Start: 7:00 pm
West Trade Review is published each spring by Johnson and Wales University, and strives to put forth the best contemporary writing and artwork.
The journal publishes a mix of established and up-and-coming writers. Our goal: To share the best art from both emerging and established creative minds on campus, in Charlotte and beyond. The authors in attendance will be:
Matt Sailor is Editor-in-Chief of New South, Georgia State Univeristy's Journal of Art and Literature. He is currently pursuing his MFA in fiction at Georgia State and resides in Atlanta, GA.
Kerry Anne Williams currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC, and is a graduate of UNC. She writes young adult novels and children's books.
Alisha Gard, a California native, currently resides in Carrboro, NC, and attends UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been twice awarded prizes in the Independent Weekly Annual Poetry Contest and recently was an Honorable Mention in the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Emily Banks currently attends UNC-Chapel Hill and is an intern for the Carolina Quarterly.
Start: 11:00 am
Leah Robinson is a fun-loving, high-spirited young lady who is the daughter of the well-known bishop of Hattiesville Community Church. She seems to have it all: wonderful friends, a near-perfect life, and a wonderful fiancé, Grant Sturdivant, with whom she is deeply in love. Grant is in the Army and is stationed in Germany. Before he comes home, she begins planning their dream wedding. After Leah suffers a significant headache one day that put her in the hospital for an indefinite amount of time, her friends begin to worry about her and whether or not she and Grant will still get married. Meanwhile, Janis Mitchell, Grant's ex, is jealous of Leah and her relationship with Grant and does everything in her power to break them up.
Will Leah ever recover from her illness and marry the love of her life? Will Janis succeed at breaking up Grant and Leah for her own selfish gain? In this compelling novel by first-time author Cheryl J. McCullough, you will follow Leah and Grant, as well as their family and friends, as they face adversity and persevere in spite of how life happens. The Wedding Party is a dynamic story about relationships with a surprising twist ending that you won't want to miss.
Start: 2:00 pm
Library Journal says The Iguana Tree “recalls the work of John Steinbeck.” Kirkus Reviews calls it “exceptional … a haunting tale of hope and heartbreak.” Michel Stone’s debut novel, set against the backdrop of illegal immigration, is one family’s story of fateful decisions, risky border crossings, and a struggle for humanity.
Set amid the perils of illegal border crossings, The Iguana Tree is the suspenseful saga of Lilia and Hector, who separately make their way from Mexico into the United States, seeking work in the Carolinas and a home for their infant daughter.
Michel Stone's harrowing novel meticulously examines the obstacles each faces in pursuing a new life: manipulation, rape, and murder in the perilous commerce of border crossings; betrayal by family and friends; exploitation by corrupt officials and rapacious landowners on the U.S. side; and, finally, the inexorable workings of the U.S. justice system.
Hector and Lilia meet Americans willing to help them with legal assistance and offers of responsible employment, but their illegal entry seems certain to prove their undoing. The consequences of their decisions are devastating. In the end, The Iguana Tree is a universal story of loss, grief, and human dignity.