Annotations logoAnnotations is a new podcast from the University of Georgia Press. Featuring author interviews, audio of events, student podcasts, and more, Annotations serves as a jumping-off point for readers to immerse themselves in our books, connect to the people and the work we do at the Press, and bridge the gap between the academy and the rest of the reading world.

Episode 13: Southern Foodways Alliance Panel

We are right smack dab in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, two holidays filled with family and, more importantly, food. So, sticking to that theme, we’re publishing a panel from early this past October featuring four authors who focus on southern foodways. The event was sponsored by the Southern Foodways Alliance, the UGA Press, the UGA History Department, Grady College of Journalism, Willson Center for Humanities, and UGA Libraries.

The panelists are:

André Joseph Gallant, author of A High Low Tide: The Revival of a Southern Oyster, whose book tells the story of a changing southeastern coast, the bounty within its waters, and what the future may hold for the area and its fishers;

Julian Rankin, author of Catfish Dream: Ed Scott’s Fight for His Family Farm and Racial Justice in the Mississippi Delta, who records the experiences, family, and struggles of Ed Scott Jr., a prolific farmer in the Mississippi Delta and the first ever nonwhite owner and operator of a catfish plant in the nation;

Thomas Ward, contributor of the new forward to Still Hungry in AmericaWhile the book was originally published in 1969, its content still resonates today;

and Sara Camp Milam, co-author of The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails and Managing Editor of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

The podcast features a portion of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s podcast Gravy, Shirlette Ammons reading her poem “Foodstamps” from the just-released poetry anthology, Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways AllianceYou can listen to the rest of Gravy‘s episode here.

To listen to more episodes of Annotations, click here.

Episode 12: Author Interview with Lindsay Bernal

Bernal_What It Doesn't Have To Do WithOn this episode of Annotations, Lindsay Bernal discusses her collection What It Doesn’t Have to Do With. Her collection explores—through sculpture, painting, pornography, and performance art—changing views on gender and sexuality. The elegiac meditations throughout this collection link the objectification of women in art and life to personal narratives of heartbreak, urban estrangement, and suicide. Haunted by the notions of femininity and domesticity, the protagonist struggles to define the self in shifting cultural landscapes. In the interview, Bernal and I discuss the autobiographical nature of her poetry, her writing process, the religion that shapes both her life and poems, and much more.

Paul Guest, author of One More Theory about Happiness, wrote that, “The poems in What It Doesn’t Have to Do With feel like right now: this raw moment and this vertiginous landscape and a used-up world. Emojis and a mouse named Heathcliff and Mark Rothko. The aching body and the wounded heart. Reading this book, I smile. I wince. I want to turn off all the lights, everywhere, and let in the light of the sad moon above.”

Episode 11: The New South and the Environment

A piece of southern history that is often overlooked is the story of the South’s conservation efforts after the Civil War. William D. Bryan highlights these efforts in The Price of Permanence: Nature and Business in the New South. His book is part of the Environmental History and the American South series, a growing collection of works that broaden the study of environmental history to encompass a region that has largely been bypassed.

Price of Permanence_jacketThrough the lens of environmental history, Bryan provides a sweeping reinterpretation of the post-Civil War South by framing the New South as a struggle over environmental stewardship. For more than six decades, scholars have caricatured southerners as so desperate for economic growth that they rapaciously consumed the region’s abundant natural resources. Yet business leaders and public officials did not see profit and environmental quality as mutually exclusive goals, and they promoted methods of conserving resources that they thought would ensure long-term economic growth. Southerners called this idea “permanence.” But permanence was a contested concept, and these businesspeople clashed with other stakeholders as they struggled to find new ways of using valuable resources. The Price of Permanence shows how these struggles indelibly shaped the modern South.

Bryan writes the region into the national conservation movement for the first time and shows that business leaders played a key role shaping the ideals of American conservationists. His book also dismantles one of the most persistent caricatures of southerners: that they had little interest in environmental quality. Still, conservation provided white elites with yet another a tool for social control, and this is the first work to show how struggles over resource policy fueled Jim Crow. And while “permanence” may have protected some resources, it did not prevent degradation of the environment overall. The Price of Permanence ultimately uses lessons from the New South to reflect on sustainability today.

Bryan spoke about the topic of permanence this past September at the Decatur Book Festival. He looks at both the history of conservation in the South and the unintended negative consequences of these efforts. Bryan is introduced by Laura McCarty, president of Georgia Humanities, who facilitates the audience Q&A after the lecture.

Episode 10: Exploded View and Dustin Parsons at the Decatur Book Festival

Parsons_Exploded ViewParsons’s Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams is a novel view of fathers and the gadgets that make up childhood. In the book “graphic” essays play with the conventions of telling a life story and with how illustration and text work together in print. As with a graphic novel, the story is not only in the text but also in how that text interacts with the images that accompany it.

Diagrams were an important part of Dustin Parsons’s childhood. Parsons’s father was an oilfield mechanic, and in his spare time he was also a woodworker, an automotive mechanic, a welder, and an artist. His shop had countless manuals with “exploded view” parts directories that the young Parsons flipped through constantly. Whether rebuilding a transmission, putting together a diesel engine, or assembling a baby cradle, his father had a visual guide to help him. In these essays, Parsons uses the same approach to understanding his father as he navigates the world of raising two young biracial boys.

Joining him on the panel is James C. Abbot Jr., author of The Burdens of Aeneas: A Son’s Memoir of Love and Dutywhich uses Virgil’s masterpiece, Aeneid, to blend the personal story of his father, a small-town Southern lawyer battling bigotry and his own demons, with insights from the great poem. The panel is moderated by Charlie Bennett, host of Lost in the Stacks, a podcast produced out of the Georgia Tech Research Library.

Episode 9: A High Low Tide and André Gallant at the Decatur Book Festival

Gallant_High Low Tide.jpgNew this week on Annotations: André Gallant at the Decatur Book Festival.

Gallant is the author of A High Low Tide: The Revival of a Southern Oyster. He uses the bivalve as a jumping-off point to tell the story of a changing southeastern coast, the bounty within its waters, and what the future may hold for the area and its fishers. With A High Low Tide he places Georgia, as well as the South, in the national conversation about aquaculture, addressing its potential as well as its challenges.

Brett Anderson, James Beard Foundation Award-winning restaurant critic and food writer, said that, “A High Low Tide belongs on the short shelf of essential literature of the beguiling bivalve. It is also a modern story of the South’s eternal struggle to preserve its past—and how aquaculture, of all things, brought disparate people together to do just that.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Rosalind Bentley introduced Gallant at the Decatur Book Festival and moderated a discussion in which she asked him how he came to write about oysters, how oysters are “farmed,” and which oysters he thinks are the best.

Episode 8: Honoring Pat Conroy

Seitz and Haupt_Our Prince of ScribesFirst off, let me say: Happy 73rd Birthday, Pat Conroy!

Today, we both celebrate the wonderful, vibrant life of Conroy and mourn his loss.  As you’ll come to hear, Conroy was an stirring writer, beloved by many, and the subject of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy.  The collection comes from more than sixty contributors, including Barbra Streisand, Janis Ian, and Conroy’s close friends and family.  Each author in this collection shares a slightly different view of Conroy. Through their voices, a vibrant, multifaceted portrait of him comes to life and sheds new light on the writer and the man. Loosely following Conroy’s own chronology, the essays in Our Prince of Scribes wind through his river of a story, stopping at important ports of call. Cities he called home and longed to visit, along with each book he birthed, become characters that are as equally important as the people he touched and loved along the way.

Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt lead the journey as editors of the collection and as panelists at the Decatur Book Festival this past September.  In the panel, they discuss their experience with Conroy, read a few excerpts from the book, and participate in an audience Q&A.

Episode 7: Seeking Eden at the Decatur Book Festival with Staci Catron and Mary Eaddy

Catron and Eaddy_Seeking Eden lg.jpgToday’s episode features another book talk from the Decatur Book Festival: Staci L. Catron and Mary Ann Eaddy discuss Seeking Eden: A Collection of Georgia’s Historic Gardens, a project years in the making.  Seeking Eden promotes an awareness of, and appreciation for, Georgia’s rich garden heritage. Updated and expanded here are the stories of nearly thirty designed landscapes first identified in the early twentieth-century publication Garden History of Georgia, 1733–1933.  The collection records each garden’s evolution and history as well as each garden’s current early twenty-first-century appearance, as beautifully documented in photographs taken by James R. Lockhart.

Lisa Turner and Wallace Bryan, co-owners of Trinity Mercantile & Design, introduce Catron and Eaddy and moderate an audience Q&A at the end of the lecture.

Catron and Eaddy have a busy schedule during these next few months.  If you’re in the LaGrange area on October 22nd, you can hear about the book in person at the Del’Avant Event Center at 5:30 p.m.  There will be a lecture and book signing as well as a plant sale!  Details are on the Hills and Dales Estate page and our Facebook page.  For future events featuring Catron and Eaddy, check out our Facebook events page or events calendar.

Images from the Decatur Book Festival lecture have been provided to us, courtesy of Staci Catron.  The contemporary photographs in the presentation were photographed by James R. Lockhart, which are featured in Seeking Eden.

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Episode 6: Michael Martone at the Decatur Book Festival

Martone_Brooding.jpgThe latest in our episodes featuring events from the Decatur Book Festival, today we’re airing Michael Martone and Beth Ann Fennelly’s panel on the essay. Martone is the author of Brooding: Arias, Choruses, Lullabies, Follies, Dirges, and a Duet, a collection of twenty-five personal essays that speak from different platforms. Martone covers a range of topics in the book: everyday objects such as keys and hats, plus concepts of time and place; the memoir; writing; the essay itself; and his friendship with the writers David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Fennelly’s latest book is Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

During the discussion, Martone reads an excerpt from his book, a rough draft of a piece that was revised and published on Nerve.com. If you’d like to read the revised copy of “Thermostat,” you can see it here.

Athenians can catch Martone at Avid Bookshop on October 26th, 2018 at 6:00pm for a reading and signing. Sabrina Orah Mark, author of the just-released collection Wild Milk, will introduce. Details on Avid’s website here or our Facebook page here.

Episode 5: Robert Cohen at the Decatur Book Festival

Cohen_Howard Zinn's Southern DiaryWe are back with a new episode of Annotations!

Earlier this month at the Decatur Book Festival, Robert Cohen, author of Howard Zinn’s Southern Diary: Sit-Ins, Civil Rights, and Black Women’s Student Activism, sat down with Susan Youngblood Ashmore, author of Carry It On: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, 1964-1972They discussed Zinn’s time as a professor of history at Spelman College from 1956 to 1963, his approach to teaching, and his support for his students as they fought together for equal rights—both on campus and off.

Mentioned in the podcast is the historical document, “An Appeal for Human Rights,” which was written by six college students—Willie Mays, James Feler, Marion D. Bennett, Don Clarke, Mary Ann Smith, and Roslyn Pope—in 1950. You can read it here.

Quick note about the sound quality: this recording was made in a large, cavernous room with lots of hard surfaces and not in a studio environment. Still, it’s a good discussion and well worth the listen.

Enjoy, and you can look forward to hearing more discussions from the DBF in the coming weeks.

Episode 4: Thieves I’ve Known and Tom Kealey

On today’s installment of Annotations, Dr. Barbara McCaskill’s English 4810 class discusses the 2013 winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, Thieves I’ve Known, and interviews author Tom Kealey.

kealey_theivesknownIn these wondrously strange and revealing stories, Kealey chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the young and marginalized as they discover many ways of growing up.

Their names are Merrill, Omar, Shelby, Laika, Winston, and Toomey, but most people don’t see them. They are boxers in training and the children of fishermen. They are altar boys in a poverty-stricken parish. They are assistant groundskeepers and assistant camel-keepers. They travel with the circus, care for disabled siblings, steal police cars, and retrieve the stolen boots of a priest. Ranging in abode from Puget Sound, Washington, to Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, they are abandoned yet courageous and plucky children and teenagers living on the edges of society.

Thieves I’ve Known is a collection of powerful, moving stories about the lives of a redemptive and peculiar cast of young characters who become easy to know and difficult to forget.

This podcast was produced by Kate Rascoe, Krysten Hardee, Laura Essex, Madison Greer, and Caitlin Sims.

Enjoy and make sure you stay tuned for our next installment.

Episode 3: Inspired Georgia

On today’s installment of Annotations, we have another group of Dr. Barbra McCaskill’s English 4810 class discussing Inspired Georgia, edited by Judson Mitcham, Michael David Murphy, and Karen L. Paty.


Inspired Georgia is a collection of Georgia’s contemporary poets and photographers that engages the history and culture of the state. While complementary, the poems and photographs in Inspired Georgia are not in dialogue with each other—they echo, resonate, and reflect the places they inhabit. They pay homage to the ecology, terrain, and culture of Georgia, which in turn draws in, nurtures, and fuels the intellect of its many and varied artists.

This podcast was produced by Hayden Benson, Robert Harris, Miranda Cly, and Rachel Nipp.

A traveling exhibition of Inspired Georgia created by the book’s editors and the Georgia Council for the Arts opened at Georgia Southern University at the beginning of January and will run through Feb. 1. The exhibition will then travel to the Albany Museum of Art and be available to view from Feb. 5 to April 10.

Today’s episode opens with a reading by Opal Moore from her poem, “Hit the Road Jack,” which is featured in Inspired Georgia. Enjoy and make sure you stay tuned for our next installment of Annotations.

Episode 2: Barbara McCaskill and Practical Strangers

Sometimes it takes a few tries to do something worthwhile. So it is with our podcast. Annotations is back with a two-part episode.

mccaskill.barbaraIn part I we interview University of Georgia professor Dr. Barbara McCaskill about the ENGL 4810 class she taught last spring. For this class McCaskill’s students created blogs, wrote articles for the New Georgia Encyclopedia, and produced podcasts based on UGA Press books. McCaskill is a professor of English here at the University of Georgia and she is the codirector of the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative. We published her book Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory in 2015.

BerryElder_PracticalStrangers_jacketIn our interview we discuss the current state of humanities education and why a humanities background is so important, even for non majors. We also talk at length about the ENGL 4810 class, the projects she assigned, as well as the UGA Press books the groups chose as subjects of their podcasts.

In part II we begin posting the podcasts created by ENGL 4810. First up is a podcast produced by Allison Green, Michelle Rodgers, Margaret Holt, and Katherine Lech featuring Practical Strangers: The Courtship Correspondence of Nathaniel Dawson and Elodie Todd, Sister of Mary Todd Lincoln edited by Stephen Berry and Angela Esco Elder.

READ: See this article on Steve Penley in the New Georgia Encyclopedia by one of McCaskill’s ENGL 4810 groups.

Part I: Dr. Barbara McCaskill

Part II: Practical Strangers

Episode 1: Party Out of Bounds with Georgia Reads in Athens, GA

brown_partyoutofboundsIn episode 1 of Annotations we air a recording of the Athens launch of Georgia Reads at Avid Bookshop on March 18. Georgia Reads is a new virtual book club launched in partnership between Georgia Public Broadcasting, the University of Georgia Press, and Georgia Humanities.

Party Out of Bounds: The B-52’s, R.E.M., and the Kids Who Rocked Athens, Georgia by Rodger Lyle Brown—recently reissued by UGA Press—is the first book selected for Georgia Reads. David Barbe, local producer and director of UGA’s music business certificate program at Terry College, served as moderator of the event. Panelists included Brown, Vanessa Briscoe Hay of Pylon, and Dana Downs from the Tone Tones and Go Van Gogh.

(Edited and mixed by Andrew Isolda. Theme music by Butchy Fuego.)