"This is no stodgy how-to book. Southern Writers on Writing is over-flowing with good, strong voices--funny, caustic, compelling, and--yes--absurd. The writers Susan Cushman has assembled here understand this craft. They have endured the suffering that leads to great prose appearing so damn effortless. This collection is essential reading for emerging writers--as well as any fan of modern southern fiction."
--Neil White, author of In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
The South is often misunderstood on the national stage, characterized by its struggles with poverty, education, and racism, yet the region has yielded an abundance of undeniably great literature. In Southern Writers on Writing, Susan Cushman collects twenty-six writers from across the South whose work celebrates southern culture and shapes the landscape of contemporary southern literature.
Contributors like Lee Smith, Michael Farris Smith, W. Ralph Eubanks, and Harrison Scott Key, among others, explore issues like race, politics, and family and the apex of those issues colliding. It discusses landscapes, voices in the South, and how writers write. The anthology is divided into six sections, including "Becoming a Writer"; "Becoming a Southern Writer"; "Place, Politics, People"; "Writing about Race"; "The Craft of Writing"; and "A Little Help from My Friends."
Susan Cushman (Editor) was co-director of the 2010 and 2013 Creative Nonfiction Conferences in Oxford, Mississippi, and director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. She is author of a novel, Cherry Bomb(October 2017) and a nonfiction book, Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s (February 2017), and editor of A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be (March 2017). Her essays have appeared in three anthologies and numerous journals and magazines. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, she lives in Memphis.
Raised in Arkansas and a longtime resident of Alabama, Jennifer Horne is a writer, editor, and teacher who explores Southern identity and experience, especially women’s, through prose, poetry, fiction, and anthologies and in classrooms and workshops across the South. Among her books are Bottle Tree: Poems (2010) and Tell the World You’re a Wildflower (2014), a collection of short stories in the voices of Southern women and girls. Her new collection of road and travel poems, Little Wanderer, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2016, and she has co-edited, with Don Noble, a collection of short fiction by Alabama women, Belles’ Letters II (2017). She is at work on a biography of writer Sara Mayfield.
Wendy Reed is an Emmy-winning public TV producer and writer. She produces for two series at the University of Alabama (Bookmark with Don Noble and Discovering Alabama), where she teaches science and nature writing in the Honors College. In addition to publishing stories and essays, she has written An Accidental Memoir and co-edited two collections with Jennifer Horne, Circling Faith and All Out of Faith.The Alabama State Council on the Arts fellow lives with her husband in Hoover and is at work on a book about the short, tragic life of southern writer Clarence Cason.
Jacqueline Allen Trimble, Ph.D., lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is the chairperson of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. Her work has appeared inThe Offing, Blue Lake Reviewand The Griot. Her poetry collection, American Happiness, is published by NewSouth Books. The ironically titled book examines America’s refusal to grapple with hard truths, preferring instead the pretense that everyone and everything is just fine. Of the work Honorée Jeffers wrote, “I longed for her kind of poetry, these cut-to-the-flesh poems, this verse that sings the old time religion of difficult truths with new courage and utter sister-beauty,” and Randall Horton noted, “There is a jewel of a poet in the epicenter of Alabama who adeptly revisits the ugly of race, the power and legacy of familial bonds, the joys and beauty of growing up Southern—our complicated humanity.” Recently awarded a Key West Literary Seminar scholarship, she is currently the recipient of a 2017 literary arts fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. American Happiness was chosen as the poetry finalist and named Seven Sisters Book Award Best Book of 2016.