Jeffery Beam & Friends, "Jonathan Williams: Lord of Orchards"


The Regulator welcomes Jeffery Beam, co-editor of Jonathan Williams: Lord of Orchards. Contributors Thorn Craven, Neal Hutcheson, Elizabeth Matheson, and Michael McFee will join Beam for a reading and book signing. Free. Open to the public.


Jonathan Williams’s work of more than half a century is such that no one activity or identity takes primacy over any other—he was the seminal small press publisher of The Jargon Society; a poet of considerable stature; book designer; editor; photographer; legendary correspondent; critic and collector; proselytizer of visionary folk art; cultural anthropologist curmudgeon; happy gardener; resolute walker; and keen and adroit raconteur and gourmand.

His interests raised “the common to grace,” while paying “close attention to the earthy.” A celebrated as publisher and poet, he nurtured the nascent careers of hundreds of emerging or neglected poets, writers, artists, and photographers. Buckminster Fuller once called him “our Johnny Appleseed,” while Hugh Kenner hailed the Jargon Society as “the Custodian of Snowflakes” and Williams as “the truffle-hound of American poetry.” One might call Williams’ life a poetics of gathering, and this book a first harvest.

Jeffery Beam is poetry editor emeritus of Oyster Boy Review, a retired UNC-Chapel Hill botanical librarian, and has authored over 20 books of poems. Composers Holt McCarley and Steven Serpa have produced song, song cycles, and symphonic works based on Beam’s poems. Beam is a co-editor and contributor to Jonathan Williams: Lord of Orchards. Forthcoming is Spectral Pegasus/Dark Movements (2018), a poetry/painting collaboration with Welsh painter Clive Hicks-Jenkins, and his first children’s book The Droods with British artist Phil Cooper. Beam resides in Hillsborough with his husband of 37 years.

Thorns Craven, a native of Concord, NC, is a certified mediator and was director of the Legal Aid Society of Northwest NC for 21 years. He served as treasurer (1979-2013) of the Jargon Society whose assets were transferred to the Black Mountain Museum + Arts Center upon the society’s dissolution.  Because of his influence, Jonathan Williams became a huge fan of the Tour de France and learned to pronounce “Djamolidine Abdoujaparov.” His contribution: [Essay]  The White Trash Cooking Story

Neal Hutcheson is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work centers on issues of culture and heritage in transition. (First Language–The Race to Save Cherokee;  Coresounders–Living from the Sea; The Last One). He has also received awards and/or fellowships from the NC Folklore Society, the Carolina Film and Video Festival, the NC Arts Council. His work has been featured on PBS, Sundance, and History. His contribution: [Transcripts] “Inclemented That Way”—Jonathan Williams—Final Script—Talk about Writing: Portraits of North Carolina Writers

Hillsborough native Elizabeth Matheson is has won many awards for her photography, including the North Carolina Award for Excellence in the Arts. Her work has been featured in publications including Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers; To See, poems by Michael McFee; Blithe Air: Photographs of England, Wales, and Ireland; and Shell Castle, Portrait of a North Carolina House. Matheson’s most recent exhibitions have spotlighted her Italian and Cuban photographs. Her contribution: A photographic portrait of Jonathan Williams in Cumbria, England, 1979.

Michael McFee has taught poetry writing at UNC-Chapel Hill since 1990. He is the author of ten books of poems—most recently a full-length collection That Was Oasis—as well as one collection of prose, The Napkin Manuscripts: Selected Essays and an Interview.


Event date: 
11/18/2017 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
Jonathan Williams: Lord of Orchards Cover Image
By Jeffery Beam (Editor), Richard Owens (Editor)
ISBN: 9781632260871
Availability: available for order
Published: Prospecta Press - September 26th, 2017