Vinegar and Char
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Vinegar and Char

Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance

Foreword by John T. Edge and W. Ralph Eubanks

Edited by Sandra Beasley

Illustrated by Julie Sola

Title Details

Pages: 128

Illustrations: 18 b&w linoleum prints

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 10/01/2018

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5429-3

List Price: $20.95


Pub Date: 10/01/2018

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5430-9

List Price: $20.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published in association with Southern Foodways Alliance

Published with the generous support of Bradley Hale Fund for Southern Studies

Vinegar and Char

Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance

Foreword by John T. Edge and W. Ralph Eubanks

Edited by Sandra Beasley

Illustrated by Julie Sola

A rich collection of poetry grown and harvested from foodways studies

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

Yes, there is barbecue, but that’s just one course of the meal. With Vinegar and Char the Southern Foodways Alliance celebrates twenty years of symposia by offering a collection of poems that are by turns as sophisticated and complex, as vivid and funny, and as buoyant and poignant as any SFA gathering.

The roster of contributors includes Natasha Trethewey, Robert Morgan, Atsuro Riley, Adrienne Su, Richard Blanco, Ed Madden, Nikky Finney, Frank X Walker, Sheryl St. Germain, Molly McCully Brown, and forty-five more. These poets represent past, current, and future conversations about what it means to be southern. Throughout the anthology, region is layered with race, class, sexuality, and other shaping identities.

With an introduction by Sandra Beasley, a thought-provoking foreword by W. Ralph Eubanks, and luminous original artwork by Julie Sola, this collection is an ideal gift. Meant to be savored slowly or devoured at once, these pages are a perfect way to spend the hour before supper, with a glass of iced tea—or the hour after, with a pour of bourbon—and a fitting celebration of the SFA’s focus and community.

Some say opposable thumbs are what make humans people; some say it’s the use of tools; some say it’s that we cook our food; and some say that it’s the fact that we use words. I don’t know much about evolutionary biology and thumbs, but I can tell you that this collection of words about food is also a collection of tools—of useful things for making meaning of our lives and the world and the places we call home. It’s full of what people need.

—Francis Lam, host of The Splendid Table, produced by American Public Media, former Eat columnist for the New York Times Magazine, and editor-at-large at Clarkson Potter

Vinegar and Char is full of inspiring southern verse that envelops both the nostalgia and the evolution of our food landscape with reverence and candor. Take editor Sandra Beasley's heed to heart: 'Please don't keep this book on a high shelf waiting for the day you can read it in full. Instead stash it in your kitchen.' I plan to do just this, for moments of inspiration near the stove or by the chopping board. It is a wonderfully diverse collection of well-considered words shooting straight from the hearts and minds of some of the most talented poets and writers of our time.

—Steven Satterfield, owner Miller Union restaurant

Kevin Young

Natasha Trethewey

Frank X Walker

Rebecca Gayle Howell

Shorlette Ammons

Michael McFee

Jake Adam York

Elisa Albo

Elizabeth Alexander

Richard Blanco

Devon Brenner

Gaylord Brewer

Jericho Brown

Molly McCully Brown

Nickole Brown

Greg Alan Brownderville

Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Wo Chan

Melissa Dickson Jackson

Kelly Norman Ellis

Beth Fennelly

Nikky Finney

Vievee Francis

Diane Gilliam

Nikki Giovanni

Elton Glaser

Sean Hill

Jay Hopler

TJ Jarrett

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Ashley M. Jones

Georgia Ella Lyon

Ed Madden

Jo McDougall

Rose McLarney

Erika Meitner

Robert Morgan

Naomi Shihab Nye

Jon Pineda

Iain Haley Pollock

Lynn Powell

Artsuro Riley

Iliana Rocha

Natalie Scenters-Zepico

Brian Spears

Sheryl St. Germain

Garland Strother

Adrienne Su

Sarah Anne Loudin Thomas

Jon Tribble

Adam Vines

Caroline Randall Williams

L. Lamar Wilson

Sylvia Woods

Marianne Worthington

About the Author/Editor

SANDRA BEASLEY is the author of Count the Waves and Theories of Falling. She is also the author of Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of food allergy. She lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches as part of the University of Tampa’s low-residency MFA program.