Guest edited by Kinitra D. Brooks, this issue unpacks the Gothic South, exploring its haints, hollers, and hoodoo. Featuring a conversation with Jesmyn Ward, photo essays by Jared Ragland and Kristine Potter, fiction by Rebecca Bengal and K. Ibura, poetry by Golden, and more.
“Sixteen years after her death, my grandmother was still my defender.”
“For me, the Gothic comes out in wrestling with that darkness, wrestling with trauma, wrestling with grief, wrestling with loss, wrestling with this idea that there is more to the world than what we see on the surface.”
“Claiming a ghost story originated from a Black southerner provided evidence of an imagined fraternity between Black and white southerners.”
“Ragland traveled to each of his home state’s sixty-seven counties, often via routes connected to a brutal colonial legacy—following the path of Hernando de Soto’s 1540 expedition, the Trail of Tears, the Old Federal Road, and the slave ship Clotilda.”
“The Black woman is tossing an ambiguous object into a presumed hole in the ground, arguably to effect the desired outcome of her conjure spell. Indeed, both the woman and Walker are turning a hoodoo trick for the viewer.”
“Mama Possum is a character cursed by her ancestors because she killed one of her children.”
“He noticed the sound of the footsteps quicken, but a swift glance behind him oﬀered only the shadow of a person outlined by the light of the moon.”
“The children ogled the empty houses and sagging porches, fascinated by the veil of abandonment that smothered everything around them.”
“They drive by an old-timey church with one door for the men and a separate door for the women and a graveyard out back where the stones pop up like teeth in the night.”
“I grew up listening to the folks songs of my ancestors along the Scottish Borders.”
“Cheap, lurid, and often drawing from sensationalized news stories, pulp fiction enjoyed a heyday from the 1920s through the 1940s.”
“Unsolved Mysteries was the portal to my imagination running wild, and fear was the pilot.”
Have you ever said peace / & know a country isn’t coming with it?