A Deep Southern, Diversified & Re-Imagined Recap of 2021

writers selfie Foster Dickson 20212021 was one of the worst and best years of my adult life. Worst— because of the pandemic. The 2020 – 2021 school year was a wild ride (and not in a good way). Sometimes weeks-long quarantines affected my mental health, and I was totally dismayed at how athletics got to proceed while other aspects of life, like the arts, had to shut down. But best— for an array of reasons. Despite the challenges of virtual learning, my students and I published Sketches of Newtown in the spring.  And despite being frazzled, I continued to work on projects (Nobody’s Homelevel:deepsouth, the Fitzgerald Museum’s Literary Contest, and the Montgomery Catholic history book) that I care about very much. Perhaps most importantly, everyone in my family followed public health recommendations, got vaccinated as soon as we were eligible, and made it through two peaks of the pandemic without serious illness. Below is a recap of what I’ve been up to this year:


Presenting at the Monroeville Literary Festival, March 4 – 6 (February)

One whole year of level:deepsouth— for Generation X (March)

Congratulations to the Winners of the Fitzgerald Museum Literary Contest: “Education of a Personage” (March)

Six Months into Nobody’s Home (March)

Summer Reading: Closed Ranks (April)

The Fourth (and Final) Reading Period for Nobody’s Home (May)

new page: Photography Little River boathouse Desoto Park

On Instagram: Life and Education (June)

“tidbits, fragments, and ephemera” on level:deepsouth (July)

The Fitzgerald Museum’s Literary Contest and Zelda Award (August) 

Year 19 in the Classroom (August)

From Judas Priest to the Dalai Lama (October) 

A Quick Tribute to Hy Pyke, Gone Fifteen Years Now (October)

Children of the Changing South Turns Ten! (November)

Thank you, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts! (December)


Still Life with Oysters and Lemon by Mark Doty

and published in “Groundwork,” the editor’s blog for Nobody’s Home:

Myth, Media, and the Southern Mind (1986) by Stephen A. Smith 

The Two-Party South (1984) by Alexander P. Lamis 

Myth and Southern History, Volume 2: The New South (anthology, 1988) edited by Patrick Gerster and Nicholas Cords

South to a New Place (anthology, 2000) edited by Suzanne W. Jones and Sharon Monteith 

The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (2006) by Matthew Lassiter

Outside the Southern Myth (1997) by Noel Polk

The South Never Plays Itself (2020) by Ben Beard

Heritage and Hate (2021) by Stephen M. Monroe

A Movement of the People (2017) by Katie Lamar Jackson


I am Pauli Murray (2021)

Sustenance (2020)

Rooted in Peace (2016)

The Great Watchlist Purge of 2021

The Great Watchlist Purge of 2021: A Springtime Progress Report

The Great Watchlist Purge of 2021: A Mid-Summer Progress Report

The Great Watchlist Purge of 2021: As Done as Done is Gonna Get

and published in the editor’s blog for level:deepsouth :

Penelope Spheeris’ Suburbia (1983)

Southern Movies

The Blood of Jesus (1941)

A Black History Month Sampler

Trapper County War (1989)

Six Pack (1982)

The 2021 Spooky, Scary Southern Sampler

Poor Pretty Eddie (1975)


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