“Scapegoat” by T. K. Lee

There’s something wonderfully fresh and energetic in T. K. Lee’s innovative second poetry collection, Scapegoat (2022). Intricately layered, these poems are like looking through a kaleidoscope so that with each new viewing, something different and intriguing emerges from the words, images, and structures. These poems vibrate with words that dance about on the visual page […]

January Read of the Month: “Jar of Pennies” by John Yearwood

John Yearwood’s Jar of Pennies (John & Stephenie Yearwood Management Trust, 2022) is an impeccably written cultural and historical crime fiction novel.  The author knows how to spin a tale, capture a character, set a scene, portray a community, and write in stellar prose. However, as established in its opening chapter, it is not a […]

Claire Hamner Matturro interviews author John Yearwood

CHM: Thank you, John Yearwood, for giving Southern Literary Review a bit of your time and attention with these questions. First, let me congratulate you on writing such a powerful book. Jar of Pennies is an excellent novel, categorized as “cultural heritage fiction” and “historical murder mystery thriller.” Though primarily, perhaps, the story of a […]

“A Mother Speaks, A Daughter Listens: Journeying Together Through Dementia” by Felicia Mitchell

A profound and poignant collection of poems, A Mother Speaks, A Daughter Listens: Journeying Together Through Dementia (2022) by Felicia Mitchell can be read as a daughter’s memoir in verse or as a mother’s partial biography. Their merging stories are captivating and heartfelt, moving, and above all else, genuine. Anyone who has cared for a […]

Legal Thrillers: Why we love them—and reviews of three new ones

Essay and Reviews by Claire Hamner Matturro What is it about legal thrillers that consistently entice readers who return to time and time again to this genre? Maybe it starts with the enduring legacy of To Kill a Mockingbird, American’s most beloved book, according to a PBS poll. At its core, Mockingbird  is a classic […]

“Ariel’s Island” by Pat McKee

Ariel’s Island (Southern Fried Karma LLC, 2020) by Pat McKee is a wickedly intelligent, provocative, and creative novel which checks all the boxes of a riveting legal thriller. A “Best Legal Thriller” winner at the 14th annual National Indie Excellence Awards, Ariel’s Island stars six-year associate Paul McDaniel. He is a one-time poor boy whose […]