An Editor Must Have a Purpose (editorial)

Joel Chandler Harris (1848–1908), born near Eatonton, held editorial positions at newspapers in Forsyth and Savannah, and ultimately with the Atlanta Constitution from 1876 to 1900. Over the course of his long career he produced six novels, a biography, a history of Georgia, a translation of French folktales, six volumes of children’s stories, and seven volumes of short stories for adults. Except for a few months in New Orleans, Harris’ entire life was spent in his native state, from which flowed his novels of plantation life and Reconstruction, as well as his history of the state and a biography of Constitution editor and Georgia Writers Hall of Fame honoree Henry W. Grady. In 1905 Harris was named a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters along with Mark Twain, Henry James, and Henry Adams. He died in 1908 in Atlanta. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)

From The Marshes of Glynn (poem) & Letters to Mr. and Mrs. Gibson Peacock & Mr. Paul Hamilton Hayne

Sidney Lanier (1842–1881) was the first native Georgian poet to achieve national prominence. A Maconite like John Oliver Killens, Lanier graduated from Oglethorpe University, which was then located near Milledgeville, in 1860. He volunteered for service at the onset of the Civil War, serving in the Confederate signal corps and as a pilot aboard English blockade runners. In 1864 he was captured and held as a prisoner of war for four months in Maryland, during which time he contracted tuberculosis, the disease that would cause his death in 1881. Though known primarily as a poet, Lanier’s first major publication was Tiger-Lilies (1867), his only novel. Lippincott published his Poems in 1877; two other collections, edited by his wife Mary Day Lanier, came out posthumously from Scribner’s in 1884 and 1891. Sidney Lanier’s best-remembered poems are set among the landscapes of Georgia and evoke the rhythms of the natural world. These include “Corn,” “The Song of the Chattahoochee,” “Sunrise,” and the frequently anthologized “The Marshes of Glynn.” He also wrote three volumes of literary criticism and two other nonfiction books: Florida: Its Scenery, Climate and History (1875) and Retrospects and Prospects (1899). The latter includes the essay “Sketches of India,” which Lanier wrote despite the fact that he never set foot in that country. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)

From An Address to the Whites. Delivered in the First Presbyterian Church [of Philadelphia] on the 26th of May, 1826.

Elias Boudinot (ca. 1804–1839) was born in the Cherokee Nation, near present-day Chatsworth, Georgia. His given name was Gallegina Watie, or the Buck. He began his formal education at a Moravian school in Spring Place, Georgia, then in 1817 was invited to attend the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions School in Cornwall, Connecticut. On his journey there, Gallegina was introduced to Elias Boudinot, president of the American Bible Society, and adopted his name. By 1828 Boudinot had returned to Georgia, and in that year became the founding editor of the bilingual newspaper the Cherokee Phoenix, a position he held until 1832. He also published Cherokee translations of some two dozen religious texts, including Cherokee Hymns, Compiled from Several Authors and Revised, the first book printed using the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah. Boudinot supported the voluntary removal of the Cherokees to lands west of the Mississippi, a controversial position at odds with the majority of the tribe. After moving west in 1839, he was killed by fellow Cherokees opposed to his views on removal and other tribal matters. (Inducted in 2003)

From the Archives: Holding Value

Doug Carlson joined the Review staff in January 2007 and works primarily in manuscript evaluation and nonfiction editing. Carlson’s essays on natural and cultural history have appeared frequently in magazines and journals as well as in several anthologies, including A Place Apart (W. W. Norton) and The Sacred Place (University of Utah Press). His work has been collected in two books: At the Edge (White Pine Press) and When We Say We’re Home (University of Utah Press). His most recent book, Roger Tory Peterson: A Biography, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2007. Before coming to the Review, Carlson was visiting writer-in-residence at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He is a former chair of the UGA Press Faculty Editorial Board and has served in editorial or advisory capacities for Ascent magazine, White Pine Press, and New Rivers Press.

The Georgia Writers Hall of Fame

Exploring the Writers in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame

Stephen Corey joined the staff of The Georgia Review in 1983 as assistant editor and subsequently served as associate editor, acting editor, and, from 2008 to his retirement in 2019, editor. His most recent book is Startled at the Big Sound: Essays Personal, Literary, and Cultural (Mercer University Press, 2017); he has also published nine collections of poems, among them There Is No Finished World (White Pine Press) and Synchronized Swimming (Livingston Press); his individual poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in dozens of periodicals; and he has coedited three books in as many genres, including (with Warren Slesinger) Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry (The Bench Press). In the spring of 2022, White Pine Press will bring out his As My Age Then Was, So I Understood Them: New and Selected Poems.

From Georgia Scenes, Characters, Incidents, &c. in the First Half Century of the Republic (“Author’s Preface” & “The Horse Swap”)

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet (1790–1870) published Georgia’s first important literary work, Georgia Scenes, Characters, Incidents, &c. in the First Half Century of the Republic (1835), a groundbreaking collection which drew the contemporary praise of Edgar Allan Poe for its penetrating understanding of southern character. The book was immensely popular, appearing in eleven separate editions between its publication and 1897. Despite this success, the writing of fiction was only a sideline for Longstreet, who held positions of prominence as a lawyer, judge, state senator, minister, newspaper editor, and college president. After serving in this last role at Emory College, Centenary College, the University of Mississippi, and South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina), he moved to Oxford, Mississippi in 1861. According to Longstreet scholar David Rachels, in December 1862 Federal troops reached Oxford and, using all of Longstreet’s papers as kindling, burned his house. Born in Augusta, Longstreet died eighty years later in Oxford. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)

All Possible Worlds (on Josie Sigler’s Living Must Bury; Harmony Holiday’s Negro League Baseball; David Clewell’s Taken Somehow by Surprise; Kathleen Graber’s The Eternal City; and Maxine Scates’s Undone)

Kevin Clark’s several books of poems include the forthcoming The Consecrations (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2021). His first collection, In the Evening of No Warning (New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2002), earned a grant from the Academy of American Poets, and his second, Self-Portrait with Expletives (2010), won the Pleiades Press prize. His poetry appears in the Southern Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, and Crazyhorse. A regular critic for The Georgia Review, he’s also published essays in the Southern Review, Papers on Language and Literature, and Contemporary Literary Criticism. He teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop. 

It’s All in the Details (on Charles Baxter’s Gryphon: New and Selected Stories; Ann Packer’s Swim Back to Me; Ernest J. Finney’s Sequoia Gardens: California Stories; Phillip Sterling’s In Which Brief Stories Are Told; & Amina Gautier’s At-Risk)

Greg Johnson, whose reviews have appeared regularly in our pages across many years, has published two novels, five collections of short stories, and several volumes of nonfiction. He lives in Atlanta and teaches in the graduate writing program at Kennesaw State University.