HomeArts & LitLiterary Friday, Edition 72

Literary Friday, Edition 72

The World of Michael Farris Smith & “Rivers” Book Giveaway

RiversOne book that’s sure to make our Fall/Winter Reading List is “Rivers” by Michael Farris Smith. Released earlier this week, the Mississippi author’s debut novel imagines a worst-case scenario for residents who remain after a hurricane. His Gulf Coast landscape is sort of Wild West environment where the rain never stops, food and supplies are scarce and it’s every man for himself. Smith is a native of South Mississippi and currently lives in a Victorian house in Columbus. In our review/interview, he talks about his inspiration for “Rivers,” what it’s like to live in a literary town and what it means to be a Southern writer.

We have two copies of “Rivers” to give away. To enter to win, comment here and tell us about your own “worst case” scenario after a storm, even if it’s just a fear of running out of booze. We’ll choose a winner on Monday.

Literary News 

The Top 10 Literary Landmarks of the South in Publisher’s Weekly were taken from Trish Foxwell’s “A Visitor’s Guide to the Literary South.” Big ones like Faulkner’s home in Oxford and the Poe Museum in Richmond made the list, of course, along with a few lesser known spots.

Support Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie‘s second edition on Kickstarter through October 3. Author Christie Lee Mueller shares the nuances of the game, the traditions of each SEC school, the etiquette of Saturdays down South, what to wear for a full day of football and how to tailgate as a professional would before any kickoff.

Walker Percy In anticipation of Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal later this fall, The New Yorker has an excerpt of a prayer where O’Connor writes about not being able to love God the way she wants to.

Goodreads is giving away copies of “Someone Else’s Love Story” by Joshilyn Jackson through September 22.

The American Conservative has an article about Walker Percy Weekend, planned for next June in St. Francisville, Louisiana. So far, panel discussions, bourbon tasting and tours of the area are on the agenda.

(Non)Required Reading

New magazine Bitter Southerner has an essay by Charles McNair, author of the upcoming novel “Pickett’s Charge,” titled Denise McNair & Me. In it, McNair remembers the bombing at 16th St. Baptist Church and the black girl who shared his last name and died that day in Birmingham.

Bridging the Blues: From the Delta to Memphis by Kara Bachman details the growth of Mississippi music in American Blues Scene.

Literary Events


Recap: “It was magic in Columbus,” says Brenda Caradine, chair of this year’s Tennessee Williams Tribute. “Period of Adjustment,” which Tennessee Williams himself subtitled “a serious comedy,” was performed on stage at the Rent Auditorium in the Whitfield Building of Mississippi University for Women by regional actors throughout the weekend to much acclaim.

Birmingham Public Library holds its Bards & Brews open mic poetry/beer tasting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library.

One Book One New Orleans, a campaign to improve literacy rates and reading habits for adolescents, will host an annual kickoff event to announce its 2013 book selection on September 18 at the Marigny Opera House.

Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival’s Coffee & Conversation series kicks off September 18 at Jefferson Parish Library and will continue once a month through December 4.

Soul-FoodThe Southern Food and Beverage Museum is hosting a Soul Food and Bourbon booksigning and discussion September 21 at the new site of its Culinary Library on Oretha C. Haley Boulevard in New Orleans. Authors Adrian Miller and Kathleen Purvis will lead a lively discussion about the history and evolution of American cuisine and a quintessential Southern liquor through the lens of their new books.

“A Place at the Table” author Susan Rebecca White will discuss and sign copies of her book at Resource in Serenbe September 22.

Michael Farris Smith will be at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, September 24 to sign copies of “Rivers.”

major survey of Edgar Allan Poe’s career opens October 4 at Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Comprising more than a hundred works that explore Poe’s fiction, poetry, literary criticism and influence on diverse writers, “Terror of the South” will be on display through January 26.

The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville will take place October 11-13 at War Memorial Plaza. This year’s authors include Ace Atkins, Rick Bragg, Wiley Cash, Therese Ann Fowler, Tom Franklin, Ann Hite, Jill McCorkle, Mary Alice Monroe, Susan Rebecca White and many more.

shovelSave the date for the Louisiana Book Festival, scheduled for November 2 in Baton Rouge this year. So far, five writing workshops before the festival have been announced. Click here for more information and to register.

New in Southern Voice 

Love and Death, a poem by Fred Bassett, and The Smallest Holes, flash fiction by Grace Queen.


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

The Smallest Holes
Muffaletta Pasta Sal
  • Jack / September 13, 2013

    In 2004, Hurricane Charley ravaged the Florida Gulf coastline, wreaking havoc on the cities of Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda and Orlando. Originally, the hurricane was predicted to hit Tampa, Fla., but instead it curved into Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers and then tracked to Orlando, catching many off guard. We here in this part of Orlando were without electricity for a 10 days. I can deal, somewhat, without having any AC or electronic media, and eating my meals out of cans, but what I absolutely cannot deal with is being without my coffee. After about 3 days without any java I decided to take a ride in my truck and not stop until I found somewhere, anywhere, were I could get a cup of coffee. After travelling about 10 miles I saw a McDonalds that had a huge cardboard sign set up out front that stated, “WE’RE OPEN. CASH ONLY.” I immediately pulled in, stood in line, and when I got up to the counter I told the young kid taking my order, “Give me two 16 ounce coffees, chief.” I’ll tell you, it was the best cup of coffee I had ever tasted in my life. Nine years later, I still haven’t tasted a better cup of coffee, and I’m sure I never will.

  • Harriette / September 13, 2013

    Worst case scenario – no books to read!

  • Heather / September 13, 2013

    I think being separated from family members/loved ones would be the worst case scenario for me, especially in a situation where phones aren’t working and you really don’t know where they are, if they are okay, and how to contact them.

  • Jessad / September 13, 2013

    we came to the Orlando area in 2003-we bought a home so our son could attend college and we could visit-rather than pay for rent on a small apt-he was invited by our realtor and her family to stay as long as he needed during the hurricane since we had no idea what could happen. we have lived here permanently for 4 years now-I am so fearful of them-having to evacuate scare me the most due to the traffic jams and gas shortages. I would be so grateful to read ” “Rivers” by Michael Farris Smith.

  • Britney Adams / September 14, 2013

    I would fear the loss of electricity and water, food shortages, and the wide-spread panic that would ensue.

  • Kristie / September 14, 2013

    My worst case scenario after a storm would be if I somehow I got separated from my boys, with no way to get to them or contact them. I have 17 yr old twins and even though they can be a challenge at times (gotta love the teen years!), I would worry myself sick if we lost touch during and after a storm.