This just in from One Story author Bruce Machart. Please spread the word and help save SMU Press!!-HT
It’s long been hell to be a Texan with a conscience. Sure, we have beautiful, wide, endless vistas, handsome sunsets, some mighty fine vittles, and let’s not forget the music, but we also have overzealous lethal injection, rampant fanatical conservatism, and a government that entrusts the public school textbook adoption decisions to bible-thumping folks who seek to revise history without consulting…well, history. And now this: Southern Methodist University has put one of the nation’s stalwart champions of literary fiction on the chopping block. More than a dozen years ago, my teacher and mentor at Ohio State’s MFA program, acclaimed short story writer Lee K. Abbott, began loaning me collections of stories from, as he put it, “one hell of a university press from down your way.” SMU Press, which publishes somewhere in the neighborhood of ten titles per year (I think), has been the first home of some remarkable writers over the years. Off the top of my head, I can recall titles by Janet Peery, Brad Barkley, Debra Monroe, Tracy Daugherty, and a wonderful recent collection by David McGlynn. So please, tell these folks who tell us “Don’t Mess with Texas” not to mess with the State of Literature in America. The more letters we can get emailed to Kathryn Lang, the press’ senior editor, the more ammunition (and Texans respect ammunition, after all) she will have when she protests this unilateral decision at the next board meeting. You needn’t write anything lengthy, but please write today! Future collections of short stories depend upon it!
Here’s the article from the Dallas Morning News.
And here is Kathryn Lang’s email: