I’ve been known to slow dance words over graves of buried prayers, drink words undiluted under the shadow of my grandfather’s whiskey bottles, lift words from where they’ve spilled around my father’s brogans. I write from the seeding syllables of my gardens, from the crumbling graves of my ancestors, from sorrow sleeping in my grandmother’s tattered Bible. I dig for stories in the soil of the southern landscape, under longleaf pines, ancient oaks dripping with Spanish moss, and in the fields of callused farmers. When the mood hits me, I extract poetry from the juice of freshly picked blackberries and haul memories from the soles of my bare feet. With the barbed-wire nouns and plural verbs of my mistakes, with the cast iron consonants and sweet, silent vowels of my mother’s kitchen, I write. But in the end, the most important thing is that I give these stories life.
Brenda Sutton Rose
Author of Dogwood Blues
Brenda’s poetry, essays, and short stories have appeared in Flycatcher Magazine, Mobius: Journal of Social Change, Montucky Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Ginosko Literary Magazine, and numerous other online and print journals. She is the author of Dogwood Blues, a novel that earned her a reputation as a writer of southern fiction with a gift for writing about the changing South and small town life. Brenda was nominated for a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2015 and for a Pushcart Prize in Fiction in 2018. She is currently working on her second novel.
Brenda leads writing workshops and speaks at book clubs and related events. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading! Numerous book clubs in the South invited me to their homes to speak about Dogwood Blues. I was touched by their kindness, interest in my book, insight into the themes and motifs, and the process of my writing.
I’ll leave you with a few comments I’ve received about Dogwood Blues.
“You writing is poetic, so much so that I feel that I’m reading both a novel and a poem at the same time. It’s beautiful. Please write another novel soon.”
“I loved to hate Nell. She’s my favorite bitch ever.”
“The theme of miracles in Dogwood Blues touched me. I noticed that Jasmine hopes for a miracle. Jake doesn’t believe in miracles. And Kevin catches a miracle. In the end I think they all receive miracles. Not miracles related to religion. Miracles of living.”
“I like the way you used Letter to the Editor of the newspaper to represent the issues of the community.”
“Thank you for addressing the issue of homophobia and racism. You made me think about my own life and how I treat others. We can all do better.”
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