James Seay’s poems and essays have been published in Antaeus, Esquire, Harper’s, the Nation, and other publications. He cowrote the film In the Blood with director George Butler. His most recent appearance in the Oxford American was his essay “One Corner of Yoknapatawpha” in Fall 2014.
The greeting on the face of the valentine, You Dumb Bell, says more about my mother than about the recipient—my father, the putative “dumb bell.” The valentine is in the shape of a dumbbell, the weight used for exercise and made popular during the time my mother gave the valentine to my father, the early 1930s.
James Seay explores the geography of Panola County, Mississppi, where his grandfather would often go hunting—a land known as the Tallahachie River bottomlands. Seay realizes in writing about this land that his family had hunted in the same lands where Faulkner mined "scenes and features" for his famed Yoknapatawpha.