My Story

Mad about the South—that’s me. Other regions hide their oddball relatives in the attic. But southerners are so proud of quirky that we stick them on the front porch.

My parents (Leon country boy + Miss Bunny belle peach = swell!) mated North Georgia twang with Atlanta vowel blurs. And then came moi: a New South product born in Birmingham. Like many southerners, I wandered out of my region. But as of 2018, I live in the greater Atlanta area, where my parents fell for each other—“The Greatest Generation, the Greatest Love.”

From the South, into the World

Back in the day, I signed on as a copywriter with “Mom’s magazine,” Southern Living, and then waltzed through sister magazine Southern Accents. It was a crash course in all things southern: porches made in the shade, lush gardens, blue highways, big city glare, small-town low lights, antiques, blues, the best of American literature, and food, food, food. However, a turn at Cooking Light purged bacon grease from my kitchen.

I took a detour to the Midwest on joining the staff at Meredith Books and Better Homes and Gardens. Iowans are low-key friendly and put on the best state fair. Ever! There you can hobnob with (or flee) any politician flirting with a presidential run. I learned to nibble funnel cakes and turkey legs as big as baseball bats.

Postcard of a butter sculpture featuring a boy, cow, and calf at the Iowa State Fair, 1904

After weathering whiteouts, this AL Gal tricky-trotted back South for a while before living in Delaware for three delightful years, with close proximity to two destinations beloved by southerners: Longwood Gardens and Winterthur. What a fascinating history! For instance, Delaware has preserved much of its underground railroad—very much worth a visit to learn about Harriet Tubman and other daring conductors.

I remain an ardent Francophile and adore Paris, Chartres, Flaubert, Verlaine, antique architectural plates, Left Bank baby bistros, a flea market toss, and Kir.

Unpredictable? That’s Okay with Me

My career as a writer and editor is anything but predictable. I’ve covered every topic but porn and physics. By day, I’m a copywriter for a liberal arts college. On nights and weekends, I jump into blogging bliss—experimenting with creative nonfiction (characters welcome), poems, and short reflections.

Since 2020, my poems have appeared in Art Ascent (Distinguished Writer/Portraits Competition and Garden Competition), The Blue Mountain Review, Braided Way, Didcot Writers (Reader’s Choice/Apple-Tree-Woodland Competition), storySouth, The Ekphrastic Review, Eunoia Review, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Pink Panther Magazine, Sparks of Calliope, Tiny Seed Journal, Vita Brevis, and Willows Wept Review. My creative nonfiction has appeared in the gardening journal GreenPrints.

2022 Pushcart Prize Nominee
Shortlisted: 2021 Lascaux Poetry Prize.
Runner-up: 2020 AWC Natasha Trethewey Poetry Prize
Top 10 (out of 1,220 entries): 2021 Poetry Super Highway Competition

Credit: butter sculpture from the private collection of Pamela H. Simpson and published in “Butter Cows and Butter Buildings: A History of an Unconventional Sculptural Medium,” Winterthur Portfolio 41, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 1-19 (Winterthur/Butter Sculpture)


  1. drapersmeadow4

    It’s wonderful to meet another Virginian! I live just south of Richmond. My husband was just in Lynchburg on business earlier this week! You have a lovely blog and I look forward to reading it! All the best. ~Karen~

  2. Debby Carroll

    I love your take on “eccentric relatives.” I wish I had those. Mine are way over the line, so much so I finally had to write a book simply to stop everyone who knows my extended family from constantly saying, “You should write a book!” But, I’m following you from here on. I could use a laugh. Thanks.

  3. roughwighting

    Nice to meet you (read your comment on the blog post about “Why you should stop writing blog posts.” Like you, I blog for the creative writing expression of it. I have sold my books through my blog also (but with doing very little marketing of them). I feel comfortable sharing my writing for writing’s sake, not for the money’s sake. Shrug. You have a beautiful blog here.

  4. Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns

    Catherine, sending you a great big hello from our very own spot right here in “y’all” country. We are truly excited about finding and following you. Your photographs are beautiful and your posts are nothing short of fabulous! We are a wanna-be writer and her better half/blog post editor in chief. 🙂 Our blog is new and evolving. Right now it’s full of all sorts of things from poetry and gardening to recipes and riddles. Stop by and check us out.

  5. Bea dM

    moi aussi j’adore le Kir! your exuberant and prolific writing is a bit daunting for a part-time beginner blogger like me …but you’ve definitely sparked my curiosity., so lead the way!

  6. jetgirlcos

    Bonjour ! Thanks for following my blog 🙂 I am very intrigued by your intro and will definitely be back to read more and more! I’m not too familiar with the South, really, so I think I can learn a lot here! I am Texan by birth… and *West* Texan at that, so I guess that makes me “une étrangère”, non ? 😉

  7. swajithkas

    Thanks for subscription of my blog, I too did the same not as a return favor but you as well as your blog is absolutely amazing, so, by subscribing it I may not miss a single sweet post from you.
    Wishing you all the best……………….

      1. swajithkas

        I am too touched with your this very sweet comment, love and appreciation, I think we both share common and mutual ground for being friends of each other for very long term, what do you think?????????, by the way, yesterday I made one wise decision to subscribe for your blog and the result is absolutely amazing in the form of your wonderful post
        Fortunate Fall: Wings of Desire
        Wishing you all the best………………

  8. Thom Hickey

    Thanks for following The Immortal Jukebox Catherine. I hope you are finding lots to entertain you and maybe making some discoveries. If you haven’t visited for a while check it out again – many Southern artists featured. Please feel free to add comments. Regards Thom.

  9. Gerry C.

    The “fact” that you quote Ken Kesey proudly in your blog’s masthead only makes your site more of a pleasure to read. I enjoyed reading his work, “Cuckoo’s Nest” while studying psychology in college. His story was not your typical “No-Me Me Drama. Good luck with your future posts Catherine.

    1. Catherine Hamrick

      Thanks for visiting and looking around. I feel the same about your blog. A nice discovery of quality work. I’m too conventional to be a Merry Prankster, though I appreciate the sentiment. ; )

  10. jgroeber

    I was wondering where I’d seen you before. Then I read to the bottom (saving the best for last, eh?) and saw my friend who Burns Like Fire. Ah, yes.
    “Every topic but porn and physics” just about says it all (except of course, porn and physics.) Looking forward to checking out your blog.

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