Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jane Springer's Dear Blackbird,


If poetry is not your thing, Jane Springer will change your mind. Dear Blackbird, is a must-read! It also won the Agha Shalid Ali Prize in Poetry.

Here's what one reader had to say:
"Most new poetry I read
nowadays seems decorous in its
austerities or its
embellishments:
willed, over-plotted, dry. Not Jane Springer’s. Her work
leaps to its tasks with a heady extravagance. Dear Blackbird,
is her letter to the world, as eerie as Dickinson’s. Its
pages don’t depend on a sequence of neat stanzas but
are a surge of incantatory phrases and feelings. The skin
of each poem quivers with the mind’s contradictions, the
heart’s panic. It is risky, not merely reckless; rapturous,
not merely rapacious. Memories spill over fantasies,
Southern lore collides with hipster know-how. This book
is the most exciting debut in years, and when we remember
that “d├ębut” originally meant to score first in a new game,
that is just what Springer has done: taken on a new set
of terms and struck first, struck gold.” J. D. McClatchy

Also see: http://www.janespringer.blogspot.com

You can order Dear Blackbird, here:
Http://www.amazon.com

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sudye Cauthen, Southern Comforts: Rooted in a Florida Place

Sudye's memoir is a moving meditation on what Florida has lost and still stands to lose.

Here's what Janisse Ray had to say:
“Along the North Florida byways a storycatcher roams. Sudye Cauthen returned to her native Alachua County, Florida, land of live oaks and longleaf-pine churches, searching for something unnameable. Her book is a personal history told so beautifully, layer upon layer, that even James Agee would be undone… Folkloric and spiritual, this uncommon study is a monument to a place that was.” –Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood


“The Florida I love is perishing,” says Sudye Cauthen. In Southern
Comforts, this fifth-generation Floridian blends memoir, oral history,
and cultural geography to explore the tensions between
community and environment in America today and her own
ambivalence about Alachua, the place just north of Gainesville
where she was born and reared. Cauthen raises a cry for all
that is lost as Florida’s—and America’s—landscapes and traditions
are replaced by interstates, condos, shopping malls, and
the new way of life they represent.

Part self-reflection, part meditation, and part social analysis,
Cauthen’s work threads through the stories of blacks, whites,
and Native Americans—men and women—including her
own family members. Through their words and hers, Cauthen
explores northern Florida’s unique history, culture, and geography
while she seeks a greater understanding of herself and her
surroundings.

Cauthen’s journey takes readers down dirt roads and city
streets, to her people’s tobacco fields and churches. She
sifts sand at an archaeological dig for the lost Spanish mission
of Santa Fe de Toloca, peers into an aboriginal grave, and
everywhere marshals evidence for the primacy of place in
determining who we are. One story takes us on a fox hunt;
another reveals lingering racial problems. Permeating the book
is the ever-present menace of growth and development and
what it holds for Cauthen’s Florida.

Sudye Cauthen, founder of the North Florida Center for
Documentary Studies, directed Florida’s first Folk-Arts-inthe-
Schools program. Her awards include a state of Florida
Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature. Her work has
appeared in such publications as the Chattahoochee Review,
Florida Review, International Quarterly, Kalliope, and The New
Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Cauthen lives on the Suwannee
River near White Springs, Florida.

To Order Southern Comforts: Rooted in a Florida Place
Call the University OF Georgia Press
Phone 800-266-5842

It'll be out in August 2007

Cloth, $29.95t
Or order from Amazon, this ISBN #:
ISBN-13 978-1-930066-58-8
or click here:
http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Comforts-Rooted-Florida-Place/
(www.americanplaces.org)