Mark Royden Winchell

Home Mark Royden Winchell
Agrarian Poetics
Post

Agrarian Poetics

Over the past four decades, Wendell Berry has been one of the most prolific writers in America, averaging around a book each year.  Much of this output has been in the realm of poetry, for which he has been honored

Pictures Into Words
Post

Pictures Into Words

Readers of Chronicles already know that David Middleton is an extraordinarily accomplished poet.  For much of the rest of the reading world, unfortunately, he is a well-kept secret.  Living in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and teaching at Nicholls State University, he is

Dawn Goes Down to Day
Post

Dawn Goes Down to Day

Walter Sullivan entered Vanderbilt University in 1941 as an 18-year-old freshman.  Two years later, he left during World War II to join the Marine Corps.  He returned in 1946 to finish his degree in English and left again in 1947

Reattacking Leviathan
Post

Reattacking Leviathan

In 1989, Russell Kirk recalled browsing through the library at Michigan State College as an “earnest sophomore” over 50 years earlier.  It was there that he happened upon Donald Davidson’s The Attack on Leviathan.  “It was written eloquently,” Kirk

Post

Why Taft Matters

Even in that prehistoric time before television, Robert Alphonso Taft seemed an unlikely leader of men.  Looking like a small-town grocer, he spoke in what one admirer conceded was a “whiney Midwestern voice.”  When trying to pose as a deep-sea

Playing Poetry With a Net
Post

Playing Poetry With a Net

In the Introduction to his classic anthology of Fugitive verse, William Pratt writes: “Modern American poetry abounds in individualism, but two groups of poets have affected its course profoundly.”  He is referring, of course, to the Imagists and the Fugitives. 

Post

The Dream of the South

“Poetry is a northern man’s dream of the South.” 

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Last of the Belles”

In the summer of 1933, Southern Agrarian poet Allen Tate and his friend Marxist literary critic Malcolm Cowley visited various Civil War landmarks

George W. Bush: Wilsonian Liberal
Post

George W. Bush: Wilsonian Liberal

If constitutional liberties are as old as the republic itself  (older if you include the tradition of English common law), violations of those liberties are just as old.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson threw their political opponents in jail, Andrew

Post

When They Bare the Iron Hand

“Beware the people weeping /
When they bare the iron hand” 

Herman Melville, “The Martyr”

It is one of the most famous photographs of the nineteenth century: Alexander Gardner’s picture of four hooded figures dangling from a gallows in

Post

Tracts Against Capitalism

Peaceful Valley is a bucolic residential neighborhood in Clemson, South Carolina.  The middle-class homeowners who live there are not land speculators hoping to turn a profit.  Many are like Kathleen Dickel, a 50-year-old high-school German teacher, who owns a two-story

A Beautiful Friendship
Post

A Beautiful Friendship

The story of their first meeting has been told so many times that it has become part of the folklore of modern Southern literature. One day, during the fall of 1924, Robert Penn Warren stopped by Kissam Hall on the

Greatheart!
Post

Greatheart!

        “The ‘Tycoon.'”
—J.G. Nicolay and John Hay
(Secretarial nickname for President A. Lincoln)

In the foreword to Brother to Dragons , Robert Penn Warren writes “historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry

A Picturesque, Unprofitable Craft
Post

A Picturesque, Unprofitable Craft

        “Poetry is the Devil’s wine.”
—St. Augustine

In his prophetic poem “The Silence of the Poets,” Dana Gioia imagines a time in the not too distant future when poetry will be a completely lost art. “A few observers voiced their

The Paleoconservative Imagination
Post

The Paleoconservative Imagination

In January 1996, Norman Podhoretz delivered a self-congratulatory eulogy for neoconservatism in a lecture before the American Enterprise Institute. In addition to giving himself and his cohorts credit for the recent successes of the American right, Podhoretz boasted that “thanks

Post

A New Venture

The Southern Classics Series is a new venture of J.S. Sanders and Company. John Stoll Sanders and his series editor M.E. Bradford are systematically resurrecting worthy titles that have disappeared from the pages of Books In Print. In so

Trivial Pursuits
Post

Trivial Pursuits

David Pryce-Jones: Cyril Connolly: Journal and Memoir; Ticknor & Fields; New York.

A Chime of Words: The Letters of Logan Pearsall Smith; Edited by Edwin Tribble; Ticknor & Fields; New York.

Logan Pearsall Smith: All Trivia: A Collection of Reflections

The Remnants of Realism
Post

The Remnants of Realism

Philip Roth: The Anatomy Lesson; Farrar, Straus & Grioux; New York.

Louis Auchincloss: Exit Lady Masham; Houghton Mifflin; Boston.

In the opinion of Tom Wolfe, “the introduction of realism into literature… was like the introduction of electricity into machine technology.

The Remnants of Realism
Post

The Remnants of Realism

Philip Roth: The Anatomy Lesson; Farrar, Straus & Giroux; New York.

Louis Auchincloss: Exit Lady Masham; Houghton Mifflin; Boston.

In the opinion of Tom Wolfe, “the introduction of realism into literature…was like the introduction of electricity into machine technology. It