Monday, April 29, 2013

Outdoor Activities: UGA Press Titles

As the months continue to get warmer, grab a few of our titles and get inspired to get outdoors! We have subjects ranging from gardening to baseball, and everything in between.

Though nearly two centuries have passed since Robert Squibb first published THE GARDENER'S CALENDAR, this classic of southern gardening remains a delightfully instructive manual for anyone wishing to know what and when to plant.

FAVORITE WILDFLOWER WALKS IN GEORGIA is a guide to the best places to enjoy Georgia wildflowers in their natural settings. It includes five favorite walks of Hugh and Carol Nourse, complete with maps and directions, the difficulty and length of each walk, and information about the wildflowers you can expect to encounter. 

Those who prefer a slightly more physical interaction with nature should check out the ETOWAH RIVER USER'S GUIDE. This guide offers all the information needed for even novice paddlers to feel comfortable jumping in a boat and heading downstream, including detailed, accurate maps, put in/take out and optimal flow information, mile-by-mile points of interest, and an illustrated natural history guide to help identify animals and plants commonly seen in and around the river.

If the Masters left you longing for more golf, take a look at  THE ART OF GOLF, an exploration of the game as depicted by landscape and portrait artists, photographers, Pop artists, and sculptors. Essays about the history and culture surrounding the sport supplement the 95 color illustrations.

Baseball fans will love THE CRACKERS, a light-hearted chronicle of Atlanta baseball from just after the Civil War to the rise of the Crackers (1901-1965). Award-winning journalist Tim Darnell reveals how the Crackers created a southern legacy of success long before the Atlanta Braves. This collection of player interviews, rare illustrations, and extensive charts and statistics is a must-read as baseball season heats up.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Press News: Open House Recap

On Thursday, April 18, the University of Georgia Press hosted an open house to UGA students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the Athens community. From 2:00-6:00pm, the Press provided refreshments, hosted guided tours, and answered questions about the Press's history and publishing program. The refreshments included catered appetizers, as well as dishes provided by Press staff. Those dishes were based on recipes found in several UGA Press books, including EAT DRINK DELTA, THE SOUTHERN FOODWAYS ALLIANCE COMMUNITY COOKBOOK, and CRAIG CLAIBORNE'S SOUTHERN COOKING.

Flannery O'Connor Award display
Mingling in the lobby
Crispy Cheese Wafers and Pimento Cheese
Kool-Aid Pickles
Praline Macaroons
Savory dishes
Sweet dishes
More food

The Press was founded on July 1, 1938, and the open house was in celebration of the Press's 75th anniversary. Since June of last year, the press is located on the third floor of UGA's main library, just a couple of blocks from downtown Athens.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Short Takes

The Lexington Herald Leader recently interviewed poet Frank X Walker about his upcoming book events, installation as Kentucky's next poet laureate, and his new book, TURN ME LOOSE. When asked about his decision to write a collection of poems focused on Medgar Evers, "'I would like to think that I don't consciously choose my subjects,' [Walker] says. 'I like to think that they choose me or something happens that makes it seem like an obvious choice, and in the case of Medgar Evers, it was actually a poem by Lucille Clifton.'"

Read more here:"

THEY SAVED THE CROPS was recently reviewed in the Journal of Historical Geography.“[Author Don] Mitchell achieves more than enough in They Saved The Crops to distinguish this book as the history of record for the Bracero program. As with his previous work, he focuses on our societal tendencies to conceal exploitation in our food system, and how these exploitative acts bleed into the relationship between labor and capital throughout the U.S. economy.”

It was also featured in Cultural Geographies:“Mitchell has made an important contribution to both our understanding of landscape as well as California agricultural history.”

KPFA's "Against the Grain" recently interviewed Alison Mountz for her essay in BEYOND WALLS AND CAGES. Mountz, an associate professor of geography at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, spoke of arrest patterns and discrepancies in detention and deportation procedures in the U.S. Her essay includes a map that shows where deaths have occurred in state detention facilities.

Clive Webb's RABBLE ROUSERS was reviewed in the Journal of American Ethnic History: “In one of the book's most important contributions, Webb exposes the role of antisemitism in shaping the ideology of both the far right activists and the racial politics of the postwar South. . . . Rabble Rousers provides a valuable insight into the success of and limits to the politics of massive resistance and the extreme right wing.” 

New Orleans Review featured Rebecca McClanahan's THE RIDDLE SONG: “McClanahan sweeps you along with a barrage of detail and lovely prose. She has the knack of summoning through facts and presentation. . . . McClanahan is excellent company, whether at a hospital bedside, over a glass of wine, or walking between rows of graves.”

Friday, April 19, 2013

Upcoming Events

As we near the end of April, find some time to attend these author events:

Saturday, April 20

TURN ME LOOSE by Frank X Walker
Location: Little Rock Literary Fest, Lexington, KY
Description: Talk and signing

Sunday, April 21

TURN ME LOOSE by Frank X Walker
Location: Little Rock Literary Fest, Lexington, KY
Description: Talk and signing

Thursday, April 25

TURN ME LOOSE by Frank X Walker
Location: Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Description: Talk and signing

Friday, April 26

WORLD OF THE SALT MARSH by Charles Seabrook
Location:  Amelia Island, FL
Description: Amelia Island Book Festival

OLD LOUISVILLE by David Domine
Location: Carmichael's, Louisville, KY
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Description: Talk and signing

Saturday, April 27

WORLD OF THE SALT MARSH by Charles Seabrook
Location: Amelia Island, FL
Description: Amelia Island Book Festival

Sunday, April 28

WORLD OF THE SALT MARSH by Charles Seabrook
Location: Amelia Island, FL
Description: Amelia Island Book Festival

Monday, April 29

Location: UNM Bookstore, Albuquerque, NM
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Description: Talk and signing

Find more details and more upcoming author events here.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Short Takes

Western Historical Quarterly lauded Don Mitchell's THEY SAVED THE CROPS: “Few people know the social and economic contours of California’s industrial agriculture landscape better than geographer Don Mitchell. And no one has written a more thorough, passionate, and critical history of the landscape’s 'morphology' during the bracero era than Mitchell in his new book.”

Tobias Smollett's ADVENTURES OF RODERICK RANDOM (ed. by James Basker, Paul-Gabriel Bouce and Nicole A. Seary) was recently reviewed in Modern Language Review. "While they spend more time on the novel’s literary context and reception, [the editors] also devote adequate space to its cultural politics, touching on an array of issues from imperialism to homophobia . . . . the editors want to define Roderick Random as a work that is ahead of its time, not a product of it—its issues ‘less political’ than ‘existential’.”

The Journal of the Early Republic said of Larry J. Reynolds' RIGHTEOUS VIOLENCE: “Each of Reynolds’s chapters is rich, nuanced, and thought provoking. . . . On the whole, Reynolds’s study offers an important contribution to the literature on the intellectual history of the midnineteenth century.”

 Atlanta Audubon called NATURAL COMMUNITIES OF GEORGIA a “pleasure to look through” and “Anyone interested in Georgia’s natural places, plants, and animals will find a treasure trove in this book. But once you open it up, don’t expect to sit around for long. You may find that, like me, you now desperately want to visit all 66 of these natural communities.

Congratulations to Natalie Ring and her book, THE PROBLEM SOUTH! It has been named a finalist for the Berkshire Conference First Book Prize.

The Museum of the Confederacy has selected Megan Kate Nelson's RUIN NATION as a finalist for the Jefferson Davis Award. Congratulations, Megan!

Mark your calendars! We will be hosting an open house on Thursday, April 18 from 2:00-6:00pm. Be sure to stop by our offices on the third floor of UGA's Main Library (320 South Jackson Street, Athens, GA) for a reception, a display of the Flannery O'Connor Award collections, and a tour.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

National Poetry Month Giveaway

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we are giving away two advance reader copies of Frank X Walker's new book, TURN ME LOOSE. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the death of the well-known civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, TURN ME LOOSE is a collection of poetry that speaks out on the life and loss of Medgar Evers.

To enter the drawing to win a copy of the book, email your answer to the trivia question, along with your mailing address, to You have until 9:00am EDT tomorrow (April 5th) to send in your answer.*  All those who guess the correct answer will be entered in the drawing. The two winners will be notified via email.

Which of the following accurately describes Frank X Walker and/or TURN ME LOOSE?

A. Walker was recently named Kentucky's first African American poet laureate.
B. Walker coined the word Affrilachian, which relates to an African American who lives in Appalachia.
C. The book's title, TURN ME LOOSE, refers to Medgar Evers' final words.
D. All of the above.

*One entry per person, please.

National Poetry Month Picks

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Poetry Foundation has invited a group of twenty poets to contribute to their blog, Harriet, creating a compelling month-long conversation that is shaped and stimulated by the concerns of each individual poet. We are proud to announce that one of our own poets, EXIT, CIVILIAN author Idra Novey, will be participating in this conversation, which you can follow here. We also invite you to discover and rediscover some of our current and past poetry publications with our National Poetry Month Picks.

by Coleman Barks

"A mighty book. A rain dance between Plotinus and the grandeur of an Athens snowfall. Hummingbird Sleep is so good I have taken up residence in it. Barks is writing out where the buses don't park. This is his finest work yet: intimate, touched with grief, but with a great intensity of wonder. The whole affair carries a pirate's joy for life."
—Martin Shaw, author of A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness, winner of the Nautilus Book Award

by Frank X Walker

"Searing, brilliantly realized, these forty-nine poems exhume the history of a great American hero, Medgar Evers, whose 1963 death at the hands of white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith lit a powder keg of racial unrest in the nation and ushered in a decade of political assassinations. With their deep links to African American poetic traditions of social commentary and historical excavation, Walker's poems summon ghosts of the southern past to probe the daily horror of dehumanization under the reign of Jim Crow and the terrifying psychological roots of white supremacism, past and present."—Minrose Gwin, author of Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement and The Queen of Palmyra

By Dennis Finnell

By Joshua Poteat

By Bruce Beasley

By Cal Bedient

By Stephanie Brown

By Laura Mullen

By Lee Upton

By Albert Goldbarth

Edited by Camille T. Dungy

By Sean Hill 

By Kyle Dargan

By Patrick Phillips

By John Casteen

Poems by Anna Journey
Selected by Thomas Lux

By Kyle Dargan

By Kyle Dargan

By Judith Ortiz Cofer

By Nikky Finney

Edited by Barbara Hamby and David Kirby
By Iain Haley Pollock

By Dave Lucas 

By Coleman Barks

By Allen Braden

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

30 Days of the Flannery O'Connor Award: Day 30

Sydney Dupre on the conclusion of the "30 Days of the Flannery O'Connor Award"

65 winners, 63 original books, 53 paperback editions, 43 ebooks, two series editors, numerous judges, thousands of submissions, uncountable readings and panels and author events, 4 anthologies, and 30 years later, we find ourselves at the close of the "30 Days of the Flannery O'Connor Award." Thanks for joining us everyday to re-visit these short story collections, old and new. Thank you, too, to all of you who have participated and will continue to participate in honoring this milestone.

We kicked off our anniversary celebrations at this year's AWP annual meeting in Boston in early March. E. J. Levy (LOVE, IN THEORY), Jessica Treadway (PLEASE COME BACK TO ME), Hugh Sheehy (THE INVISIBLES), Lori Ostlund (THE BIGNESS OF THE WORLD), and Amina Gautier (AT-RISK), awed listeners at a panel, which was followed by a Q&A with series editor Nancy Zafris. (Shout out to E. J. Levy for organizing a great event!) Several previous winners were in the audience as well as aspiring short fiction writers. Love for the FOC award lives on!

Next we raised our glasses at the UGA Press booth while panelists signed books. Being a first time
AWP-er and relatively new to the Flannery O'Connor Award, I was especially pleased to meet so many award winners and FOC award fans. It's a welcoming and supportive community of people.

If you are an Athens local, feel free to drop by the Press's open house on April 18th from 2:00-6:00pm to see the Flannery O'Connor series books on display. Also, stay tuned for Flannery O'Connor Award readings across the country in the months to come.

For more on the 30th anniversary, please visit the Flannery O'Connor Award 30th anniversary page.

The 2013 contest is now accepting submissions at

Sydney Dupre is assistant to the director and development coordinator at the University of Georgia Press. She also coordinates the annual Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction competition.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

30 days of the Flannery O'Connor Award: Day 29

Catherine Brady on Molly Giles' ROUGH TRANSLATIONS

The stories in Rough Translations are delicate, wry investigations of what it means to struggle for personhood—how that performative act sometimes mistranslates the essential fiber of someone’s being, sometimes wildly affirms it, and sometimes teeters, hopefully or precariously, between these two possibilities. In “Peril,” these concerns are vividly set forth as Joan, a character we’ve seen in two earlier stories, rescues a stray cat, which triggers an excruciatingly heightened awareness that “disaster… is always out there,” threatening to topple her into despair over the fragility of her seemingly settled life. In the opening story, “Old Souls,” a determinedly anti-romantic narrator skewers her mystically inclined family, only to be haunted by the voices of the dead in the night, demanding to know “Who’s there?”: Who are you, then, if you define yourself by a hollow defiance? In “A Jar of Emeralds,” a woman makes a match with a man who seems to want to “see the someone” in her, and as the two of them flounder at this essential act of love, her husband wakes up one night to exclaim, “I feel like a jar of emeralds!” An anomaly, utterly untranslatable, as one person can be to another, and yet it tantalizingly encapsulates the truth of their impasse.

Re-reading these stories, I was captivated by their lightness, which seems paradoxical when you consider that most of them are situated at the lip of the existential abyss. That sense of lightness owes a great deal to Giles’s gift for storytelling, her ability to generate cumulative complexity from the simple materials of straight-ahead narrative. The stories are structured to snare the reader immediately in anticipation of literal outcome, whether it’s the possibility that in watching her husband bargain for a used piano, a wife will grapple with or deny the mounting evidence of his untrustworthiness, or the anticipation that antipathy-at-first-sight will transform into some genuine connection between a woman and a man who meet in a bar and then get mugged.

Giles’s stories startle you first and persuade you second. Her often anthologized story, “Pie Dance,” illustrates just how artfully she welds dissonant literal circumstances to their potent implications. Here are the story’s opening lines: “I don’t know what to do about my husband’s new wife. She won’t come in.” These sentences crackle with compressed tension, presenting us with a dramatic discrepancy between what we can assume old wives feel about the new and the seeming proffer of hospitality and intimacy. We quickly learn that the new wife, Pauline, has been making a habit of coming to the old wife’s house, and “just dropping by” to chat on the porch is only the first of the lies that bind them together. We’re compelled by the story first because of the unexpected reversal of the usual power dynamic between old (discarded) and new (younger) wife and then because we witness the unexpected emotional intimacy generated by these lies. What does that new wife want here, anyway? And what should we make of the irony that a man whom neither woman can trust provides the literal connection between them? The old wife, “beginning to realize that there isn’t much to love in this world,” struggles not to betray to Pauline her passionate feelings for her dog and disguises as maternal concern a possibly vengeful satisfaction at whatever has driven Pauline to her door. Pauline, isn’t, in fact, allowed in: she stays on the porch the whole time, where the narrator deploys the standard feminine camouflage of housewife-and-mother to keep Pauline in her miserable place. When her three daughters come home from blackberry picking, smeared with juice, they rush to embrace Pauline, and their instinctive, unclouded affection presages the toppling of the narrator’s defenses. As Pauline leaves, she looks at the house, and then the narrator turns to look too: only a curtain fluttering at an upstairs window. Behind which their shared man, Konrad, is hiding, waiting for Pauline to leave so he can make his own escape. What’s perfect about this kind of storytelling is how the plot throws off the shadows of the whole story for us to imagine rather than illuminating in detail what lurks there: a dissatisfied Konrad has been showing up for reliable sex with his old wife, a fact Pauline suspects but cannot prove, and he’s just as quick to abandon his old wife this time as he has been in the past. As he rushes to dress and go, his ex-wife tells him, “it seems I’ve grown morals.”

These are stories written in an era—the mid-eighties—when women were struggling to live out newly won freedom from oppressive conventions, but they are in no way dated, because through a feminist lens, they pursue the truth of our conflicted understanding of ourselves in relation to others. Throughout many of these stories, music and other art forms constitute a recurring refrain—a hopeful one. However the characters struggle in these stories, there’s always the chance of some genuinely truthful and essential self-expression, some connection that, even if tenuous, affirms the importance of their striving, the value of fully opening one’s eyes in the ephemeral present moment.

Catherine Brady is the author of CURLED IN THE BED OF LOVE (2003), as well as three story collections. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2004 and numerous journals and anthologies. She is also the author of a biography of a Nobel laureate, Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA, and has a forthcoming book on the craft of fiction.

Monday, April 01, 2013

30 Days of the Flannery O'Connor Award: Day 28

The Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction 2013 competition is now accepting submissions!

Dates for submission: Manuscripts may be submitted between 9:00 a.m. on April 1 and 5:00 p.m. on May 31. Winners will be announced by late summer.

We only accept electronic submissions.

Our online submissions manager is available here:

Tech support for using the submissions manager is available at 1-406-480-6274. The $25 entry fee can be paid online via credit card or PayPal.

This year's judges are Lee K. Abbott, Ted Obourn, Jessica Treadway, Lori White, and Dawna Kemper.

Selection process: Each of the four contest judges reads approximately one-fourth of the manuscripts submitted to the competition, with a fifth judge available if needed based on the total number of submissions. Judges select seven to ten finalists each; the pool of finalist manuscripts is read by series editor Nancy Zafris, who makes the final selection of two winning manuscripts and a runner-up. Authors of winning manuscripts receive a cash award of $1,000, and their collections are subsequently published by the University of Georgia Press under a standard book contract. Winners have ten days to accept the award and ten days to sign the contract once it is received.

Eligibility: The competition is open to writers in English, whether published or unpublished. Previous winners of this award are not eligible to win again. Writers must be residents of North America.

Manuscript Guidelines
  1. Manuscripts should be 40,000-75,000 words in length.
  2. The award recognizes outstanding collections of short fiction. Collections may include long stories or novellas (est. length of a novella is 50-150 pages). However, novels or single novellas will not be considered.
  3. Please be sure manuscript pages are numbered.
  4. Please include a table of contents.
  5. Please use a standard, easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman in twelve-point size.
  6. Stories included in the submission may have appeared previously in magazines or anthologies but may not have been previously published in a book-length collection of the author’s own work.
  7. Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition for consideration as long as no material is duplicated between submissions. Each submission will require a separate entry fee.
  8. Manuscripts under consideration for this competition may be submitted elsewhere at the same time. Please withdraw your manuscript if it is accepted by another publisher and should no longer be considered for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award competition. Withdrawal can be completed via the submissions manager website. Entry fees are not refundable.
Blind review: The intent of this contest is that manuscripts will be considered on the merits of the fiction and that judges will not be aware of the names or publication records of the authors.
  1. Please do not include your name on the pages of the manuscript—only in the form boxes of the electronic submission manager. The first page of the manuscript should include the title of the collection only.
  2. Please do not include a list of acknowledgments crediting where stories have been published.
  3. Judges who recognize work will recuse themselves, and the submission will be reassigned to a different judge.
Confirmation of receipt and notification: You should receive an e-mail confirmation immediately after submission. An announcement of winners will be sent to all entrants via e-mail by late summer.
If you have any questions or concerns other than technical issues with the submissions manager, please contact us via e-mail at The press will not accept phone calls regarding the Flannery O’Connor Award.

Statement of Integrity: The University of Georgia is thoroughly committed to academic integrity in all of its endeavors, and the University of Georgia Press adheres to all University of Georgia policies and procedures. To help ensure the integrity of the competition, manuscripts are judged through a blind review process. Judges in the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction competition are instructed to avoid conflicts of interest of all kinds.