Poetry South is an international journal of poetry published annually by Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. It is edited by Kendall Dunkelberg and students in the low-residency MFA program. The views expressed herein are those of the writers, not the editors or Mississippi University for Women. Poetry South considers submissions year round. Submissions received after the deadline of July 15 will be considered for the following year. No previously published material will be accepted. Poetry South is not responsible for unsolicited submissions and their loss.

In 2016, Poetry South’s former editor, John Zheng, asked The W to take over the magazine, starting with Issue 8. John continues to edit Valley Voices and the Journal of Ethnic American Literature and remains on the masthead as Contributing & Advisory Editor along with Angela Ball, Carolyn Elkins, and Ted Haddin.

Subscription rates are $10 for one year, $18 for two years; additional postage is charged for international subscriptions. All rights revert to the authors after publication. We request Poetry South be credited with initial publication. Submissions and subscriptions may be made through Submittable.

Queries and subscriptions sent by mail should be addressed to:

The Editor
Poetry South
MFA Creative Writing
1100 College St.
Columbus MS 39701

ISSN 1947-4075 (Print)
ISSN 2476-0749 (Online)

In summer 2020, following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery that sparked national protests, along with the killing by police of Ricky Ball in our hometown of Columbus, Mississippi, and most recently the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, we were left wondering what we could do. Though a conviction was made for the murder of George Floyd, other killings by police, as well as mass shootings leave us with the same concerns.

On a personal level, we can speak out, we can protest, we can resolve to stand with Black Lives Matter and others to support a national reckoning on race. As a poetry magazine, we can renew our efforts to listen to the voices of writers of color and include them within our pages as much as possible. Poetry South has always had an inclusive vision of the South and has sought to represent all of its people.

And yet, we have were also looking for a more immediate and direct way to show support, which is why we decided to post 8 poems from our last two issues, one each morning at 8:46 a.m. Central Time, beginning on June 17, 2020 with Frederick-Douglass Knowles II’s powerful “His Last Name Mine.”

That week, in our little town, the county Supervisors voted against removing the Confederate War monument from the courthouse lawn. Though the vote was no surprise, while defending it, the board president made disgustingly racist remarks that do not bear repeating, (though they can be found in context here). His rationale for keeping the statue at the courthouse was that history should not be forgotten, yet history is constantly being forgotten and overwritten by these revisionist monuments. We choose to remember the history embodied in these poems.

Update: The county Supervisors would eventually reverse their decision and vote to move the monument to a local cemetery. The supervisor who made racist remarks has never retracted them and remains on the board.