Literary Friday, Edition 54
Happy Birthday to Harper Lee!
Monroeville, Alabama’s famous resident author will be 87 on Sunday. It’s only fitting that her hometown is in the middle of its annual production of To Kill a Mockingbird right now. Performed each spring by The Mockingbird Players on the grounds of and inside the Old Courthouse Museum, where Lee often watched her father at work, shows run Thursday through Sunday, ending May 18. We suggest a literary road trip using the state of Alabama’s new “To Kill A Mockingbird Experience” tour as a guide. This weekend would also be a great time to pull out that weathered copy of the book and reread your favorite passage or maybe the whole thing. Writer Carrie Allen Tipton offers a new perspective to reading the classic, one that focuses on the sensory, in her essay Not Our Kind of Folks: Southern Soundscapes in To Kill a Mockingbird.
National Poetry Month News & Giveaway
We’ve got more chapbooks to give away over here. Today, you can win a copy of Its Ghostly Workshop by Richmond, Virginia, poet Ron Smith. Drawing from the lives of other poets and literary figures, the book contains poems with the titles Edgar Poe Tries to Get His Act Together and The Southern Poet is Pursued by Eliot. Comment on this post by Monday to be entered to win.
Poet and student Shanna Conway Dixon interviewed the Poet Laureate of Georgia Judson Mitcham for us this week. Her own blog, Swamp Skirts, is also worth reading for interviews with modern women poets from the Deep South.
The city of Miami is wrapping up its second O’Miami poetry festival, which presents poetry in unexpected places like city buses, hotel bars and behind airplanes. Watch their video about one poet who’s bombing thrift stores with her work and attend a Poetry is Dead Parade on Sunday in Lummus Park.
In Other Literary News …
Reese Witherspoon’s arrest last weekend was a sharp contrast to her sweet, Southern belle image. Karen Cox’s blog post Reese Witherspoon and the Fallibility of the Southern Woman as “America’s Sweetheart” examines why that is.
Only two more weeks ’til “Gatsby,” and The Saturday Evening Post is celebrating with the release of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby Girls, a collection of the author’s first eight short stories first published there.
Flavorwire has a list of Literary Figures With the Weirdest Obsessions that includes a morbid one from Katherine Anne Porter.
Amazon’s list of the Most Well-Read Cities in the USA includes several Southerners, from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Atlanta and Tallahassee, Florida.
The Alabama Writers Symposium presents Rick Bragg, Cassandra King, Sue Walker and more at Alabama Southern Community College through Saturday.
Experience Poetry in Vicksburg will be held at Warren County Library Auditorium tomorrow from 3-5 p.m. with a a poetry reading, panel discussion and audience Q&A by Jack Bedell, Julie Kane and Irene Latham.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens presents Southern Tales At The Gardens with Dolores Hydock May 5 at 2 p.m.
The South Carolina Book Festival will be held in Columbia May 17-19 with featured authors Pat Conroy, Mary Kay Andrews, Kim Boykin, Patti Callahan Henry, Erika Marks, Herman Parish, Ron Rash and lots more.
New in Southern Voice
The Liquor of War, a poem by Mike Harrell of Richmond, Virginia.