WILSON, N.C. — December 14, 2021 — Filled with wit and wisdom, his short columns focus on timely topics, colorful community characters, the art of making a home and raising a family, and above all, a love for Eastern North Carolina. Southern author and Barton College professor Michael K. Brantley’s newest book, titled “It’s a Time in the Land: Best of The Soapbox,” offers a compilation of the best of his award-winning weekly opinion columns published in “The Nashville Graphic.”
“There is a lot of humor in everyday life if you can embrace and look for it,” Brantley shares. For a quarter century, he has written some 1,200 columns for “The Nashville Graphic,” and now, he shares 86 of his favorites in his latest book.
“It’s a Time in the Land” softcover edition will be a welcomed gift under the Christmas tree this year and is available on Amazon for $13.00.
Jo Anne Cooper, publisher of “The Nashville Graphic,” notes in the book’s foreword, “Mike Brantley cut his teeth at ‘The Nashville Graphic’ newspaper writing news and opinion pieces during his youthful years in high school…His weekly columns are powerful as they motivate readers to think about local, state, and national issues in a different light than what can just be assumed…Mike has an incredible gift of storytelling while also the ability to take us back to our roots to remember times that are so influential and relevant to our lives today.”
“It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Stupidity,” “Watch It, He’s a Biter,” “We Should Use Quarantines for More Things Besides COVID,” “Rich is a Relative Term,” “Messing with North Carolina Barbecue is Like Slapping Our Mamas,” “A Big Clucking Deal,” and “The Pioneers Would Think We’re Idiots” are just a few of the titles that tease the reader into a world where you always slow down long enough to hear to the latest story being shared around the table at the local diner. You don’t have to live in a small town or hail from a rural area to appreciate its value. And, Brantley’s book provides the perfect chance for you to sit down and visit with him for a while.
Rick Stewart, retired editor/publisher of The Johnstonian Group, writes, “…Those who have not met Michael will instantly be introduced to a writer able to create pictures with words that are moving, funny, tear-evoking or just plan out of the ordinary…He is able to take those experiences such as his introduction to coffer, the power company’s attempt to take control of his thermostat or wistful letters to his children and place you there as he write. You will be moved to laugh, smile, wipe a tear or just say ‘wow.’”
Brantley is a gifted North Carolina author who has also written “Memory Cards: Portraits From A Rural Journey,” published in 2015. Regarding this book, the late legendary “Raleigh News & Observer” columnist and author Dennis Rogers shared, “Michael Brantley has the eyes of a camera and the soul of a poet. ‘Memory Cards’ is a gentle and memory-jogging visit to a time and a place just down the road that is fading all too quickly. Along the way, he’ll make you smile, nod, try to swallow that lump in your throat and say more than once ‘Damn, I wish I’d written that.’ Savor this book.”
Brantley’s second book, “Galvanized: The Odyssey of a Reluctant Carolina Confederate,” received critical acclaim, as it captured the essence of a turbulent time in this nation’s history through the story of his great-great-grandfather’s experience during and after the Civil War. The historical, non-fiction narrative included war, intrigue, peace, politics, and murder. “Galvanized” was named #1 in New Releases: US Civil War Gettysburg History and #1 New Releases: US Civil War Confederate History on Amazon soon after its release in spring 2020, nominated in October 2020 for the Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction, given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, and nominated in February 2021 for the Wiley-Silver Prize for the best Civil War book published in 2020.
About the author —
In 2019, Brantley was awarded an Archie K. Davis Fellowship from the North Caroliniana Society for research on another upcoming book project.
Brantley has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte), a Master of Arts degree in English from East Carolina University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Barton College.
He currently serves his undergraduate alma mater, Barton College, as an assistant professor of communications and advises the student newspaper. His research and writing interests include North Carolina history, baseball, bluegrass and roots music, American history, Southern culture, and folklore.
He also has worked as a freelancer for state, national, and regional magazines covering music, agriculture, sports, collectibles, and business. His column, “The Soapbox,” won Best Humor Column for Weekly Papers in 2000 from the North Carolina Press Association.
An acclaimed photographer, Brantley earned his Master of Photography and his Craftsman degree from the Professional Photographers of America, and his Fellow of Photography from the Professional Photographers of North Carolina. Over the course of his 18-year career, his photographs have won state, regional, and international honors, including three Fuji Masterpiece Awards, three Southeastern Professional Photographers Association (SEPPA) Distinguished Awards, and a PPA International Loan Print. His North Carolina awards include several first place honors, and a Best of Show in 2003.
Brantley and his wife Kristi, a historian, and their children make their home in rural Nash County in eastern North Carolina.
For more information about the author and his books, visit his website at www.michaelkbrantley.com or on social media at Facebook and Twitter.