Teacher, teacher, what do I do? (book announcement)

Yesterday I finished what I think was the third (can’t keep count) complete rewrite, start to finish, of my new novel Teacher. With deep thanks to Brynn Garman, Rin Westcott, Steve Tarry, Cameron Combs, Bryan Willis, Mian Carvan, Margaret Culbertson, Brady Olson, SJ Boyle, Nancy Sigafoos, Diane Sawyer, Don Orr Martin, Megan Kruse, Bev Sykes, … Read more

Reminiscing about Mississippi Arts & Letters

Our first independent publishing venture after leaving New York and Everything for Everybody, decades before Mud Flat Press, was first a newspaper, Persons, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and then a statewide literary and arts quarterly, Mississippi arts & Letters, which won us a certain amount of notoriety. but was a financial flop. It lasted only a … Read more

Everyday racism, misogyny, and classism

Many people who were not alive at the time can hardly envision the casual racism, misogyny and classism that was alive and well in the 1940s and 1950s. The television series “Mad Men” gave a bit of a hint, but from what little I can remember—I was a child at the time—it was the everydayness … Read more

Sniper, a Dog Story

by Ricker Winsor – In Bali, we adopted a village-dog puppy we named Nana. She and her sister found their way, at about seven weeks of age, to the workplace of our neighbor. The office security people there were about to throw them against a wall, the customary way to kill puppies. The dog situation … Read more

Newt Carter Comes to Town

Excerpt from Angels Sleep Alone by James Robert Peery With introduction by Alec Clayton Newt Carter was a “Holy Roller” preacher in North Mississippi in the 1930s and ’40s whose revival tent filled with worshipers was destroyed in a tornado in his novel God Rides a Gale (Harper and Brothers 1940). Peery died in 1954 … Read more

Jack Butler’s take on Tupelo and Locked In

A note from Alec Clayton: Jack Butler is one of the great Southern writers. His poetry, short stories and reviews have been published in  The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review and elsewhere. His novel Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock (Knopf, 1993) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His … Read more

Women and Girls 1942-2020

Over the past week or so I have been typing into my computer, word-for-word, the manuscript of a novel written in the early 1950s. It is tedious work but worth the effort because it’s a damn fine novel. It is set in 1942, and the narrator and all the characters use language and express commonly … Read more

Me and Malcolm (X)

          I have wanted to write this for so long, but I get tired of my regrets and my shame of one kind or another. These days I try my best to find some shiny nuggets among the dross but mostly come up empty. I succeed most in looking at the clouds or at the … Read more