Thursday, March 26, 2009

Short Takes

NPR’s Studio 360 will feature the poem “Night Hunting” from FREE UNION in this weekend’s show. The spot is called “Good Poet Hunting”: “John Casteen IV teaches poetry at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. He’s also an avid hunter. Jesse Dukes went deep into the woods with Casteen to track deer and talk poetry.”

The American Book Review notes that although the short story is falling into increasing disfavor in the publishing world, “The University of Georgia Press’s Flannery O’Connor Award...takes this as its challenge and has released some of the most challenging and rewarding short fiction of the last three decades.” Their review of DROWNING LESSONS and THE THEORY OF LIGHT AND MATTER concludes: “Both these collections, Porter’s more deeply and more consistently, are able to cut…to the emotional quick of the human experience with stunning compression. That is the short story’s role, what it exists to do—though maybe, in a country most comfortable with the easy narrative of the sitcom and reality show, also its undoing. It’s lucky for the small readership that will find these books that the University of Georgia Press still produces them.” The submission period for this year’s competition opens April 1.

In the most recent issue of Southern Cultures, Leon Fink writes: “There have always been several Souths. It is precisely those already nationally integrated that will most easily and successfully accommodate to globalist influences and identities… GROUNDED GLOBALISM is a testament to just how rich a life can be led through such experience and opportunity.”

From The Journal of the Early Republic: “In EQUIANO, THE AFRICAN: BIOGRAPHY OF A SELF-MADE MAN, Vincent Carretta has culminated a remarkable historical inquiry that has already yielded Unchained Voices, a superbly annotated anthology of Anglo–Atlantic black literature, as well as equally well-researched editions of Ignatius Sancho and Ottobah Cugoano.”

Two UGA faculty members honored with Creative Research Awards this week have ties with the press. Hugh Ruppersburg, author or editor of several UGA Press titles, most recently THE NEW GEORGIA ENCYCLOPEDIA COMPANION TO GEORGIA LITERATURE, received the Albert Christ-Janer Award for research in the humanities. Andrew Herod, co-editor of the press’s new Geographies of Social Justice series, received the William A. Owens Award for research in the social and behavioral sciences.

UGA Press Receives Grant from the Mellon Foundation

Three university presses have received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support Early American Places, a new scholarly book series devoted to early North American history. The University of Georgia Press, New York University Press, and Northern Illinois University Press will receive $648,000 over five years to publish twelve series titles annually.

The goal of the series is to publish books written by first-time authors that root developments in early North America to the specific places where they occurred. Each press will focus on the region where they have particular expertise: UGA Press on the southeastern colonies, the Gulf South, and the Caribbean; NYU Press on the northeastern and middle Atlantic colonies; and NIU Press on the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley.

"All three presses collaborating on the series are sensitive to the transnational turn in the study of early North America," commented Derek Krissoff, senior acquisitions editor at UGA Press and a coauthor of the grant. "But we're also sensitive to the things that are particular to where we live and work. The idea behind Early American Places is to combine the two—to look at how specific cities and counties and colonies and regions experienced, and contributed to, global phenomena like migration, trade, and war. Scholarship undertaken at this scale can capture a level of texture that often gets lost in 'bigger' books."

The grant, which is being administered by UGA Press, will fund a shared, centralized, external editorial service dedicated to the editing and production of books. The three presses will also combine marketing efforts. An editorial board of leading scholars of early American history who will help recruit outstanding manuscripts is currently being assembled.

"We are honored that Mellon has chosen to lend us their support," said Nicole Mitchell, director of UGA Press. "It's gratifying to work collaboratively with our colleagues at other university presses, and this grant will be invaluable help to us all."

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Short Takes

Rick Van Noy and A NATURAL SENSE OF WONDER -- winner of the 2009 Reed Award for Environmental Writing from the Southern Environmental Law Center -- as well as four poets with new and recent titles in the VQR Poetry Series (Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, QUIVER, John Casteen, FREE UNION, Victoria Chang, SALVINIA MOLESTA, and Ted Genoways, ANNA, WASHING) will be featured in the Virginia Festival of the Book, which begins today in Charlottesville and runs through the weekend.

From the latest issue of Herpetological Review: "AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF GEORGIA is a tremendous resource to herpetologists and naturalists working in Georgia and throughout the southeastern United States and should be on every bookshelf."

Poet Martha Ronk has selected FIELD FOLLY SNOW as a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Parks was recently interviewed about the experience of publishing a first book.

Andrew Porter’s THE THEORY OF LIGHT AND MATTER is a finalist in the short story category for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year. An interview with him appeared this week online.

Upcoming area events:
Thursday, April 2, 5:00 pm
Emory University Bookstore
Matthew H. Bernstein will give a short presentation and sign copies of SCREENING A LYNCHING.

Friday, April 3, 7:00 pm
Ed Pavlic (WINNERS HAVE YET TO BE ANNOUNCED) will be reading with Kevin Young as part of the Poetry@Tech reading series.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rick Van Noy Wins Reed Environmental Writing Award

Rick Van Noy’s A NATURAL SENSE OF WONDER has been awarded the 2009 Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment from the Southern Environmental Law Center. The prize, given to one newspaper or magazine article and one nonfiction book each year, seeks to “enhance public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the region’s natural heritage by giving special recognition to writers who most effectively tell the stories about the South’s environment.” The award will be presented Saturday in Charlottesville as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book.

ON HARPER'S TRAIL by Elizabeth Shores was a finalist for this year's award, and several University of Georgia Press titles are former winners of the prize:
WHERE THERE ARE MOUNTAINS by Donald Edward Davis (2001),
ZORO'S FIELD by Thomas Rain Crowe (2006), and
PEACHTREE CREEK by David Kaufman (2008).

In 2005, the SELC gave special recognition to the University of Georgia Press "for its consistent commitment to publishing works about the southern environment."

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Short Takes

The Florida Humanities Council features Jack E. Davis and AN EVERGLADES PROVIDENCE in Forum, “the magazine for thinking Florida,” and on Florida Public Radio. Listen here.

Devin Fergus, author of the forthcoming LIBERALISM, BLACK POWER AND THE MAKING OF AMERICAN POLITICS, 1965-1980, has been awarded a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington next year. praises UGAP’s music titles in its listing of the best music books of 2008 – even books not published in 2008:“The university presses of Georgia, Louisiana, the already mentioned Mississippi, and, more recently, Tennessee remain some of this country’s best for books about music, and I’m going to give myself a bit of temporal leeway in discussing them….Issued two years ago in paperback, both DIXIE LULLABY by Mark Kemp and REAL PUNKS DON’T WEAR BLACK by Frank Kogan, and also the 2005 GOIN’ BACK TO SWEET MEMPHIS, edited by Fred J. Hay, demand a place on the shelves of any reader. And for something truly rich and strange, try this year’s WINNERS HAVE YET TO BE ANNOUNCED, a series of prose poems by Ed Pavlic.”

From the American Historical Review: On ENTREPRENEURS IN THE SOUTHERN UPCOUNTRY: “Recent, compelling works by Mark Smith, Chad Morgan, and Jonathan Daniel Wells have revealed tremendous economic, social, and even political antecedents for the postwar South in its formative antebellum years. Bruce W. Eelman’s book builds upon this literature to establish quite convincingly how so much that seemed new or ‘modern’ in the postwar South originated decades before secession.”

On ATLANTIC LOYALTIES: “McMichael succeeds in providing an updated assessment of the Baton Rouge district under Spanish rule. His analysis is more objective regarding Spain’s administration of the region than those of many past investigators. Slavery is examined in much greater detail than in previous accounts and the author ably supports his claim that the presence of a vibrant Spanish legal culture ‘places West Florida…in something of an exceptional position with regard to U.S. history.’”

From the Journal of Southern History: On GROUNDED GLOBALISM: “This well-crafted book offers optimistic expectations not only for the U.S. South but also for international and transnational relationships. Peacock’s engaging observations are supported by many anecdotes about his own life experiences, and the book has appeal for both scholars and an interested public.”

On MARY TELFAIR TO MARY FEW: “Telfair’s ruminations on men (‘the Insipids’), marriage (‘married life requires a double portion of energy’), and motherhood (‘a very difficult task’) illuminate women’s reasons for remaining single, while her reflections on her daily activities suggest the rewards of single life…Mary Telfair’s letters are a valuable—and now, thanks to editor Betty Wood, a readily accessible—source for those interested in learning about the daily lives and inner worlds of single women in the antebellum South.”

The Spring issue of Reform Judaism magazine presents THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT and an interview with Margot Singer.

And, finally, Alex Vernon gives ON TARZAN the Page 99 test (“Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you” – Ford Madox Ford).

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Short Takes

Poetry Daily will feature John Casteen’s poem “Chain Song” from FREE UNION on Wednesday, March 11.

Tamala Edwards of 6abc Action News in Philadelphia posted an interview with Sharon White about VANISHED GARDENS in advance of her appearance at the Philadelphia Flower Show this weekend.

Our YouTube channel now features video of Dave Kaufman speaking about PEACHTREE CREEK:

Andrew Porter’s THE THEORY OF LIGHT AND MATTER is a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters' Award for Best Work of First Fiction. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in April.

From the Harvard Business School’s Business History Review: “MOTORING is a lively and entertaining account of driving in America. Jakle and Sculle should be commended for employing a wide range of academic and nonacademic sources.”

From the North Carolina Historical Review:“The combination of Phillips’s engaging writing style and viable primary accounts makes DIEHARD REBELS a quick and delightful read for anyone interested in Southern culture, the Civil War, and the ways in which the two intersect.”

James Peacock Wins the James Mooney Award

James Peacock has won the 2008 James Mooney Award for GROUNDED GLOBALISM: HOW THE U.S. SOUTH EMBRACES THE WORLD. The award is given annually by the Southern Anthropological Society to recognize distinguished anthropological scholarship on the South and southerners. Peacock will be given the award at a ceremony during the SAS meeting in Wilmington, NC, on Saturday, March 14.

GROUNDED GLOBALISM is a paradigm-shifting study of globalism's impact on a region legendarily resistant to change. The U.S. South, long defined in terms of its differences with the U.S. North, is moving out of this national and oppositional frame of reference into one that is more international and integrative. Likewise, as the South goes global, people are emigrating there from countries like India, Mexico, and Vietnam--and becoming southerners. Much has been made of the demographic and economic aspects of this shift. Until now, though, no one has systematically shown what globalism means to the southern sense of self. Peacock looks at the South of both the present and the past to develop the idea of "grounded globalism," in which global forces and local cultures rooted in history, tradition, and place reverberate against each other in mutually sustaining and energizing ways.

Peacock is the Kenan Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was president of the American Anthropological Association from 1993 to 1995. In 1995 Peacock was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2002 the American Anthropological Association awarded him the prestigious Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology. His visiting professorships have taken him to Princeton University, Yale University, Oxford University, University of California at San Diego, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. Dr. Peacock has authored or edited more than fifteen books, including the widely taught overview The Anthropological Lens. His articles, papers, reviews, commentaries, and other writings number in the hundreds.

Left: James L. Peacock, photo by Artie Dixon, Chapel Hill, NC, 2006
Right: Jacket of Grounded Globalism

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Authors Win Major Geography Book Award

CIVIL RIGHTS MEMORIALS AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF MEMORY has won the 2008 Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography. The book is published by the Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago, and distributed by the UGA Press.

Sponsored by the Association of American Geographers, the Globe Book Award is given annually for "a book that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world."

CIVIL RIGHTS MEMORIALS AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF MEMORY offers the first critical reading of the monuments, museums, parks, and streets dedicated to the black struggle for civil rights. Geographers Owen J. Dwyer and Derek H. Alderman use extensive archival research, personal interviews, and compelling photography to examine memorials as cultural landscapes, interpreting them in the context of the movement's broader history and its current scene. In paying close attention to which stories, people, and places are remembered and which are forgotten, the authors present an unforgettable story.

Praise for the CIVIL RIGHTS MEMORIALS AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF MEMORY has come from both academic and public sectors. Historian Kenneth E. Foote, author of Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy, has called the book "a very strong work that is well-organized and readable," and Jacket Copy, the book blog of the Los Angeles Times recently said that "the book takes a thoughtful approach to all the questions it examines, including tensions, in the planning of memorials, over whether the work and sacrifice of those who stood with King has been overshadowed by King himself."

Top left: Jacket of Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory
Right: Owen J. Dwyer by De-D Hutchins
Bottom left: Derek H. Alderman by Cliff Hollis, East Carolina University

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