Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Riché Richardson, Quilter

Riché Richardson leads a busy academic career. Educated at Spelman College and Duke University, Richardson focused her early work on African American literature, American literature, and southern studies and went on to teach for ten years at UC Davis. She is now an associate professor at the Africana Studies & Research Center at Cornell University.

Her ties to UGA Press began when she became coeditor of The New Southern Studies, a book series that re-examines the central ideas of the last twenty years of critical theory in southern studies: objecthood, identity, space, nation, region, abjection, the body, and empire. In 2007 the Press published her book BLACK MASCULINITY AND THE U.S. SOUTH, which the eminent scholar Houston A. Baker called "a brilliantly sophisticated recasting of black southerners (especially black males), white hegemony, race, gender, and sexuality in the United States."

But Richardson, who is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, isn't content to merely study southern culture as an academic. As an accomplished quilter, she actively participates in one of the South's most celebrated traditions. And like her academic work, her quilting has received accolades. This past summer Richardson's quilts were included in an exhibition at the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. A short film about her work, A Portrait of the Artist, has been produced by the filmmakers Geraldine Chouard and Anne Crémieux. And, she is profiled in the book Crafted Lives by Patricia Turner.

Now Richardson has been asked to be a cultural envoy, as an artist and quilter, for the U.S. Embassy in Paris. During her trip to Paris she will present a talk at the Ambassador's Residence on January 14 and will give numerous lectures to American studies scholars. Richardson is using the trip as an opportunity to unveil her current work-in-progress, a quilt that will mark the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Democrats Win in North Carolina: What's the Deal?

In one of the biggest surprises of the 2008 election, Barack Obama carried North Carolina--the first time Democrats have won a presidential contest in the state since 1976. Democrats prevailed as well in North Carolina's senate race, with Kay Hagan unseating Republican Elizabeth Dole.

Is North Carolina now blue, or at least purple? If so, how do we explain the shift?

Devin Fergus's forthcoming LIBERALISM, BLACK POWER, AND THE MAKING OF AMERICAN POLITICS, 1965-1980 is a good place to start. Fergus uncovers an intriguing alliance between North Carolina's liberals and black nationalists during the post-civil rights era--one that was manifested in experiments like Malcolm X University and Soul City; in the coalition to defend Joan Little, a black prisoner who killed a guard she accused of raping her; and in the electoral success of the Winston-Salem Black Panthers, who over the past forty years have occupied some of the city's most prominent offices.

Fergus's book is about the degree to which radical black politics and "mainstream" liberalism have been intertwined in recent history. And it shows that this productive interaction has, to a surprising degree, emerged from cosmopolitan pockets of the American South like Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and the Research Triangle.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shout It from the Treetops

The new Chronicle of Higher Education features an essay by Alex Vernon that poses the question, "Should We Take Tarzan Seriously?"

Vernon should know; he is the author of the forthcoming ON TARZAN, the first book-length investigation of a century's worth of the Jungle King's incarnations and our varied imaginative responses to them.

Bookforum has also taken note of ON TARZAN, listing it in the "Pub Dates" section of the Sept/Oct/Nov issue.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Short Takes

Sharon White, author of VANISHED GARDENS, on WRTI-Temple University's Creatively Speaking, this Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Adele Oltman, author of SACRED MISSION, WORLDLY AMBITION, on the 8/25/08 audiocast of Laura Flanders' RadioNation.

News and Notes:
The UGA Press is featured in this months' Georgia Magazine.

David Shi, president of Furman University and author of THE SIMPLE LIFE, has been named to The Chronicle of Higher Education/New York Times Higher Education Cabinet, "a new organization of university presidents and chancellors who are charged with identifying the key issues and trends in higher education."

Mort Zachter's memoir DOUGH is now out in a paperback edition from HarperCollins. Here's a nice notice from The Villager, a New York neighborhood newspaper.

Nathalie Dupree and her book SOUTHERN MEMORIES get a nod in "A Little Jiggle from Down South," a food article in the Washington Post on congealed dishes.



GEORGIA ODYSSEY in Augusta's Metro Spirit, and the Albany Herald.

CORNBREAD NATION in the Winston-Salem Journal.

We get blogged:
A NATURAL SENSE OF WONDER in Georgia Books and Water.

WALKING THE WRACK LINE, STIRRING THE MUD, and ENTERING THE STONE in the Amazon.com blog Omnivoracious.

Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction in Emerging Writers Network.


OF THEE I SING, in a "Timothy Liu MEGA-Post" in Asian American Literature Fans.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Come See Us at the Decatur Book Festival

We'll be at the Decatur Book Festival most of the Labor Day Weekend. Here's a schedule of events by authors who have published books with the UGA Press. See you there!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama and King

In her August 18 Nation article, Adele Oltman situates Barack Obama in an American religious tradition closely associated with Martin Luther King--MLK, Sr., that is.

Oltman is the author of SACRED MISSION, WORLDLY AMBITION which reveals how business principles and religious faith informed and reinforced each other in Jim Crow-era, middle-class black communities.

Oltman will be talking more about Obama's faith in the coming days on Air America Radio and Al Jazeera English. Check back often for details.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hear Alex Vernon on the Diane Rehm Show

Alex Vernon, author of ON TARZAN, will be on the Diane Rehm Show this Wednesday, August 20, at 11:00 a.m. EST. Vernon, whose interests in American culture range widely, will be discussing Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.

Photo of Alex Vernon by Jason Jones Photography, Inc.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Poet Launches New Literary-Cultural Review

Kyle Dargan recently launched an online arts and culture review called Post No Ills. Early features include an interview with E. Ethelbert Miller done by Keith Leonard; a review of Other People's Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America; and an interview with Abdel Shakur about a special funk issue of the Indiana Review he edited. Dargan teaches creative writing at American University and is the author of two poetry collections, BOUQUET OF HUNGERS and THE LISTENING, which was the 2003 winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Left: Homepage of Post No Ills
Right: Kyle Dargan by Marlene Hawthrone Thomas

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Embracing the Elements

Dorinda Dallmeyer presents President Jimmy Carter with a copy of her book ELEMENTAL SOUTH: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SOUTHERN NATURE WRITING. Dallmeyer and Carter met at a Paddle Georgia event in Oglethorpe, Georgia, where a week-long trip on the Flint River ended with a fish fry. Carter was present to officially announce the formation of the Flint Riverkeeper group.

Dallmeyer directs the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program at the University of Georgia. Dallmeyer's passion for the natural South led her to form the Southern Nature Writers Project, an organization devoted to thinking and writing about the southern landscape.

Photo © Douglas Fallon.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Author Picks Three Great Summer Reads

Andrew Porter, author of THE THEORY OF LIGHT AND MATTER, will appear on "Three Books . . ." the popular NPR segment for which writers are invited to recommend three great reads on a single theme. Porter's piece will be airing in the next few days.

THE THEORY OF LIGHT AND MATTER is a winner of the prestigious Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead, has written that "Porter's fiction is thoughtful, lucid and highly controlled. It is especially striking for the strong consistency of vision that is achieved in every story. He has the kind of voice one can accept as universal—honest and grave, with transparency as its adornment."

Left: Andrew Porter by Kris Krajcer
Right: Jacket of
The Theory of Light and Matter

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Short Story Collection Wins Prestigious First Book Award

THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT by Margot Singer has won the 2008 Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers. Final judge Cathy Hankla, who selected the winning title, writes:
THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT is a stunning collection of interwoven narratives that delves deep into the human need for both belonging and moral integrity. Singer examines origins, cruelties and beliefs in the context of the nefarious nature of memory as a vehicle for obtaining truth. While some of Singer’s characters are literally digging for material shards that might prove ancient texts valid, the ashes of another character are by chance winds. Impermanence and timeless truth struggle in these pages, finding characters, language and form that are at once recognizable and original.
Singer’s short story collection, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, also received an honorable mention for the 2008 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was a finalist for the 2008 John Gardner Fiction Book Award.

Congratulations as well to David Kirby. The prolific Kirby, who has published two essay collections with the UGA Press, ULTRA-TALK and WHAT IS A BOOK?, has just won a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Book Award for his LSU Press poetry collection The House on Boulevard Street. SIBA Book Awards titles are nominated and voted on by hundreds of independent booksellers from across the South. 2008 marks a new chapter in the SIBA Book Awards; from now on the awards ceremony will be held at the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Top: Jacket for
The Pale of Settlement.
Bottom: Margot Singer by Tim DeGenero.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Book Recalls the Complicated Past of a George Washington Historic Site

The likely site of George Washington's boyhood home has been unearthed near Fredericksburg, Virginia. It's a great story, and a well deserved plug for the work of archaeologists and historians. Deep in most of the media coverage, past the musings over whether we'll ever find young Washington's hatchet or the stump of the apocryphal cherry tree, is news of a plan to reconstruct the home and its outbuildings as they may have looked in the 1740s, when Washington was living there.

In HERE, GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS BORN, Seth C. Bruggeman tells of a similar project—the reconstruction of the Washington birthplace. He uses the controversial legacy of the birthplace site to raise questions about "memory, ownership of the past, and the wonderfully slippery meaning of authenticity." "All kinds of Americans at all times seek to involve themselves in the past," says Bruggeman. He asks what compels us to make pilgrimages to places like the Washington birthplace, and urges us to think critically about our need to be grounded in history through seeing and touching the "real" thing. HERE, GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS BORN, which will be published in November 2008, has been praised as a "fascinating tale of the elusive quest for authenticity at a modern American tourist site" by David Glassberg, author of Sense of History: The Place of the Past in American Life.

T. H. Breen takes on similar issues in IMAGINING THE PAST, in which he writes that "our dreams of things to come are built upon the interpretation of past experience." IMAGINING THE PAST tells of Breen's historical research in the celebrated Long Island resort town of East Hampton and what happened when some of his discoveries collided with local, dearly held notions about East Hampton's early days. "Through Breen's eloquent writing," said Charles E. Orser, Jr., in the Journal of American History, "the past becomes the present, and readers learn that the stories we tell ourselves about the past are fluid and changeable."

A good deal of excavating—in textual repositories—also went into the making of LIFE OF GENERAL WASHINGTON. Written by David Humphreys, one of Washington's aides, it is the only biography authorized by the general himself. In a remarkable feat of historical detective work, editor Rosemarie Zagarri assembled manuscripts from three separate archives to reconstruct the complete biography. George Athan Billias's review in the Journal of American History says that "it not only contributes to the Washington canon but also helps us to separate more critically the man from the myth."

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hardscrabble Wins 2008 Fellowship of Southern Writers' New Writing Award for Poetry

The Virginia Quarterly Review and the University of Georgia Press are pleased to announce that one of the inaugural selections of the VQR Poetry series, HARDSCRABBLE by Kevin McFadden, has been awarded the 2008 Fellowship of Southern Writers' New Writing Award for Poetry.

The award, which recognizes work by emerging poets living in and writing on the South, will be presented April 2-4, 2009 at the Arts & Education Council Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"I've known the Fellowship through its distinguished roll call of authors," says McFadden, who is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. "Robert Penn Warren was one of my earliest influences in deciding to move to the South."

McFadden received the news from George Garrett, a founding member of the Fellowship, just before the acclaimed Southern novelist, essayist, and poet died in May. "All the reasons to be honored by this award reside in the generosity and warmth of a spirit like George's, a spirit he helped kindle the Fellowship with."

The Fellowship of Southern Writers was created in 1989 to nurture literature in the American South. Among its founding members were Eudora Welty, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, Shelby Foote, John Hope Franklin, Walker Percy, Ernest Gaines, William Styron, and Elizabeth Spencer. Its archives are housed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it meets during the Conference on Southern Literature.

Left: Cover of
Right: Kevin McFadden by Angie Hogan

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Short Takes

Jennifer Chang, author of THE HISTORY OF ANONYMITY, in Critical Mass, the National Book Critics Circle blog.

In the news:
David Glenn, a senior reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education, covers FROM SUPERPOWER TO BESIEGED GLOBAL POWER in a June 13 (subscription-only) piece about new foreign policy books on topics that deserve more serious treatment in the 2008 presidential race. Glenn begins his coverage of the book by noting that "one scholar who sees serious differences within the Democratic Party is [the book's coeditor] Edward A. Kolodziej, a political scientist who directs the Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kolodziej argues that both Bush-style neoconservatives and Clintonesque liberal internationalists hold vastly exaggerated senses of America's ability to shape the world. Our overwhelming military dominance, Kolodziej says, does not mean that we can snap our fingers and persuade allies and adversaries to do as we please."

WALKING THE WRACK LINE by NPR's Alan Cheuse, in his roundup of "Summer Books to Feed Your Literary Addiction."

A NATURAL SENSE OF WONDER in the Princeton Packet.

CORNBREAD NATION 4 in the Tampa Tribune.

HARDSCRABBLE in C-Ville: Charlottesville News and Arts.

MOTORING in the Charleston Post and Courier.


Kyle Dargan's BOUQUET OF HUNGERS is a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry.

A NATURAL SENSE OF WONDER was named one of 10 best books for teachers in Scholastic magazine's summer reading roundup. Scholastic also ran an excerpt of the book in their Parent & Child magazine.

We get blogged:
Mention of WINNERS HAVE YET TO BE ANNOUNCED in Conversational Reading.

Citation of ANIMALS AND WHY THEY MATTER in Doing Ethics.

Mention of the Flannery O'Connor Award short fiction series in Emerging Writers Network.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

UGA Press Author to Be Featured on The Writer's Almanac

Garrison Keillor's long-running public radio program, The Writer's Almanac, will feature poems from the newly published collection BOY on Thursday, May 8 and Saturday, May 10.

BOY, by Patrick Phillips, has been praised by Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey, who writes that, "in language at once taut and supple, spare and sinewy, Phillips gives us a collection full of longing and wisdom and a version of heaven in which all that we love and all our losses are returned to us, where 'It will be the past. And it will last forever.'"

BOY is one of the four inaugural volumes in the VQR Poetry Series. The series is published by the UGA Press in conjunction with the Virginia Quarterly Review. The series editor is Ted Genoways. Other inaugural volumes in the VQR Poetry Series are FIELD FOLLY SNOW by Cecily Parks, THE HISTORY OF ANONYMITY by Jennifer Chang, and HARDSCRABBLE by Kevin McFadden.

Each day, for more than a decade, The Writer's Almanac has been featuring Garrison Keillor reading a poem, profiling notable literary figures, and recounting highlights of the day in history.

Left: Photo of Patrick Phillips by Peter Dant.
Right: Cover of Boy.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Papers of Author John Lane Acquired by Major Literary Archive

The papers of writer, teacher, and environmentalist John Lane have been acquired by the James Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World. The collection is housed at Texas Tech University's Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. The collection also houses the papers of such writers as Donald Hall, Barry Lopez, and Rick Bass.

Four of Lane's books have been published by the UGA Press. His most recent book is CIRCLING HOME. The others are CHATTOOGA, WAIST DEEP IN BLACK WATER, and THE WOODS STRETCHED FOR MILES, which he coedited with Gerald Thurmond.

Left: Photo of John Lane by Mark Olencki
Right: Jacket of
Circling Home

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Earth Day . . .

. . . and UGA Press has many new and forthcoming nature and environment books in the works.

TURTLES OF THE SOUTHEAST is the second title in our series of nature guides to the Southeast. SNAKES OF THE SOUTHEAST is one of our bestselling books. These full-color guides are great for a range of readers, from children to serious naturalists. FROGS AND TOADS OF THE SOUTHEAST comes out in July.

We are very pleased to be adding three books by Barbara Hurd to our list. Her newest, WALKING THE WRACK LINE: ON TIDAL SHIFTS AND WHAT REMAINS will complete a trilogy of introspective nature writing in the tradition of Terry Tempest Williams and Gretel Ehrlich. The first two books—STIRRING THE MUD: ON SWAMPS, BOGS, AND HUMAN IMAGINATION and ENTERING THE STONE: ON CAVES AND FEELING THROUGH THE DARK—will be available as UGA Press paperbacks. All three books are on sale in early June.

A wealth of information about some 170 species of frogs, salamanders, crocodilians, lizards, snakes, and turtles can be found in AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF GEORGIA, edited by John B. Jensen, Carlos D. Camp, Whit Gibbons, and Matt J. Elliott. Due out in July, the book has a strong focus on conversation.

Nature deficit disorder is a term that gained national attention with the publication of Richard Louv's book, The Last Child in the Woods. In A NATURAL SENSE OF WONDER: CONNECTING KIDS WITH NATURE THROUGH THE SEASONS, Rick Van Noy explores how parents can get their children outside and into nature in conversational and personal essays.

Also recently published:

Spartanburg, South Carolina native John Lane draws a mile radius circle around his house on a map and sets out to explore everything within that vicinity.

SOLITARY GOOSE by Sydney Landon Plum
An encounter with a wounded Canada goose leads the author to a better understanding of birds, ponds, the impact of humans on nature, and the way that life heals.

Philosopher David Kolb questions widely held assumptions about sprawl and our built environments.

MOTORING unmasks the forces that shape the American driving experience—commercial, aesthetic, cultural, mechanical—as it takes a timely look back at our historically unconditional love of motor travel.

Image, top left: "An area of convective activity over the Eastern Pacific Ocean, west of Mexico." Observation Device: GOES-12 4 km infrared imagery. Visualization Date: April 15, 2008 07:28:54. Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Environmental Visualization Program.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Book Awards for Atlanta Writer-Photographer and Wisconsin Poet

Atlanta-based writer and photographer David Kaufman has won the Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment for his book PEACHTREE CREEK. The award is given every year by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) to writers who most effectively tell their stories about the South’s environment.

Contest judge and Orion magazine editor-in-chief, H. Emerson Blake, says of the book: "Wallace Stegner said that a place is not a place without a poet. Peachtree Creek has found its poet in David Kaufman. PEACHTREE CREEK describes how profoundly we are shaped by our surroundings and how profoundly, and destructively, we are able to modify those surroundings. This is the kind of story that really makes one stop and think about what kind of world we want to live in."

Kaufman received an award plaque and a $1,000 prize. He read from his book at an award ceremony on March 28, at SELC’s headquarters, as part of the annual Virginia Festival of the Book. Another University of Georgia Press book, John Lane’s CIRCLING HOME, was a finalist for the award.

In other award news, Paul Zimmer, author of CROSSING TO SUNLIGHT REVISITED, has received the Posner Book-Length Poetry Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers (CWW). The Posner Award is one of several given out every year by the CWW to Wisconsin residents who shows literary excellence in their work. Geeta Sharma-Jensen, book critic for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, had details on all of this year's winners in a recent column.

Ted Kooser, 2004-2006 Poet Laureate of the United States, has said, "I can't remember when I've read a book of poems I enjoyed as much as Paul Zimmer's CROSSING TO SUNLIGHT REVISITED. Here is an entire life, distilled to a lovely, celebratory essence." Zimmer will be honored at the Council for Wisconsin Writers annual awards banquet on Saturday, May 10, 2008, in Milwaukee.

Top left: Book jacket of
Peachtree Creek
Bottom left: Book jacket of
Crossing to Sunlight Revisited
Top right: David Kaufman, author of
Peachtree Creek
Bottom right: Paul Zimmer, author of
Crossing to Sunlight Revisited

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Poet Named Finalist for Literary Award

Dawn Lundy Martin has been named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in the category of Poetry for her book A GATHERING OF MATTER / A MATTER OF GATHERING. The Lambda Awards recognize writers of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender literature. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in West Hollywood on May 29.

A GATHERING OF MATTER / A MATTER OF GATHERING was chosen by Carl Phillips for the 2006 Cave Canem Poetry Prize; the UGA Press published the book in 2007. Martin is the author of one other poetry collection, The Morning Hour, chosen by C. D. Wright for the Poetry Society of America's National Chapbook Fellowship.

Martin cofounded the Third Wave Foundation a feminist, activist foundation that supports young women and transgender youth working towards gender, racial, economic, and social justice. She is also coeditor of The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism. She teaches in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo of Dawn Lundy Martin by Stephanie Hopkins
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Friday, March 14, 2008

Short Story Writer Recognized

Margot Singer has received an honorable mention for the 2008 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for her short story collection THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT. One of the most prestigious literary awards for first books of fiction, the PEN/Hemingway Award is given by PEN New England and the JFK Presidential Library. In addition to this year's winner, Joshua Ferris for the novel Then We Came to the End, two finalists and one other honorable mention were recognized.

Read an interview with Margot Singer in Next Book.

Check out reviews of THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT in NewPages.com, the Miami Herald, Columbus Dispatch, and Venus.

Photo of Margot Singer by Tim DeGenero

Monday, March 10, 2008

Short Takes

Peter LaSalle, author of TELL BORGES IF YOU SEE HIM, in Bookslut.

Major Jackson, author of LEAVING SATURN, on NPR's New Letters on the Air.

Authors in the news:
Mary Jo Bang, author of THE DOWNSTREAM EXTREMITY OF THE ISLE OF SWANS, has won the 2007 National Book Critics Award for Poetry for her collection titled Elegy.

David Crouse, author of COPY CATS, has won the Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction for a short story collection that will be published in August by Sarabande Books.

Sue William Silverman, author of the memoir BECAUSE I REMEMBER TERROR, FATHER, I REMEMBER YOU, is also author of the novel Love Sick, which has been made into a movie by the Lifetime Network.

SOUTHERN COMFORTS by Sudye Cauthen has won the bronze in Florida Nonfiction from the Florida Book Awards. Winning books and their authors will be featured in the July issue of the Florida Humanities Council's Forum magazine.

Three UGA Press titles have been named finalists for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award: THE RINGING EAR (Anthologies category), DOUGH (Autobiography/Memoir category), and PROPHET FROM PLAINS (Political Science category).

DOUGH in Jbooks.

SPRAWLING PLACES is part of a feature on modern architecture in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The spring issue of the Jewish Book World features a great review of THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT: "Singer writes clearly, succinctly, and effectively. The characters are believable, and the stories uplifting but realistic. Modern issues—terrorism and the second Lebanon war—intrude, but do not overwhelm, a testament to Singer’s skill and artistry."

The unaugural volumes in the VQR Poetry Series were featured in a full-page spread in a recent issue of Publishers Weekly:
- BOY (starred review): "This second collection from Kate Tufts Award–winner Phillips ... is haunted by memories, could-have-beens and what-ifs ... Phillips is consumed with his vulnerability as a parent and finds himself lost in the cyclical recurrences of time."
- THE HISTORY OF ANONYMITY: "[Chang] is at her best and boldest in raw poems ... The final section continues the narrative of the victimized child, her sister, and her mother, with frankness and a refreshing lack of melodrama."
- HARDSCRABBLE: "This debut showcases a wild and powerful wit in action."
- FIELD FOLLY SNOW: "The sharp, pastoral imagery of Parks’s debut is set ablaze by an ominous tone and the author’s fine musical ear. Her tight tercets and prose blocks convey a sense of isolation, which, when broken by the appearance of someone other than the speaker, is as jarring as a rock heaved into a still pond."

PROPHET FROM PLAINS by Frye Gaillard in the National Catholic Reporter.

GROUNDED GLOBALISM by James L. Peacock in the Nashville Tennessean.

THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT by Margot Singer in NewPages.com.

NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE PROMISES by Kent Germany in the American Historical Review.

We get blogged:
Sudye Cauthen, author of SOUTHERN COMFORTS, has a new blog.

Recommendation for THE UNABRIDGED DEVIL'S DICTIONARY by Ambrose Bierce in Etcetera Whatever

Praise for Michael Martone, author of RACING IN PLACE, in Zyzzyvaspeaks

Reflections on Erskine Caldwell's TOBACCO ROAD and GOD'S LITTLE ACRE in The View from Graustark

Mention of EQUIANO THE AFRICAN by Vincent Carretta in African Disapora, Ph.D.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Get to Know Donny Hathaway

For many fans of old school R&B, the music of Donny Hathaway is sacred. Hathaway's suicide in 1979 at the age of thirty-three ended a troubled and enigmatic life, but in that short time he left a body of compositions and recordings that continue to earn devoted fans around the world.

Hathaway continues to inspire musicians and his presence is being felt in more mainstream circles today. In Amy Winehouse's Grammy-winning hit "Rehab," she sings, "I'd rather be at home with Ray / I ain't got seventy days / Cause there's nothing / There's nothing you can teach me / That I can't learn from Mr. Hathaway." And recently on American Idol, contestant Chikezie sang Hathaway's "I Believe To My Soul." Not only did he perform Hathaway's music, but he did so with backing vocals by Kenya Hathaway, a daughter of Donny who is in the American Idol house band.

Poet Ed Pavlic has long been fascinated by Hathaway and his music. In WINNERS HAVE YET TO BE ANNOUNCED: A SONG FOR DONNY HATHAWAY, he uses poetry to get inside the performer's head and to portray how he saw and was seen by the world. "To capture the monumental paradoxes and prismatic genius of Donny Hathaway," says Michael Eric Dyson, "one must have an epic imagination and a sense of language that flames in poetry toward transcendent truth. Ed Pavlic rises to the task admirably."

If you don't know Hathaway's music and want to hear what all the fuss is about, check out the wonderful reissues on Rhino Records. Here's hoping that Hathaway is finally starting to get his due, more widely, for the musical genius he was.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book on New Orleans Is Finalist for Liberty Legacy Foundation Award

NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE PROMISES has been named a finalist for the 2008 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award given by the Organization of American Historians. This annual award recognizes the best book on any historical aspect of the struggle for civil rights in the United States from the nation's founding to the present.

In the book, author Kent Germany—a Louisiana native and a former New Orleans resident—looks back at the Great Society era of the 1960s and 1970s to offer a detailed look at one of the greatest transformations in the city's history. He tells how a few thousand New Orleanians put their faith in God and American progress to the test as they sought to conquer poverty, confront racism, establish civic order, and expand the economy.

In a review of the book in the Journal of American History, Michael K. Brown said that, "this balanced case study raises new questions about the outcome of the War on Poverty and the persistence of racial inequality in the twenty-first century. . . . This is a fine study that anyone concerned with racial justice in America should read."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Short Takes

Recent interviews:
Sudye Cauthen, author of SOUTHERN COMFORTS, in the Gainesville Sun.

Margot Singer, author of THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT, on Next Book.

Dave Kaufman, author of PEACHTREE CREEK, on the Georgia Podcast Network.

Recent reviews:
CIRCLING HOME in the Charleston Post and Courier.

THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT in the Miami Herald, Columbus Dispatch, and Venus.

DIEHARD REBELS in the Charleston Post and Courier.

AMERICAN WARS, AMERICAN PEACE in the Mobile Press-Register.

TELL BORGES IF YOU SEE HIM in the the Providence Journal.


In the news:
DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF GEORGIA AND THE SOUTHEAST got a nod from Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Walter Reeves.

Columnist Bill Maxwell mentioned DEEP IN OUR HEARTS in his piece about how recent presidential campaigning has politicized the history of the civil rights movement. Maxwell also mentions the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, whose case is the subject of FROM SELMA TO SORROW.

Three RINGING EAR poets recently read their work at Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Co. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the book a "fine volume of verse."

Stephanie M. H. Camp, coeditor of NEW STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SLAVERY, is featured as a “top young historian” on the History News Network.

Recent awards:
John Lane’s CIRCLING HOME and Sydney Landon Plum’s SOLITARY GOOSE are in the running for the 2008 Orion Book Award.

Three of our books were recognized for outstanding design in the 2008 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show organized by the Association of American University Presses: WRITING MATTERS, designed by Mindy Basinger Hill, won in the "Scholarly Typographic" category; DOUGH, designed by Erin Kirk New, won in the "Trade Typographic" category; and DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF GEORGIA AND THE SOUTHEAST, designed by Mindy Basinger Hill, won in the "Reference" category.

GEORGIA'S FRONTIER WOMEN, by Ben Marsh, has won the Georgia Historical Society's 2008 Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award for the best book in Georgia history published in 2007.

A GATHERING OF MATTER / A MATTER OF GATHERING by Dawn Lundy Martin has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

The Poetry Foundation picked DEPTH THEOLOGY for their end of the year "best of" list.

World View, the international program for educators at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, has named GROUNDED GLOBALISM by James L. Peacock as its Book of the Year.

We get blogged:
June Hall McCash, author of JEKYLL ISLAND'S EARLY YEARS has a new blog.

The blog of Galway, Ireland's public libraries recently featured ANOTHER BEAUTY.

MOTORING got a nice mention in Lincoln Highway News.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Best Book in Georgia History

Ben Marsh has won the Georgia Historical Society's 2008 Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award for his book GEORGIA'S FRONTIER WOMEN: FEMALE FORTUNES IN A SOUTHERN COLONY. The Bell Award, which is given annually to the best book in Georgia history published in the previous year, is named in honor of Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell in recognition of their contribution to the recording of Georgia's history. The award will be presented at the Society's 275th Birthday Bash and Awards Gala on Saturday, February 16, 2008, in Savannah.

"Ben Marsh has given us a fresh and important look not only at women's changing economic and cultural worlds in colonial Georgia, but at the dynamic and complex nature of colonial Georgia as a whole," Michele Gillespie, Professor of History at Wake Forest University said of the book. "Given its scope and its ambitiousness,
GEORGIA'S FRONTIER WOMEN is certain to become one of the most authoritative books on colonial Georgia for some time."