As I turn from grading exams and essays back to getting ready for this year’s Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium, coming up in less than two weeks, I am thinking about this year’s theme. It could have been a musical theme, at least judging by our poets.
Shirlette Ammons’ book includes an extended play CD with music from her group Mosadi, which has played with bands like the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Known as a stellar performer, Shirlette is bound to give a great reading on Friday morning.
Mitchell L. H. Douglas has dedicated his first book of poems to the legacy of soul legend Donny Hathaway. His book Colling Board is formatted like an old LP record with two sides and alternate takes of poems that retell events of Hathaway’s life from different perspectives.
Sean Hill also uses musical call and response in his rendition of life in the twentieth century African American community in Milledgeville, Georgia. And Beth Ann Fennelly has been influenced by blues and rock and roll, according to a critic writing for Booklist.