I couldn’t be prouder to write for Chapter 16, which offers daily book coverage of the literary landscape of Tennessee. Its model is a genuine innovation. Now, The New Yorker has picked up on how special a publication it really is! Grateful to be appear here alongside remarkable colleagues, including the glorious powerhouse editors Maria Browning and Margaret Renkl, and the Humanities Tennessee marvels Serenity Gerbman and Tim Henderson. Thank you to reporter Casey Cep! You can read Cep’s piece online at The New Yorker.
I was under quarantine myself while reviewing this powerful collection of 100+ poets’ voices turned toward our global pandemic, Together in a Sudden Strangeness. This book is both salve and challenge, and I’m grateful to Chapter 16 for the chance to write some thoughts about it. You can read the piece here.
Take note of Charles Dodd White’s new novel How Fire Runs, especially if you want to understand how modern white supremacists make insidious inroads in our communities, especially if you crave both page-burning action and depth of character in your literary fiction. Grateful to review it (and to Chapter 16) during this particular moment in time. You can read my review here.
I’m so happy to share my review of journalist Sarah Smarsh’s She Come By It Natural, a timely and thoughtful dive into the life/lyrics/career/empire/mythos of Dolly Parton. Thanks to Chapter 16 and Southern Festival of Books (virtual this year), where you can catch Smarsh on Sat., Oct. 10, at 3 PM. You can read my review here.
I’m so grateful to New Orleans’ Garden District Book Shop for inviting my Peauxdunque Review colleagues—Tad Bartlett, Nordette Adams, Maurice Carlos Ruffin—and I to join their Virtual Happy Hour yesterday. Our discussion covered the creation of a new print literary journal during these harrowing times, the origins of our group, and the necessity of community for a sustained creative life. Thanks, Rayna Nielsen and Garden District Book Shop! You can watch the vid of our discussion here.
I’m so pleased learn that Atticus Review has nominated my essay, “The Mouths of Our Caves,” for this year’s Best of the Net. This personal essay–which I hope says something useful about the ways we try to wrangle our wildest creative selves within the domesticated boundaries of our lives–was first published in late May. You can read it here.
I’m delighted to share a short story of mine, “The Falling Down Side,” which appears in the newest issue of Peatsmoke. This piece of short fiction has been with me a long time, in one form or another, and now I’m especially glad it’s found such a welcome home in this newish journal. I like what they’re doing. Many thanks to editors Wendy E. Wallace and Bess Cooley. You can read my story online in the Fall 2020 Issue of Peatsmoke.
I want to share officially here the release of Peauxdunque Review‘s Issue Three, which is available now for order here. Being part of this journal from its inception has been one of the great joys of my literary life. Our hope is that this issue’s contents reflect something honest and arresting about this fraught moment in our culture. Check out our site, and if you’re a writer, please consider sending us your work. I serve as Fiction Editor, and I can vouch for our staff’s careful, conscientious attention to the work we receive.
Oh how I loved writing this review of Vesper Flights, the new essay collection by Helen Macdonald (author of H Is for Hawk)! Macdonald will appear online Sept. 15, in an event benefitting Humanities Tennessee. She’ll be in discussion with Margaret Renkl—in other words, it’ll be the dream team of bird-related writing. You can get a ticket for the event here. I treasure this book and know others will too. You can read my review here, up today at Chapter 16.
I’m delighted to share my review of Ron Rash’s new story collection, In The Valley. One of our master story writers, and one of my own favorites. Fans of Serena will be pleased—she’s back, deliciously amoral as ever, this time in a novella. My review’s up today at the ever-pleasing Chapter 16.