Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation announces the tenth annual Verse & Vino — an evening celebrating great writers, great wine and library supporters. The evening will feature New York Times bestselling authors Melanie Benjamin, Roxane Gay, Sadeqa Johnson, Etaf Rum, and Brad Taylor.
The evening event — presented by PNC Bank and emceed by radio legend Sheri Lynch — celebrates the joy of reading and reflects on the importance of libraries and literacy in our community. The event is hosted by co-chairs Gene and Jean Cochrane and Charles Thomas and Micaila Milburn and is expected to draw over 1,300 attendees to the Charlotte Convention Center on November 2, 2023.
This year’s Verse & Vino welcomes the following authors:
- Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans; The Aviator’s Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh; and Mistress of the Ritz, based on the true story of the American woman who ran the Ritz during World War II, catering to the Nazi occupiers by day while working for the Resistance by night. Melanie’s latest novel is California Golden, set in the “thrilling early days of California surf culture in this dazzling saga of ambition, sacrifice, and the tangled ties between mothers and daughters.” She lives in Chicago with her husband.
- Roxane Gay is the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, which was a New York Times bestseller; the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize; the memoir Hunger, which was a New York Times bestseller and received a National Book Critics Circle citation; and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. A contributing opinion writer to the New York Times, she has also written for Time, McSweeney’s, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Bookforum, and Salon. Her fiction has also been selected for The Best American Short Stories 2012, The Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and other anthologies. She is the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and sometimes Los Angeles.
- Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of And Then There Was Me, Second House From the Corner, Love in a Carry-on Bag and Yellow Wife. Yellow Wife is a 2022 Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy finalist, a BCALA Literary Honoree, the Library of Virginia’s Literary People’s Choice Award winner, and a Barnes & Noble book club pick in paperback. Her other accolades include winning the National Book Club Conference Award, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the USA Best Book Award for Best Fiction. Her latest novel is The House of Eve, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club of the Month selection. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and three children.
- Etaf Rum was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y, by Palestinian immigrants and is the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Woman Is No Man. She returns with her second novel Evil Eye, a striking exploration of the expectations of Palestinian-American women, the meaning of a fulfilling life, and the ways our unresolved pasts affect our presents. Etaf lives in North Carolina with her two children and runs the Instagram account @booksandbeans.
- Brad Taylor, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.), is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces, including eight years with Delta Force. Brad retired in 2010 after serving more than two decades and participating in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has written 15 New York Times bestsellers and is a security consultant on asymmetric threats for various agencies. His latest novel is The Devil’s Ransom: A Pike Logan Novel. Brad lives in Charleston, S.C., with his wife and two daughters.
Verse & Vino is an annual fundraiser for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, which supports the CommonSpark campaign including the building of a new Main Library; programs, services, digital and print collections; and a growing endowment for the future needs of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. It is presented by PNC Bank, and supported by Honeywell, American Airlines, Bank of America, Southminster, Lowe’s, Rodgers Builders and many other corporations and private individuals.
“During the past decade, Verse & Vino has become a cherished event for Charlotteans who recognize the Library’s important role in improving lives and building a stronger community,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “All of us at PNC are proud to have supported this meaningful event – and what it represents – since its inception, and we look forward to celebrating this milestone year for Verse & Vino.”
This year, the Library Foundation hopes to raise $1,000,000 during the tenth anniversary celebration of Verse & Vino, to support the Library’s mission to create a community of readers and empower individuals with free access to information and the universe of ideas.
More information about Verse & Vino and this year’s featured authors is available at foundation.cmlibrary.org/events/verse-vino, and tickets can be purchased online or by calling Teleia White at (704) 416-0803.