Portfolio: Paintings

We love the past in a nostalgic way, knowing that it will never be that way again. We loved the way things were; we loved those in our family who are now gone; we have to embrace the...

At the Intersection of Emotions: Jill McCorkle on the Art of Bo Bartlett

That kind of longing—the blend of comfort and joy with sadness and loss—is what I am most drawn to as a writer and reader, and I am constantly trying to seek balance between the two.

The Homeplace

The is the country he knew since boyhood. And I am grateful for this homeplace— here, I, too, wish to grow old and stand without words in this part of the world so lively and pure.

Portfolio: Photographs

One tradition in New Orleans clings onto to its ancestral strength of handwork, persistence, pride, and the yearly renewal of respectfulness to its origins . . . that of the Black Mardi...

Think of a Wonderful Thought: On Cuba, Nostalgia, and What Might Be Next

While we're still thinking about how Cuba used to be, Cubans on the island have their own kind of traditions. A new nostalgia is being fomented today among a new generation.

The Resurrection of Easter Lunch

I have created an ephemeral family from people I genuinely like. I was able to celebrate them, to rejuvenate them, to partake of this ritual of rebirth with them with the tools and the...

Penland School of Crafts

From my own experience as a student and an instructor at Penland, I can say that it is a place where people often exceed their own expectations. It’s a place where the process of making...

Portfolio: Blacksmithing

I take pleasure in breaking the preconceived idea that blacksmithing is an occupation for a brawny man. In my own way, I am following the tradition of the ladies of my family.

Summer Scars

This is the summer we stay home. Up to this year, after school and during summers, we’d gone to Carousel Daycare, where everyone calls us the Skippers. Jimmy, Jason, and Justin.

Better Days in My Town

Meridian wasn’t a big place, but it was a place where big things could happen. Boosters dubbed it the “Queen City,” a reference to its rivalry with the capital city of Jackson, ninety...

On Language, Diversity, and Heritage

From an early age, I scrutinized language the same way my brothers and I watched the lightning bugs we’d collect in jars—with limitless attention, curiosity, and delight. I loved to...

The French Teacher

And there was the language, always the language, flowing over, under, and all around her, enveloping her like music, wearing on her like the roar of traffic on a big highway nearby,...

The Winter 2015 issue of South Writ Large contemplates the role of nostalgia and memory in shaping creative expression. Our recollections may be unreliable witnesses to the facts, but the sum of our experiences shapes our present, informs our sense of self, and inspires our hopes for the future. How and why do we cull through our recollections to formulate an identity and a worldview? We may think of nostalgia as a particularly Southern characteristic, but there is universal yearning to question the past and bring it into focus in a coherent perspective. This issue offers a wide range of contributions inspired by looking to a past that is very much part of our culture today.