A performance with singer Iris Dement. Her song 'Let the Mystery Be' was used as a theme for the HBO series of 'The Leftovers.' She was born in Arkansas and her music is inspired by the sound of the delta, and the Pentecostal church.
In Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Ward recalls the deaths of five young men in her life, which she believes were all connected to being poor and black in the rural South. "It made me feel that I wasn't promised some long life. ...That's not a given for me."
The Scummers is the last installment in Maynard's Crum trilogy. Maynard based Crum, his 1988 semi-autobiographical novel, on his small, poor West Virginia hometown. The people of Crum who know the book tend to love it or hate it. Maynard spoke with Terry Gross in 2003.
This week, the Library of Congress announced that Natasha Trethewey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Native Guard, will be the next poet laureate of the United States. Trethewey, a native of Mississippi, is the first Southern poet laureate since 1986.
Portions of this interview were originally broadcast on July 16, 2007, Jan. 20, 2009 and Aug. 18, 2010.
Tuesday marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War. Historian Adam Goodheart explains how national leaders and ordinary citizens across the country responded to the chaos and uncertainty in 1861: The Civil War Awakening.