CFP: [American] Southern Poetry and the Narrative Impulse (1/20/08; ALA 5/22-25/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Tara Powell
contact email: 

Session Title: Southern Poetry and the Narrative Impulse

American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco; May 22-25, 2008
Deadline for proposals: January 20, 2008

The Society for the Study of Southern Literature issues a call for papers for a session on
"Southern Poetry and the Narrative Impulse" to be held at the 2008 American Literature
Association Conference in San Francisco. The conference will be held May 22-25, 2008, at the
Hyatt Regency San Francisco in Embarcadero Center. Session description follows. Please email
abstracts and either a cover letter or 2-page CV by January 20, 2008, to Tara Powell at, or send hard copies to Tara Powell at the USC Institute for Southern Studies;
University of South Carolina at Columbia, Gambrell Hall 107; Columbia, SC 29208. Emailed
submissions preferred. For further information about this session or SSSL, contact Tara Powell,
or for information about the conference, please consult the ALA website at

SSSL #2: Southern Poetry and the Narrative Impulse

Dave Smith has asserted there is no contemporary "southern poetry" as
such; Jim Applewhite argues southern poetry is distinguished by a
paralyzing feeling of emotional submersion; Fred Chappell suggests
southern poems exemplify the power inherent in the "lens of particular
place." Though southern anthologies generally contain substantially
less poetry than prose, the South abounds with literary journals, is
home to several fine poetry series, and has produced many of the
century's finest poetic voices. Storytelling, the oral tradition, and
the narrative impulse are often described as hallmarks of southern
fiction. Is this true of southern poetry as well? Recent collections
by Fred Chappell, Andrew Hudgins, Sonia Sanchez, Natasha Trethaway,
and others, suggest it might. Possible paper topics include:
discussions of particular poetic talents, "southernness" in the field
of poetry and poetry studies, narrative (or lack thereof) in poets
associated with the South, and regional work in relation to
undercurrents in twentieth-century American poetry generally.

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Received on Mon Dec 17 2007 - 14:46:20 EST