Another South: Experimental Writing in the South

Another South: Experimental Writing in the South

Another South: Experimental Writing in the South

Another South: Experimental Writing in the South

Excerpt

This anthology is a collection of experimental poets in the South. It is not
intended to represent a new “Southern Lit.” It has not been my goal to define a new
genre, style, or movement, and I make no claim for any sort of dominance by any of
the styles and genres included. I only want to claim that the work represented here
is happening, a simple fact that would be hard to deduce from reading the standard
southern publications. For too long the South has been considered, even by some
fairly literate folk, to be an experimentalist’s backwater, a remote bayou off the
beaten freeway, inhabited only by stories hinting at incest and saturated with
rhetoric, blank verse poems in dialectal tribute to Mark Twain, or symbol-laden
narratives that inevitably decode to Flannery O’Connor’s peacocks. Against these
caricatures we offer Camille Martin “learning to talk over and over” in lyric chants
that tear at the semantic fabric of language, or)ohn Lowther’s transcribed multi
media performance, which examines a nostalgic reminiscence under a psycho
linguistic microscope. I hope that with this publication we can begin to map a new
southern landscape, one that, far from being bound to the past, is ripe for
experimentation and home to a burgeoning avant-garde.

By “experimental” I mean poetry that pushes at a boundary, that attempts to
cover new ground, that transgresses stylistically, semantically, socially, or politically—
the sort of writing that Bob Grumman has referred to as “burstnorm” or
“experioddica.” Joel Dailey’s vicious satire of pop culture’s inanities and (far worse,
as he considers them equal) poetry’s profundities, isn’t containable in any of the
traditional academic corrals. Sandy Baldwin’s and Alex Rawls’s digitally assisted
narratives call into question the identity of the author and the whole concept of
“writing.” Christy Sheffield Sanford’s typographically enhanced historical narrative
sympathetically examines narrative itself but with enough severity to . . .

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