Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Don't Leave Hungry: 50 Years of Southern Poetry Review

The idea of Southern literature rankles some writers. There are those who rather would disassociate with the region, saying there's more to their writing that the place they were born. Other writers embrace a Southern identity to the point of caricature. And just what defines Southern literature, anyway? Writer, subject or both?

This question of Southern literature is frequently talked about in terms of fiction, but Southern poetry is rarely discussed. In this conversation for Cover to Cover, GPB's weekly program about books, Orlando Montoya talks with the editor of a new anthology chronicling 50 years of Southern Poetry Review.

James Smith, the editor of "Don't Leave Hungry" and the associate editor for the venerable journal, makes the case for a journal that has staunchly stuck to a founding -- and some might say, provocative -- vision of Southern poetry. Namely, it doesn't always have to be about the South.

Smith reads three poems, including one by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. He also talks about the journal's founder, Guy Owen, and what made him tick. And he explains how the journal has -- and hasn't -- changed over the years. Smith also teaches at Armstrong Atlantic State University. "Don't Leave Hungry: 50 Years of Southern Poetry Review" is published by the University of Arkansas Press.
Listen to this episode