A Collection of Literary Artists from the Mobile Bay Area
Edited by Kevin Lee
Mod Mobilian Press. $12.95
Available at Ashland Gallery, Bienville Books, Lunatix & Co., Page & Palette (Fairhope), or online at Amazon.com.
Everyone likes something new, right? New music, new food, new sights, new ideas, it keeps us moving forward and gives us something to reach for and anticipate.
Mod Mobilian Press has something brand new but filled with a bit of the familiar as well and a promise for the future. It’s our latest contribution to Mobile’s cultural scene, a literary anthology named “Tributaries 2012.” This collection of work from 14 Mobile area literary artists contains prose and poetry, traditional styles and new, and shows there’s no shortage of locals willing to carry on our sizable legacy of storytelling and artistic communication.
Don’t be trapped into thinking this is your stereotypical Southern lit, deep fried in Faulkner-esque allusions to moonlight and magnolias. There’s grit aplenty here, along with perspectives not commonly associated with Southern lit. There are voices fresh and earthy, others drenched in the experiences of the urban and contemporary South just as comfortable with bytes and bitrates as they are cotton fields and color lines.
Some tales, like those by Ronald F. Turner and Thomas Perez, speak in a voice most assuredly rooted in the 20th century South but carry observations trenchant for a culture that still cherishes the lessons to be learned from its past. Others, such as Gideon C. Kennedy and Samuel Wilkes’ offerings are wholeheartedly fashioned from a modern perspective with wry twists and unique styles.
Then there are total surprises. C. J. Petterson unfurls a Western yarn for the reader unexpected from a town of bayous and Spanish moss. Jennifer McDonald offers a heartrending story with a “Dolores Claiborne”-type edge but buoyed by the hope of redemption.
Scattered throughout the narratives are poems with singular perspective, from Marjorie Turner’s clever marriage of Hemingway terseness with haiku’s ethereal form to Elizabeth Herboso’s dark imagery of love as bondage.
The collection is the first of what Mod Mobilian Press aims to be an annual release, something to bond experienced writers with neophytes and show us the talent that resides in the Mobile Bay area.