It's too hot to do much of anything today, so I thought I'd try to cool off with a favorite activity: a "pub crawl." Now I'm sure you midtown Memphis folks are thinking I'm walking up and down Madison Avenue bar-hopping like folks do on Saint Patrick's Day, but the kind of "pub" I'm talking about is publications... magazines and newspapers. So grab a cold one and click on any of the links below that interest you and join me in some LIGHT reading! (Or better still, subscribe to these excellent publications!)
The Oxford American Magazine's "Best of the South" issue is out, and full of work by excellent writers, several of whom I'm fortunate enough to call friends. Check out these pieces:
My friend and fellow Jackson, Mississippi, native, Ellen Ann Fentress, has a great historical essay, "Intimate Strangers," about Jackson authors Richard Wright and Eudora Welty, who were neighbors but never met. Why?
Ellen Ann and I met when we were both presenters at the Southern Women Writers Conference at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, last September. And we both had pieces published in the January issue of the Southern Women's Review.
Ole Miss poet, writer and creative writing instructor, Beth Ann Fennelly, has a great piece, "Ode to Ten Sexy Books," which you can actually read here.
Another Oxford writer, Jack Pendarvis, has a hilarious tribute to "almost odes" in "I Don't Hate It!" (I was fortunately to have Jack contribute to the critique process for two of my short stories in the workshops Barry Hannah led in Oxford last summer. Good writer and all-around great guy!)
My newest friend in the bunch, Ad Hudler (whom I met at the Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, Texas, this pat January) has an ecological/psychological essay called, "Are You a Tree Bitch" that's well worth the read.
An all-around great issue and must-read for the dog days of summer!
Moving on to another favorite pub (yes, I'll have another glass of Monkey Bay, please) I always enjoy Garden & Gun, with its beautiful photography and graphic design. And there are always great little literary treats tucked inside. In the June/July issue, I especially enjoyed "A Letter From Harper Lee," by Alice Randall. You can read the article here, but you'll be missing the feel of the paper this magazine is printed on, the smell of the ink, the gorgeous photography. I highly recommend a hard copy:-)
A much less literary but equally refreshing pub that I enjoy is Real Simple Magazine. I've been a subscriber since the first issue. Here's a cool treat in the July issue: (which doesn't have links up on its web site yet... they still have the June issue up--imagine that!)
On page 209, under "Cool Summer Sips," I found this recipe for Frozen Blueberry Lemonade that I'm dying to try:
In a blender, combine 3 cups ice, 1 1/2 cups blueberries, 1 cup lemonade, 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and purree until smooth. To make it a cocktail, add 1/2 cup vodka to the blender before pureeing. Whrrrrrr~ wish I had some blueberries and lemonade. And a blender:-)
Have a cool evening, everybody!