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"No good Southern fiction is complete without a dead mule." --Valerie MacEwan, 1996

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  • 04/07/16--12:16: Mickey Hunt: Just Cold
  • SLS: Even if I hadn’t lived in Kentucky and western North Carolina for the past 39 years and had my six children all born here, I’d still be Southern. The following story happened on my grandparent’s place in Washington State when I was young. One day Grandma marched down from the garden with a possum by the tail. She set the inert beast on the ground and said it was dead, that she had clubbed it while it dined at the compost pile. This sort of thing was not unusual with Grandma. I tapped it with my toe and its lips curled back. I said it wasn’t dead, only pretending. It was dead, she insisted. I told her I’d prove it was alive, that I was going to dispatch, cook, and eat it. She expressed lively revulsion. My grandfather Tim had by then come out on the porch and was watching the argument. Tim had Parkinson’s and hadn’t spoken a coherent sentence in weeks, but then he said out of a clear blue sky, “Why, possum is a great Southern delicacy, my dear.” I’ll spare the interesting details except to say, the possum proved me right.

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    I just returned from a week with sons in North Carolina. with vivid memories of a southern poet never met in the flesh, but fully remembered on the occasion, John Bush, and how my SLS began with a Press 53 release of a book of mine, and long before that, when I trained with the 278th Infantry Regiment from Elizabethton, Tennessee at Ft. Devens in MA before deployment to Korea. So, for this submission I have chosen a poem, "Now, from a Carolina Peak, a Small Red Star," to be considered. On top of 24 books published I have work in Rosebud, KYSO Flash, Copperfield Review, The Linnet's Wings, Literary Orphans, Danse Macabre, Literally Stories, Provo Canyon Review, 3AM Magazine, MGVersion2datura, Eastlit, Rope and Wire Magazine, The Literary Yard, East of the Web, Green Silk Journal, Western Online, Indiana Voices Journal, The Path, Faith-Hope-Fiction, HSS MSS, Plum Tree Tavern, Scriptor Press, Serving House Journal, Subtle Tea, Wilderness House Literary Review, Abbreviate Journal, Million Stories, etc., and have nominations for 28 Pushcart Prizes and one National Book Award nomination.

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  • 04/07/15--15:23: Christopher Rowe: High Water
  •   “That was a nice cast, boy, your daddy’s been teaching you something right down there in Florida.” “Now, don’t start in again, Hiram. The child wasn’t the one decided to pick up and move off. We’re blessed to have him visit for the summer.” “I ain’t saying anything different, Martha, I was just commenting […]

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement: Becky Lee Meadows, and yes, that middle name is "Lee," is a southern country girl all the way through. She grew up in northern Kentucky on a farm, surrounded by cows, dogs, cats, and all manner of four-legged creatures, and she loves animals to this day. She is excellent at code-switching, so she easily blends her Ph.D. in Humanities and career as a professor with eating cornbread and taters. She is not new to the Mule, having had a previous flash fiction piece, "Three Seconds," published in June 2014.

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement: I grew up on my grandmother and grandfather’s farm, where we ate fried potatoes, green beans (cooked for an entire day or more on the stove in a pot), and cornbread. Fried chicken was a treat we enjoyed, and it was really fried—not the carbon-copy fried chicken found frozen in stores today. We ate tomatoes from the garden (straight from the garden). My southern heritage isn’t limited to food, though—I have the most marvelous southern accent that I have refused to relinquish for academia. I’m proud of my heritage!

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement: I have passed a lot of time living in New Orleans and traveling from there to Des Plaines, Illinois and back to NOLA. I take comfort in living by a river. I know what “lagniappe” means, and I plan on being buried above ground.

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  • 04/07/15--15:23: Christopher Rowe: High Water
  • “That was a nice cast, boy, your daddy’s been teaching you something right down there in Florida.” “Now, don’t start in again, Hiram. The child wasn’t the one decided to pick up and move off. We’re blessed to have him visit for the summer.” “I ain’t saying anything different, Martha, I was just commenting on … Continue reading "Christopher Rowe: High Water"

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    Southern Legacy Statement – Half Mexican, Half Redneck. I use that to describe my heritage. Upon hearing that: my mother's family gets upset and offended, my father's side laughs and hollers. I'll let you decide which is half is which half. From ages three to eighteen, one year of my life was spent in Southern California, the next in North Georgia. The odd-numbered years were in smoggy cities, people giving me odd looks for ordering sugar in my tea, and mocking me when I say “ya'll.” I was fired from my first California job because customers insisted I insulted them by saying “sir” and “ma'am.” When I got older: I chose fresh air in the woods, people that became your new best friend when you share the counter at Waffle House, and smiles when I reply to statements with “sho'nuff.” Now, I'm the boss and all my employees know full well to treat all customers with respect and address them with “sir” and “ma'am.”

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    Here by special request, back from The Dead, April 2005: Southern Legitimacy Statement: I'm for sure Southern cause I chill out on Budweiser while propped up in front of the boob tube watching NASCAR racing. I wrote a novel about murder in the world of Nextel Cup racing. The title is WHITE LIGHTNING. If that don't make me Southern, nothing will...Read more

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement: My work has appeared before in DMSL and I have vacationed and read in NC, and worked in Bristol, Tennessee. Read more

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  • 08/31/16--18:10: Mule Day by Alex Miller
  • Southern Legitimacy Statement: Alex Miller is convinced that everywhere is south of somewhere.Read more

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    My Southern Legitimacy Statement seems kinda’ obvious being as I am the publisher of the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. That said, I revel in the South. Love my neighbors as myself and sit on the porch with them. I am convinced that the smell of blooming magnolias must be the scent of heaven andRead more

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement — Named by a daddy who aspired to Southern gentility, Virginia Lee lived up to her name and earned a degree in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Born and raised in the Piedmont of North Carolina, Lee has spent less than two years living above the Mason-Dixon Line. With rootsRead more

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement: Wayne Scheer, a Yankee by birth and a lover of thin crust pizza, has lived in the South long enough to crumble bacon into his grits and to think of Moon Pie as a food group. *** Summertime Ain’t No Time to Sing About My friend is so Southern, even in the hottest

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement:  I grew up in a small Georgia town and spent my childhood summers in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Since then I have lived in many countries, finding a way to make a home in all of those places. But no place in this world speaks to me and my soul’s contradictions like the South. I

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  • 10/14/16--10:35: Willie Smith: One Handful
  • Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born in Greenbelt, Maryland and left that Yankee-leaning state at age 3 to spend the next 15 of my formative years in Fairfax County, Virginia. In public school I studied Virginia History in the 4th, 7th and 9th Grades. I turned 12 in 1961 and had to fight hard not to

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    Southern Legitimacy Statement: I reckon my statement should include things I take for granted even as I attempt to ignore all the stereotypical attributes. I grew up in a three room shotgun shack that leaned to the left upon rotted floor joists. I worked on a farm picking cucumbers, hoeing and picking cotton by hand,

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  • 10/31/16--18:18: Joe Halstead: Hoppy
  • SOUTHERN LEGITIMACY STATEMENT: It’s kind of wild where I grew up. I had my own gun at six years old. Ran down rabbits with my dad and helped beat their heads against the bumper of the truck, because they weren’t dead enough, and then threw them into a pile in the bed. I drove hay

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  • 10/31/16--22:41: LaVonne Roberts: Coming Home
  • As a girl whose more Texan out of Texas than in, I’m known as Gotham City Cowgirl in parts out East and as the girl with the Texas is larger than France t-shirt in France Mostly, I’m known for takin’ my roots wherever I go and a stand by your girlfriend whoop ass tude. Thank

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  • 11/01/16--00:19: Rob Bockman: Costume Party
  • Southern Legitimacy Statement: A resident of South Carolina and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rob Bockman writes fiction drawing from his experiences traveling across the Southeast, mostly through the lens of folklore and myth. The Carolinas have shaped his worldview–that strange mix of tradition and madness–and he hopes he proves

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