Short Takes: News and Reviews

Julia Iverson’s animated film based on Kyle Dargan’s poem “The Robots are Coming” from Honest Engine

Welcome to Short Takes. Below you’ll find all the news, interviews, events, and reviews that you might have missed or can look forward to in the coming months.


GPP_logoThe deadline for the Georgia Poetry Prize is fast approaching. All entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on November 30, 2016. All entrants will be notified of the results via email by February 1, 2017. Find out more about the award below or on the prize’s page and submit your work here.

In partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and the University of Georgia, the University of Georgia Press has established the Georgia Poetry Prize, a national competition that celebrates excellence in poetry. Supported by the Bruce and Georgia McEver Fund for the Arts and Environment, the Georgia Poetry Prize will be open to unpublished, original collections of poems written in English by residents of North America.



The UGA Press holiday sale is here! Get 30% off and free shipping with the sale code 08HIN16 on great titles sure to delight friends and family members no matter what their interests may be. We’ve got everything covered: history, food, music, photography, nature, fashion, architecture, travel, art, literature, and more. Highlights include Historic Rural Churches of Georgia, Party Out of Bounds, Southern Tufts, and Whisperin’ Bill Anderson. More information can be found here.

Happy Holidays—and Happy Reading—to all!


Our Spring 2017 catalog is hot off the press and we’re happy to be able to share such a strong group of diverse, urgent, and beautiful books. Click on the cover to the right to browse the full catalog or scroll through some of the highlights below.

  • In David Bosworth’s incredibly timely Conscientious Thinking, he offers forthright commentary on the flagrant failure of our nation’s meritocracy to manage our affairs effectively.
  • Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs is the first-ever comprehensive firefly guide for eastern and central North America.
  • The latest in our Masters of Modern Landscape Design series, a new biography of James Rose examines the life and work of one of the most radical figures in the history of mid-century modernist American landscape design.
  • In William Faulkner in Hollywood, Stefan Solomon explores how Faulkner’s writings for film and print influenced each other.
  • Kay Wright Lewis shows how the specter of a race war has justified violence, molded collective memory, and permeated the rhetoric of slavery and freedom in A Curse upon the Nation.
  • In Sapelo, Buddy Sullivan and Benjamin Galland give us an illustrated history of the unique people, culture, and ecological characteristics of this beautiful Georgia barrier island.


We are pleased to announce the following award winners:

Erich Nunn’s Sounding the Color Line has won a Certificate of Merit for Best Historical Research on General Recording Topics from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Begun in 1991, the awards are presented to authors and publishers of books, articles, or extensive recording liner notes to recognize those publishing the very best work today in recorded sound research.

The Outcast Majority by Marc Sommers has won Honorable Mention for the Senior Book Prize from the American Ethnological Society. “The Outcast Majority is a powerful manifesto for youth inclusion and for rethinking development doctrine and practices from top to bottom. It is also a model of how ethnographic research can tackle the largest and most meaningful problems, report findings in accessible language and suggest compelling policy alternatives,” said judge Shalani Shankar when announcing the award

Michelle Haberland’s Striking Beauties has won the 2016 Southern Historical Association’s H. L. Mitchell Award. First awarded in 1992, the Mitchell Award is given annually in recognition of a distinguished book devoted to the history of the southern working class. In making the award, the prize committee noted that by “featuring the voices, experiences, and struggles of black, white, and Latina garment workers in the apparel industry, [Striking Beauties] dramatically expands our understanding of southern labor history, linking it to the history of labor in Mexico and beyond.”


One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2016

Geltner is himself a gifted storyteller and delineates with precision the periods of Crews’s complicated personal history. A comprehensive survey of the artist’s life and work, Blood, Bone, and Marrow tells the enthralling story of a writer fiercely devoted to his craft.”

—J. D. Harding, Choice

“In Blood, Bone, and Marrow the life of Harry Crews is presented in all the hard-knuckled glory he’d desire, while also leaving his faults and weaknesses left truthfully exposed.”

—Patrick James Dunagan, Rain Taxi


Lost Wax
Jericho Parms

Partly autobiographical, these essays cover the author’s life in the Bronx in the 80s and 90s as well as her travels around the world. They are also meditations on art, race, family, and identity.”

—from Rebecca Hussey’s 25 Great Essay Collections from 2016


Danniel Schoonebeek

This second collection from Schoonebeek, a 2015 National Poetry Series winner, finds the poet investigating the implications of capitalism, war, and dissent, both historically, and in a modern context. It’s a searing convergence of political commentary and folk tale…The collection reinforces Schoonebeek’s status as a linguistic talent and dissenter leading a call to arms by example: ‘The time of writing books that don’t send us to jail is dead.’”

Publishers Weekly


R. O. Blechman’s illustration for the New York Times Magazine

“In Vitro,” from Christopher Salerno’s forthcoming Sun & Urn (the inaugural winning collection of the Georgia Poetry Prize), recently appeared in the New York Times Magazine. Listen to Christopher reading the poem on the Times’s website here.


Historic Rural Churches of Georgia
Sonny Seals and George S. Hart

We were surprised at the number of people who cared,” Seals said.

And continue caring. At last count, the “Rural Churches” Facebook page has generated nearly 45,000 likes; the website gets more than 30,000 visits monthly.

Hart recalled fielding a recent call from an Athens resident who’d just bought the book. “’What you’ve got,’” said Hart, quoting the caller, “‘is like a museum piece.’”

They’re all museums, structures reminding us of an earlier time.

—from a interview with the authors in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Just as the organization itself, Womanpower Unlimited, the book, is a labor of love. Recognizing the invisibility borne by Black women in virtually all spheres of life, but especially with respect to their activism within the patriarchal nature of civil rights historical and contemporary literature, Morris succeeds in claiming space for underexplored movements led by Black women with strictly political orientations.”

—Denice D. Nabinett, Spectrum

The book illuminates the unusual circumstances that shaped the political economy of the University of Texas and its relationship with both the city and the state. Tretter recovers an important and largely untold story in showing that Austin’s development has not been a giant love fest or an unalloyed good… Ultimately, Shadows of a Sunbelt City provides a welcome corrective to anodyne cheerleading about the ‘creative class’ and the wonders of high-tech development.”

—Alex Sayf Cummings, Journal of Social History


A Lillian Smith Reader
Margaret Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens

If you haven’t read Lillian Smith this is a wonderful introduction, if you have I’m sure you’ll find something new… I think this book would be a good addition to anyone’s bookshelf (or ebookshelf).”

—Rose Pettit, Insight into Books

Gardner delivers a timely text focusing on the cultural politics of safari tourism among the Maasai people of northern Tanzania. Offering a pensive approach to the juxtaposition in which the Maasai find themselves, the author takes readers through two decades of how such competing forces shaped cultural belonging and citizenship among this indigenous African people…The stories are vivid and plentiful throughout.”

—K. M. Woosnam, Choice

This book unquestionably adds to our broader sense of the New Negro Movement, taking it beyond the comfortable borders of the urban North into the messier field of operation in the South. This history is highly readable and should be read by contemporary activists and organizers doing their work in the South. New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South fleshes out the legacy of broad and dynamic fronts against racism and worker exploitation in what is often dismissed as the nation’s retrograde region.”

—J.T. Roane, African American Intellectual History Society blog

This ability to fit unfortunate truth and acknowledgement of privilege in one line is typical of Raeff’s work. Her stories emerge from what is clearly a socially conscious place, but it is never spoon-fed to readers. These are truly good stories, full of emotion and energy. Her style is uniform, quietly lush, with a distance between narration and story where atmosphere lives.”

—Ilana Masad, Los Angeles Times

“It is not often that I encounter a collection so compact, ambitious, accomplished, and delightful to read…A spiritual plane is not easily come by in much of today’s short fiction, but Raeff sets her aims there in each of these stories. She hits her mark consistently, never letting generic boundaries of ethnicity or gender obscure her Levinasian vision of characters who are infinitely other yet endlessly knowable, be they strangers or the people one knows best.”

—Hugh Sheehy, Los Angeles Review of Books

You state that ‘critical recognition of O’Conner’s fiction as not confined to the South was important’ for her reputation. Why was that, and did that recognition change the perception of Southern literature to come?

This was important for her reputation because she moved from a niche writer or regionalistic curiosity to one exploring universal themes—swinging for the fences, if you will. O’Connor herself insisted over and over that her books were not ‘about the South’ or their themes only understandable below the Mason-Dixon line. Her books take place in what she called the ‘Christ-haunted South’ and her characters are Southerners, but the themes are universal. In 1955, O’Connor said, ‘A serious novelist is in pursuit of reality. And of course when you’re a Southerner and in pursuit of reality, the reality you come up with is going to have a Southern accent, but that’s just an accent; it’s not the essence of what you’re trying to do.’ She says elsewhere that the region is what a writer uses to suggest what is beyond it.”

—from an interview with Daniel Moran in Deep South Magazine

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