Monday, March 31, 2014

Announcing a new film and media series

The University of Georgia Press is pleased to announce a new film and media series, The South on Screen. The series explores representations of the South—its histories, cultures, and politics, and its dynamics of race, gender, and class—in film and television, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Monographs and edited collections in the series draw from the disciplines of film, media studies, history, economics, and cultural studies, offering a deep-focused but wide-ranging lens through which the South can be examined in cinema.

Though the American film business initially took root and flourished in the industrialized northeast and the west coast, filmmakers in this new medium soon became preoccupied with cultural questions and themes that resonated with the South. The South was then promoting itself as “new” and underwent, on a smaller scale than the North, the urbanization that made for a marketplace suited to the exhibition of the “picture shows” whose popularity and profitability were continually expanding in America’s cities. From its earliest moments onward, the movie industry catered to southern audiences and on southern themes. Indeed, the South has inspired a number of cinema’s landmarks, ranging from historical epics (The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind) and big-budget Hollywood adventures (Cold Mountain, Deliverance) to intimate dramas (Sounder, The Color Purple) and small-scale independent tales (Matewan, Nightjohn), from sober documentaries (Harlan County U.S.A.) to hilarious comedies (The General, O Brother, Where Art Thou). In the 1960s, as television became increasingly prominent, CBS created a series of popular sitcoms (The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction among them) with distinctly southern orientation. Whether produced for theatrical production or as television series, then, the moving image has shaped and been shaped by the South and its inhabitants.

The series focuses on the following three areas:

1) Monographs that analyze specific aspects of production, adaptation, censorship, exhibition, the social experience of moviegoing and the cultural role of cinema in the South, the intersection of film/TV and music—or, on the critical side, larger questions of authorship, stardom, genre, and theme

2) Edited collections that explore from different angles and disciplines important developments requiring a multi-author approach

3) Monographs devoted to a specific significant film or television series, such as Daughters of the Dust (1991); Eve’s Bayou (1997); Intruder in the Dust (1949); Nothing But a Man (1964); Mississippi Masala (1991); O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000); George Washington (2000); The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971); In the Heat of the Night (film, 1967; TV series, 1988-1995); Treme (2010-2013); and 12 Years A Slave (2013).

Though scholarly in nature, the series intends to produce accessible works for the interested general reader that engage the South’s longstanding, contentious, and complex interactions with film and television.

The first in the new series, Tison Pugh’s Truman Capote (May 2014) reveals Capote’s literary works to be not merely coincident to film but integral to their mutual creation, paying keen attention to the ways in which Capote’s identity as a gay southerner influenced his and others’ perceptions of his literature and its adaptations. It focuses particularly on Capote’s celebrity lifestyle, his screenplays, and the numerous film adaptations of his literature.

Series editors:

Matthew H. Bernstein is professor and chair of film and media studies at Emory University. He is the author of Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and TV (published by UGA Press); Michael Moore: Filmmaker, Newsmaker, Cultural Icon; and John Ford Made Westerns: Filming the Legend in the Sound Era.

R. Barton Palmer is Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University. He is the author of Hollywood’s Tennessee: The Williams Films and Postwar America; To Kill a Mockingbird: From Page to Screen; After Hitchcock: Influence, Imitation, Intertextuality; among other books.

Contact info:
Matthew H. Bernstein:
R. Barton Palmer:

To inquire about publishing in the series, please contact:
Walter Biggins, senior acquisitions editor, the University of Georgia Press

UGA Press

Founded in 1938, the UGA Press is the oldest and largest book publisher in the state. It has been a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1940. With a full-time staff of 26 publishing professionals, the press currently publishes 60-70 new books a year and has more than 1,800 titles in print. It has well-established lists in Atlantic World and American history, American literature, African-American studies, southern studies and environmental studies, as well as a growing presence in the fields of food studies, geography, urban studies, international affairs and security studies. For more information on UGA Press, see

Friday, March 28, 2014

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for these upcoming UGA Press author events:

Saturday, March 29
7:00 PM
Location: Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA
Description: Talk and Signing

Sunday, March 30
2:30 PM
BREAKING GROUND by Dr. Louis Sullivan
Location: Newseum, Washington DC
Description: Interview and Signing

Saturday, April 5
2:00 PM
EAT DRINK DELTA by Susan Puckett
Location: Barnes & Noble Colony Park, Ridgeland, MS
Description: Talk and Signing

Sunday, April 6
BREAKING GROUND by Dr. Louis Sullivan
Location: Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church, Arlington, TX
Description: Talk & Signing

Tuesday, April 8
7:00 PM
BREAKING GROUND by Dr. Louis Sullivan
Location: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA
Description: Talk & Signing

Sunday, April 13
2:30 PM
BREAKING GROUND by Dr. Louis W. Sullivan
Location: AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta, GA
Description: Talk & Signing

Monday, April 21
11:00 AM
Location: The Hidden Lantern, Rosemary Beach, FL
Description: Talk & Signing

Tuesday, April 22
6:00 PM
Location: Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Description: Talk & Signing

Thursday, April 24
7:00 PM
Location: Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
Description: Talk & Signing

Tuesday, April 29
3:30 PM
Location: Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
Description: Talk & Signing

Wednesday April 30
8:00 PM
Location: Ear Inn, New York, NY
Description: Reading & Signing

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Now Hiring: Marketing Assistantship Available

The Georgia Power-Grady College Assistantship at UGA Press

Goal: To introduce interested graduate students at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to the world of book publishing through the Press's marketing department.

Timeframe: We are looking for a commitment of at least two semesters.

Qualifications: We are seeking an individual with excellent organizational skills who is detail oriented and has the ability to work independently. Applicants must have good communication skills. A good working knowledge of social media is a plus.

Application materials should be submitted by May 1 to Debbie Marable Sickles in the Grady Collge Graduate Studies Office for consideration for an assistantship starting Fall 2014. Application materials should include a resume and letter of interest. Selected candidates will be interviewed by the publicity manager at the Press. For more information about the Press or the assistantship, contact Amanda E.Sharp or visit our website at

The Georgia Power-Grady College assistantship recipient will work directly with Amanda E. Sharp, publicity manager. The student will work on one or multiple books’ promotions, from the beginning stages of publicity to the end, allowing them to see the results of their work and to understand the challenges of winning media coverage. They will help plan the publicity campaign, research niche media, set up and support events, and handle other marketing duties as necessary.

Other jobs as needed:
Help with publicity mailings
Help with direct mail efforts
Help with social media
Help maintain information in Press website and data feed

Student receives tuition waiver but still has to pay student fees. UGA Press will pay student by the hour.

13-20 hrs per week

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Call for submissions: the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction 2014 competition

Announcing the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction 2014 competition! For a list of previous winners, please visit here.

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 Frank Soos, Amina Gautier, Dawna Kemper, Antara Brewer, and L. Rebecca Harris.

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
  • Manuscripts should be 40,000-75,000 words in length. 
  • 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. 
  • Please be sure manuscript pages are numbered. 
  • Please include a table of contents. 
  • Please use a standard, easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman in twelve-point size. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Please do not include a list of acknowledgments crediting where stories have been published. 
  • 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. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Short Takes

In a piece for Guernica, Glenn T. Eskew, author of JOHNNY MERCER, discusses how "[m]usic offers just another reflection of the cultural hybridity of the South's multiracial population." The March 15 issue that features Eskew's article focuses on the American South is available now.

In an interview for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's NewPublicHealth, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, author of BREAKING GROUND, answers questions about the history and future of improving the nation's health.
NPH: What other health issues still need keen attention to make us a healthier nation?
Sullivan: Disparities in health status between the white population on the one hand and the nation’s minority populations on the other. That is really quite striking and we have made only minimal progress. Life expectancy of African Americans is some five-to-seven years shorter than white Americans. Similar, though not as dramatic, disparities are in the Latino population, the American Indian population and the Native American population.
We have increased the awareness of these health disparities, and there is a lot of research that has started to get at more of the factors that cause these disparities and actual ways to help address them. We are still early on there, so that really is a challenge for today and really I think for the next two or three decades. It is critical to achieve because it will make a tremendous difference not only in the lives our nation’s minority and poor populations, but also make a significant difference for all Americans because we will have a stronger, healthier, more productive population. That will have economic benefits as well. So this is a major challenge for the nation.
Michele Gillespie, co-editor of NORTH CAROLINA WOMEN was interviewed by the North Carolina Museum of History. The interview is available here (scroll down to NORTH CAROLINA WOMEN) or through the Apple iTunes Store at: iTunesU\NC Department of Public Instruction and Partners\Bits of History.

How does comparing "an out-of-print comic book and a politician’s co-written fantasy novels to the likes of William Faulkner" support Michael Kreyling's argument in his book, A LATE ENCOUNTER WITH THE CIVIL WAR? Read this review by Chapter 16, a publication of Humanities Tennessee to find out.

In a comparative review, Common-place proclaims THE ACCIDENTAL SLAVEOWNER as "[a]n important contribution to the study of historical memory."

On April 30, John Casteen will be reading poems from his books FREE UNION and FOR THE MOUNTAIN LAUREL at the Poetry Society of New York Ear Inn Series. The event is free and will be from 8:00pm-11:00pm at the Ear Inn on Spring Street in New York. More information can be found here.

Congratulations, Julian Hoffman! His book, THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS, has been named a finalist for the 2013 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Ecology & Environment. Winners will be announced June 27.

Don't forget: the Loraine Williams Horizon Award for Manuscripts on Georgia History, Culture, and Letters is still accepting submissions. You have until April 30 to enter. Winners will receive a cash prize and a possible publishing contract with UGA Press. More details are available here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Goodreads Book Giveaway #4

With the Kentucky Derby happening in early May, we're giving away 5 finished copies of OLD LOUISVILLE! Ready to get in the Derby spirit now? Put on a big hat and sip a mint julep while reading this beautiful book full of photos of Louisville. To enter, click on the "Enter to win" button below or look under the giveaways section on Goodreads. Winners will be selected in late April.

OLD LOUISVILLE is written by Louisville-based author, David Dominé, and is illustrated with beautiful photographs by the photographer/stylist/writer team duo, Franklin and Esther Schmidt. OLD LOUISVILLE is a lavishly illustrated history and guide to a famous Louisville, Kentucky neighborhood.

An intimate tour of one of the largest and most significant historic preservation districts in America, OLD LOUISVILLE features fifty residential designs, from grand mansions to cozy cottages, from familiar house museums and boutique hotel adaptations to private homes of charm and sophistication. Located just south of Louisville’s business district, Old Louisville arose from the expansive grounds where the great Southern Exposition amazed and inspired visitors from 1883 to 1887. Many of these residences have never been open to the public.

In 2013, Louisville, Kentucky topped Lonely Planet’s Top 10 U.S. Destinations. “Louisville may just be the new Portland, Oregon,” according to Lonely Planet’s U.S. travel editor, Robert Reid.

David Dominé is also the author of GHOSTS OF OLD LOUISVILLE (McClanahan Publishing House, Inc.). He writes travel pieces and food reviews for various local and national publications. Franklin and Esther Schmidt specialize in interior, landscape, and exterior photography. They shoot for art, decorating, historic, and travel magazines. This is their fifth heavily illustrated, large-format book. The book is published by Golden Coast Publishing Company and distributed by the University of Georgia Press.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Old Louisville by David Domine

Old Louisville

by David Domine

Giveaway ends April 22, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Short Takes

The Poetry Society of America has Cynthia Lowen's poem "Hibakusha" for its In Their Own Words series. (Lowen is the author of THE CLOUD THAT CONTAINED THE LIGHTNING.) Check out the poem with Lowen's remarks here.

Michele Gillespie was interviewed by CSPAN2's BookTV about her book, KATHARINE AND R. J. REYNOLDS. We will share the first air date as soon as they announce it.

The launch party for Kate Sweeney's AMERICAN AFTERLIFE took place last Friday night (3/14) at Manuel's Tavern in Atlanta. The place was packed, standing room only. If you have a Facebook account, you can view photos from the event here. Guests were asked to wear their funeral attire and bring shrines to the dead.

Book cover on the left.
Replica by Kaelin Broaddus on the right.
UGA Press staff Rebecca Norton,
Walter Biggins, and Kaelin Broaddus
at the launch, posing with Catrina,
Mexico's grand dame of death.

David Holmes discusses his book, THE FAITHS OF THE POSTWAR PRESIDENTS, on WBEZ 91.5's "The Afternoon Shift." Listen to it here:

Georgia Library Quarterly calls Larry B. Dendy's THROUGH THE ARCH "[m]uch more than a guide to campus landmarks. . . . Dendy has created a valuable resource that would appeal to current students, alumni, and anyone interested in UGA’s campus and its place in Georgia history."

WALKING IN THE LAND OF MANY GODS is "ambitious and delightful," according to a recent review in ISLE.

Congratulations, Frank X Walker! His book, TURN ME LOOSE, won the 2014 Honor Book Award for Poetry from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Congratulations to the 2014 James Beard Award nominees! For the James Beard Foundation Broadcast and New Media Awards, EAT DRINK DELTA author Susan Puckett has been nominated for Visual Storytelling for "Dinin' Down in the Delta," "Ferm Belief," and "Fire It Up" in The Local Palate. Francis Lam, editor of the forthcoming CORNBREAD NATION 7, has been nominated for the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for his piece "Better with Age" in Bon Appétit. The full list of nominations can be found here. The winners will be announced on May 2.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Celebrating Women's History Month 2014

March is Women's History Month, and people and organizations across the country are finding interesting ways to celebrate this year's theme, "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment." For example, The Huffington Post featured an article entitled "Celebrating Women's History Month -- On Mars," which recounts the advances made by female scientists on the study of Mars. As for events, The Times and Democrat reports that The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, South Carolina is hosting a virtual exhibit of art by Addie Sim, a South Carolina Civil War-era artist. The exhibit entitled "The Art and Life of Addie Sims: A Look into Her World" opened on March 15, 2014. These are just a few of the exciting happenings so far, and there are still more to come. To learn more about Women's History Month and other organized celebrations, check out the official website here.

In celebration of Women's History Month, we at the UGA Press would like to highlight new and forthcoming additions to the University of Georgia Press series Southern Women: Their Lives and Times:
  • NORTH CAROLINA WOMEN: THEIR LIVES AND TIMES, edited by Michele Gillespie and Sally G. McMillen, highlights North Carolina’s progressive streak and its positive impact on women’s education—for white and black alike—beginning in the antebellum period on through new opportunities that opened up in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They explore the ways industrialization drew large numbers of women into the paid labor force for the first time and what the implications of this tremendous transition were; they also examine the women who challenged traditional gender roles, as political leaders and labor organizers, as runaways, and as widows. The volume is especially attuned to differences in region within North Carolina, delineating women’s experiences in the eastern third of the state, the piedmont, and the western mountains. It became available on February 15, 2014. 
  • GEORGIA WOMEN: THEIR LIVES AND TIMES—VOLUME 2, edited by Ann Short Chirhart and Kathleen Ann Clark, discusses Georgia women who were instrumental to state and national politics even before they achieved suffrage, and as essays on Lillian Smith, Frances Pauley, Coretta Scott King, and others demonstrate, they played a key role in twentieth-century struggles over civil rights, gender equality, and the proper size and reach of government. While many of the volume’s essays take a fresh look at relatively well-known figures, readers will also have the opportunity to discover women who were vital to Georgia’s history yet remain relatively obscure today. Collectively, the life stories portrayed in this volume deepen our understanding of the multifaceted history of not only Georgia women but also the state itself. Mark your calendars for this book's publication on July 1, 2014.
As a collection, Southern Women: Their Lives and Times seeks to highlight the histories of women from the various southern states. Each book is a collection of insightful essays focused on the lives of individuals or small groups of women that address larger issues in the history of the state, the South, and the nation. These individual profiles will also contribute to an understanding of the history of women and gender roles in American society. For a list of the works in this collection, click here

Lastly, check out the article by, "Women’s History Month: 5 Ways to Celebrate the Women In Your Family with Your Kids," for inspiration on how to celebrate the women in your history, life, and family.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Now Hiring: Internship Opportunities Available

Internship opportunities available at the University of Georgia Press

The deadlines have been extended.

The University of Georgia Press, the oldest and largest publisher of scholarly and general-interest books within the state, offers a number of unpaid internships for the summer and fall 2013 semester. The Press, which has a staff of 26 publishing professionals, produces 60-70 new books a year and is located in the Main Library at the University of Georgia.

These positions allow students who are interested in a career in book publishing to learn about scholarly and trade book publishing and to gain valuable on-the-job experience.


The acquisitions department at the University of Georgia Press seeks interns. Interns work 8-10 hours per week. Interns will have the opportunity to learn the basics of scholarly book publishing as they provide ongoing support for proposed book projects moving through the review process. Interns are also encouraged to attend in-house meetings with staff. Candidates must be capable of writing clear, professional correspondence and of juggling and prioritizing multiple assignments.

Tasks will vary, but may include such things as the following:
--drafting and sending letters to prospective authors, reviewers, and blurbers
--preparing and shipping manuscripts to reviewers
--maintaining project information in the Press database
--helping with image and permissions inventories
--preparing manuscripts and accompanying materials for transmittal to editorial
--drafting and sending decline letters
--completing small research assignments

To apply, send résumé and cover letter by March 31 to Beth Snead


The manuscript editorial department at the University of Georgia Press seeks interns for approximately 10 hours per week.

The interns in manuscript editorial will learn the basics about the editorial process as texts accepted for publication move from manuscript to bound book. How do project editors coordinate the work of freelance copy editors and authors to provide a final manuscript to production? What is The Chicago Manual of Style and how do editors use it? What are design elements? How do editors track art, permissions, and other materials on a given project?

Tasks will vary, but the interns will aid the department with such things as the following:
--editing indexes
--preparing art inventories
--preparing disks for copyediting
--coding manuscripts for design
--proofreading texts

The candidate must be a full-time student at UGA and should have a minimum 3.00 GPA; a working knowledge of Microsoft Word; a thorough understanding of grammar, spelling, and punctuation; an ability to attend to detail; and an interest in publishing. A proofreading test will be required.

If interested, send résumé and cover letter by April 11 to John Joerschke.


The marketing department at the University of Georgia Press seeks interns. Interns work 10-15 hours per week. There are opportunities for interns to work in publicity and web marketing. Experience from these internships can translate well to marketing jobs in other art and entertainment industries. Students may be eligible for credit if they apply early enough and go through the right channels. Amanda E. Sharp (see contact below) can provide details.

Internship details are as follows:

Publicity Intern:
--Will work with the publicity manager to help capture print and online reviews and excerpt key quotes for our database and online sales outlets.
--Will also research niche publicity outlets and carry out specialized publicity mailings for new books, as time and interest allow.

Publishing Data Intern:
--Will help distribute book metadata among the Press’s many trading partners. Metadata includes such elements as a book's title, author, and price. More complex metadata can range from a book’s table of contents to its subject areas. Our trading partners include booksellers (retail and wholesale), libraries, and data collection centers.
--Ideal candidates will be highly organized, detail oriented, and have an interest in databases, cataloging, and online information exchange standards.
--An interest in either a library or publishing career is a plus.

Direct Mail Intern:
--Will work with the direct mail manager on direct mail efforts, primarily targeting course adoptions for scholarly books.
--Work includes building mailing lists, researching niche markets, helping create mailing pieces, and assisting with mailings.
--May help occasionally in writing copy for various campaigns.
--No design skills necessary. Working knowledge of Excel and Emma a plus.

To apply, send résumé and cover letter by April 11 to Amanda E. Sharp.


The design and production department seeks two or three interns. Interns work six to ten hours weekly. Interns will provide support for all aspects of the production process--as copyedited and coded/styled manuscripts evolve into books in many different formats and as previously published titles are processed for reprinting. Interns will also provide some general clerical support for a staff of four publishing professionals. Candidates must have knowledge of or the ability to quickly learn the following programs within a Mac-based platform and workflow: Adobe Acrobat, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Excel, Filemaker Pro, and Word. The ability to attend to detail is essential.

Interns will have the opportunity to learn:
--illustration program management, from analysis of reproducibility to prepress preparation
--quality-control measures for different stages of proofs and samples
--how to produce cover mechanicals for reprints
--how to make text corrections for reprints
--strategies for researching and requesting reprint permissions
--how to enter and track essential information in Press-wide database

To apply, please send résumé and cover letter by April 11 to Melissa Buchanan.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In the News: American Afterlife

Want to sample Kate Sweeney's AMERICAN AFTERLIFE before buying the book? Then check-out the spring 2014 issue of the Oxford American. The magazine contains an excerpt from her chapter on burials at sea. In its March 2 edition, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required for online access) featured a multi-page spread for the book, including photos of Sweeney at Oakland Cemetery and chapter 3 ("The Cemetery's Cemetery") of AMERICAN AFTERLIFE. According to Atlanta Magazine (March 2014), "Sweeney's wicked sense of humor renders the topic of death not so scary, and her good-natured affection . . . make[s] her a bewitching tour guide."

"Sweeney writes the perfect story for our time, in the best possible way—with brisk, clear prose, unobtrusive but unflinching," describes Paste Magazine.

For more on AMERICAN AFTERLIFE, check out this interview with Sweeney in Deep South Magazine:
How long have you been fascinated with death? Does this go back to your childhood or did it develop later?
I am not a morbid person. I’ve never been somebody who goes around wearing black and hanging out in cemeteries listening to Goth music, but at the same time I think I’ve always been concerned with — and I think we all are to some extent — what is the best way to live life and how to get the most out of it. I worry about that all the time, and I think that my artistic response to that is to try to investigate that through my writing.
So, really what was happening was there were two different levels of interest going on. I was drawn to a lot of this stuff, because it was stuff I didn’t know about before. I didn’t know what Victorian hair jewelry was all about, this jewelry that people made out of human hair and then would hold onto as memorial jewelry. I didn’t know what went into putting together a conventional funeral. If you’re looking for sort of a world full of little known facts, funerals and memorialization, death is really ripe with it. As I went on, I sort of had to ask myself, why are you really doing this? What’s going on here? And I realized I was somebody in her late twenties and thirties working on this book who had never experienced catastrophic loss. I knew that sooner or later in all likelihood, this is going to happen to me. I think that on some level, I was looking for some ideas for how people cope with it. There’s no hard and fast answer for how to cope with loss when it happens to you, how to memorialize your loved ones, so what I did was turn to stories.
Or, you can see Sweeney answer questions about AMERICAN AFTERLIFE on WXIA 11 Alive's "Atlanta and Company." Watch to learn why a home's "parlor" is now called a "living room."

Ivory Owl Reviews gives an overview of the book, while ArtsATL pairs it with fellow Atlantan Jessica Handler's new book, BRAVING THE FIRE. Here they discuss how the internet touches on both of their books' topics:
Though how people grieve has changed over the years, no medium has transformed the discussion of grief more than the Internet. Both writers reference Death Café, a website that organizes group-directed discussions about death, and has meet-ups in cities all over the country, including at the historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.
“There is very good content about the grief experience [online],” says Handler. She cites Lisa Bonchek Adams’ personal blog about her experience with stage IV breast cancer, and writer Suleika Jaouad’s New York Times blog about her breast cancer diagnosis at age 22, her subsequent treatment and recovery.
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, says Sweeney, help to “open the door” to discuss loss. “It may be that it’s easier to discuss something so difficult with people you can’t see, and don’t have to see in your day-to-day life. I’d venture to say that in an era when we might be expected to put on more of a brave public face while facing grief, these spaces may be more valuable than ever.”

Monday, March 10, 2014

Goodreads Book Giveaway #3

We're giving away advance reader copies of VISIBLE MAN: THE LIFE OF HENRY DUMAS! To enter, click on the "Enter to win" button below or look under the giveaways section on Goodreads. Winners will be selected in late March. Good luck!

The long-awaited biography of an unsung literary legend...

Henry Dumas (1934–1968) was a writer who did not live to see most of his fiction and poetry in print. A son of Sweet Home, Arkansas, and Harlem, he devoted himself to the creation of a black literary cosmos, one in which black literature and culture were windows into the human condition. While he certainly should be understood in the context of the cultural and political movements of the 1960s—Black Arts, Black Power, and Civil Rights—his writing, and ultimately his life, were filled with ambiguities and contradictions.

Dumas was shot and killed in 1968 in Harlem months before his thirty-fourth birthday by a white transit policeman under circumstances never fully explained. After his death he became a kind of literary legend, but one whose full story was unknown. A devoted cadre of friends and later admirers from the 1970s to the present pushed for the publication of his work. Toni Morrison championed him as “an absolute genius.” Amiri Baraka, a writer not quick to praise others, claimed that Dumas produced “actual art, real, man, and stunning.” Eugene Redmond and Quincy Troupe heralded Dumas’s poetry, short stories, and work as an editor of “little” magazines.

With VISIBLE MAN, Jeffrey B. Leak offers a full examination of both Dumas’s life and his creative development. Given unprecedented access to the Dumas archival materials and numerous interviews with family, friends, and writers who knew him in various contexts, Leak opens the door to Dumas’s rich and at times frustrating life, giving us a layered portrait of an African American writer and his coming of age during one of the most volatile and transformative decades in American history.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Visible Man by Jeffrey B Leak

Visible Man

by Jeffrey B Leak

Giveaway ends March 25, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, March 07, 2014

UGA Press at AWP 2014

Last week, this year's Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference was held in Seattle, WA. Throughout the week, attendees enjoyed an exciting array of quality literature, informative panels, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Here is Publisher's Weekly recap of AWP:
Amid the usual panels about how to write, publish and teach books of literature, publishers reported strong book sales and attendees noticed a friendlier atmosphere than in previous years. Although there was no major announcement, this year's AWP shows literary--and print book--culture to be thriving.
The book exhibit ran from Thursday, February 27 through Saturday, March 1. More than 12,000 attendees visited the 650+ booths.

At our booth, numerous past and present UGA Press authors stopped by, as well as several previous staff members and interns. On Friday, we held book signings for six books: PIRATES YOU DON'T KNOW by John Griswold, AMERICAN AFTERLIFE by Kate Sweeney, THE VIEWING ROOM by Jackie Gorman, THIEVES I'VE KNOWN by Tom Kealey, EXIT, CIVILIAN by Idra Novey, and THE CLOUD THAT CONTAINED THE LIGHTNING by Cynthia Lowen. A few other authors stopped to say hello, including Julian Hoffman, Peter Selgin, Melinda Moustakis, John Chasteen, Allen Braden, Hugh Sheehy, Sue Silverman, Robin Ekiss, and Sean Hill.

A highlight of UGA Press moments and people at AWP 2014.

Director Lisa Bayer, assistant acquisitions editor Beth Snead, and publicity manager Amanda E. Sharp were in attendance.

During the conference, Buzzfeed Books had attendees share their responses to a variety of questions. Victoria Chang, Tom Kealey, and Amanda E. Sharp were featured in its list of "What Does the Term 'Successful Writer' Mean to You?" Their answers can be found here.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Short Takes

Judson Mitcham. Credit: Kent Nessel.
Held every spring, the Savannah Book Festival brings together dozens of popular and critically acclaimed authors along with thousands of readers, book lovers, fans, and aspiring writers.

This year’s festival featured panels by Press authors Glenn T. Eskew, Judson Mitcham, and Paul M. Pressly.
Paul M. Pressly.
Credit: Kent Nessel.

Glenn T. Eskew, author of JOHNNY MERCER, spoke on Savannah native and songwriter, Johnny Mercer. Georgia poet laureate and recent Georgia Writers’ Hall of Fame inductee, Judson Mitcham, discussed his poetry, including those featured in A LITTLE SALVATION. Paul M. Pressly, author of ON THE RIM OF THE CARIBBEAN, discussed Georgia’s colonial past and relationship to the Caribbean.

Digital Journal has a nice write-up of the festival, as well as photos of many of the authors. Here is one with Glenn T. Eskew:
Authors Glenn T. Eskew and John McMillian at Savannah Book Festival.
Savannah, Ga. 2/15/14. Credit: Kay Mathews.

In a news release about the publication of MY DEAR BOY, the University of Kansas news service interviews John Edgar Tidwell about Langston Hughes' relationship with his mother, Carrie.
Hughes had a complex relationship with his parents, even to the point where a conflict between becoming a writer and an everyday working man created a major tension in his life. Hughes’ first novel, “Not without Laughter,” makes use of the tension over money and other family issues found in Carrie Hughes’ letters. The mother character Annjee Rodgers declares that her teenage son Sandy, having reached the age of 16 years, is now old enough to help her by earning money.

“This example helps to affirm our argument that instead of writing her letters to express his anger and disappointment,” Tidwell said, “this and other pieces show him working out his own frustration with his mother via art.”
Dr. Louis W. Sullivan discussing
at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
on February 27.
Modern Healthcare features a Q&A with BREAKING GROUND author Dr. Louis W. Sullivan (log-in required). Dr. Sullivan answers questions about the state of the country's health system and opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
MH: What are your thoughts on political opposition to the Affordable Health Act?

Sullivan: It's unfortunate that there are politics around healthcare. There are two things that in my view should not be political—having a strong education system for our young people and health.

A healthier population is a more productive population. So I really wish that people would not view health in a political grid. We need to be able to make decisions based on what is needed from a scientific perspective and a medical perspective. I would argue for lowering the political rhetoric here. Access to healthcare should not be something that is subject to political whims.

Jamil Zainaldin gives Dr. Louis W. Sullivan a shout-out in his column for the Saporta Report. This week's column focuses on true leadership and names Sullivan as one of several notable leaders in Georgia.

Dr. Sullivan will give a talk on BREAKING GROUND at Newseum on March 30, 2014. The talk will be taped at the Knight TV Studio at 2:30pm. The program is free with regular paid admission. Seating is on a space-available basis. A book signing will follow the talk. More information about the event is available here. The Newseum is located between the U.S. Capitol and the White House and just one block from the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The Historian said that ALMOST FREE by Eva Sheppard Wolf "provides a timely analysis of the nature of race in antebellum America" and recommends it for "survey courses in the US and African American history" and for any "scholar of antebellum America.”

In a recent review, Ecozon@ says that THE BIOREGIONAL IMAGINATION, edited by Tom Lynch, Cheryll Glotfelty, and Karla Armbrustet, is an "important book which recognizes the efficacy of place-based thinking in the context of the global, and offers its audience a new starting point for active and responsible engagement with their own literary traditions and bioregional territories."

In her latest childhood studies op-ed for Salon, Anna Mae Duane, author of SUFFERING CHILDHOOD IN EARLY AMERICA, examines why the "House of Cards" character, Frank Underwood, "despises" children. 

Congratulations to Jingle Davis, Ben Galland, and Glenn T. Eskew! Their books, ISLAND TIME and JOHNNY MERCER, have been nominated for the 50th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards. The winners will be announced on June 7. The full list of nominees can be found here.

Classic Reissues from the UGA Press

As a part of our 75th anniversary, we are reissuing eight classic books originally published by the University of Georgia Press. Last fall, we reissued the first four books: FOLK VISION & VOICES, MISS YOU, FLANNERY O'CONNOR'S GEORGIA, and SHOUT BECAUSE YOU’RE FREE. This spring, we are releasing these remaining four:

GENERATIONS IN BLACK AND WHITE, edited by Rudolph P.Byrd and photographs by Carl Van Vechten, is a portfolio of eighty-three photographs celebrating African American achievement in the twentieth century. The photographs are complemented by a substantial introduction by Byrd, biographical sketches of each subject, and poems by the noted writer Michael S. Harper. The result is a volume of beauty and power, a record of black excellence that will engage and inform new generations.

Originally published in 1993, GREAT AND NOBLE JAR by folklorist Cinda D. Baldwin was the first authoritative study of South Carolina stoneware—from its beginnings in colonial times and its heyday in the 1850s through the post–Civil War period and the first half of the twentieth century. The author examines not only many traditional pottery forms but also the methods by which they were thrown, glazed, decorated, and fired. It is illustrated with nearly two hundred photographs, maps, and drawings and includes an index of South Carolina potters.

First published in 1972, John Linley's ARCHITECTURE OF MIDDLE GEORGIA is a sweeping survey that remains one of the best books on the topic, covering primitive, Gothic, Greek Revival, and Victorian styles, and beyond. John Linley’s descriptions of the diverse structures of the Oconee area are illustrated with more than three hundred photographs and representative floor plans. Fine architecture, as Linley shows, is greatly influenced by climate, geography, the region's natural resources, history, custom, and tradition.

If it is true that the pen is mightier than the sword and that one picture is worth a thousand words, Thomas Nast must certainly rank as one of the most influential personalities in nineteenth-century American history. With more than 150 examples of Nast’s work, THOMAS NAST: POLITICAL CARTOONIST by John Chalmers Vinson recreates the life and pattern of artistic development of the man who made the political cartoon a respected and powerful journalistic form.

We are very excited about these classic reissues as they commemorate 75 years of publishing history and seek to continue UGA Press' legacy of providing quality literature to UGA, the surrounding communities, and the world. For more information about UGA Press, visit our website here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Religion, Politics, and WHAT THEY WISHED FOR

Throughout American history, there has been much debate as to what role religion should play in politics. Just recently, much controversy has erupted over the Arizona Bill, SB 1062, vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer. The bill would “have allowed business owners in her state to refuse to serve gays and others if those customers somehow offended the proprietors' religious beliefs” according to the recent NPR article Arizona Gov. Brewer Vetoes Controversial Bill. To read the full article, click here.

Though this bill seems to avoid the influence of religious views in Arizona, it may be a reflection on the changing religious views in the U.S. as a whole. The article also explains that “Brewer had been pressed by leaders of Arizona's business community and some of her fellow Republican lawmakers to reject the legislation.” Republican strategist Jaime Molera also explained that, “business leaders believed a veto would help buttress Arizona's reputation nationally” showing that such legislation could conflict with the majority of national views on the matter.

America’s politics, like in many countries' politics, will inevitably be influenced by the personal beliefs of the citizens. Like the Arizona Bill, SB 1062, it is clear that religious affiliations of the citizens is a central part of a country’s politics and plays an important role in the bills that politicians will support.

UGA Press author Lawrence J. McAndrews examines the impact of Catholics in U.S. history in his new book, WHAT THEY WISHED FOR: AMERICAN CATHIOLICS & AMERICAN PRESIDENTS, 1960-2004. “Roman Catholics constitute the most populous religious denomination in the United States” and have influenced U.S. presidential policies and politics on issues from “Vietnam to Iraq, the civil rights movement to federal funding for faith-based initiatives, and from birth control to abortion…”

McAndrews’ book brings to light the strong influence of Catholic presence in political-religious issues in the United States from Kennedy to Kerry. It examines not just the politics and policy of Catholic presidents but that of presidents elected by Catholic voters such as George W. Bush.

Lawrence J. McAndrews, professor of history at St. Norbert College, has written many books and articles about politics in the United States. His latest work, WHAT THEY WISHED FOR, is scheduled for publication on May 15, 2014.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Short Takes

EarthLines praises Julian Hoffman's THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS:
For me, reading this book was a profound experience; a significant shift in my coming to terms with separation from my own deeply-rooted shadow places. Hoffman’s entrancing prose illuminates the processes by which ‘the subjective allure of the land is a continually shifting, and enriching, inner terrain’ and, for me, travelling through these essays was like a homing in itself; like the ‘accumulation of light’ which, in that ‘heartwood’ essay, grows even in its passing and in the shadows; an enriching meditation on how that process builds, and how we can carry those moments with us, connecting home to home in our wider home, and constantly creating roots in new soil. This is a book to which I will return, and return.
The book launch for SLAVERY AND FREEDOM IN SAVANNAH took place in Savannah on February 12 at Telfair Museums. Here is a photo of the editors, Leslie M. Harris and Daina Berry, at the event.
Daina Ramey Berry (second from left) and Leslie M. Harris (center)
On Susan Puckett's EAT DRINK DELTA, says "Whether bringing multicultural influences to Southern food, offering ideas on handling unique ingredients, or collecting observations traveling from one town to another, these authors each enlighten us further about the South — its land, people, and foods."

The Journal of American History commends Megan Kate Nelson for her work in RUIN NATION saying "[a]n unusual strength of the book is the author’s use of visual evidence, including photographs, engravings, and lithographs to make important points about the cultural interpretation of war’s destruction.”

According to The Journal of American History, Joshua D. Rothman's FLUSH TIMES AND FEVER DREAMS “is an original contribution to cultural history of the antebellum slave South.”

The Register of the Kentucky Historical also reviewed FLUSH TIMES AND FEVER DREAMS saying it “is a fine example of historical detective work, anthropological analysis, and lively narration. Readers looking for a richly colored portrait of a time and its problems will enjoy it immensely.”

Antipode commented on Jason Hackworth's FAITH BASED saying it provides "an important intervention that takes seriously the role of evangelical FBOs in the construction of our current welfare apparatus."

Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism recently said THE BIOREGIONAL IMAGINATION, edited by Tom Lynch, Cheryll Glotfelty, and Karla Armbruster, “promises a systematic approach to literature and a more rigorous theoretical framework. In fact, it offers an openness and open-endedness and an overriding sense that ‘a bioregion is a story – an open, permeable story’ (112)."

As reviewed by Florida Historical Quarterly, Mark D. Hersey's MY WORK IS THAT OF CONSERVATION is a “well-written reconsideration [that] should find a welcome audience not only among scholars of environmental history and African American though and culture, but also among advocates seeking environmental justice and sustainable practice today.”

Monday, March 03, 2014

UGA Press Authors at VA Festival for the Book

Every spring, Virginia Festival for the Book hosts mostly free literary events that are open to the public as they honor book culture and promote reading and literacy.. This year, several UGA Press authors will be featured at the 5-day festival. Mark your calendars to attend the events listed below:

Wednesday, March 19

Location: City Council Chambers, Charlottesville, VA
Event: Gone Fishing

Thursday, March 20

Location: New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, VA
Event: Fiction: Short Stories

Location: UVa Bookstore,Charlottesville, VA
Event: Poetry: Haunted by History

Saturday, March 22

Location: UVa Bookstore, Charlottesville, VA
Event: The Civil War: A Conversation with Gary Gallagher

Location: City Council Chambers, Charlottesville, VA
Event: Nice Jewish Kids Gone Wild