Vinegar and Char
Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance

Edited by Sandra Beasley
Welcome by John T Edge
Foreword by W. Ralph Eubanks
Illustrations by Julie Sola

A rich collection of poetry grown and harvested from foodways studies


“Some say opposable thumbs are what make humans people; some say it’s the use of tools; some say it’s that we cook our food; and some say that it’s the fact that we use words. I don’t know much about evolutionary biology and thumbs, but I can tell you that this collection of words about food is also a collection of tools—of useful things for making meaning of our lives and the world and the places we call home. It’s full of what people need.”
—Francis Lam, host of The Splendid Table, produced by American Public Media, former Eat columnist for the New York Times Magazine, and editor-at-large at Clarkson Potter.


Yes, there is barbecue, but that’s just one course of the meal. With Vinegar and Char the Southern Foodways Alliance celebrates twenty years of symposia by offering a collection of poems that are by turns as sophisticated and complex, as vivid and funny, and as buoyant and poignant as any SFA gathering.

The roster of contributors includes Natasha Trethewey, Robert Morgan, Atsuro Riley, Adrienne Su, Richard Blanco, Ed Madden, Nikky Finney, Frank X Walker, Sheryl St. Germain, Molly McCully Brown, and forty-five more. These poets represent past, current, and future conversations about what it means to be southern. Throughout the anthology, region is layered with race, class, sexuality, and other shaping identities.

With an introduction by Sandra Beasley, a thought-provoking foreword by W. Ralph Eubanks, and luminous original artwork by Julie Sola, this collection is an ideal gift. Meant to be savored slowly or devoured at once, these pages are a perfect way to spend the hour before supper, with a glass of iced tea—or the hour after, with a pour of bourbon—and a fitting celebration of the SFA’s focus and community.

A Bradley Hale Fund Publication

Page count: 128 pp.
18 b&w linoleum prints
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $19.95

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SANDRA BEASLEY is the author of Count the Waves and Theories of Falling. She is also the author of Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoirand cultural history of food allergy. She lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches as part of the University of Tampa’s lowresidency MFA program.