Swamp Skirts

Women of Contemporary Southern Poetry

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Kelly Whiddon of Macon, Georgia

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Southerners thrive on stories and hold fast to their myths. Many of these myths stem from folk and fairy tales, and women are a significant part of the mythic South. One such example is the “Southern belle,” an extension of the damsel in a fairy tale castle. The mythic “Southern belle” may have persisted for the survival of social and economical elites and the fabled aristocracy of the South. Sayings like “the Southern way of life” still stand tall, but what does this mean for Southern poetry? This week I’m featuring Kelly Whiddon’s poetry, which often employs the mythic traditions of the fairy tale as viewed through Southern life. Read more…


An Introduction

swamp-875x455I sat down in bed to write my first entry on contemporary Southern women poets with mosquitos, dark water, and red clay sweat stains coming to mind. Earth, not ether. Flesh, not bits. Then a flash came to me of the Guatemalans I pass daily at lunch hour with their limbs stretched out on the freshly laid sod near ornamental trees on the corner of strip malls. They are very still. I’m uncertain that they move until I get close enough. The only movement is in the muscles of their face and the fingers that move across the keys of their cell phones. Zeros and ones are the only language now. As I begin to write, a leaky faucet and fluorescent buzz distracts me. Read more…

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