New Fiction on Black Middle-Class Families and Universal Themes

Review essay by Donna Meredith African American fiction writers have, for the most part, overlooked middle-class families as subjects until recently. Stacy Campbell, Lamarr White, and Barbara Joe Williams are among the new authors producing strong novels with middle-class characters and universal appeal. Their protagonists, all educated professionals, struggle with issues like mental illness, infidelity, […]

Laughlin: Romanticist Extraordinaire, A Memoir

By Louis Gallo Laughlin, Ghosts Along the Mississippi: An essay in the poetic interpretation of Louisiana’s plantation archictecture—One hundred photographs by the author (Bonanza Books, NY—1961) —Clarence John Laughlin, Aperture Monograph (1973) I. I’ve never believed that literature is an ideal conduit for surrealism other than in spurts such as the “Nighttown” episode in Joyce’s […]

Brittany J. Barron on “Beyond the Magnolias”

Introduction by Brittany J. Barron February 1, 2015 marked the launch of Beyond the Magnolias, the new online magazine that profiles remarkable Southern women of past and present. Creator and editor, Cameron Williams, says the magazine’s mission is “to take readers beyond the ‘moonlight and magnolias’ myth of Southern womanhood and draw attention to the […]

“The Christ of New Orleans”: Everette Maddox, A Reminiscence

Essay by Louis Gallo What if I just caved in, gave out, pulled over to the side of the road of life, & expired like an old driver’s license? You might say He didn’t get far in 31 years. But I’d say That’s all right, it was the world’s longest trip on an empty tank. […]

At Appomattox

Essay by Casey Clabough “You’re in the wrong park,” I told the young men. They shifted uneasily. One backed away toward the truck. “We’re just waiting on Jimmy,” the tallest one said. “You’re not re-enactors?” “No sir.” * I spent most of my youth on a farm in rural Appomattox County. I live on another […]

“Southern Women and Their Birds,” Essay by John Nelson

Essay by John Nelson I came to literature long before I came to birds. I remember cardinals and robins from my childhood in suburban Chicago, and I probably saw kingfishers and herons as a friend and I searched for snakes along the Des Plaines River, but I don’t recall meeting anyone whose imagination had been […]

“Free Fall: The Chosen Poetry of Emma Bolden,” by Casey Clabough

  Essay by Casey Clabough   “I never chose a story: the story chooses me.” —Emma Bolden   True enough. The above epigraph’s declaration is neither unusual, nor particularly profound, yet it succeeds in revealing and articulating the sensibility of a true artist. By “true” I mean uncompromisingly receptive to whatever the imagination affords and […]