level:deepsouth is a crowdsourced online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction and images, as well as to contributions for the lists

index by state  •  editor’s blog • on Duotrope

about the project

Founded in March 2020, level:deepsouth is a free crowdsourced anthology whose editor is collecting stories and other recollections, as well as images and web links, that feature some aspect of what was happening when Generation X was growing up in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The editor welcomes GenXers from the Deep South to send written works, scans of photos, and other information that can be published and shared. If the contributions are accepted and published, the contributor will still retain all rights. To learn more about what to submit and how, click here.

about the title

Like Generation X, the palindrome level is multifaceted and complicated. It can be a noun, a verb, or an adjective, and it is the same spelled forward and backward. A level is a tool used in construction, but the word also describes the action that the tool is used for and the resulting state achieved by the action: we use a level to level something so it’s level. As a noun, a level is also a horizontal plane, like a floor in a tall building, while as a verb, it describes the action of bringing that building to the ground. But a level doesn’t have to be a physical structure either. We move through levels in a video game, and we take a relationship to the next level. As a verb, the word can mean to be honest (“Level with me.”), to make a situation more fair (“We must level the playing field.”), or to knock the hell out of someone (“He levelled that guy!”) In the South, it can also be a qualifier (“He did his level best.”) The word level carries connotations of utility, fairness, hierarchy, honesty, destruction, and violence all packed into five letters that make up two syllables. There is complexity, duplicity, and contradiction in that small package, kind of like Generation X.

about the editor

Foster Dickson, April 2022Foster Dickson is a writer, editor, award-winning teacher, and life-long resident of Montgomery, Alabama. After attending both public and private schools then working a series of dead-end jobs in his teens and twenties, Foster began his writing and editing career at independent publisher NewSouth Books, where he worked in both the business and creative sides of company’s operation. From 2003 until 2022, he taught creative writing at an arts high school. During his nineteen years in the classroom, Foster was awarded grants, fellowships, or residencies from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program, the Gannett Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Lillian E. Smith Foundation, the Center for Arts Education at the Boston Arts Academy, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. Foster was also named the state’s Teacher of the Year by the Alabama PTA in 2010, and he was a participant in Arizona State University’s National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy in 2019. Foster now teaches in the English department of a liberal arts college. His published books include Children of the Changing South, an anthology of memoirs about growing up during and after the Civil Rights movement, and Closed Ranks, about a police-shooting controversy in the mid-1970s. To read some of Foster’s writing about growing up Generation X in the Deep South, click here


The Good Word

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Kiss the mountain air we breathe / Goodbye, it’s time to fly!

“Surprise Valley” by Widespread Panic

I fit in better than you. At least I’m wearing cowboy boots.

– from “My Cousin Vinny”

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss