Mount Holly, Belmont, Gastonia
Discover the literature that’s been spun from the city that once had the largest number of looms and spindles in the South and the region that had more cotton mills in the 1920s than any other place on earth.
Writers with a connection to this area: Sherwood Anderson, Stewart Atkins, LeGette Blythe, Max Childers, Olive Tilford Dargan (Fielding Burke), Thomas A. Dixon, Pamela Duncan, June Guralnick, Grace Lumpkin, Don Mager, Dorothy Myra Page, William Rollins, Flora Ann Scearce, Chuck Sullivan, Mary Heaton Vorse and Ella Mae Wiggins
North Carolina Arts Council Literary Fellows: Sherry Shaw, Gastonia (fiction writer, 2008); Jeffrey Stacy, Mount Holly (screenwriter, 2006).
For Scott Douglass
Out of the ordinary, alongside,
a car pulls up in this ant-line. I look
across. Like neighbors, light to light, for blocks,
we creep. Their boom concusses air inside
my closed windows. Four boys (weave, cap turned,
dreads, white rolled up doo rag) rock their torsos
like jerky metronomes, and their wide mouths
chant the virility of unbroken
uncompromised joy. Clasping the moment
as if the throbbing bass were the heartbeat
of the cosmos and they rode its center,
they rap along one voice joined together.
I switch off the news on my radio
because theirs is plenty enough for now.
—From Drive Time, by Don Mager (Charlotte: Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2008), 33.
Johnson C. Smith University English professor Don Mager provides an unusually joyful image of the daily commute along one of the many corridors leading into and out of downtown Charlotte to neighboring cities.
To learn more about the area, select one of the buttons below: