Louisiana Studies: An Excavation in Prose and Poetry

On September 12th, I’ll be giving a reading on a panel at the 7th Annual Lousiana Studies Conference in Natchitoches, Lousiana. Here, have a look. I’ll return later to share a bit….

What To Bury, Where To Bury It is a hybrid creative nonfiction piece in prose, poetry, and essay. Working within themes of both the underneath and liminality, this presentation is an excerpt from a full-length work. A reflection on the correlation between what we as a human community bury of and within ourSelves and what we bury of our common history, this piece makes an argument for fearless illumination.

The slave history of the southern United States, while well-elaborated in discussion, remains a place, rich in metaphor, of hidden and buried tangible manifestation of that past. This piece draws from fairly recent endeavors in Louisiana (The Whitney Plantation) and Tennessee (The Hermitage) to engage in a public  “unburying” of the slave history that resides under the well-preserved Big House opulence. It addresses as well the question of the individual standing before the troubling realities of history and drawing from them a sense of being situated, for better or worse, within the broader human community.

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