The Columns

Shenandoah Editor Talks Writing and the South

— by on November 7th, 2011

R.T. Smith

When the online journal Portal del Sol asked what advice he would give young writers about crafting a career that includes writing his own work plus editing a literary journal, R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee Review, offered this analogy: “It’s like dog-sledding uphill; it can be done, but you have to keep cracking the whip and yelling.”

Heather Frese conducted the lengthy, wide-ranging interview,  “Away You Rolling River,” which is the front-page feature on the website.

The conversation ranges from Rod’s own reading preferences to the process of putting a literary magazine together to the nature of Southern literature. On that last topic, Rod provided the following perspective: “Collectively we still have our two old shames – we held people in bondage and we got whipped – and our continuing ones – we love NASCAR and the literal Bible too much and education and art too little.  And we still love to walk forward into was, but I think Southern writers today are all products of more complex identities, and the recognition of that.”

Read the entire interview here.

Portal del Sol is an online journal dedicated to the art of literary magazines and the writers, readers and editors who craft and sustain them.