Welcome to Eclectic – formerly Pack Mule for the New School – is a blog written by Foster Dickson, a writer, editor, and teacher who lives in Montgomery, Alabama. The blog has taken on a wide variety of subjects during its eight years, since 2010, but its subjects are mainly the culture of the Deep South, the arts & humanities, education, and issues of progress and social justice (particularly voting rights, racial justice, food equity, and access to information). You can follow the blog here, or you can keep up with new posts on Welcome to Eclectic by liking Foster Dickson’s author page on Facebook, by following him on Twitter, or by connecting with him on LinkedIn. He is also on Instagram.

Foster Dickson’s work has centered mainly on subjects related to the American South, the arts & humanities, education, and social justice. His book, Closed Ranks: The Whitehurst Case in Post-Civil Rights Montgomery, about a police-shooting controversy in Montgomery, Alabama in the mid-1970s, is forthcoming from NewSouth Books in October 2018.

His most recent book, Children of the Changing South, was published by McFarland & Co. in 2011. This edited collection (with Foster’s introduction) contains memoirs by eighteen writers and historians who grew up in the South during and after the Civil Rights movement. The Alabama Writers Forum’s review of the book stated, “Besides being a great read, this collection provides a valuable new perspective on Southern history.”

Foster’s other published books are biographical works on two often-neglected Southerners, The Life and Poetry of John Beecher (Edwin Mellen Press, 2009) and I Just Make People Up: Ramblings with Clark Walker (NewSouth Books, 2009), and a book of poetry, Kindling Not Yet Split (Court Street Press, 2002). He also acted as general editor for the place-focused curriculum guide Treasuring Alabama’s Black Belt (AHF/AUM, 2009).

You can read more about Foster’s work in education and the arts, or you can click on these links for a press kit or an image gallery.

Outside of writing and teaching, Foster’s other interests are Auburn football, his Catholic faith, cooking and eating, craft beers, gardening, urban homesteading; classic country, rock, and soul music; classic and independent films, family history, social theory and politics.

Foster Dickson is available for freelance assignments and contract work in both writing and editing, and for speaking engagements or guest artist presentations related to Southern culture, education, and social-justice subjects.

For more information, you can contact him using the form below:

*The Foster Dickson who writes this blog is not the same person as the Foster Dickson who works in a global youth ministry. 

4 replies »

  1. I ran across your blog while doing an internet search for David Madison Dickson, my 3rd great grandfather. What I found was your post about David Madison Dickson Jr., the password protected post (which I would love to read). I am descended from David Jr.’s brother, Jesse Hamilton Dickson. So, it looks as if you and I are distantly related. I look forward to further perusing your blog posts.


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