Poet Lenard D. Moore reads his poem, “A Black Man Tells His Son the Whole Story,” which was published in our latest Music Issue. “For fifty years I sweat my dues, wept salt liquor from the blues,” Moore singsongs. “This story I tell wherever I go.”
Author Dorothy Allison discusses the idea of southern mothers in conjunction with Keira V. Williams’s essay, “‘Between Creation and Devouring’: Southern Women Writers and the Politics of Motherhood.” “Life constructs or mitigates your attempts to be ‘the perfect mother,’” Allison says. “But I never believed in the perfect mother.”
Bulgarian Ambassador (and Tennessee Williams scholar) Elena Poptodorova talks about the art of literary translation and her mentor, Krastan Dyankov. “I don’t know whether people in this country realize how much they owe somebody they may never have heard of,” said Poptodorova. “The person who actually introduced America [and Faulkner] to Bulgarians was him.”
“I was sitting in the second row and I was so excited. It’s the most excited I’ve ever been at a sporting event.” Civil rights activist (and boxing fan) Julian Bond recalls Muhammad Ali’s return to boxing in 1970. For more, read about what the fight meant to racial politics in black Atlanta and beyond in our Summer Issue.
Hear Paul Williams on the demise of circus performer Charles Siegert, a tiger named Big Ben, and the coolest cemetery in Washington, DC. It’s all related to “Little Dixie’s Circus Cemetery,” in which the big top meets a big tombstone (adorned with an elephant).
Poet and professor Michael McFee talks about the similarities between writing poetry and sharing food. From the Spring 2015 Food Issue, he also reads “Cast-Iron Gahzal” (the latter being a style of poem aptly pronounced “guzzle”).
Loose Leaf joined historian Scott Huffard at the Bostian’s Bridge trestle near Statesville, NC, to discuss a train wreck from 1891. Huffard penned an article on that accident for the Summer 2014 issue of Southern Cultures, discussing southerners’ fears about increased mobility with the expansion of railways in the region. As Huffard wrote, “When train number nine on the Western North Carolina Railroad tumbled off Bostian’s Bridge in 1891, it ignited a media frenzy, as well as a …
Loose Leaf recently caught up with Elisabeth Haviland James, director of 2013’s “In So Many Words.” The film follows Lucy Daniels, daughter of a prominent Raleigh family who was hospitalized for anorexia in her early life before becoming a lauded writer and psychologist. Here, James talks about portraying Daniels’s story—or any story—in film, observing that blurring the line between fiction and documentary is “just fine with me, because I think that distinction is a little outdated anyway. We’re all …
To complement our Spring 2014 issue on the controversial bestselling book and film The Help, we caught up with Azie Dungey, creator and star of “Ask A Slave.” The web series is based on real interactions Dungey had while portraying a slave character at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. In our second conversation with Dungey, she discusses the value of telling one’s own story.