National Poetry Month & “Abandoned”
April is National Poetry Month, and we’re participating by posting a Southern poem a day. Thanks to all of you who’ve been reading the poems so far and supporting NPM’s mission of celebrating poetry and its place in American culture. So far, we’ve had poems with wonderful titles like “Southern Living” and “Seersuckered,” and there’s plenty more to come. Today’s poem is actually a visual poetry essay by Georgian Julie E. Bloemeke. “I have always been fascinated by abandoned and neglected spaces, both in metaphor and in image,” she says in her artist’s statement. In “Abandoned,” Bloemeke pairs poems about a mobile home and an auto repair shop left behind by its inhabitants, the weeds and vines choking their remains, and an old mailbox waiting to once again deliver the news. Read and view her essay here.
Harper Lee in the News
The national premiere of the documentary, “Hey, Boo” on PBS earlier this week stirred up a ton of media stories about Harper Lee and her writing of “To Kill A Mockingbird.” We missed the premiere but have the DVR set to record it on Saturday at 8 p.m. Created by Mary Murphy, “Hey, Boo” chronicles how the book came to be written and contains never-before-seen photos and letters, along with an exclusive interview with Lee’s sister, Alice, as well as Oprah, Rick Bragg, Mark Childress and Mary Badham, the actress who played Scout in the movie.
Here are links to a few of the stories that came out or re-ran this week. Even if you know the answer to the first one, we promise you’ll want to read it through to the end.
You may have noticed us talking about it this week, but Erin is hosting a book club discussion for the Southern Lit Lovers group on Goodreads this month. The book is Joshilyn Jackson’s “A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty,” and it’s still not too late to join in.
In Other Literary News …
The Biltmore Estate’s library was featured in BookRiot’s “Libraries of the Rich and Famous”
What We’re Reviewing
Author of the award-winning novel, “Glorious,” Bernice L. McFadden follows up with a haunting tale about the murder of Emmett Till, narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi. Alan Cheuse of NPR’s “All Things Considered” says, “Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness.” AVAILABLE NOW
In Moira Crone’s new book, it’s 2121 and the Heirs control society’s resources from their lavish, walled city-states. They live hundreds of years, and outside the poor barely survive. Malcolm de Lazarus, 20, is a “Not Yet,” counting on joining the elite, but when his fortune mysteriously disappears, he must sail to the chaotic New Orleans Islands for answers. AVAILABLE THIS MONTH
A debut novel from Kimberly Brock, “The River Witch” tells the story of 24-year-old Roslyn Byrne, who spends the summer recovering from a car wreck and miscarriage on Manny’s Island, Georgia, and becomes caught in a mysterious stew of past and present caused by the dead and dying who haunt the riverbank. AVAILABLE THIS MONTH
To channel your inner Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde and sport a bowtie for Easter. Click here to read Hunter Murphy’s history of the Southern accessory and its recent comeback in everything from seersucker to tattersall.