Another slow one here.
* You might check out Leslie Peacock’s Eye Candy, where she’s posted video on a public art project painted on the old suspension bridge foundation deep in Allsopp Park. Or is it graffiti? Let the debate begin.
* Also on the arts scene: A National Book award-nominated volume by Arkansas-born poet C.D. Wright, a MacArthur genius grant winner a few years back, is the subject of a feature review in the latest New Yorker. An abstract is available here. “One With Others” is a book-length poem about the 1969 March Against Fear by Sweet Willie Wine and other black men from West Memphis to Little Rock. The marchers included one outsider, a white woman, Margaret McHugh, from a small town. Wright calls her V.
The book is foremost an elegy for McHugh, whom Wright, in interviews, has described as “a giant of my imagination, an autodidact, deeply literary, an outraged citizen, a killingly funny, irresistible human.” Anyone writing about this subject quickly runs into some representational problems. The era has been so memorably captured in documentaries that, even when you imagine it, you end up drifting into documentary conventions. It turns out that the literary genre least likely to get in the way of this story is poetry, which, despite its reputation for gilt and taffeta, comfortably veers close to “documentary” conventions.
Footnote: Jackson Baker, a former Arkansas Gazette reporter, caught up with Sweet Willie Wine — originally Lance Watson, but now known as Dr. Yahweh, in Memphis earlier this fall.
* ALSO”: A letter to the editor of the Jackson Clarion Ledger today from a man who describes himself as a childhood best friend of Haley Barbour puts the total lie to Barbour’s ludicrous statements about the benevolence of the White Citizen’s Council. His description of the impact of bigotry on health care for blacks in Yazoo City is still chilling. What’s that, Haley? Somebody has torn you a new orifice?