HomeArts & LitLiterary Friday, Edition 52

Literary Friday, Edition 52

National Poetry Month Chapbook Giveaway

In addition to posting a poem a day this month, we’re also featuring several chapbooks by Southern poets. Today’s book is “Descent” by Kathryn Stripling Byer. Georgia native Byer navigates the dangerous currents of family and race in her sixth poetry collection, while also confronting the legacy of Southern memory, where too often “it’s safer to stay blind.” Beginning with “Morning Train,” a response to Georgia blues musician Precious Bryant, Byer sings her way through a search for identity in poems like “Drought Days,” Southern Fictions” and “Gone Again,” about her feelings for Scarlett O’Hara. Here’s a few verses:

I used to believe Scarlett would forever be
standing atop that small rise of Georgia clay
staring at Tara, intoning Tomorrow, Tomorrow,
that sad pace of syllables, the Old South
newly colorized, ready to hoodwink another generation
of belles. But I won’t be among them.

We’ve got a copy of “Descent” to give away, courtesy of LSU Press. For the chance to win, just comment here about your favorite poet or poem and we’ll choose a winner on Monday.

Happy Birthday to Eudora Welty Giveaway

Tomorrow is Mississippi author and photographer Eudora Welty’s birthday. For 76 years, she lived and wrote at 1119 Pinehurst St. in Jackson, Mississippi. And while her home is open for tours, with her book collection, old desk and typewriter on display, it’s her charming Southern garden that Welty would probably want fans to see. Noted for its roses and camellias and marked with informational signs, Welty’s garden was captured in the 2011 book “One Writer’s Garden” by Susan Haltom and Jane Roy Brown, with photographs by Langdon Clay.

Find out more about Welty’s garden and how you can win the book here.

Literary News & Blogs 

Joshilyn Jackson revealed the cover for her new book “Someone Else’s Love Story” on her blog this week, but we still have to wait until next November to read it.

Alabama’s official travel website announced its To Kill A Mockingbird Experience road trip this week. With live performances of the play and the Alabama Writers Symposium kicking off in Monroeville this month, now is the time to go.

The New York Times visited novelist Jill McCorkle  (pictured) at her North Carolina home last week and asked her about her new novel, “Life After Life,” one of our Spring Reads.

We’ve got a review of the Italian comic book Superzelda, about the life of Alabama native Zelda Fitzgerald, now out in English for the first time.

New Orleans poet Kelly Harris talks to Bayou Magazine about what she’s reading and what kept her grounded in her pursuit of being a respected poet.

Editor of the “Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald,” James L. West talks to The Huffington Post about schooling Director Baz Luhrmann on The Great Gatsby.

In anticipation of “The Great Gatsby” movie, The Saturday Evening Post has launched its 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. Entries must be character- or plot-driven stories in any genre of fiction and postmarked by July 1.

Flavorwire’s 21 Books Written by and About Women That Every Man Should Read includes “Kindred” by Octavia E. Butler, about a 26-year-old modern black woman who is transported back in time to a slave plantation in the antebellum South.

According to Lit Reactor, Sotheby’s will auction off rare Faulkner memorabilia, including the author’s Nobel Prize medal and his handwritten acceptance speech, this summer.

Literary Events 

The Tennessee Williams Tribute Committee wraps up “Kingdom of Earth,” the original title of Williams’ “Seven Descents of Myrtle,” this weekend at the Old Alford Drug Co. in Columbus, Mississippi.

Beaufort, South Carolina’s Intergalactic Storytelling Festival and Liars Competition takes place through April 14 at the town center. Click here to read our article “Shooting the Breeze in Beaufort” about the festival.

Oconee Community Theatre will present To Kill a Mockingbird this weekend and April 19-21 in Seneca, South Carolina, as part of its 2012-2013 season.

University of Central Florida will hold its annual UCF Book Festival April 13 at the UCF Arena. Authors include Kimberly Brock, Jon Dos Passos Coggin, Michael Morris, Patti Callahan Henry, Holly Goddard Jones, Erika Marks, Wendy Wax and lots more.

The Mobile Writers Guild will host an open mic in honor of National Poetry Month on April 18 at Serda’s Coffee on Royal Street in Mobile, Alabama. Registration isn’t required, and poets are advised to arrive and sign up between 5-6 p.m.

The Kentucky Writers Conference in Bowling Green will be held April 19, with the Southern Kentucky Book Fest held the following day.

The Alabama Book Festival will be held April 20 in Montgomery, with a focus on books about food. So far, authors include Sonny Brewer, Michael Morris (pictured) and Peggy Allen.

 The Alabama Writers Symposium presents Rick Bragg, Cassandra King, Sue Walker and more at Alabama Southern Community College April 25-27.

Experience Poetry in Vicksburg will be held at Warren County Library Auditorium April 27 from 3-5 p.m. with a a poetry reading, panel discussion and audience Q&A by Jack Bedell, Julie Kane and Irene Latham.

The International Biscuit Festival’s Southern Food Writing Conference will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, May 16-17. Click here to register.

Harper Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, starts its annual performances of To Kill a Mockingbird April 18 at the Old Courthouse Museum. Shows run Thursday through Sunday, ending May 18.

New in Southern Voice 

Salt, a poem about food and war, by Georgia College MFA candidate Sara Stephens.

To find out more about Southern authors’ haunts and hangouts, download the Deep South Literary Trail App, now available direct from iTunes and for Android

Check out the Literary Friday Pinterest board here

My Uncle's Gard
  • Jude Morrissey / April 12, 2013

    My favorite poem is “Jehovah buried Satan dead” by e.e. cummings. I’m particularly fond of poetry that looks at the intersections of belief, culture, and personal identity; “Descent” looks fascinating, and I can’t wait to read it!

  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis / April 12, 2013

    So many poets, so little time! Have you seen the Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. V: Georgia, which came out in December? It includes three by Byer, and some especially nice ones by Janisse Ray.

  • Cindy / April 12, 2013

    “Once I imagined myself limping home

    with a worthless mule, nothing but rags

    in a wagon, waiting for the moon to reveal

    the house still standing , me weeping

    into my muddy hands, having survived

    such a journey and all for a lost cause.”

  • Sherry Perkins / April 15, 2013

    The actor Viggo Mortensen is my favorite poet. Before he became a famous actor, he was a poet, a painter, and a photographer. Check out his books at his company’s website, Percerval Press. “Cuttings” from Recent Forgeries is one of favorites.