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

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

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 other … Read more

Why in the world would a white boy from Mississippi presume to write about race

It’s a good question: Why in the world would a white boy from Mississippi presume to write about race. I’ve been pondering it a lot. Especially after the Academy Awards and the many comments swirling around comparisons between Spike Lee’s Black Klansman and Best Picture winner Green Book, which reminded everyone of when Lee’s Do … Read more

Walking the Line

In my new novel, This Is Me, Debbi, David, I try to walk the line—hopefully with some success—between formulaic writing and being original and honest. It is formulaic in that it is a quest story and a road story, original in the uniqueness of the characters, and honest in that all the characters are flawed … Read more

Alec Clayton readings from This Is Me, Debbi, David

Olympia, Washington author Alec Clayton, author of The Backside of Nowhere and the “Freedom Trilogy,” kicks off his latest novel, This Is Me, Debbi, David, with a series of readings and book talks with actor Amanda Kemp. Amanda Kemp In addition to her second year with Animal Fire Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park, Amanda has … Read more

Anatomy of a Story

A few years ago I told a story at Story Oly, Olympia’s monthly story slam, about my adventures and misadventures while hitchhiking to New York from Mississippi in 1973. Folks laughed a lot at the story, so I wrote it as a short story for Creative Colloquy and read it at a couple of their … Read more