A new episode of Points South is now playing!Subscribe today and never miss an episode. Episode Three features Arkansas’s “cemetery angel,” Ruth Coker Burks, John Jeremiah Sullivan’s “Three Encounters” + a performance by Los Texmaniacs. For more information visit oxfordamerican.org/pointssouth. | Oct, 2019
Sarah Viren is author of the essay collection Mine, which won the River Teeth Book Prize. Originally from Florida by way of Texas, she now lives in Arizona with her wife and two daughters and teaches at Arizona State University.Clinton Crockett Peters is the author of Pandora’s Garden: Kudzu, Cockroaches, and Other Misfits of Ecology from the University of Georgia Press. He has been awarded literary prizes from Shenandoah, North American Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Columbia Journal. He is Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Berry College.
A dialogue between Sarah Viren and Clinton Crockett Peters
I’ve always been drawn to the misfits because they’re not beautiful, because they’re stinky, because people kind of hate them and dislike them. Essays seem perfect for this subject matter because they are so amorphous, and there’s a long essay tradition of cataloging the weird, going back to Montaigne and cannibals and Sei Shōnagon and “Hateful Things.”