Tribute to Southern Poets
Releasing March 1, Rattle‘s inaugural quarterly issue is devoted entirely to the work of Southern Poets. As William Wright describes in his essay on the subject, “there is no definable element that makes a Southern poet Southern, other than the geography he or she claims.” What’s more, the cultural fabric of the American South has been changing rapidly in the 21st century, and many of the old assumptions about Southern literature—an emphasis on bucolic landscapes, history, family, and so on—no longer hold. So what is it that makes a poet Southern?
As always, we’ve let the writers speak for themselves, selecting the best 39 poems that we could find from over 10,000 submissions. There are plenty of donkeys and drinking, bibles and baseballs and bass boats—but there are also teenagers tripping on acid, movie stars finding romance, and Mexican workers on strike. The South is too rich a heritage for any stereotype, but by gathering these poems together we can tease out the subtle traits they share. Helping us along the way is an intimate and entertaining conversation between Alan Fox and Georgia State Poet Laureate David Bottoms, and a series of black and white photographs by Southern Poet William Walsh.
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