Short Takes: News and Reviews

FOC_logo_peacock_gradient_purpleThis week on Short Takes: Read an interview with UGA Press Director Lisa Bayer on the Best American Poetry blog in which Bayer discusses our commitment to publishing poetry and why it’s so important to us. Also, we just announced the winners of the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, so check out our blog post announcing the winners of this year’s prize, the runner-up, and the short list. Speaking of the Flannery O’Connor Award, go listen to this interview on KPFA’s Against the Grain with recently published winner Siamak Vossoughi (Better Than War). Voussoughi discusses the stories from his collection and the tensions of growing up as an Iranian-American.

If you find yourself on UGA’s main campus in Athens regularly, stay tuned for updates on our participation in this year’s Spotlight on the Arts Festival. The much beloved Dirty Book Sale will be held November 5th and 6th. On the 5th books will be on sale to faculty, staff, and students from 9 am-4 pm. On the 6th the sale will be open to the general public from 9 am-3 pm. On November 10th at 3 pm author Valerie Frey will be discussing her book Preserving Family Recipes (see the review below) at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. More details to come.


A Boy From Georgia
Coming of Age in the Segregated South
Hamilton Jordan
Edited by Kathleen Jordan
Foreword by President Jimmy Carter

There were two wonderful features recently in the Albany Herald, Hamilton Jordan’s hometown newspaper. The first focused on the family’s role in bringing the book to publication. The second was about the lasting impression Jordan left on Albany, GA.

“The cool thing about dad’s book is that, while, yes, it will resonate with the people of Albany and with the people of the South, dad’s stories are anybody’s stories. They’re universal, coming-of-age stories. They’re his stories; our part of the story is getting them out there.”—Kathleen Jordan, interviewed in the Albany Herald

“During the time Hamilton was in Washington, I’d hear from people all the time complaining, ‘Hamilton won’t return my calls. . . They were insulted. But there’s this great story about (former House Speaker) Tip O’Neill visiting Jimmy Carter at the White House. Carter asked O’Neill what he needed, and the speaker said, ‘Could you get Hamilton Jordan to return my calls?’”—Dougherty County Attorney Spencer Lee, quoted in this piece from the Albany Herald

Watch the trailer below:

Listen to Kathleen and Dorothy Jordan’s fantastic interview with Bill Nigut of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Two Way Street.

This guide is excellent for not only explaining how to preserve the many formats upon which family recipes have been recorded and saved over time but also for encouraging the conservation of a recipe’s essential value by continuing to create and share the dish. . . . This is as much of a useful, practical guide to preserving recipes as it is a manual for artistically preserving the memories of family connections, lifestyles, and traditions.”—Library Journal


Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color
The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College
Photographs by Andrew Feiler
With Essays by Robert E. James, Pellom McDaniels III, Amalia K. Amaki, and Loretta Parham

From an interview with Andrew Feiler in Inside Higher Ed:

Q: In an introductory passage, you describe some of the overarching questions that drew you to this story (“How do we create opportunity for all in America? How do we create on-ramps to the middle class?”), but how did you come to Morris Brown and this project in particular? Did you have any connection or familiarity to HBCUs going in?

A: Almost everything in the South has to be viewed through the prism of race. As a fifth-generation Georgian, and having grown up Jewish in the South, I have been shaped by the complexities of the South and of being a minority in the South. History, culture, race, injustice, progress … these are all parts of that complexity. When I read of Morris Brown’s bankruptcy filing, it felt like an important story along multiple dimensions: race, social justice, economic opportunity, religion, history. I didn’t have any direct connect with HBCUs and wasn’t sure where this story would lead, but it was a story I wanted to explore.


Honest Engine
Kyle Dargan

These are poems of the critic, the perpetual outsider, the haunted man, the insomniac. These are poems that peer deeply and delve into the parts of ourselves we might not like, but know. The collection works because the speaker is not exempt from his own penetrating eye, and because, as much as he details his cynicism, he is a lover of all that’s human and flawed. The most honest engine we have is the heart, and in this book, Dargan offers his. I look forward to reading more work from this relentless poet.”—Lauren Swearingen-Steadwell, The Rumpus

“From the Metro cars to the sidewalks, summers in D.C. can be chaotic, and the canopied courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery has always been a place for me to escape and write. I even started holding free informal workshops for area undergraduate writers there. It’s nice to peer up from scribbling and see the look of discovery on the faces of children who glimpse and run toward the water features or adults who look up at the canopy for the first time. Happening upon the phrase or word you’re searching for can look or feel just like that.”—Kyle Dargan in the Washington Post, “Five writers reveal their sources of inspiration

When we think of seminal American landscape photographers, we name Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter. We can now add George Alexander Grant, thanks to Ren and Helen Davis, who have reclaimed Grant’s invaluable yet forgotten work as the first official photographer for the National Parks Service. . . . Two hundred breathtaking images of mountains and valleys, sand dunes and redwoods, rivers and waterfalls are handsomely presented here, pictures of technical and aesthetic sophistication and an ‘understated style’ that perfectly capture the magnificence of our wisely preserved wilderness areas as the National Parks Service came of age.”—Booklist


My Unsentimental Education
A Memoir by Debra Monroe

While this book is engaging as an account of its author’s intellectual and occupational awakening as well as her adventures—or misadventures, really—in sex and relationships, it is above all a love story, but with poetry and fiction more than with any person, and that’s what makes it a pleasure to read. Monroe’s enthusiasm for literature is contagious, and she writes, delightfully, like someone who not only reads but who has made a study of reading. Or, as one of the many funny-sad scenes in the book puts it, someone whose father warns her, ‘You’re educating yourself out of the marriage market'”—Chicago Tribune

How do you take care of yourself in the face of all that pain? We ask our students to write about places that hurt. How do we make that separation from drowning in other people’s very legitimate issues when we can’t live this way all the time – we can’t just keep our eyes on that pain constantly.”—Jessica Handler, author of Invisible Sisters, in conversation with The Manifest-Station

Read Handler’s incredibly moving article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about Greg Germani, an Atlanta cyclist who was critically injured in a hit-and-run accident last year.

Watch the trailer for Invisible Sisters trailer below from Video by Sarah Woods at Superlux with a score by Jack Whitman.

Jessica Handler Stop Motion Memories from superlux on Vimeo.


Coming to Pass
Florida’s Coastal Islands in a Gulf of Change
Susan Cerulean
Photographs by David Moynahan

The deep pathology of our time, wrote cultural historian Thomas Berry, is to consider our rights and our story as human beings to be different from those of the rest of creation. One of the many consequences of such thinking is that it leads us to believe that our future is unrelated to the fate of the rivers, the shorebirds, or the sand dollars.”—from an excerpt of Coming to Pass in the Tampa Bay Times

To Live and Dine in Dixie serves as an excellent reminder to scholars to pay attention to how individuals negotiate laws to suit their own needs, either as entrepreneurs or as guardians of particular social mores. . . . Cooley gives us the context we need to fully understand the famous lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960s by placing establishments like Woolworths in a landscape that included both segregated and integrated eateries.”—H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online

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