Speak So I Shall Know Thee

Interviews with Southern Writers

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About the Book

A.R. Ammons was asked if he agreed that the United States has not produced a major poet in the last 30 years: “I agree…. The poetry in the country has become sort of a company affair where support for the arts has just about ruined the arts and the system of bureaucrats managing the funds being developed here and there is turning into trade unionism, which may be the best way to write poetry, but it is unfamiliar to me.”
This comprehensive collection contains 31 interviews in which Southern writers talk about their craft, the Southern literary scene, and themselves. Poets, short story writers, and novelists include firmly established writers side by side with emerging talent—Lee Smith, James Dickey, Harry Crews, Pat Conroy, Doris Bett, Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Justice, and 25 others.

About the Author(s)

William J. Walsh is the author of four other books and has published in Five Points, North American Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Flannery O’Connor Review, The Kenyon Review, Verse, Poets & Writers, Shenandoah, AWP Chronicle, Kestrel, and others. He is a Ph.D candidate at Georgia State.

Bibliographic Details

William J. Walsh
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 328
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1990]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6749-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9224-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      ix

Betty Aycock      1
A.R. Ammons      12
Raymond Andrews      24
James Applewhite      31
Doris Betts      40
David Bottoms      52
Olive Ann Burns      61
Fred Chappell      68
Pat Conroy      78
Harry Crews      92
James Dickey      102
Clyde Edgerton      115
William Price Fox      125
Shirley Ann Grau      135
Madison Jones      146
Donald Justice      157
Terry Kay      169
Marion Montgomery      177
Lawrence Naumoff      186
Larry Rubin       197
Ferrol Sams      208
James Seay      213
Bettie Sellers      223
Celestine Sibley      232
Anne Rivers Siddons      242
Lee Smith      253
John Stone      263
James Whitehead      270
Miller Williams      278
Philip Lee Williams      288
Stuart Woods      297

Index      307

Book Reviews & Awards

“readable, down-to-earth, revealing…the interviews make good reading and offer insight into the craft of writing. Recommended”—Choice; “a useful source for students writing about contemporary authors”—North Carolina Libraries; “warmly human”—Atlanta Journal; “includ[es] firmly established writers side by side with newly emerging talent”—Reference and Research Book News; “Walsh is also to be applauded for in-depth probing of the writers and their works…will undoubtedly serve as a valuable research tool”—Atlanta History.