WALTER the magazine was named after Sir Walter Raleigh the man, the intriguing individual that our the City of Oaks claims as its namesake. Sir Walter Raleigh was, among other things, a writer, poet and explorer—and we channel those qualities in our pages.
For ten years, WALTER has built a reputation as the premier arts and culture publication in Raleigh.
Here at WALTER, we believe in stunning photography and elevated prose. We believe in celebrating the folks who make the Triangle an amazing place to live, work and play. In our magazine, website and social media, you’ll learn about our leaders and do-ers, artists and athletes, innovators and old-timers. You’ll get a glimpse into unique spaces and be inspired to explore our parks, museums, restaurants and stores. You may laugh when a local personality shares his insights, or cry when you witness your neighbors helping neighbors. Above all, WALTER wants to share all that’s good in our community.
WALTER is part of the magazine group at The Pilot, a North Carolina-based, family-owned company with 125 years and four generations of publishing roots here in Raleigh. WALTER’s sister publications include O.Henry in Greensboro, PineStraw in Southern Pines, SouthPark in Charlotte and Business North Carolina.
How to read WALTER
Our print issue comes out 12 times a year. You can subscribe here or find it in our of our boxes decorated by local artists at one of these locations, or in retail locations and local museums. For weekly updates and reading suggestions, subscribe to our newsletter.
Work with WALTER
We are proud to be based in North Carolina, and to employ locals as our staff, writers, photographer, illustrators and interns. Click here to learn about different ways to work or intern for WALTER.
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The WALTER Staff
We are a small but mighty team here in Raleigh! Here’s who you’ll find in our Fayetteville Street offices…
Ayn-Monique Klahre joined WALTER as editor in 2018. She grew up mostly in Virginia (with stints overseas with her military family), graduated from Princeton University and earned a certificate in publishing from Columbia Journalism School. She spent over a decade in New York City, editing and writing for publications including Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, Woman’s Day and The New York Times before moving to Raleigh in 2017. She loves sunrise jogs, oat milk lattes and exploring North Carolina with her husband and daughters. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or see what she’s up to @amklahre.
Creative director Laura Wall won her first art competition at age six and has led her life in search of creative pursuits. She has always lived in the deep South — Georgia, North Carolina… and the southeast of the United Kingdom. Laura is a classically trained graphic designer and has created and launched numerous nationally award-winning magazines prior to joining WALTER in 2017. She enjoys working in the community as a board member and volunteer. Contact her at email@example.com.
Addie Ladner, a writer originally from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, joined WALTER as associate editor in March of 2020. She graduated from Spring Hill College with a degree in Integrated Communications where she received the Autry D. Greer Media Service Award for excellence in public relations and journalism. At WALTER, she writes and edits WALTER’s online stories, runs the social media channels and works to unearth the untold stories of this city for the print issue. She’s just as content spending time in her kitchen or garden as she is hitting up an outdoor concert or art exhibit her three little
hooligans girls. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Nickens joined the WALTER sales team full-time in July 2017 after decades with The News & Observer. She has over 26 years of advertising and marketing experience and has worked with WALTER since the very first issue. Julie has a bachelor’s degree from Salem College. She and her husband have two grown children; they are enjoying the empty nest life and spending as much time as possible in Morehead City. Contact her at email@example.com.
Cristina Hurley joined WALTER in 2014, where she serves as an account executive. She has been in the advertising industry for over ten years. She is a graduate of East Carolina University and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business marketing. She is an active volunteer within the community and in her spare time enjoys traveling the world with her husband. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WALTER publisher David Woronoff is one of the owners of The Pilot Media Group, along with Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks and the late Frank Daniels Jr. The Pilot acquired WALTER from McClatchy Newspapers in 2020. Along with WALTER, The Pilot publishes magazines PineStraw in Southern Pines, O.Henry in Greensboro, SouthPark in Charlotte and Business North Carolina. A Raleigh native who now lives in Southern Pines, you can contact him at email@example.com.
We rely on a talented pool of freelance writers, photographers and illustrators to create the content you love in WALTER. Meet some of the people whose work has graced our pages.
Noor Azeem grew up all over the map, but North Carolina is where she found her true home. She graduated from N.C. State in 2018 with a degree in English. She has a passion for reading, writing, and film photography.
Murry Burgess has always loved animals, which led her to a career in Urban Ecology and Ornithologym, and she is currently a 3rd year Ph.D student in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at North Carolina State University, where she studies the health effects of sensory pollutants of birds.
Wiley Cash is a New York Times bestselling novelist who teaches fiction writing and literature at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, where he serves as Alumni Author-in-Residence. His new novel, When Ghosts Come Home, is currently available. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, photographer Mallory Cash, and their daughters.
Chris Charles is a photographer and multidisciplinary creative. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY Charles studied Architectural Engineering at SUNY Farmingdale College of Technology prior to a 12-year stint as a U.S. Army paratrooper. He then earned a degree in Graphic Design. Visit his website here. Follow him @the_chrischarles.
Tyler Cunningham harnesses the power of storytelling through her photography to build deep connections between her subjects and the audience. She strives for those connections to forge trust, elicit emotion and allow us to better understand ourselves. Learn more on her website, tylercunninghamphotography.com.
Catherine Currin is a Raleigh native and former associate editor at WALTER. When she’s not working on her next story, Catherine works on the brand marketing team at CAPTRUST. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University, and enjoys giving back to her community through nonprofits like CASA and the YMCA of the Triangle.
Mike Dunn is a lifelong naturalist-educator living in the woods in Chatham County. He retired from the state after 36 years working with the NC State Parks System, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and the NC Botanical Garden. Now, he blogs as the Roads End Naturalist.
Andrea Rice is a writer and editor in Raleigh by way of Brooklyn covering health, wellness and lifestyle. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, INDY Week, Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, and SONIMA, and her first book, The Yoga Almanac, was published in March 2020. Read her work at andrearice.info and follow her on Instagram @doctordrea.
Justin Kase Conder is a Raleighite who spent seven years traveling as an international photographer. Whether photographing five miles from downtown Raleigh or on the Himalayan plains of Mongolia, Conder appreciates the people who dedicate their lives to the laborious work of growing the foods that fuel our lives. Visit Justin’s website here. Follow him @jkasephoto.
Liz Condo studied photojournalism at Ohio University before working as a staff photographer at The Advocate in Louisiana. Since becoming a freelance photographer, she has pursued a broad range of projects with a focus on conservation and sustainable agriculture. Visit Liz’s website here. Follow her @liz_condo.
John Dancy-Jones is a writer and retired special educator who operated The Paper Plant bookstore and small press in downtown Raleigh from 1982-1990. His published books include Performance Poems, Snapper: My Life with Snapping Turtles and The Natural History of Raleigh. He makes hand-laid paper and letterpress prints on in the new Paper Plant studios in Asheville.
Jim Dodson is the New York Times Bestselling author of 15 books including Final Rounds and A Golfer’s Life with Arnold Palmer. His latest book is The Range Bucket List. A son of North Carolina, Dodson is also the Founding Editor of PineStraw, O.Henry, and Salt magazines, as well as Seasons Style & Design.
Samantha Everette is a portrait photographer and Durham native. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from N.C. State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. Samantha spent a decade in New York City as a footwear designer and has since returned home to explore her passion for photography. Visit Samantha’s website here.
Miranda Evon is a writer born and raised in Raleigh. She is a writing graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design and a previous editorial intern at WALTER. Perhaps because her mother works in an assisted care facility, Evon enjoys sharing the older residents of our community’s stories and passions. Follow her @mirandaevon.
Ilina Ewen works as director of corporate responsibility at Samet Corporation, and spends her nights using her voice as a writer and advocate. Interviewing Dr. Paulette Dillard for WALTER was an intersection of her worlds, since Dr. Dillard serves on the Dix Park Conservancy board, where Ewen perviously worked.
Leah Finch, professionally a software trainer, meets with venue partners (museums, performing art centers, fairs) all over the country. Leah, also a sketch artist and writer declares “neighbor” to be her favorite descriptor. With every person she meets, she’s further convinced of the beauty, tragedy, redemption, and glory of the human experience.
Jason Frye travels to all corners of North Carolina looking for stories and the best food and drink around. He’s the author of several travel guides to the state, including Moon North Carolina, Moon Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip and Moon Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He’s a barbecue fiend, a bourbon lover and a selective beer drinker.
Joe Giglio covers sports for The News & Observer and first started working at the paper in 1995. He lives in Garner with his wife and two sons.
Samantha Gratton is a freelance writer in Raleigh who loves hearing and sharing life stories. From artists and musicians to small business owners and families, she enjoys finding the ways we can all relate to one another, while appreciating the beauty and perspective in our differences. Visit Samantha’s website here.
Madeline Gray is a documentary photographer based in Wilmington, North Carolina. She enjoys spending time in rural communities and collaborating to help share the diverse stories found there. After attending art school and pursuing a master’s degree in photojournalism, she decided to call North Carolina home. Visit Madeline’s website here and follow her @madelinepgray.
An artist known Edith Grey, Natasha Powell Walker graduated in 2007 from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design. Walker has over 20 decades of experience as a visual artist and illustrator. Originally from Richmond, VA, Natasha relocated to the Raleigh-Durham area in 2014. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for CAM.
Jaki Shelton Green is the ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina, the first African American and third woman to hold the title. She teaches documentary poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. She is the owner of SistaWRITE retreats for women writers. Visit her website here.
Joel Haas is well qualified to write about local history and eccentric passions. A Raleigh native and sculptor, He has turned water heaters into dinosaurs and electric motor parts into angels. In his youth, he was a reporter for the N&O and wrote paperback Westerns. He has interviewed a man who lassoed whales for a zoo and a woman who sexed alligators for conservationists.
Smith Hardy is a professional photographer who shoots sports, real estate and interior design. He got his first camera in 2002 and went on to study media communications at UNC Wilmington. Smith’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home and Architectural Digest.
The founder and co-owner of Artsuite, Marjorie Hodges is a creative professional who has worked with the North Carolina Museum of Art and CAM Raleigh. Her passion for arts, culture and community, as well as experience in contemporary art and exhibition planning, contribute to her effectiveness as an arts leader and community catalyst.
Hampton Williams Hofer graduated from the University of Virginia and has an MFA from New York University’s Writer’s Workshop in Paris, France. She lives in Raleigh where she writes and raises babies.
Dan Holly is a former journalist, most recently an editor at the News & Observer. He also has worked as a reporter or editor at the Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald and Newark Star-Ledger. Currently, he is a journalism professor at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh. “I tell my students to recognize the stories sitting right in front of them,” he says.
Raleigh born and bred, Imani “ImonyLowd” Horton is an inspiration force often seen at local poetry nights and sharing soulful verses on her social media channels locals have come to love. Her Artistry has granted her access to poetic giants like Poets in Autumn, a Christian-based traveling poetry group. And she’s graced stages like The Legacy Chicago and Atlanta.
Keith Isaacs is an architectural photographer based in Raleigh. His work has been featured in ARCHITECT Magazine, Architectural Digest, Dezeen, Dwell, and Dominand Wallpaper, among others.
Terrence Jones is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Raleigh. He launched his career in the New York’s Tri-State area as lead photographer and creative director for a regional magazine before switching to freelance photography for local and national magazines.
Susanna Klingenberg is a writer and copy editor who calls Raleigh home. Her work is shaped by years of teaching N.C. State freshmen to write clearly, and think critically.
Josh Klahre is a freelance writer based in downtown Raleigh. He’s been published in Esquire, GQ, Interview, GIANT and others. He moved here four years ago after 16 years of residency in New York City. He spends most of his free time exploring Raleigh and North Carolina, discovering music and spending quality time with his family.
Craig LeHoullier is a gardener known as NC Tomatoman, and the author of Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varities of All Time. He shared his thoughts on diverse tomato varieties just in time for the fruit’s peak season.
Juli Leonard, who works as a photojournalist at The News & Observer, lives in Raleigh with her daughter, partner and a houseful of creatures. Visit Juli’s website here.
Will Lingo grew up in Goldsboro, went to school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked at Baseball America magazine in Durham for more than 20 years. He is now a partner in Helium Agency, a sports marketing agency based in Durham. He has lived in Raleigh for more than 25 years, with his wife and two children, and at last count, two dogs.
Colony Little is a Raleigh-based freelance writer and the creator of Culture Shock Art, a site dedicated to the synergies between art, music and design. Little started her site while living in California, writing about the street art she encountered on her commute to downtown Los Angeles. Follow Colony @CultureShockArt.
As a young soccer player, Matt Lail was on the losing end of some serious beat-downs. Fortunately, it didn’t ruin his love of the game. By day, Matt is a Raleigh communications pro (and part-time music podcaster) who often chauffeurs his three kids to activities and sports.
Taylor McDonald grew up in Raleigh. She graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015 with a BFA in Photography. After school, she moved back to the Triangle to start her own business. In her free time, she loves shooting personal projects with her film camera. Visit Taylor’s website here. Follow her @teaylor.
Forrest Mason is a food and travel photographer, videographer, and documentary filmmaker based in Chapel Hill, NC, Forrest’s career has taken him all over the country, from working as a line cook in the NYC fine dining scene to spending two months filming a documentary in Oxford, MS for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Visit Forrest’s website here.
Kate Medley is a photojournalist and filmmaker in the American South. A native of Mississippi, Kate’s work explores themes at the intersection of culture and social justice. Her work regularly appears in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. She lives in Durham.
The 2019 Piedmont Laureate, David Menconi, spent 28 years covering music for The News & Observer. He has also written for Billboard, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Spin Magazine. His book on the history of North Carolina music, Step It Up and Go, was published in the fall of 2020 by University of North Carolina Press.
Baxter Miller and Ryan Stancil are storytellers and photographers whose work explores the synergies between food, place and people in rural and coastal communities. View some of their work here.
Joe Miller is an outdoor writer who decided 10 years ago that instead of just telling people where to explore, it might be fun to actually take them. He’s been doing so ever since, through his GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! guide services. He’s written six guidebooks, including, “100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina” and “Backpacking North Carolina.”
S.P. Murray, a national award-winning photographer who has covered everything from Olympic athletes to Rockettes, had the pleasure of photographing the cover story for this month’s issue, artist Caitlin Cary. “Caitlin is amazingly talented in so many ways; she’s an accomplished vocalist, a songwriter, as well as an artist.” Visit S.P.’s website here.
Catherine Nguyen is a Raleigh-based advertising and editorial photographer specializing in residential and commercial interior design and architecture. Catherine studied at Columbia University, then attended The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her work has been published in Flower Magazine, Home Design and Decor Magazine, and California Home and Design. Her work can be seen at catherinenguyen.com.
The youngest of six kids, Gerry O’Neill always had someone to outdraw, outwit, or outrun. With a degree in commercial art, O’Neill worked in Washington, D.C., advertising agencies before striking out as a freelance illustrator. He put down roots in Durham in the ‘90s and his love for North Carolina only grows stronger. The state’s landscape has been a compelling muse, which he tries to to capture in oil paint.
Raleigh native CC Parker has been sharing her family’s adventures with WALTER readers since 2013. Her March article about the Beaufort Game Faire was inspired by the event’s visionaries, Wendi and Bucky Oliver of the Beaufort Hotel, and their efforts to create an outstanding sportsman event which benefits the larger community.
LaTanya Pattillo is a wife, mother of five and a Jane of all trades. Originally from Philadelphia, she has strong roots in Columbus county, and lives in the Sandhills region of North Carolina. LaTanya received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from American University in Washington, D.C. She enjoys many things, but laughing and quilting are at the top of the list.
Shelbi Polk is a writer and artist living in Durham. Her work has appeared in the News & Observer, the Herald Sun and North Carolina Health News. Shelbi studied literature and international arts and cultures at Texas A&M University, she has since helped dozens of nonprofits tell their stories. Visit Shelbi’s website here.
Blaine Purcell is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in creative writing, with a focus in poetry. Their work mostly focuses on their childhood, family, gender identity, and battles with religion. Purcell hopes to pursue an MFA after undergrad, publish books of their own, and teach poetry at a university.
A former Ohio newspaper staffer, Eamon Queeney is a Raleigh-based freelance photojournalist who can regularly be found exploring his adopted Southern state for editorial clients like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Eamon believes in moment-based photography and the complex imagery of life’s everyday scenes. Visit Eamon’s website here.
Eleanor Spicer Rice is an entomologist and writer. She lives right in the middle of Raleigh with her husband, Greg, their two boys, a large, ill-mannered dog and a flock of homing pigeons. On writing for Fans and Friends: “My favorite part of writing about Green Monkey was getting to pop in that warm and happy place a couple of afternoons with my husband… you know, for ‘research.’”
Jenn Rice is a Raleigh-based food and travel journalist best-known for capturing subjects and places in an interesting way. Pre-pandemic, Rice traveled the world to seek out interesting places and storylines for magazines such as Food & Wine, Vogue, Departures, VinePair.com and Wine Enthusiast. Visit Jenn’s website here.
Bryan Regan is a Raleigh-based photographer specializing in environmental, lifestyle, studio portraits and product photography. Dropping out of design and photography school, back when people still shot film, Regan learned his craft crisscrossing the country assisting other photographers. He’s had a studio downtown for 17 years. Visit Bryan’s website here.
Liza Roberts was the founding editor of WALTER magazine, and loves to tell the stories of creative people. She is currently working on a book, “The Art of the State,” about the art of North Carolina to be published in 2022. On working with Freelon for Delicate, Declarative: “Maya Freelon’s work is as singular and beautiful as the artist herself, reflecting the times we are in and Maya’s sensibility with nuance and originality.”
Jessie Ammons Rumbley is a local writer who has reported for national publications and edited several city magazines. The Raleigh native loves to tell stories that celebrate home, like Will Hooker and Jeana Myers’ prolific garden on Kirby Street and Lucy Tomova’s energetic creative process. Visit Jessie’s website here.
Melissa (Mick) Schulte is a writer and photographer based in Durham, NC. She grew up in Minnesota and went to the University of Missouri-Columbia where she received a degree in Journalism in 2003. Since then she has worked as a freelance reporter for small newspapers, a feature writer for magazines, and a photographer for a number of publications.
Katherine Snow Smith grew up in Raleigh and was a business reporter, parenting columnist and magazine editor during 20 years at The Tampa Bay Times. Her first book, Rules for the Southern Rule-breaker: Missteps & Lessons Learned came out in July. The book highlights the humor and messiness of life—which is what she conveyed in the piece she wrote offering Thanksgiving preparation tips.
A lifelong passion for architecture and interior design coupled with a serious love of photography led to Trey Thomas switching careers in 2012 to focus exclusively on interiors and architectural photography. A longtime resident of downtown Raleigh, Thomas loves the excitement that comes from being a short walk from one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.
Charles Upchurch is a writer and public relation executive who works in downtown Raleigh. His magazine journalism, including numerous articles for WALTER, has covered the finer points of cocktail making, the perfect oyster roast, the perils of ascending Mount Everest, the lost art of cane pole fishing, what it’s like to die and other essential reading.
Stacey Van Berkel, a Canadian transplant based in Greensboro, is passionate about creating beautiful images. Whether she is shooting a luxury travel story or gorgeous interiors, she in infuses her creativity and infectious enthusiasm into each project. Visit Stacey’s website here.
Bert VanderVeen is a photographer based out of Greensboro. He and his wife Rebecka have been in business for 20 years, and he represents the fifth generation of professional photographers in his family, beginning with his great, great grandfather, who was apprenticed to one of Queen Victoria’s court photographers. Visit Bert’s website here.
Chris Vitiello is a writer and artist based in Durham. He’s also the Poetry Fox, writing custom, on-demand poems on vintage typewriters at events over the last seven years. His critical writing garnered a 2017 Rabkin Prize for Arts Journalism He’s also written three books of poetry, the most recent Obedience (Ahsahta Press, 2012).
Mark Wagoner was forbidden entry into his older brothers darkroom at age 6. That seems to have locked his interest in for life! He has spent the past 44 years working as a magazine and advertising photographer. He has shot over 100 magazine covers, 11 books and worked in 25 countries around the world. When not creating photographs, Wagoner can be found practicing the timpani or drums.
Billy Warden is a writer, public speaker and band leader (of altglam rock pioneers The Floating Children) as well as a marketing executive. His collaborators on various projects have included everyone from governors to Joan Rivers (more at wardenprojects.com).
J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications and is the architecture critic for The News & Observer.
Lori D. R. Wiggins first got wind of the state’s rich history of Rosenwald Schools in her communications studies at UNC-Chapel Hill in the late 1980s. She built her career covering— and uncovering—stories of the oft unsung, yet amazing, people, places, things and culture that surround and define us.
Jeffrey Williamson is originally from Reidsville, N.C., and attended Elon University for Undergraduate and Graduate school where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Interactive Media. He enjoys photographing concerts, weddings and editorial portraits through his company, Jeffrey Lynn Media Photography. He has a Yorkie Poodle named Tuxedo and has resided in Raleigh for the last five years.
Larry Wheeler, Director Emeritus of NCMA, consults nationally with arts and nonprofit organizations on vision and storytelling. He is particularly interested in advancing the success of regional artists and arts organizations as described in this issue of WALTER. Wheeler’s travels focus on significant arts events in the world and enjoying his friends. He recently received the NC Award in Fine Arts, considered the State’s highest honor.
Iza Wojciechowska lives in Durham, where she works as a writer, copyeditor, and translator of Polish poetry. When she’s not working, she goes hiking with her hound and cooks. As a sporadic patron of the North Carolina Museum of Art, she was particularly keen to learn about the Matrons of the Arts program, instituted last year, which champions female-driven artists and exhibits.
Geoff Wood’s plan is to dive headfirst into life behind the lens. At the end, he hopes to look back with a close family, deep friendships and scars and shots that show the adventure. Find his work at geoffwoodphotography.com.
A member of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective, Gideon Young’s work has been in Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, Modern Haiku, and North Carolina Literary Review. His debut haiku collection, my hands full of light, was published in April 2021. Gideon is a Fellow for A+ Schools of North Carolina, a K-12 Literacy Specialist, and stay-at-home dad.