“Searching for Amy Spain” by Merry Speece [2007 revisited]

From the summer of 1989 to the summer of 2001 I lived in South Carolina. Before moving there I had not heard of the Gullah language and many other things. For the first eight years that I lived there, I read regional histories, old letters, diaries, cookbooks, etc., and took notes. Then I spent the next two years arranging the notes. The result was my Sisters Grimke Book of Days, which was published by Oasis Books (England) in 2003.

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“Christmas I-55” by John Calvin Hughes

Southern Legitimacy Statement:
I’m John Calvin Hughes, son of a son of a preacher chased out of Mississippi for plucking the flock. I’m a southern (if I spell it southren you’ll get it, right?) boy who moved south and found himself surrounded by Yankees. I’m in Orlando. There’s not a hill in sight and the restaurants that specialize in “Real Southern Cooking” put sugar in the cornbread. I’m making my own red eye gravy

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Made it through the holidays …

I find more and more that the stories surround, and revolve around, the joys that are grand-kids. Having six of said creatures I have plenty of raw material to choose from. I also congratulate myself on not killing their mothers when they were teenagers, although I was sorely tempted at times.

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Shann Palmer Chapbook “Skip Tracing Angels” or “Uttering and Publishing”

Southern Legitimacy Statement:

I was born in Houston, Texas January 4, 1950 when there were so many babies born my mother was on a cot out in the hall. I was premature and not expected to thrive so was placed in an incubator with another baby, a boy. My name was supposed to be “Sharon Rose” but when the woman with the clipboard came to my unconscious mother, my grandmother told he my name was to be “Sharon…..and…”. I am grateful to this day my name became Sharon Ann and not Sharon And. I later shortened it to Shann for what I thought were good reasons. We weren’t poor, we were genteel, though sometimes before payday I remember eating cereal with water, giving my dad babysitting money I made so he could buy gas (and it was cheap then). I could go on about moving to Virginia in 1971 after attending the University of Arizona, but I plan to tell that story in a different way when I figure it all out.

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River Haven by Pepper Smith

For my southern legitimacy statement, I’d say, my name is Pepper, which has caused me much grief living in the DC area, but made a lot of sense in my home of Mississippi, where I was born and grew up. There it was warm and unpretentious. Here it’s silly and people will say things like, “what’s a grown man doing with the name Pepper?”

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Rapid I Movement by Alexandra Edgeworth

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I grew up in Frederick, Maryland elementary, middle, and high schools, often finding myself visiting Baltimore to see the Ravens and read extensively on Poe. Everywhere else felt like an invasion until I moved to South Carolina to graduate from a Florence high school. I went to Francis Marion University for an undergrad in English and Coastal Carolina University for my Master’s in Writing. I currently enjoy teaching college literature in Beaufort, SC and cannot get enough of the eager, curious faces at the mention of “Lenore” and “The Case of M. Valdemar.”
I consider myself a writer of dark fantasy, though my nonfiction pieces borderline on the absurd and bizarre. As part of the Southern Gothic Revival I feel it is necessary to be positive in every aspect of my life, even when the deep southern Classics weep in their ledgers. We are a collective of strong, captivating people, I see it in my southern husband—all the loving and unique facets of the South: intelligent, rational, observant, collected, close, empathetic, and, of course, creative. My husband is my Gothic Muse and the South my office tucked away in the thick, old growth forests. We have great ancestral roots that wind their way freely into our lives, our families, at the dinner table during grace, and our imaginations.

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Transcript of Audio: Miss Jewell Eppinette by Nonnie Augustine

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I now live in Panama City Beach, Florida and have been living here since 2005. There was also a six year spell here in the 80’s. I was born in NYC, grew up in New Jersey and have lived in NYC, NY State, New Mexico, Maryland, and England, and my first book of poems, One Day Tells its Tale to Another was published in Ireland. Please excuse me for including that last bit but I couldn’t help myself. …This is a fiction submission, originally written for a Surreal South anthology and although they kindly told me it did not make it to the book, it did make it to the later stages of decision-making. Ahem.

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The Wink That Saved Me by Cindy Shearer

Southern Legitimacy Statement: My family cookbook has recipes for fried chicken, fried venison and fried squirrel. (As to the latter entrée, submitted by my Uncle Toodler, he notes that Aunt Fay “says she would just as soon eat a cat.”) Note: Ms Shearer has allowed that she will give out family recipes, upon request.

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