Last month a professor at East Tennessee State University read a column I wrote on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and thought enough of it to invite me to speak to her journalism class. She asked me to speak on what I think makes a good op-ed. Of my own writing, the column that caught … Continue reading Is Your Opinion Worth Our Time?
H.L. Mencken hated the South. My first meaningful encounters with Mencken's work came while we were in Dayton. Mencken approached his coverage of the Scopes Trial — and Dayton and its people — with the same quick-witted ferocity he was famous for. In reading over his attacks of the South in Ralph C. Wood's Flannery O'Connor and … Continue reading Do We Remember: ‘We Have Had Our Fall’
Ralph C. Wood is a guy I've heard a lot about. The Baylor professor has shown up multiple times in writings of others I follow and in some casual conversations with friends. The book I keep hearing about is his Flannery O'Connor And The Christ-Haunted South. This week, I began the book both because: • O'Connor … Continue reading Learning About My Christ-Haunted People
I miss the South these days, which are odd days to miss it, since it’s being smothered by wet heat like a hot towel in a sauna. Nevertheless, the South is my home, and I miss her. I blame Warren Cole Smith for reminding me. To mark the forty-sixth anniversary of Flannery O’Connor’s death, in … Continue reading The South, Memory, and Meaning
This is the longest I’ve been away from Tennessee in my entire life. Kind of weird. Julie, Jesse, and I have been out West for about a month. Already we’ve seen the morning sun glow on red rocks that jut from the ground. Two nights ago snow started falling, so walking to work since then … Continue reading Westward Reneaus