Introducing: Mary Marwitz

People. Of. The. Boro.

I hope that you’re dressed in your flame-retardant best, ready for tonight’s Burning Swamp reading.  The conflagration of awesome will rage at Southern Boy’s BBQ at 7:00 tonight, October 23rd.  Be there or miss the flare of literary brilliance.

And speaking of literary brilliance — here’s one last introduction for one of our exceptional readers: the incomparable and incredible Mary Marwitz!

Introducing … Mary MarwitzIMG_4656

A perpetual student on a grand tour of Southern academic institutions, on both sides of the desk, I started and ended with GSU, with stops along the way at schools all below the snow line: A world view that definitely springs from warm weather. I like walks on the beach in the moonlight and sipping wine before the fire. Oops…. Wrong bio. I write Creative Nonfiction, that elastic genre that accommodates a wide range of approaches. My work has appeared in Perigee: Journal of the Arts, Wilderness House Literary Review, Freshly Hatched, and the Georgia Guardian, along with some academic journals. I’m working on a memoir about walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.


B.S.Ed. from Georgia Southern College (1972)

M.A. in English from Baylor University (1982)

Ph.D. in English from Univ. of South Carolina (1998)

M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Univ. of New Orleans (2009)

As it turns out, we can all have Bigfoot at a cocktail party: BEHOLD! THE BIGFOOT COCKTAIL!

As it turns out, we can all have Bigfoot at a cocktail party: BEHOLD! THE BIGFOOT COCKTAIL!

Do you believe in Swamp Primates?

Swamp primates are alive and among us. Treat them with respect.

Do you support the recent proposed plan to domesticate swamp primates?

Absolutely not! We need more wildness! (although that little monkey with the taupe fur is truly adorable; I’ve seen him slip out of view just when I turn to the window).

Godzilla versus Bigfoot?

Godzilla is just a hulk–who even wants him around? Stepping on buildings and all. So if we’re talking a cocktail party, I’d have to go with Bigfoot; a battle between them wouldn’t even be one.


Introducing: Benjamin Drevlow

People, the smoke is rising.  All around the great Statesboro area, citizens opened their doors to a distinct and beautiful fragrence, perfuming and heating the air: it was the scent of the swamp, preparing itself to burn.  And burn it will, with the fire of beautiful writing, on Thursday at 7:00 at Southern Boy’s BBQ.  Here’s a preview of the fourth reader, ready to set the stage aflame.

DSC_0187Introducing … Benjamin Drevlow

Benjamin Drevlow was the winner of the 2006 Many Voices Project and the author of a collection of short stories, Bend With the Knees and Other Love Advice From My Father (New Rivers Press, 2008). His fiction has also appeared in the Split Lip, Profane, Passages North, and Rock Bottom Journal among other journals. He is a fiction reader at BULL: Men’s Fiction, teaches writing here at Georgia Southern University, and lives in Statesboro, Georgia with his wife Christina Olson and their old cranky dog Princess Truman.

Do you believe in Swamp Primates?

If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a teacher.

Bigfoot Hair, y'all.  It's for real.

Bigfoot Hair, y’all. It’s for real.

Do you support the recent proposed plan to domesticate swamp primates?

Just like I tell my wife every time she brings home another plant: some things are just meant to be free (see all incarnations of the Planet of Apes).

Godzilla versus Bigfoot?

Godzilla may be bigger, stronger, uglier, and more marketable in Hollywood, but Bigfoot is still hairier and where there’s too much sweaty unkempt hair, I say, there’s a way.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing: Taylor Tyson

It’s a cool, beautiful day in the Boro, but rumors are flying of an upcoming conflagration of awesome.  Never fear!  It’s just the Burning Swamp Reading Series, getting ready to fan the literary flames on Thursday.  Just a reminder of the when’s and the where’s: Thursday, October 23rd, at 7:00 PM at Southern Boys BBQ.  Be there and hear the flares!

Who’s bringing the fire?  Let’s take a look at our third reader!

Introducing … Taylor Tyson1618240_10202292950758710_2085128845_o

Some people have their lives together–Taylor Tyson does not. Some people have a certain trajectory about them–Taylor Tyson has the trajectory of an explosion: lots of pieces going lots of places, but not much rhyme or reason. He writes nonfiction and a bit of poetry, always under duress. When not writing, he can often be found breathing. Or sleeping. Or sometimes sitting or eating. His passions include blazers, neckwear, obscure music, and not knitting or being photographed. When asked about his future plans, Taylor declines to comment, instead opting to eat beef jerky and take the afternoon off.

Do you believe in Swamp Primates?

Like Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and the Skunk Ape? I did. I was a veritable swamp primate biologist. I watched all the shows, read all the books, and cried when the person behind the infamous “Bigfoot walks across a clearing and looks over his shoulder” video admitted that it was a hoax. That was when my faith began to falter. I no longer truly believe, I’m afraid, though I will admit I was quite convinced that one time that mom and dad starting beating on the doors and windows of the camper and making Sasquatch noises in the middle of the night. God, that was horrifying.

If you Google "bigfoot army," this shows up.  This. It's a painting of Teddy Roosevelt fighting bigfoot and basically it's the most important thing that's ever happened.  You're welcome.

If you Google “bigfoot army,” this shows up. This. It’s a painting of Teddy Roosevelt fighting bigfoot and basically it’s the most important thing that’s ever happened. You’re welcome.

Do you support the recent proposed plan to domesticate swamp primates?

Who proposed that? That’s ridiculous. Are they going to spend my tax dollars on that? What has this nation come to, that we can’t just let majestic, probably imaginary cryptids live in peace? Leave Bigfoot alone. I fully support the right for swamp primates to keep and bear arms, in order both to defend themselves against just this sort of threat and to create an army comprised completely of Sasquatches wielding fully automatic assault rifles.

Godzilla versus Bigfoot?

Seriously? In a fight? I assume we’re talking about a battle royale, yes? That’d be a pretty anticlimactic fight. Across his cinematic history, Godzilla has ranged from approximately 150-330 feet tall. The absolute LARGEST that Bigfoot has been in any account is about nine feet tall. So, unless Bigfoot is piloting the Enola Gay (the cockpit of which a 9-foot-tall primate probably couldn’t operate) with a full payload, I’m thinking no sane person is betting against good ol’ Gojira and his friggin’ atomic roar. What kind of question even IS that?

Introducing: Connor White

It’s a beautiful Monday in Statesboro, though several residents have reported a slight scent of smoke.  Not to worry: that’s just the metaphorical fire of good writing.  If you want to witness a true conflagration of awesome, join us this Thursday, October 23rd, at 7:00 PM at Southern Boys BBQ for the first reading of the 2014-2015 Burning Swamp Reading Series.

To add more kindling to the flames of excitement, here’s a bit about one of our readers:

Burning Swamp Photo Introducing … Connor White

Connor was born in a log cabin he built with his own two hands. The doctors had never seen such upper body strength in a boy so young, a feat he credits to eating his roughage. He enjoys mocking reality TV, and is deathly afraid of horseshoe crabs.

He also writes things. Sometimes.


Do you believe in Swamp Primates?

Does Shrek count?

This is a photograph of horseshoe crabs.  Horseshoe crabs are TERRIFYING.

This is a photograph of horseshoe crabs. Horseshoe crabs are TERRIFYING.


Do you support the recent proposed plan to domesticate swamp primates?

Not if Shrek doesn’t.

Godzilla versus Bigfoot?

Jack Link asserts that messing with Sasquatch is tantamount to a death wish

BURNING SWAMP RETURNS — and introduces Parrish Turner

People of the Boro.

The mercury, finally, has dropped.  Sweaters and jackets have emerged from their closet hibernation.  So, too, has the Burning Swamp Reading Series: while the temperature might have fallen, the fire in the swamp is just warming up.  This year, the series will see a relocation to a new venue: Southern Boys BBQ, home of the fieriest BBQ plates in the greater Statesboro area.  Southern Boys BBQ is located in the shopping center across from campus, in the space that used to be Latte Da.  We’ll be meeting there this Thursday, October 23rd, at 7:00 PM for good writing, good eating, and good company.

Who will that good company be, you’re wondering?  Well, we’re kicking off the 2014-2015 iteration of the series with a slate of five fantastic readers.  Here’s a bit about one of the wordly wonders you’ll see this Thursday:

 Introducing … Parrish Turner

Profile Pic

Parrish Turner is an aspiring essayist and playwright who hails from Georgia. When he is not otherwise occupied in school, he spends his time camped out in the theater or watching way too many Netflix documentaries about the end of the world. Parrish has participated in the Georgia Southern’s Ten Minute Play Festival, and, with his fellow playwrights, been honored with the Metro Atlanta Theater award for his work on the musical By Wheel and By Wing. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Nonfiction. Exploring ideas of family, gender, belief, experience, place, bodies, identity, and the crucial importance of the oxford comma, Parrish is always writing.


Do you believe in Swamp Primates?

While I do give a number of points to those swamp primate non-believers, what kind of world do we live in where we can’t even hold out faith in the little swamp primates?

Do you support the recent proposed plan to domesticate swamp primates?

I must admit great concern with the domestication plans for our swamp primate friends. We have been able to live this long with

This is a scientific diagram showing the anatomy of the Altamaha-Ha.  In other words, the Altamaha-ha totally exists because SCIENCE.

This is a scientific diagram showing the anatomy of the Altamaha-Ha. In other words, the Altamaha-ha totally exists because SCIENCE.

little trouble along our borders. I do understand the desire for a swamp primate within my own home, I could never provide the lifestyle in which these primates are accustomed to. I prefer my regular trips out to the swamps to see the creatures galumphing in their natural habitats.

Godzilla versus Bigfoot?

Between the two, I would have to say Bigfoot, because it is important to support your local representatives, but if we are including cryptids beyond the primate family, I must also submit my personal favorite: The Altamaha-ha, the sea serpent of Georgia.

Burning Swamp Introduces – Dr. Kent Lenz


Hey, so here’s our last reader – AND AN ANNOUNCEMENT. So here’s the deal, we’ll be burning down the swamp tonight, 7pm, at Chop’s on Main, but we’ll be in the private dining room. Why? Because we will. And we hope to see you there.

Okay. Business aside. Here’s our final reader, Dr. Kent Lenz:

Do you believe in Swamp Primates?

YES! And, anybody who doesn’t is no friend of mine.

Do you support the recent proposed plan to domesticate swamp primates?
No. They should live as free as can be in their natural habitat.

Kraken versus Loch Ness Monster?
Nessy, of course. Krakens aren’t real, so it’s no contest.


Kent has lived in more states than he cares to admit or remember but comes to GSU most recently from northwest Ohio. When he’s not smacking the softball around the field with various intramural softball teams, he occasionally teaches Composition and finds time to write a thing or two. Recently, he landed his first short story publication with the online journal, Drunk Monkeys. He has a couple degrees that are supposed to indicate that he might be smart, but he’s spent considerable amounts of time and energy begging to differ.

Burning Swamp Introduces – Amanda Malone


Tonight, as they say, is the night. The final Burning Swamp of the academic year. And you know what? I hear rumors of there being prizes. PRIZES. Yeah. Free stuff. So please, come down, hear some great people read, socialize, be good to each other, and then maybe get some free stuff for your efforts.


All right, here’s our fourth reader of the night, junior Amanda Malone.

1. Do you believe in the existence of swamp primates?

Most definitely. 

2. Do you support the recent proposal to domesticate swamp primates?

I’d be disinclined to support uprooting an entire species without extremely good reason. Especially if the government is involved.

Kraken versus Loch Ness Monster?
Team Kraken all the way.


Amanda Malone was born and raised in New York but has been living in Georgia since she was fourteen. She is an intern for Hobart and reads fiction submissions for BULL. Her own stories have recently appeared in Bartleby Snopes and Miscellany. Malone is currently a junior at Georgia Southern, majoring in English with a writing minor, and intends to pursue an MFA in Fiction when she graduates next spring.

Burning Swamp Presents: Sloan Fulton


Tomorrow night, people, we’ll be having our most recent incarnation of The Burning Swamp Reading Series. Next up on our neverending march to literary dominance: Sloan Fulton.

1. Do you believe in swamp primates?

I’ve never experienced the all around awesomeness of a swamp primate but yes, I do believe they exist.

2. Would you agree with the recent proposal to domesticate swamp primates?

I wouldn’t recommend it.

3. Kraken vs Loch Ness Monster?

Bring on the Kraken! It’s a vicious beast that can kill the Kraken and face it, Nelly is a lover not a fighter.


Sloan Fulton a senior psychology major with a minor in writing, she’s from the Atlanta area, and has one older sister and two younger brothers. One day she hopes to become the coolest elementary school counselor ever (no big deal), and would also like to take over the world (one small step at a time).


Burning Swamp Introduces – Katie Farris


Man alive this semester is just trucking along. Finals are next week, summer’s so close we can feel it. Man. Alive. Well, let’s enjoy it while we can and take in the Burning Swamp Reading this Thursday. Reading that night? Katie Farris. Let’s meet her:


1. Do you believe in swamp primates?
Do I believe in swamp primates? That’s like asking me if I still believe in Santa or The Tooth Fairy…. In other words, yes, I believe in swamp primates.

2. Would you agree with the recent proposal to domesticate swamp primates?
I take The Beatles approach on that one… Let it be. Let it beeeeeee……..

3. Kraken versus Loch Ness Monster?
The Kraken is pretty awesome, but let’s face it. It’s a big octopus or a squid or something of that nature. Give me a harpoon and we’ll be set with seafood for a year. Fried Calamari, anyone? I’m going to give it to the Loch Ness Monster. There’s just something mysterious about a lake dwelling creature who can breath both in and out of water.

Farris comes from a small town with no red light and nothing to do. As a result of sitting on the front porch rocking her life away, she picked up the pen and began writing, soon discovering that she was somewhat talented at it. She is a senior at Georgia Southern majoring in Writing and Linguistics, but don’t worry! She still has one more year left in the Boro to concentrate on her minor in Recreation. So, dry your eyes, you’re not rid of her yet!

Burning Swamp Introduces – Dr. Richard Flynn


Dearest Everyones,

We are a couple of days away – four to be exact – from this Thursday’s edition of The Burning Swamp Reading Series. May 1st, 7pm, in The Walnut Room in Chop’s Restaurant, we’ll be welcoming to the stage five readers from the Georgia Southern student body and faculty. Today we highlight our good friend Dr. Richard Flynn, who will grace us with his work that evening. Without further adieu:

1. Do you believe in swamp primates?
Believe in them? I’ve seen them.

2. Would you agree with the recent proposal to domesticate swamp primates?
No, I think we should leave them to their ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep.

3. Kraken versus Loch Ness Monster?
Tennyson, anyone?

Richard Flynn is Professor of Literature at Georgia Southern who writes about children’s literature, poetry, and sometimes music. He is the author of Randall Jarrell and the Lost World of Childhood (U Georgia P, 1990) and a small press collection of poems, The Age of Reason (Hawkhead Press, 1993). He has published articles on Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, June Jordan, and Muriel Rukeyser as well as a number of articles on children’s poetry. Like his beloved Jarrell, he fears that a wicked fairy has turned him into a prose writer, but he does occasionally still write poetry.

Tagged , , , , , , ,