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Stories From Where We Live: The Gulf Coast edited by Sara St. Antoine

Stories From Where We Live: The Gulf Coast edited by Sara St. Antoine

  • 1995

Not a Convivio book at all, but this anthology from Milkweed Editions includes an essay by Convivio Bookworks' own John Cutrone. The book is the fourth in Milkweed's Stories From Where We Live series, and features stories, essays and poetry about the huge semicircle of land that stretches from East Texas to the Florida Keys. John's essay, titled "The Lure of the Swamp," is about Corkscrew Swamp at the northern edge of the Everglades in Florida's Collier County.

The book, geared towards children but not necessarily just for them, features several new voices alongside well-known writers who have lived on or chronicled the Gulf Coast, including Zora Neale Hurston, Barry Hannah, John James Audubon, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Hardcover trade edition with dust jacket, 252 pages, 2002.

This was the first time John's work had been published in a book outside the realm of handmade limited editions. We should probably mention that this book is not letterpress printed, nor is it bound by hand. It's just a good, solid book, filled with good, solid writing, nicely illustrated and well printed on nice paper. It pleases us immensely.

When I was in ninth grade, I wrote a term paper on the Florida Everglades. It was my first real research paper. I learned to use the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and came up with an article on the Glades from a National Geographic published in the 1950's. It was an expansive article, expansive like the watery land it spoke of, dripping with the greens, blues, and yellows of another time. For weeks I kept returning to the library just to look at that article. it was the lurking wildness that I loved about my home state, all that swampiness waiting beneath the concrete. It sparked my curiosity. And when I asked my folks to take me to the Glades, they took me to the boardwalks of Corkscrew Swamp. For a coastal boy accustomed only to sand and pelicans, it was an adventure into the unknown...

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