Former Enterprise editor publishes collection of columns | Wide Awake
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Former Enterprise editor publishes collection of columns

Posted on December 27, 2021

Updated on December 29, 2021

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Michael Brantley's third book, a collection of columns, is on sale now.

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Michael Brantley's third book, a collection of columns, is on sale now.



Southern author and Barton College professor Michael K. Brantley’s newest book, “It’s a Time in the Land: Best of The Soapbox,” offers a compilation 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,” said Brantley, a former editor of The Spring Hope Enterprise.

In a quarter century, Brantley wrote roughly 1,200 columns for The Nashville Graphic. He shares 86 of his favorites in his latest book. “It’s a Time in the Land,” a softcover edition, is available for $13 on

“Mike Brantley cut his teeth at The Nashville Graphic newspaper writing news and opinion pieces during his youthful years in high school,” Publisher Jo Anne Cooper notes in the book’s foreword. “...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 featured columns.

“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,” wrote Rick Stewart, retired editor and publisher of the Kenly News and its zoned editions in Johnston County, which were later combined to create the Johnstonian News. “...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 also wrote “Memory Cards: Portraits From A Rural Journey,” published in 2015.

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, nonfiction narrative included war, intrigue, peace, politics and murder. “Galvanized” was 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 this February for the Wiley-Silver Prize for the best Civil War book published in 2020.

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.

Brantley and his wife Kristi, a historian, and their children make their home in rural Nash County.

For more information about the author and his books, visit

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