Southern Studies

Children of the Changing South

Foster Dickson is a writer, editor, and teacher who lives in Montgomery, Alabama. His work has centered mainly on subjects related to the American South, multiculturalism, education, and social justice. His most recent book, Children of the Changing South, was published by McFarland & Co. in 2011. This edited collection (with Foster’s introduction) contains memoirs by eighteen writers and historians who grew up in the South during and after the civil rights movement. The Alabama Writers Forum’s review of the book stated, “Besides being a great read, this collection provides a valuable new perspective on Southern history.”

Foster’s other published books include I Just Make People Up: Ramblings with Clark Walker, a narrative biography and full-color coffee table art book about an award-winning Alabama artist whose career has spanned six decades, and The Life and Poetry of John Beecher, an academic biography and critical defense of a “forgotten” writer and protest poet who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Foster also acted as general editor for the curriculum guide, Treasuring Alabama’s Black Belt, published by Auburn University at Montgomery and the Alabama Humanities Foundation. He has recently completed a book about the Whitehurst Case, a police-shooting controversy in Montgomery, Alabama in the mid-1970s.

Foster’s shorter works on Southern subjects — including reviews, interviews and articles — have appeared in such varied publications as Callaloo, Evergreen Review, Montgomery Living, and Weird Alabama. His poems have appeared in Southern literary journals, such as Steel Toe Review and Birmingham Poetry Review.

Prior to teaching, Foster worked for independent publisher NewSouth Books from 2001-2003. During that time, he assisted in editing Weren’t No Good Times, a collection of Alabama slave narratives; acquired Nashville singer-songwriter-poet Tom House’s poetry collection The World According to Whiskey; and participated in the development of the Lowndes Interpretive Center on the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail.

In 2005, Foster handled education resources for the planning committee of the Montgomery Children’s Walk, an event held on December 1st of that year to involve Montgomery’s students in commemorating the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest.

*Read Foster’s interview with Kentucky poet Ron Whitehead in Evergreen Review #110.

*Read an excerpt from Foster’s review of Michael Kreyling’s The South That Wasn’t There in the Summer 2012 issue of Callaloo.

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