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.
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)