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Loose Leaf

Loose Leaf expands conversations started in our pages.

Winter 2016

Southern Accent: The Necessity of a Show Like This

“There’s a very sophisticated conversation in the South that people outside of the South don’t know about,” says Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and co-curator of the exhibition Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art. Before the show »

21c Fiction

Shannon Ravenel: Moving Toward Southern Literature

Back when John Updike didn’t get it, Shannon Ravenel did. From her early days in New York publishing, to co-founding Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill and editing the essential New Stories from the South series for two decades, Ravenel has been at the fore of shaping and sharing southern literature. We recently sat down with »


Lenard D. Moore: A Black Man Tells His Son the Whole Story

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.”

Summer 2015

Kelly Wooten: Sharing Skills

Kelly Wooten discusses zines and lesbian print culture in North Carolina, as archived at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University. For more, read Julie Enszer’s article on Night Heron Press in our Summer Issue.

Summer 2015

Dorothy Allison: I Am Not My Mama

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.”  

Summer 2015

Bulgarian Ambassador Elena Poptodorova: A Memory of Krastan Dyankov

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.”

Summer 2015

Julian Bond: We Got Ali

“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 Atlanta and beyond in »

Summer 2015

Paul Williams: The Show Must Go On

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).


Michael McFee: The connection between food and poetry

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”).

Summer 2014

Scott Huffard: No Ghost Trains . . . Yet

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 »

Summer 2014

Elisabeth Haviland James: Constructing the Story We Want Other People to Hear

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 »

The Help

Azie Dungey: George Washington Is In the Background, Literally

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 »