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Literary Friday, Edition 203

Interview & Chat With Solemn Author Kalisha Buckhanon

SolemnOur summer Twitter chats continue with Kalisha Buckhanon today. Buckhanon is the author of summer read Solemn and goes inside the mind of a young black girl living in a Mississippi trailer park to tackle myths about race and class. Praised by Essence and recommended by Terry McMillan, Solemn is Buckhanon’s most ambitious novel yet — a portrait of black culture and community not often portrayed in literature.

Read our interview with her here and then join us on Twitter from 1-2 CST ((2-3 EST, 11 a.m.-noon PST) using the hashtag #southernlit. We’ll be talking writing, girlhood, trailers and food. You can even “cook the book” by making Fancy Sweet Potato Pie, a favorite of both Solemn and Buckhanon.


Literary News

gosetawatchmanpbThe paperback edition of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee was released yesterday. In celebration, Cerith Mathias interviewed real-life Scout Mary Badham about playing one of literature’s most beloved characters.

Also in celebration of Watchman, Waterstone’s presents a beautifully designed interactive map of Maycomb in case you’ve been trying to figure out where that knot hole tree was.

Goodreads has an author snapshot of Yaa Gyasi, whose debut novel Homegoing is a  journey through seven generations and nearly 300 years of history.

She Reads has chosen Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright as one of its Summer Book Club picks.

And in honor of Father’s Day, Electric Literature offers up 10 Terrible Fathers in Literature.


Literary Events, Workshops & Contests 

Land of Oz on Beech Mountain in North Carolina remains open Fridays in June for tours down The Yellow Brick Road.

South Florida Poetry Journal is seeking poetry submissions for its August issue. Send three unpublished poems and a brief bio to [email protected].

CarlSandburghomeFlat Rock Playhouse will debut two new plays at the Carl Sandburg Home (pictured) in North Carolina. “Spink, Skabootch and Swipes in Rootabaga Country” will be performed Wednesdays and Fridays through August 12, and “Rootabaga Express” will be performed Thursdays and Saturdays from through August 13.

The 36th annual Hemingway Days Celebration in Key West, Florida, is scheduled for July 19-24 this year. Events include a lookalike contest for Hemingway imitators, prose and poetry readings and a three-day marlin tournament.

Mr. Toole, a new play about the life of John Kennedy Toole written by one of his former students, is being performed at the Mid-Town International Theater Festival in New York July 21-31.

Writer’s Digest Editor Brian A. Klems will be a featured speaker for a How to Get Published workshopin Nashville, Tennessee, July 23.

The deadline for submissions to the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence is August 15. The contest, which includes a $10,000 prize, is open to fiction (novels or short story collections) published in 2016.

Register now for The Writer’s High Retreat with Joshilyn Jackson and Michael Morris September 9-11 at Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, Georgia.

Save the dates for upcoming book festivals, including the Mississippi Book Festival August 20, Decatur Book Festival September 2-4 and Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 14-16.


Recently In Southern Voice

The Melody of the Indian Grass, a story about a young boy coming to terms with his sexuality and its implications on his life and future, by South Carolina native Dexter Benjamin Gore.


To find out more about your favorite Southern authors’ haunts and hangouts, download the Deep South Literary Trail App, available direct from iTunes and for Android and perfect for those winter road trips.

Have a piece of news, event, video or something else related to Southern lit that you’d like us to consider for Literary Friday? Send an e-mail to [email protected]

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