There’s a geological definition of obsidian: a dark igneous rock with a glassy exterior. Then there’s the literary one: Obsidian II is a semi-annual journal that reviews the works of black writers and cultivates discussion of cultural and racial issues. Like its namesake rock, it’s black, often sharp, forged from fire and it reflects life. Obsidian II is also home-grown; it’s published by NCSU.

Be on hand at Quail Ridge Books on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 4 p.m., to hear readings by some of Obsidian II‘s best editors and contributors. Four writers–Gerald Barrax, NCSU professor Marcia Douglas, Shara McCallum and current editor Afaa Michael Weaver–will weave a spell of words. The event is sure to be lush and lyrical; this quartet are all accomplished poets, while Douglas and McCallum bring Caribbean rhythms and dynamism to their works. With Weaver, expect the metaphysical and from Barrax, author of From a Person Sitting in Darkness, the political. Call 828-1588 for details.

–cynthia greenlee