St. Augustine; Jane’s Stories Writing Retreats; and various public libraries, colleges, and universities. Her events are often multimedia and multi-writer experiences, and frequently include music and local artists. She is known for singing and dancing to exemplify poetic meter and rhyme, and audience members are welcome to join in––They frequently do!


"...grab yourself a drink, a stiff one, make it a double, settle into your easy chair, open The Boys, and begin. You're home for the evening. And I promise you this, Lucas and Lowell will haunt your dreams." --John Dufresne, author of I Don't Like Where This Is Going

Darling Jean Bramlett has been accepted into the college of her dreams. In the first thrilling days of her freshman year, she works hard in her classes and dreams of becoming a famous poet and a scholar. Then she meets two upperclassmen, Lucas and Lowell. Brilliant, handsome, confident, they seem to be everything she wants to be. They pull her into their orbit, and with them she embarks on a series of increasingly bizarre and violent adventures, ultimately resulting in murder.


John Calvin Hughes grew up in the dusty, labyrinthine neighborhoods of west Jackson, Mississippi. He has worked as a housepainter, a hole digger, a social worker, a teacher, and an oil changer. He is the world’s okayest golfer. The University of Southern Mississippi gave him a Master’s in Creative Writing, and the University of South Florida was somehow convinced to award him a Ph.D. Both institutions are under investigation, I’m sure. His dissertation appears in book form: The Novels and Short Stories of Frederick Barthelme. The Shape of Our Luck and Cul-de-sac Agonistes are poetry chapbooks, and the cul-de-sac one is the better of them. His full-length collection of poetry is called Music from a Farther Room and has a really great cover. And he’s also published three novels: Twilight of the Lesser Gods, Killing Rush, and The Lost Gospel of Darnell Rabren. His fourth novel, The Boys, will be published in August 2023. The novels are all exceptional works, in their own ways. Take my word. I’m the guy’s biographer.

Event date: 
Friday, November 10, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Event address: 
316 N. Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
Event Type: