Archive for poetry events

Lovers’ Loop Retreat May muse-letter

This is one of the prettiest springs we can remember here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. Our azaleas are bursting in red, pink and white; our rhododendrons are blushing in pink; the dogwoods are blooming snow-white; the serviceberry had popcorn-like blooms; the forsythia and redbud rocked.

It’s a healthy spring throughout the Asheville area. Asheville is buzzing right along with nature now with an abundance of activities and events that await you. Lovers’ Loop Retreat is a quick, easy drive to lively downtown Asheville, the Biltmore estate in Asheville, the River Arts District and other attractions. And the Blue Ridge Parkway is at the end of our street for outdoor recreation fans and scenic-roadway cruisers.

Free things to do in Asheville in May

Asheville has plenty of free and nearly-free activities. Enjoy some free things to do in Asheville in May. The Big Love Fest on May 1 at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville will feature live music, arts and crafts and locally-brewed beers. It’s new and FREE. Asheville Wordfest, an annual poetry festival, will be May 3-8 and will include a diverse slate of poets, some nationally known, as well as opportunities for open-mic readings for others. Poetry events are held downtown, and they’re FREE. The Wedge brewery in the River Arts District starts its FREE outdoor movie series May 7 with “Harold and Maude.” The series continues each Saturday night through Sept. 24.

More Free Asheville Events in May

The Weaverville Art Safari just north of Asheville, a self-guided tour of artists’ studios, will be May 7-8. The Montford Arts and Music Festival on May 21 is an outdoor street festival with two stages for music, theater and dance, plus lots of vendors. Nearly free is the Feral Chihuahuas, a local comedy troupe, which performs the second Saturday of each month for free at Broadways downtown; Broadways charges a $5 fee for an annual membership. Another nearly free option is the Asheville Cinebarre movie theater, where a flick costs $3 and just $1 on Sunday.

Make Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, your place to stay when you explore Asheville, NC recreation, arts, restaurants and festivals. Events are posted and updated through the year on Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. You can link to our blog,, on the home page, and we’re also on Twitter! Our website features a link where you can contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

Asheville’s Downtown After Five

A fun way to get down downtown in Asheville is the Downtown After Five FREE outdoor music series. The first concert will be May 20 with the Asheville Horns and Bayou Diesel. The street festival runs the third Friday of each month from May through September. Food and locally made beer are available, and sales benefit charities. Shops stay open longer, too.

Fanaticon in Asheville

Fans of comic book and pop culture will love this FREE annual event, held May 21 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown. It’s preceded by the Fanaticon Rave party May 20. It’s a tribute to heroes and villains with a costume masquerade, live music, panel discussions, comic book artists and more. Freak out!

Mountain Sports Festival

The Mountain Sports Festival May 27-29 is one of the biggest recreational events in Asheville each year. It’s FREE to attend. The festival offers competitions for professionals and amateurs in a range of activities, from climbing, cycling and paddling to disc golf, running and dodgeball. There’s free live music all weekend, too.

Asheville events in May

Check out these other events in Asheville in May: Asheville Tourists baseball May 5-12 and May 17-23, the FREE East of Asheville Studio Tour of artists’ studios May 14-15, Tret Fure in concert May 20, Little Feat in concert May 24 and a rose show at the North Carolina Arboretum May 28-29.

All of these events and activities and more are listed on our website. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

Reach us at loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com or (828) 545-2950.


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Lovers’ Loop Retreat May muse-letter

Azaleas bursting like proud parents, dogwoods at their peak, rhododendrons starting to dazzle and some blooming plants that we, ahem, don’t know the identity of, sorry to say. This is a more vibrant spring than we’ve had in several years here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative. That’s partly due to the end of the drought in western North Carolina .

There’s never a drought of activities and big fun in Asheville , and when you catch some rest and relaxation at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, you’re practically an eye-blink away from a multitude of festivities. The outdoors is its own draw, with mountains, rivers and scenic roads to explore by foot, kayak or canoe, bike and car, right outside the door of Lovers’ Loop Retreat.

Just ask Michelle and Barack Obama. They spent the weekend of April 23-25 in Asheville . They liked the area so much during the campaign in 2008 that they returned for a vacation. They surprised diners at restaurants and played golf. They toured Asheville ’s Biltmore estate, just 10 minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, and they hiked along the Blue Ridge Parkway , almost literally a stone’s throw from our guest suite.

Come see what brought the Obamas back to Asheville , and make our Asheville vacation rental your peaceful, convenient base.

Events are posted through the year on our Web site,, and we update the site regularly. Use the Web site to check out what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. We’re also on Twitter!

May’s mix of magic includes puppetry, a comic book convention, annual sports and poetry festivals, Shakespeare under the stars, concerts from pop icon Norah Jones to Irish folk music and Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and the wildly popular Lake Eden Arts Festival. May also is the start of Downtown After 5, the seasonal, FREE outdoor music series in downtown Asheville . And the festival of flowers at the Biltmore estate continues through May 16.

Get your bloom on!

Catch some nature at the annual rhododendron show May 1-2 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville . May 4-9 is Asheville Wordfest, a FREE poetry festival that features a variety of established and emerging poets.

The Lake Eden Arts Festival, or LEAF, May 6-9 is a semiannual, multicultural, multi-arts event in Black Mountain , about 15 minutes east of Lovers’ Loop Retreat. (The next LEAF will be in October.)

Norah Jones will perform May 11 at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville . Also downtown on May 11, Jorma Kaukonen will appear with David Bromberg at the Orange Peel.

A bright new event is Fanaticon, a FREE convention for fans of comic books, fantasy and science fiction on May 15 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown. If you like open-air Shakespeare, check out the Montford Park Players’ production, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” May 20-30. This Shakespeare troupe starts its season now and will perform into the fall. Most of its productions are FREE.

Get your groove on at Downtown After 5 on May 21, and keep the groove going on May 22 at the annual Montford Music and Art Festival, a FREE street festival just outside downtown Asheville .

The annual Mountain Sports Festival, May 28-30 in Asheville, packs in participants and spectators for inspiring feats of rock climbing, cycling, running, disc golf, paddling, skateboarding and other activities.

Early June brings the start of Biltmore estate’s summer concert series, the inaugural Beer City Bash in Asheville and lots more great stuff.

All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville !

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat April muse-letter

 The forsythia is about to burst with its proud yellow, the daffodils are nearly popping out, and the birds are busy as bees tending to their nests in the trees here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative. We’re springing into April!

            There’s no prettier place to come for the greening than western North Carolina, where the mountains are inspiring all year, the Blue Ridge Parkway just around the corner from Lovers’ Loop Retreat will start flowering any time now, and downtown Asheville becomes an even more hopping and happening place.         

            April boasts Asheville’s typical variety of musical entertainment and the start of the Biltmore estate’s Festival of Flowers, a spectacular array of colors that lasts into May. April also brings the Asheville HATCHfest, David Sedaris, the first Actionfest film festival, Asheville’s zany and tough roller derby divas, the annual herb festival and more.   

Lovers’ Loop Retreat is close to all of these goings on, so make our Asheville vacation rental your convenient and homey base when you sample Asheville activities.

            Events are posted through the year on our Web site,, and we update the site regularly. Use the Web site to check out what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. We’re also on Twitter!

            The first gallery walk of the season is April 2, when the many Asheville art galleries downtown stay open longer and offer refreshments in a casual but festive atmosphere as people gallery-hop. Think fun!

            The Festival of Flowers opens April 3 and lasts through May 16 at the Biltmore, an estate with beautiful gardens and grounds open to the public. The festival features stunning tulips and live music, too.

On April 10, several members of the monthly poetry group we host, the Lovers’ Loop Poetry Forum, including a Lovers’ Loop Retreat co-owner, will read original poems publicly at Posana Cafe in downtown Asheville. 

            On April 15, the Irish band Lunasa will play Celtic music at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, and Allan Toussaint will rock at the Orange Peel downtown.

            Also on April 15 in Asheville, HATCHfest comes around again, and Actionfest makes its debut. Both events will run April 15-18. HATCHfest brings big names in arts and entertainment to mentor participants with emerging talent in workshops, panels and exhibits. Actionfest calls itself the world’s first festival focused on action films. Chuck Norris will appear at the festival, which will offer screenings of world premieres and classics, demonstrations by a stunt man and other eye-opening entertainment.    

            Humorist David Sedaris will appear April 16 at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville. This popular and funny dude has appeared in Asheville before enthusiastic audiences. 

            Chimney Rock Park, North Carolina’s newest state park, has amazing biodiversity, and the park starts to rock in spring. The park, a lovely, scenic drive just east of Lovers’ Loop Retreat, has an Earth Day celebration April 17 and a guided bird walk April 18 and many other guided walks throughout the year.

            The Blue Ridge Roller Girls stomp and strut around the roller derby ring on April 24 in downtown Asheville. And on April 30, the Asheville Herb Festival begins and runs through May 2.

            Early May brings the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), the Asheville Wordfest poetry event, Norah Jones and Fanaticon, a convention for fans of comic books, science fiction and fantasy.     

            All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat May ’09 muse-letter

It’s a colorful spring here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville, N.C., vacation rental: azaleas in white and several shades of red, pink and pinker rhododendrons, lacy white dogwoods. The backyard is filling in with foliage. Our tomato and pea plants are humming along, and little basil plants are starting to grow. A thrill of our spring so far was seeing five finches, including a goldfinch, on the feeder at once, afeat unrepeated since, alas (but we keep looking).

            All of this is yours to behold when you stay at our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. Many guests enjoy sitting on the porch to commune with the squirrels and birds that own the trees and air space here. As usual, there’s a range of activities happening in the area in May, too. Visit our Web site at to see a list of events we update regularly. We have events posted all the way to December, so you can see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville. You can link directly to our blog at, or from the home page. There is also a link to another Asheville blog on the home page with YouTube links to videos about Asheville.

            This spring, we’ve done some of our favorite activities — hiking at Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River, just 30 miles from Lovers’ Loop Retreat — and some things we haven’t done before — taking a women’s history (herstory) tour of downtown Asheville and taking a wild ride on a zany, purple bus called LaZoom, a comedy tour of downtown Asheville. All of this is good stuff, and you may want to explore these activities when you visit.          

            The banquet of events in May includes rhododendron (May 2-3) and rose (May 30-31) shows at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, always a pretty place to visit. For more flowers, the Biltmore estate’s annual Festival of Flowers lasts through May 17. More rooms at the estate, the home originally of George Vanderbilt, have been opened to the public this year. 

            The annual Asheville Wordfest, April 30-May 3, is a poetry festival that includes internationally known and regional poets. Another literary event is the Blue Ridge Book and Author Showcase May 8-9 in nearby Hendersonville with workshops and talks by authors, sales and book signings.     

            One of the area’s biggest events is the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), held twice a year in Black Mountain, just east of Asheville. LEAF, May 7-10, features a slate of international dancers, musicians and visual artists.

             For sports enthusiasts, a popular annual event in Asheville is the Mountain Sports Festival May 29-31. The festival has demonstrations, clinics and competitive events in rock climbing, kayaking, running, cycling, disc golf and backpacking.                   

            A two-for-one comedy show May 30 in Asheville features Vickie Shaw and Jennie McNulty. And for a different type of comedy, not to mention lots of bravery and just sheer strength and stamina, there’s the Blue Ridge Roller Girls, Asheville’s roller derby team that has a bout May 30 at the civic center downtown.

            Early June brings the second art gallery walk of the season June 5, a glimpse into the many art galleries in downtown Asheville. And June 5 is the season debut for the Montford Park Players, North Carolina’s oldest Shakespeare company. These are both free things to do in Asheville! The Montford Players appreciate donations, though, of course.

            All of these events and more are listed on our Web site. And for Indigo Girls fans, the duo has rescheduled its April concert in Asheville to Sept. 17 at the Orange Peel downtown. We hope to be there. 

            Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat! See you in Asheville!

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Book a visit to Asheville

One of downtown Asheville’s icon’s is Malaprop’s bookstore on Haywood Street. It’s an independent bookseller with many books by local and regional authors and poets, and the store hosts frequent poetry readings, book signings and other events. Our poetry group has read at Malaprop’s, and we’ve attended some of their events, which usually draw a crowd.  

Most people who visit Asheville—and most guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat Asheville bed and breakfast alternative—find their way to Malaprop’s. Some people are drawn by the Internet café, which is a cozy place to socialize, check e-mail or just perch and people-watch. It’s in a good location downtown, a few doors away from the civic center and down the street from Pritchard Park. The store has been around for about 25 years, no small feat for an independent bookseller, and the place is a real hub of activity, conversation and creativity. You’ll get a flavor of Asheville if you hang out there for awhile. 

Malaprop’s is so popular that it’s a favorite hangout for Asheville’s many and various street musicians, too. They sing, play guitar, accordion, banjo, cello, saxophone outside the store off and on for much of the day to serenade visitors as they enter and leave.    

Malaprop’s has a sister store, Downtown Books & News on Lexington Avenue, with a big selection of newspapers and used and rare books. And there’s another independent bookstore downtown, The Captain’s Bookshelf, which sells used and rare books, on Page Avenue.

Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar downtown is a new business that sells used books and offers champagne and wine to patrons.  

When you visit Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville vacation rental, bookmark some of these bookstores.

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Asheville Coffee Houses

If you enjoy coffee – and the coffeehouse scene – downtown Asheville has a varied bunch to choose from. Some visitors to Lovers’ Loop Retreat have enjoyed checking out the coffeehouses.

            We met friends this month at Green Sage, which may be the newest one downtown. Green Sage has solar panels on the roof that heat its water, which means that the sun is the coffeehouse’s hot water heater. Green Sage is a nice space, a good place to talk, with a good tea selection as well as coffee. The food and baked goods look really yummy!

            Two places that usually are lively are Greenlife, a grocery store with a café and organic coffees, and Malaprops, the popular bookstore and café. Greenlife may have the best deal on coffee. Plus they have great hot chocolate and yerba mate, my favorites. They also have every kind of smoothie and a great selection of baked goods, wraps, soups, sushi and more – all made on the premises. Malaprops always has an interesting crowd, book browsers and people on computers, a good place to hang out and people-watch; it hosts many book signings and readings.

            City Bakery and the Dripolator are two more coffeehouses downtown. Both sell baked goods. And there’s the Firestorm Café & Books, fairly new, which hosts a book club, poetry readings, sewing circle, craft workshops and other community events.

            When you visit Lovers’ Loop Retreat, you might want to explore some of these coffeehouses. You’ll get a fun flavor of the local scene.

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North Carolina poet laureate to read in Asheville this Sunday

Being writers and poets ourselves, we’re excited about the upcoming reading this Sunday at 2 p.m. by North Carolina poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer at the Asheville Art Museum downtown. It’s free, and we’ve never heard her read, so we plan to check it out. She lives in Western North Carolina, just down the road from Asheville.  

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Our Asheville Poetry Group

Yesterday our poetry group met. We’ve been hosting poetry groups for years – in Massachusets, Virginia, and now here in Asheville. We meet the first Sunday of the month at our home. We’re actually planning to start a second time eacn month, meeting on a week night to accommodate those who can’t make it on a weekend day.

Yesterday there were six of us – a great group. We sat in a circle in our living room with a cozy fire in the fireplace. Not all of us had a poem so share – it’s not required – but most did, invarious stages of completion. Everyone has a very unique style. It’s alwasy fun to hear what gets shared.

There are quite a few women who’ve come and the number varies from month to month. There are some who come quite regularly and we often have new women join us. It’s becoming a wonderful community of grassroots Asheville poets.

After our poetry, we had a potluck yesterday. We do that occasionally and it’s always fun. People bring great stuff. We enjoyed sitting and visiting together and getting to know each other better.

Maybe next month you can join us! Bring your poetry.

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Saturday Night Poetry in Asheville!

We just got home from downtown Asheville. We have a poetry group that meets at our house once a month and three of us were participating in a reading. Asheville is full of creative opportunities like this. It’s great!

Well, you’d think on a cold winter night there wouldn’t be very many people out, but not so in Asheville. Downtown was really buzzing with activity. There were lots of people walking around and the restaurants and clubs were packed – before and after the poetry reading.

It was held at the Art Council’s gallery on Biltmore Avenue. It’s a small space, but there must have been about 50 people crowded in.  We’re hoping to have more readings there in the future. Maybe you’ll be able to join us!

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat’s first blog!

Lovers’ Loop Retreat, a guest suite in Asheville, NC, has had an active website for several years where we try to keep people aware of various places to go and things to do in the Asheville area. But, it’s time we got going with a blog!

We used to come to Asheville for vacations and always wished there was an affordable, private, homey-kind-of-place where we could stay that had what we needed to cook for ourselves if we didn’t want to eat in restaurants all the time – or eat more than granola bars and rice cakes and peanut butter!

So, when we moved here and realized we had a bit more room in our house then we needed, we decided to make it available to visitors. It’s been a great way to meet people from all over the world!

We just have the one guest suite, so it’s very private and very spacious. You have your own entrance with off-street parking. Besides the bedroom with one double bed, there’s a single bed in the large living room. The cooking area includes a fridge, microwave, hot plate and coffee maker. There’s a spacious, full private bath. If you like, you can set up the Ping Pong table.

We’re just 10 minutes from downtown, a mile from I-240, I-40 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visit our site or email us for more information.

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