Folks who write about the South, think about its history and culture, and bristle at negative assumptions about the region from those who really don’t know diddly about it, will likely enjoy a new online magazine called The Bitter Southerner. This isn’t the fluff you’ll find in Southern Living or Our State, though certainly there’s a considerable readership for nostalgia illustrated with Bob Timberlake paintings and photographs of iced tea in mason jars.
No, this is a weekly online magazine that offers thoughtful, erudite articles that consider the South in its complexity. It also does what I’ve sought to do with some of my posts on Pop South, which is to enlighten the ill-informed by showcasing a region that is far more nuanced than it is often presented in popular culture.
The Bitter Southerner comes to us from Atlanta and to date has begun a series on original southern cocktails (The B.S. Cocktail Series) and published an essay by Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers. This week the magazine hands over the reins to Ray Glier who has recently published a book on the SEC‘s dominance in college football.
Chuck Reece, the editor-in-chief, talked about the magazine in a recent radio interview and of how quickly word has spread about “The BS.” Apparently, dozens of people from across the country (many of them ex-pat southerners) have “come out of the woodwork” offering to write essays, and for good reason. The Bitter Southerner is a smart magazine that appeals to the readers’ intelligence. So far, it recognizes that stereotypes, positive or negative, are not necessary in order to have a conversation about the South. That being said, it will be interesting to watch the direction the magazine takes in the coming weeks and to see how well it covers the region’s diversity.
New essays are published every Tuesday. I recommend you give it a try. And, if Chuck Reece is reading this, I’m available.