Book Review: Poor-Mouth Jubilee by Michael Chitwood

Publisher: Tupelo Press (October 15, 2010)

Paperback: 72 pages

Price: $16.95

ISBN-10: 1932195890

ISBN-13: 978-1932195897

Review by

Paula Hayes

Strayer University, USA

“True revelation occurs amid distortion”—The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture:  Volume 1:  Religion

Southern poetry occupies an inimitable place in contemporary literature. Michael Chitwood, whose work has gained significant recognition and a wide readership over the last two decades or so, represents a current trend of an increased interest in Southern poetry. His latest collection, Poor-Mouth Jubilee, reaches back to the heart of what can bind a Southern town together—religion—in an effort to explore the meaningfulness and fruitfulness of human relationships.  Chitwood’s usual positions of irony, skepticism, and cynicism toward Christianity are softened, considerably, in Poor-Mouth Jubilee.  Still, the unrelenting quality of obstinacy that characterizes a particular sect of Southern literature from William Faulkner to Flannery O’Connor is ever-present in Poor-Mouth Jubilee. The concept of obstinacy in Southern literature translates into the idea that while it is impossible to overcome suffering through a transcendence of it, nonetheless there can be a repudiation of the belief that suffering is meaningless. Poor-Mouth Jubilee reminds us that meaning can be found in the smallest of appreciations. In the poem, “Now And In Our Time of Need,” Chitwood describes how a flock of crows can remind us of the need for prayerful meditation.

Drama and the Politics of Climate Change in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone

Norbert Oyibo Eze, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka

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Johnny Igbonekwu observes that ‘an obvious primal instinctive human quest” is to “conquer the world” but he equally notes that man has not been able to achieve this goal, in spite of his “formidable intellectual assaults on the multifarious stupendous mysteries of the world” (Talk About Man 1). The quest for all manner of domination-economic, political, territorial, and spatial, etc, has driven man into invention and mindless application of technology which in choking nature, cause it to frequently retaliate through global warming, tsunami, landslide, erosion, and flooding of different dimensions. The constant decimation of human lives, businesses, buildings, and municipal services as well as the emergence of perturbing diseases owing to these palpable effects of natural disaster, force the issue of climate change to occupy a significant place in the world of environmental studies and research. This paper seeks to explain the place of drama in tackling the problem of climate change through a detailed analysis and interpretation of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone considered to be a giant impact assessment study and provocative wake-up call.