Meet the Editors

Allen Mendenhall is publisher and editor-in-chief. Donna Meredith, Charley Hively, and Claire Hamner Matturro serve as associate editors. RIGHT: Photographs by VanessaK Photography, LLC.


The Southern Literary Review celebrates southern authors and their contributions to American literature.  We feature the classic writers who have defined southern literature, and we highlight emerging authors through interviews, profiles, and book reviews. In an effort to back independent bookstores and to encourage creativity in the publishing world, SLR is an IndieBound supporter.

Claire Hamner Matturro Interviews Jeff Hardin, Author of “Watermark: Poems”

Award-winning poet and college professor Jeff Hardin holds an M.F.A in poetry from The University of Alabama. In addition to his four chapbooks, he has six collections of poetry: Fall Sanctuary, recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize from Story Line Press; Notes for a Praise Book, selected by Toi Derricotte and published by Jacar Press; Restoring the Narrative, which […]

“Still Breathing: My Journey with Love, Loss, and Reinvention,” by Katie Joy Duke

Reviewed by Donna Meredith A memoir centered around a stillbirth hardly sounds as if it could be full of light and spiritually uplifting, but that’s exactly what Katie Joy Duke’s story Still Breathing: My Journey with Love, Loss, and Reinvention (New Degree Press, May 2022) is. Stillbirth is far more prevalent than most realize, affecting […]

“Watermark: Poems,” by Jeff Hardin

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro With his newest collection, Watermark: Poems (Madville Publishing April 14, 2022), Jeff Hardin does something different—and he does it exceptionally well. That is, Hardin, an award-winning poet with six prior published collections, creates his own unique poetic structure in the Watermark selections. In this creative style, in addition to his […]

“Crooked Truth,” by Kristine F. Anderson

Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks Reviewed by Donna Meredith Crooked Truth, (Mercer University Press, 2020) Kristine F. Anderson’s outstanding debut novel, asks an important question: how much do we owe our family? Must we sacrifice all our hopes and dreams to accommodate them? The complex examination of one family’s […]

May Read of the Month: “In the Lonely Backwater,” by Valerie Nieman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In the Lonely Backwater (Regal House Publishing, 2022) would be a grand read if it were only a clever psychological mystery or simply a unique coming-of-age story, but Valerie Nieman achieves so much more than that. With gorgeous description and elegant prose, Nieman transforms a North Carolina village and marina into […]

“The Marsh Bird,” by Anne Brooker James

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The Marsh Bird (Koehler Books Publishing, 2021), by Anne Brooker James, effectively uses the novel format to showcase the Gullah Geechee culture of the sea islands along the South Carolina and Georgia coast. The historical package is sweetened by an unusual love story set amidst the horrors of the Jim Crow […]

Excerpt from Erica Plouffe Lazure’s “Proof of Me and Other Stories”

  “Object Lessons,” by Erica Plouffe Lazure In the remotest region of Bihar, on the dustiest of backstreets of Bodh Gaya, dozens of children surrounded Juniper Weaver as she attempted to track down what she hoped was their school. But no one could tell her, exactly, where to find it. Still, little boys in hand-me-down […]

Erica Plouffe Lazure

Erica Plouffe Lazure is the author of PROOF OF ME AND OTHER STORIES (March 24, 2022; New American Press), which is the winner of the New American Fiction Prize. She is also the author of two flash fiction chapbooks, Sugar Mountain (Ad Hoc Press, 2020) and Heard Around Town (Arcadia, 2015), and a fiction chapbook, […]