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Where to eat, sleep, and grab gifts in Auburn, Alabama

University spirit permeates this college town. A massive tiger paw dominates the main square downtown, sidewalks are adorned with diamond plaques honoring former star athletes and coaches (look for Charles Barkley and Bo Jackson),...
Underground Atlanta Renaissance

Notes from Underground Atlanta’s DIY arts scene

Atlanta’s long-neglected subterranean corridor is having yet another renaissance, this time as a DIY arts destination. But as redevelopment looms, the creative community wonders: how long can it last?
Little Sparrow Ford Fry

Ford Fry’s Little Sparrow flies into the Westside on October 2

Little Sparrow will officially open in the former JCT space on October 2. Inspired by Parisian bistros and old Brooklyn neighborhood taverns, it will be an American brasserie serving simple fare using premium ingredients and classic techniques.
Shanelle Walker

Saturated color and meaningful art add soul to this Grove Park abode

When interior designer Amber Guyton first visited Shanelle Walker’s Grove Park home, she noticed lots of art propped up against the walls—but that didn’t surprise her. “My client, Shanelle, is a woman of many talents,” says Guyton. Walker is a freelancer in Atlanta’s booming TV/movie industry and owner of the local apparel line Freedom Company, a brand “rooted in Black Empowerment and Love.” She’s also a writer, an activist, and a podcaster. Guyton says, “Her home is the core of all this creativity. She wanted it to be a place where ‘Dreams Don’t Sleep.’”

Tayari Jones on her literary lineage and choosing Atlanta

Tayari Jones—author, professor, and griot of the American South—has a lot on her plate. She teaches a creative writing class at Emory University, she has book blurbs due and forewords to file, and she has words in a just-released craft book, How We Do It, where her Emory colleague Jericho Brown gathered Black writers to explain “how they go about making what they make.” “I know I have a novel,” Jones writes, “when I have a question to which I don’t know the moral/ethical answer.” She is also putting the finishing touches on her fifth and forthcoming novel, Old Fourth Ward, which is set squarely in Black Atlanta’s centers of gravity: the historic neighborhood adjacent to downtown Atlanta (and the book’s namesake) and Cascade Heights (her old stomping grounds).
A book-lover's guide to Atlanta

A book lover’s guide to Atlanta

A roundup of independent bookstores, essential books that explain today’s Atlanta, and book events.
These Atlantans know the power of narratives

Whether on stage, at a library, or at a bookstore, these Atlantans know the power of narratives

How several Atlantans build community through storytelling and literature, including YATL's Kimberly Jones and Vania Stoyanova, A Cappella's Frank Reiss, Charis's E.R. Anderson, and more.
Spelman College

In 1988, some of the most important Black women in American literature posed for a photo at Spelman. Here’s how it came about.

In 1988, a group of writers gathered on the steps of Spelman College’s Rockefeller Fine Arts building to fete Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, who, that weekend, had become the college’s first Black woman president. We had just gotten out of a wonderful program honoring Dr. Cole and Black women in the arts. People were talking, laughing, and greeting each other . . . Everybody was high off the charge of the whole gathering: This was the culmination of a decades-long discussion of who should lead this historically Black institution, and this was a celebration of the leadership of Black women in many different fields, particularly in scholarship, in literature, and in the arts.
Atlanta romance writers

How Atlanta’s romance writers are finding new, younger audiences

At its core, the romance novel satisfies a fundamental human desire to experience love. In a world that often feels less and less safe, the assurance of an “HEA” (happily ever after) or “HFN” (happy for now) that a romance novel provides is comforting.
On the centennial of Jean Toomer’s Cane—and rural Georgia’s turn as the literary backdrop for a renaissance

On the centennial of Jean Toomer’s Cane—and rural Georgia’s turn as the literary backdrop for a renaissance

One of my favorite lines in Jean Toomer’s masterwork Cane is “the pines whisper to Jesus.” I take it to mean what we cannot say out loud, we whisper to the trees, who then pass the message on to God. The truths, desires, and needs that are too painful—or powerful—to say out loud must be whispered to remain intact. Cane is a book of multiple whispers, sighs, and quiets about the early-20th-century South.

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