A Little Round-Up

by Mike Saye  ·  September 19, 2012

Original reel-to-reel of the Martin Luther King Jr. interview with Robert Penn Warren. / Mona Frederick — from The Tennessean website

Archivists at Vanderbilt,  Robert Penn Warren’s alma mater, have gathered a collection of interviews Warren conducted with prominent civil rights leaders, most notably Martin Luther King Jr., and made them available to the public. Here’s how the folks atThe Tennessean describe the collection:





Warren, a Vanderbilt graduate once known for his strident defense of the Southern way of life in a collection of essays called “I’ll Take My Stand,” reconsidered that position and embraced the change the civil rights movement wrought.

In 1964, he traveled the United States posing the same questions to many of its leaders, known and unknown: King, Septima Clark, Robert Moses, the Rev. James M. Lawson, Ruth Turner, Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X. Also recorded were conversations with some of the writers who defined the changes the country was going through in literature, among them James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison.

For another type of discussion about breaking new ground, go over to Bookslut and check out Greer Mansfield’s excellent article on the Modernist Journals Project, which is a joint effort of Brown University and The University of Tulsa to digitize Modernist-era periodicals from 1890  to 1922 and make them available to the public. This collection includes all those “little magazines” you hear about in introductions to Eliot, Pound, and Joyce.

Writing is a nail-biting vocation – I’m doing it right now just thinking about thinking about it. We’re talking about traipsing through jungles of imagination and memory, negotiating sand-traps of nostalgia and sentimentality, forgoing the money-making jobs and the companionship of friends to drag verbal artifacts out of the unconscious – that’s just the rough draft! – and most of us don’t get read unless we pay for it or beg the indulgence of friends. And what, you ask, did we do to deserve this thankless toil? I think I know.


Mike Saye is a Georgia native. This is his first year studying poetry at Georgia State University’s MFA program, and he is delighted to be there.