Far Away and Deep Within

Prefaces are rarely read or remembered unless they are manifestos, which this is not. The guiding editors of our “magazine” invited me to introduce the first issue, explaining something...

Raised to Leave: Some Thoughts on “Culture”

I was born in a rugged ring of mountains in southwest Virginia—mountains so high, so straight up and down, that the sun didn’t even hit our yard until about eleven o’clock...

The Cairo House: Prologue

For those who have more than one skin, there are places where the secret act of metamorphosis takes place, an imperceptible shading into a hint of a different gait...

Portfolio: Collages

Cuban-born artist Mario Petrirena immigrated to the United States in 1962 at the age of eight. As one of 14,000 children who arrived in the United States ...

Raised to Stay

I wasn’t raised to leave. I was raised to stay. I was taught that everything I ever needed was in Yazoo City, Mississippi, not down the road in Jackson, not up the road in Greenwood...

First, Tell Me What Kind of Reader You Are

When people of the Northeast ask what I do, I long for one of those professions that would certify me to respond as follows...

South Toward Home: A New Yorker’s Perspective

I ask: Is it possible to be nostalgic for somewhere you never lived? Is it wrong to feel that your home may not quite be the one where you grew up?

Global Eyes

I taste the lemon in my mayonnaise. It interrupts my sentence, wanting me To say, pronounce, a field of rice or maize.


Welcome to the inaugural issue of South Writ Large, a quarterly magazine that explores the relationship of the American South to the wider world. The magazine presents the many viewpoints that reflect a Global South, as things southern fan out into the larger world and the world takes root in the South. The stories, poems, artwork, oral recordings, and videos we publish will offer an understanding of how people experience the changing South in their daily lives, both from within the region and outside of it. In this first issue you will find work that addresses hybrid identity, the juggling of two worlds, passage, and affiliation.



This issue of South Writ Large is dedicated to Wilmer Mills, a poet, a teacher, and a loving, talented, and genuine person. He was a valued member of the Global South Working Group who passed away after battling liver cancer this summer. Wil’s work was published in The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Poetry, The New Criterion, Shenandoah, and Literary Imagination, among others. He will be remembered and missed.