Michael Graff

Graff is a freelance writer in North Carolina. He was the executive editor of Charlotte magazine from April 2013 to August 2017, where he remains a monthly columnist. His writing work has appeared in Our State, Washingtonian magazine, Politico, and on SB Nation Longform, along with many others.


The Men Who Reinvented Fishing

Capt. Ernie Foster is likely the last captain in the original family of sport fishing — his father started the first charter boat in North Carolina in 1937. Now this Hatteras captain works to keep the family fleet that fishes for fun in harmony with neighbors who fish for profit.


On the Edge of Everything

On Harkers Island, locals like Karen Amspacher fight for what they believe in. And these people want to know two things: Where are you from? And what do you stand for?

April 2013

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

During World War II, coastal residents turned out their lights and waited in silence for German U-boats to sink another ship. The submarines lurking in the Atlantic crippled the coast with fear and claimed nearly 5,000 lives.


At Home in the Southern Wild

At the North Carolina Zoo in Randolph County, gorillas live like us in many ways. They play. They fight. They love. And we love them back.


Safe Exit: North Carolina Rest Stops

They are the overlooked amenities on our state’s highways: 60 state-run rest areas placed for travelers’ convenience and designed to appease road fatigue. For some people, it may be their only introduction to North Carolina. So we want these places to be nice.


The Birdman at Sylvan Heights Bird Park

Birds of many feathers flock to Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Halifax County. They come because one man, Mike Lubbock, brings them here for one reason: his unwavering love.


Time Stands Still in Old Salem

When Winston and Salem became Winston-Salem, a rustic town of Germanic origins could have been lost to time and punctuation. But today one thing remains the same as it was in the 18th century: Old Salem.


Hurricane Hazel

On October 15, 1954, a terrible storm makes for a terrible day for the entire country. One county in rural southeastern North Carolina takes the most direct hit, with lives and communities shattered under the storm clouds.