For Garden and Gun, poet Jericho Brown discusses how the push and pull of the South fuel his powerful work. The Louisiana-born writer looks back on his career, focusing on the ways the South repeatedly influences his poetry. “I’m interested in—what is that word? Posterity,” Brown says. “I’m almost ashamed to say it, but when I die, I want to die in the South and I want people to think of me, if anybody ever thinks of me, to think of me in contrast to and in context of this place. That’s important to me.”
“So why should the stories about us always be about the bad stuff? We deserve the romantic comedy, the late night barfly scene, the silly, light-hearted stuff of life reflected back at us.” Camille Perri writes about the need for queer stories that are not rooted in sadness, trauma, or loss. Pair with: an essay on the commercial viability of LGTBQ literature.
There’s been an incredible amount of both excitement and controversy ever since Harper Lee‘s publisher announced the upcoming publication of Go Set a Watchman, the reclusive author’s second novel. But in a piece for Ploughshares Cathe Shubert wonders “Why not marvel at what all this hullabaloo in the news really signifies: that books still matter, deeply, to the American public–especially books that spark dialogue about interracial relations, justice, and, as Atticus would say, walking in another person’s shoes.”