Monday, June 08, 2015

Friday, April 03, 2015

Call for submissions: the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction 2015 competition

Announcing the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction 2015 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 $30 entry fee can be paid online via credit card or PayPal.

This year's judges are Hugh Sheehy, Karin Lin-Greenberg, Anjanette Delgado, Kristen Nichols, and Sandra Muñoz.

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Eligibility: The competition is open to writers in English, whether published or unpublished.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 30, 2015

University of Georgia Press announces new literary nonfiction series

The University of Georgia Press is pleased to announce Crux: The Georgia Series in Literary Nonfiction. Edited by John Griswold, the series aims to publish two to four new titles annually.

Named for intersections, and for the heart of the matter, this series will publish literary nonfiction by diverse writers working in a variety of modes, including personal and lyric essay, memoir, cultural meditation, and literary journalism. Books are intended for general readers, including writers, teachers of writing, and students, and will be both intelligent and accessible. Engagement with the world, dedication to craft, precision, and playfulness with form and language are valued. As the series develops, it will include non-American writers and experiences.

Griswold is an assistant professor in the MFA program at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is the author of A Democracy of Ghosts; Herrin: The Brief History of an Infamous American City; and Pirates You Don’t Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life: Collected Essays (Georgia, 2014). He has written extensively (as Oronte Churm) at Inside Higher Ed and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

“I’m gratified to be part of this new publishing opportunity,” Griswold says. “The series will build on UGA Press’s success and reputation publishing the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Creative Nonfiction contest winners since 1986, as well as nonfiction anthologies and craft books. Georgia combines the intellectual reputation of a major university press with savvy promotion in the digital age, and we intend to reach smart readers who like to be entertained, in the widest sense.”

The inaugural book in the series will be published in October 2015. My Unsentimental Education, a memoir by Debra Monroe (On the Outskirts of Normal), offers a smart and lyrical take on the isolation that occurs when crossing class barriers in pursuit of the life of the mind.

Press director Lisa Bayer adds, “Creative nonfiction as a genre is experiencing an unprecedented period of growth and interest—a bit of a golden age. Georgia’s strong literary legacy, combined with the richness of the field, positions us perfectly to make a visible mark.”

The series advisory board includes Dan Gunn, Pam Houston, Phillip Lopate, Dinty W. Moore, Lia Purpura, Patricia Smith, and Ned Stuckey-French.

For more information:
- contact John Griswold at
- visit the Crux series page at the University of Georgia Press 
- download a jpeg of the logo
- online submissions manager and submission guidelines available here

Monday, March 16, 2015

Now Hiring: Marketing Assistantship for 2015-2016

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 graphic design and social media is a plus.

Application materials should be submitted to Debbie Marable Sickles in the Grady Collge Graduate Studies Office by no later than April 22 for consideration for an assistantship starting Fall 2015. Application materials should include a resume and letter of interest. Selected candidates will be interviewed by the publicity and sales 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 and sales 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.  They will also be responsible for soliciting and publicizing pre-publication endorsements for all trade and select scholarly titles.

Other jobs as needed:
Help with publicity mailings
Help with events-related social media
Help with Press newsletter
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.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Short Takes

Booklist reviews ALONE ATOP THE HILL, Alice Dunnigan's "indelible self-portrait." The book "gives deserved recognition to a principled and hardworking reporter whose array of singular accomplishments makes her worthy of further scholarship and public attention," according to Foreword Review. The Root reviews ALONE ATOP THE HILL with two other recent books (Eye on the Struggle and The Presidency in Black and White) on black female journalists:
 [T]hese books provide a fascinating timeline of history to enlighten a generation that takes it for granted that a black woman can be the most powerful media personality in the United States or a confidante to a sitting president and first lady. [Alice] Dunnigan and [Ethel] Payne, the Jim Crow pioneers, could best be described as crosses between, say, the political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson and the advocate-broadcaster Tavis Smiley.
Nieman Reports has an excerpt from ALONE ATOP THE HILL. Check it out, along with Simeon Booker's comments, here.

Advance review of the forthcoming book, LENS OF WAR, from Booklist:
This collection of images, many of them familiar to Civil War enthusiasts,were selected to serve as a jumping-off point for the essays of 27 scholars on topics suggested by the photos. The photos, topics, and essays are an eclectic mix. By themselves, many of the photos would seem unremarkable, but the often brilliantly written essays compel the reader to view the photos with a fresh perspective. . . . Together, the photos and essays make a superb addition to Civil War collections.
Check out the Way of Improvement Leads Home blog interview with Brian Craig Miller about his new book, EMPTY SLEEVES. Here's a sample:
JF: In two sentences, what is the argument of Empty Sleeves?

BM: The challenges amputees posed to southern society were not merely visual and symbolic: injured veterans depended on surgeons to make a proper medical recommendation; on women to provide continued medical care, emotional support, and often basic functioning; on employers to cheerfully accept diminished capacity without seeming to stoop to charity or pity; and on the state to provide prosthetics, validation, and, ultimately, a pension. The process by which this new level of white male dependency--on other men, on women, on employers, and on the state--became societally and culturally accepted (however ambivalently) and was, I argue, a critical facet in the remaking of white manhood in the postbellum South.

Library Journal calls THE CURIOUS MISTER CATESBY "a joy to behold."

The Ms. Magazine blog interviews Barbara McCaskill, author of LOVE, LIBERATION, AND ESCAPING SLAVERY, about her forthcoming book, which focuses on William and Ellen Craft.

Want to see the music playlist Monica McFawn would use for her short story collection, BRIGHT SHARDS OF SOMEPLACE ELSE? Check out it out at Largehearted Boy. Ploughshares praises  McFawn's book: "After reading this collection, you will be thankful that somebody so talented has been able to communicate such hidden, intrinsic details so clearly."

Fourteen Hills interviews recent Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction winner Siamak Vossoughi. His collection of short stories, BETTER THAN WAR, will be available this September.

Want to read Sarah Gorham's STUDY IN PERFECT but haven't gotten a copy yet? Check out the excerpt up on

Congratulations, Jeffrey B. Leak! His book, VISIBLE MAN, is the winner of the 2015 Nonfiction Book award from the Literary Awards Committee of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. The awards ceremony will take place on June 28 in San Francisco.

Congratulations, John Lane! His book, MY PADDLE TO THE SEA, has won the fourth annual Allan D. Charles Award for nonfiction given by the University of South Carolina-Union. The prize will be given at the Upcountry Literary Festival on March 21.

Congratulations to our editorial, design and production departments! Three of our titles were selected for the 2015 AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show in the trade typographic category:

American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning, by Kate Sweeney
Designer: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Production Coordinator: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Acquiring Editor: Beth Sneed
Project Editor: Rebecca Norton

Study in Perfect, by Sarah Gorham
Designer: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Production Coordinator: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Acquiring Editor: Beth Sneed
Project Editor: Jon Davies

Truman Capote: A Literary Life at the Movies, by Tison Pugh
Designer: Erin Kirk New
Production Coordinator: Kathi Dailey Morgan
Acquiring Editor: Walter Biggins
Project Editor: Jon Davies

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

University of Georgia Press to host AAUP Book, Jacket and Journal Show April 8-10

The University of Georgia Press will exhibit the Association of American University Presses 2014 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show April 8-10 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the press’s offices on the third floor of UGA’s main library.

The show features the best of university press design. Since September, it has traveled across the country, starting with Kent State University Press, Oxford University Press and Princeton University Press. The show will end at the University Press of Florida in May.

Each year, a panel selects the best books from a variety of categories, including scholarly typographic, scholarly illustrated, trade typographic, trade illustrated, and jackets and covers. This year, the committee received 263 books, 330 jacket and cover design entries, and four journals from which to judge. The four jurors, composed of designing professionals and AAUP members, selected 39 books, 22 jackets and covers and one journal as the best examples of university press design. At the UGA show, visitors can vote for their favorite designs and the chance to win a book from the press.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was invited to judge the AAUP book design competition,” said jackets and covers co-juror Emmet Byrne, design director at the Walker Art Center. “But once I was knee-deep in the stack of ‘real’ scholarly publishing, I found myself enthralled with work that expertly straddled the line between pragmatic and seductive, beautiful object made more beautiful by the fact that they were intended to be dog-eared, highlighted, photocopied and scribbled on. The books that we’ve selected for this competition aren’t books that are merely good looking, but books that want to be read.”

UGA Press received recognition in the scholarly typographic category for The Larder: Food Studies Methods from the American South and Red, White and Black Make Blue: Indigo in the Fabric of Colonial South Carolina Life. Thieves I’ve Known was selected for the trade typographic category. 

“Did we understand what the book was about? Did the cover have the right mood? Was it well-executed? Was it aesthetically pleasing? And as always with university press designs, was the concept there? There are many things to keep in mind while looking at university press designs, such as less-than-perfect imagery provided, production constraints and heavy subject matter, but overriding all of these things is the fact that good design is good design,” said jackets and covers co-juror Kathleen Lynch of Black Kat Design. “I feel good about our choices: our winners stood out to us for their clear messages, well-thought-out designs, and beautiful executions.”

Individuals or large groups who are unable to come during the show times can contact Kaelin Broaddus, kaelinb (at), to schedule an appointment for times during the week of April 6.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Carol McCabe Booker and James McGrath Morris on Alice Dunnigan and Ethel Payne, Pioneering Women of the Black Press

Carol McCabe Booker, editor of Alice Dunnigan’s autobiography, Alone Atop the Hill, and James McGrath Morris, author of Eye on the Struggle, a biography of Ethel Payne, spoke about these two legendary African-American journalists and their impact and legacy on C-SPAN's BookTV over the weekend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Event for Saving the Soul of Georgia

Maurice C. Daniels, dean and professor of the University of Georgia School of Social Work, will discuss SAVING THE SOUL OF GEORGIA: DONALD L. HOLLOWELL AND THE STRUGGLE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, a biography of the famed civil rights attorney, on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Atlanta-Fulton County Central Library. He will be joined by retired federal judge Horace T. Ward, who practiced law with Hollowell in the 1960s. The event is free and open to the public.

The biography, which has been praised by scholars, continues to earn accolades, most recently from Polly Price of the Emory University School of Law and Kenneth W. Mack, Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law at Harvard University.

Price’s review of the book, which appeared in the March 2015 issue of Journal of American History, called the biography “compelling.”  Wrote Price, “In Daniels’ hands, court proceedings come to life with a narrative accessible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. . . . The inclusion of twenty-seven carefully selected photographs further brings to life one of the best biographies of the civil rights era.”

Mack, co-faculty leader of the Harvard Law School Program on Law and History, examined the Hollowell biography along with Yvonne Ryan’s “Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP” in the February 2015 issue of American Historical Review. Both authors, he wrote, “have crafted well-researched accounts that explore much-neglected aspects of the history of the civil rights movement.”

“Daniels’s book,” Mack also wrote, “makes a point that needs emphasis: that embedded within the grassroots movements that now occupy much scholarly attention were thousands of everyday legal confrontations where lawyers like Hollowell played an essential role in allowing activists and ordinary African Americans to negotiate a repressive local legal system. . . . there is much to admire in his exploration of the various ways that rank-and-file lawyers like Hollowell were essential in realizing the democratic promise of the movement.”

Judge Horace Ward will also join Daniels for a discussion of the book. Ward was denied admission to the University of Georgia School of Law in the 1950s, but went on to earn a law degree from Northwestern University and returned to Georgia to join Hollowell’s legal team in their successful effort to desegregate the University. He later became a partner in Hollowell’s firm, during which time he worked on several other significant civil rights cases. He went on to serve as a judge in Fulton County, Georgia and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  In 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by The University of Georgia.

The event, which will include a book signing, is sponsored by the University of Georgia Press, the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System and the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies and Research. The library is located at One Margaret Mitchell Square NE, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, contact Amanda Sharp, University of Georgia Press  ( or (706), 542-4145), or Harold Waters (, (706) 542-5450)).

UGA Press to develop book series based on the Morehouse Martin Luther King Jr. Collection

King's briefcase from the collection
Courtesy of Morehouse College

The University of Georgia Press and the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection will collaborate to develop a groundbreaking new series of books using the archives of the Morehouse MLK Collection, which includes nearly 10,000 items.

To be written by notable scholars of civil rights, race relations and American history and politics, the series will provide insightful overviews and fresh analyses of King’s intellectual, theological and activist engagement. A variety of themes will be touched upon, including poverty, nonviolence, the Vietnam War, capitalism, racial discrimination, education and civil rights.

Acquired by Morehouse College in 2006, the Morehouse MLK Collection represents a large portion of the Morehouse alumnus’ legacy, spanning the years between 1944 and 1968. Included are hundreds of handwritten notes, personal letters, famous and lesser-known speeches, manuscripts and sermons. Highlights include King’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and an early draft of his “I Have a Dream” speech. Of significance are the 1,100 books from King’s personal library, many annotated with handwritten notes. 

Drawing upon this wealth of primary documents and source information, the series authors will examine King’s legacy as an activist, theologian, philosopher and political theoretician. Viewing the papers through a 21st century lens will illustrate how King’s words, vision and actions affected other movements and philosophies, and on how others responded to and perceived his work, both during his life and after his assassination.

Walter Biggins, senior acquisitions editor at UGA Press, will work closely with a series advisory board and oversee acquisitions within the series.

“I’m so excited about the series because it situates King within the larger and never-ending struggle for human rights, and because it extends the promise and mission of his work into the present day,” said Biggins. “King should loom larger, and with more complexity, in the world as a result of the series’ groundbreaking work.”

The Morehouse MLK Collection’s director, Vicki L. Crawford, will work with the UGA Press as the series’ general editor, overseeing the vetting of new series prospects and coordinating with the authors. Crawford, herself a civil rights scholar, is coeditor, with Jacqueline Anne Rouse and Barbara Woods, of “Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Georgia Press to publish a series of books inspired by the unparalleled documents in the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection,” said Crawford. “As a gathering of teachable texts, this series is an important step in our mission to foster greater understanding of Dr. King and the movement for civil and human rights.”

University of Georgia Press
Founded in 1938, the University of Georgia 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

Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection
The Office of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection oversees the conservation and preservation of the Morehouse MLK Collection; to promote teaching, research and scholarship, and to develop campus-based programming and community outreach initiatives that highlight the teachings and philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. The collection allows insight into King’s thoughts, personality, ministerial preparation, organizational skills and strategic planning during the civil rights period. For further information on the Morehouse MLK Collection, see

Monday, February 16, 2015

University of Georgia Press announces Bradley Hale Fund for Southern Studies

The University of Georgia Press is pleased to announce the formation of the new Bradley Hale Fund for Southern Studies. This fund will support the publication of a wide range of scholarly and general interest books in the areas of southern history, culture, literature, food and foodways and more.

Support for the fund comes from the Sheffield Harrold Charitable Trust, headed by co-trustees Ellen Hale Jones and F. Sheffield Hale of Atlanta, Ga. The fund is named in memory of their father, Bradley Hale (1933-2011), a partner in the Atlanta law firm King & Spalding. Hale served as chair of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the Atlanta History Center and as founding chair of the advisory board of the Georgia Historical Society. He was also a trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and vice chair of Sweet Briar College.

“Our father pursued many enthusiasms, but he loved nothing more than the history, culture and stories of the South,” said Sheffield Hale and Ellen Hale Jones. “He sponsored three books on history during his lifetime, and we could think of no better way to perpetuate his intellectual curiosity.”

“The Press is grateful to the Hale family for this generous gift of support. We will strive to honor Bradley Hale’s legacy through continuing to publish the most stimulating and thoughtful scholarship on the ever-more complex global South,” said Press director Lisa Bayer.

The first title to be published with support from the Bradley Hale Fund is A Boy from Georgia: Coming of Age in a Segregated South by Hamilton Jordan and edited by Kathleen Jordan (October 2015).

University of Georgia Press
Founded in 1938, the University of Georgia 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

Monday, February 02, 2015

White Sale!

Have you been using the new cooking app from the New York Times and found yourself asking, "where can I get a full cookbook of recipes by Craig Claiborne?" Perhaps you're gearing up for a hike on the Appalachian Trail this spring and need a guide to wildflowers? Or have you been thinking lately, "man, I love Flannery O'Connor, wouldn't if be great to tour sites in Georgia that were important to her? WHAT IF THERE WERE A BOOK THAT COULD GUIDE ME???"

Dear reader, we have solutions. Cheap ones. That's right: we're having a giant white sale with deep discounts on a few of our favorite titles. Books on cooking; books on nature; books on the history of driving in the U.S. ; books on Georgia's architecture and literary history. These books run the gamut of topics we've published over the years and we think they should be owned by as many people as possible.

For the full list of titles, visit the white sale page on our website. And don't forget, there's free domestic UPS ground shipping for all web orders.

Don't miss this once-a-season white sale!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Now offering free shipping!

Did you miss being able to purchase books through our website? Well, our shopping cart is back and better than ever! We are now offering free domestic UPS ground shipping for all web orders. Be sure to check it out!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Who Was Viola Liuzzo?

by Mary Stanton

The last ten minutes of the blockbuster Selma introduces a white woman killed on the last day of the 1965 Voting Rights March who became the only woman honored at Montgomery’s Civil Rights Memorial. Who was she?
In 1965 I was nineteen years old and living with my parents in Queens, New York. On March 26 we watched Walter Cronkite’s report about Viola Liuzzo, a thirty-nine-year-old Detroit housewife and mother of five who’d been murdered. Although President Lyndon B. Johnson addressed the nation and directed the FBI to work around the clock to find her murderers, it took only days to transform this woman from victim to an outside agitator and symbol of recklessness. Why?
Liuzzo was shot by four Klansman, one who worked for the FBI. To cover the fact that the bureau had permitted a known violent racist to work undercover during a massive interracial march, J. Edgar Hoover fed a malicious public relations campaign that portrayed her as an unstable and immoral woman. Liuzzo became the perfect symbol of everything the Klan and much of the white South in 1965 detested. Liuzzo had traveled beyond the boundary of marriage and motherhood to volunteer for Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference effort in Selma. With her Michigan plates and a young male black SCLC volunteer riding in the front seat beside her, she was the image of a race traitor, and thus had forfeited her right to the protection of “sacred white womanhood.” The message that the Klansmen sent to local activists by killing her and her black fellow volunteer was that things were not going to change. The message to outsiders was that a trip South to agitate could prove fatal.
Liuzzo’s violent death magnified the nation’s nervous concerns about social justice, civil rights, antiwar activism, and feminism. Advocating racial justice was a radical activity in 1965. A majority of white Americans believed that even if it was justified, the civil rights movement was moving too fast. Liuzzo’s activism could not be written off as youthful enthusiasm. She was a middle-aged wife and mother, and her actions threatened the stability of the family. White American women could not afford to sympathize with her, as such would have invited too many questions about their own lives.
Ironically, while Liuzzo was targeted for execution because she provided such a powerful symbol for opponents of the civil rights movement, she was of little symbolic value for the movement itself. Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney, the three young men who were murdered in Mississippi the summer before, were positive symbols. Goodman was a white college activist, Schwerner a white social worker, and Chaney a black community worker. Their families were proud of their activism; Liuzzo’s husband, by contrast, was conflicted about the causes his wife chose to support.
In March 1965, as I watched the CBS Evening News, it was Liuzzo’s personal courage that struck me. Here was someone who would not be trapped, smothered, or suffocated. I would like to have known somebody like that--a woman who wasn’t afraid.
Years passed before I came to fully appreciate Liuzzo’s dedication to social justice. When I was a young woman, she gave me hope that perhaps my life need not be constricted by the boundaries of appropriateness, acceptability, and inoffensiveness. I didn’t believe that was possible in those days. I could say with Betty Friedan, who published The Feminine Mystique that year, that “I never knew a woman, when I was growing up, who used her mind, played her own part in the world, and also loved, and had children." What resonated for me was Liuzzo’s determination to make her life count. I tried not to think too much about what that determination had cost her.
In the 1990s, in the course of researching Viola Liuzzo’s life for the biography From Selma To Sorrow, I discovered that she possessed deep sensibilities, a short temper, abiding warmth, painful restlessness, and a strong moral compass. Her untimely death provided the impetus for passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and a good bit of inspiration for a young woman coming of age in Queens.

Mary Stanton is the author of From Selma To Sorrow: The Life and Death of Viola Liuzzo (University of Georgia Press, 1998)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Short Takes

The Los Angeles Review recommends Sarah Gorham's STUDY IN PERFECT.
The essay ["The Changeling"] concludes as many of Gorham's do: not with a solution, but with lingering moral questions—all of which expand outward, demanding that readers confront their own personal truths, even when the truths themselves are imperfect.
Kirkus Reviews gives the forthcoming LENS OF WAR a starred review, calling it "[a] brilliant starting point for truly understanding the Civil War."

Be sure to check out WHAT RIDICULOUS THINGS WE COULD ASK OF EACH OTHER author Jeffrey Schultz's poem "Habeas Corpus" for the American Academy of Poets "Poem-a-Day."
Did you miss the Georgia Focus feature of COURTHOUSES OF GEORGIA on last week's Georgia News Network? Don't worry, we have you covered! Listen to it here.

In a review for the Athens Banner-Herald, Dink NeSmith praises the "heirloom-quality" COURTHOUSES OF GEORGIA.
Dr. George Justice of the University of North Georgia did a masterful job telling the story of each courthouse. And as I've told Greg Newington, he found the absolute best way—159 times—to showcase the individual structures. The lighting, the angles, the shadows, natural surroundings and overall composition demonstrate his artistic genius.
Congratulations to Dr. Louis W. Sullivan! His book, BREAKING GROUND, is one of the nominees for a NAACP Image Award for Literary Work-Biography or Autobiography. The winners will be announced on February 6.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Short Takes

The Wall Street Journal selects James Marten's AMERICA'S CORPORAL as an "outstanding stud[y] of life after battle" in its roundup of this year's gift books on the Civil War. "Mr. Marten focuses on James Tanner, a double amputee who vaulted into prominence when he was drafted on the spot to take the testimony of witnesses to Lincoln's assassination and who eventually became a spokesman for disabled veterans."

Open Alphabet interviews Jeffrey Schultz about his book of poetry, WHAT RIDICULOUS THINGS WE COULD ASK OF EACH OTHER.
OA: The cover illustration is "Riot of the Madmen", by George Grosz. It depicts urban mayhem, shipwrecks, arson, looting, and various types of interpersonal violence, but it is drawn in very simple lines, not much more than stick figures. How did this come to be the cover of your book? How does it relate to the poems?
JS: I first saw this drawing at LACMA with my wife and good friend, the poet Joshua Robbins. There are a lot of things I love about it. I’ve spent a lot of hours looking at album covers and book covers over the years, and I really appreciate one you can continue looking at, continue noticing little details of. So that’s part of it, but what made it seem right to me for the book was exactly what you’re pointing to: we see all of these terrible things happening in the drawing, but because the drawing is so simple, so cartoonish, it gives the impression that none of it is really necessary at all, that none of it need be real. It’s that contrast, between the very real sorts of violence the drawing points to in the world and the form that says that everything that led to it was quite careless and could be easily wiped away if only we would put a little work and thought toward it that I really love. And I hope it resonates, then, first with the title of the book and then with the individual poems. I’ve tried, so much as I was able, to walk these poems up to those moments when we might start becoming able to ask the questions we would need to ask in order to begin to find some ways to start setting the world right, and the Grosz I hope sets the stage or mood or whatever for those attempts of mine.

I’ve got to say thank you here too to the wonderful folks at the University of Georgia Press for finding a way to get the rights to the Grosz and for then designing such a wonderful cover. I couldn’t be happier with it.
Check out the rest of the interview here.

Read Her Like an Open Book blog praises Monica McFawn for BRIGHT SHARDS OF SOMEPLACE ELSE, saying the work is "intriguing and thought-provoking. . . . This is a smart, ambitious collection of stories by a writer whose initial acclaim is certain to grow."

Kate Sweeney's AMERICAN AFTERLIFE made the best of 2014 list for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (subscription required)

Congratulations to Sarah Gorham! Her book, STUDY IN PERFECT, was chosen as one of Slate's 27 Overlooked Books of 2014. "Easily one of the best books I read this year was Sarah Gorham’s gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Study in Perfect. . . . Gorham’s writing is crystal-clear and drawn from a more poetic well than most."

Congratulations to John Griswold! His book, PIRATES YOU DON'T KNOW, AND OTHER ADVENTURES IN THE EXAMINED LIFE, was named as one of the best nonfiction books of 2014 by Entropy magazine.

Congratulations to Monica McFawn! Her book, BRIGHT SHARDS OF SOMEPLACE ELSE, has won a Michigan Notable Book Award. The award is given to 20 books celebrating Michigan people, places, and events. Her book was also named as one of NPR's Great Reads for 2014.

Congratulations to Glenn T. Eskew, Kari Frederickson, Karen L. Kilcup, and Jeffrey B. Leak! Their books (JOHNNY MERCER, COLD WAR DIXIE, FALLEN FORESTS, and VISIBLE MAN) were chosen as Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice magazine.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Atlanta Baseball’s Very First Hall of Famers

by Tim Darnell

The city’s tradition of baseball
excellence goes back long before the Braves
John Smoltz’s recent first-ballot acceptance into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is only the latest example of Atlanta baseball’s historic, long-reaching connection with Cooperstown, NY.

Long before names such as Aaron, Cox, Glavine and Maddux were elected to the Hall of Fame, two players who got their start with the game’s most successful minor league team in history had long been enshrined in Cooperstown.

The city’s very first baseball Hall of Famer was Luke Appling, who attended Fulton High School and Oglethorpe College in Atlanta.

In 1930, Appling left Oglethorpe to make his pro ball debut with the Atlanta Crackers. He was a solid hitter, and before the season was over, the Crackers sold Appling’s contract to the Chicago White Sox for $20,000.

The man considered by many to be the greatest shortstop of all time would play his entire career with the White Sox.

Appling’s best season was 1936, when he batted .388, knocked in 124 runs (his only 100-RBI season), scored 111 times, recorded 204 hits, and had a team-record 27-game hitting streak.

He interrupted his career to serve in World War II in 1944 and 1945. He played for Chicago until 1950, then was a minor league manager and major league coach for many years. He served one stint as an interim major league manager in 1967.

His batting average was good for the first AL batting title won by a shortstop. It was the highest batting average recorded by a shortstop in the 20th century.

When he retired, Appling was the all-time leader for most games played and for double plays by a major league shortstop, and the all-time leader for putouts and assists by an American League shortstop.

Appling was famous among his teammates for complaining about minor ailments such as a sore back, a weak shoulder, shin splints, or a sprained finger. While much of this complaining was probably for show, it earned him the nicknames "Old Aches and Pains" and "Libby", the latter after blues singer Libby Holman.

Appling later served as a coach and scout for the Atlanta Braves. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.

Atlanta’s second Baseball of Famer was Eddie Mathews, one of the greatest third basemen in history.

Mathews was signed by the Boston Braves in 1949. He played 63 games that year for the Class D High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms, where he hit 17 home runs and earned a .363 batting average.

In 1950, Mathews moved up to the Double-A Atlanta Crackers, where he hit 32 home runs. He was brought up to the major leagues in 1952, where he hit hit 25 home runs—including three in one game—for the Boston Braves.

In 1953 the Braves moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he batted .302, hit 47 home runs, and drove in 135 runs. For nine straight seasons he hit at least 30 home runs, including leading the National League twice.

After his playing career, Mathews managed the Atlanta Braves and coached in the Oakland Athletics organization. He was manager of the Braves when Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run mark of 714. Mathews was made a Hall of Famer in 1978.

Atlanta’s tradition of baseball excellence began in the late 19th century, and continued with the Atlanta Crackers. From 1901 to 1965, the Crackers won more pennants and league championships than any other team in professional, organized baseball except the New York Yankees.

Indeed, the Crackers were so synonymous with success that they were known as the “Yankees of the Minors.”

Today, Braves fans are looking forward to John Smoltz’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July—and they anticipate whether Chipper Jones will be the next Brave to be enshrined into the annals of baseball history. But long ago, the path from Atlanta to Cooperstown was paved by two men who played for the greatest minor league baseball team in history.

Tim Darnell is an award-winning journalist who has written for numerous Atlanta sports and political publications. He is also the author of 101 Atlanta Sports Legends and The Georgia Tech Trivia Book. The Crackers: Early Days of Atlanta Baseball is available from the University of Georgia Press in paperback.