New Winston Museum Presents “What Does It Mean to Be Southern” With Local Authors Joe Mills, Ed Southern and Cheryl Harry

By Staff

As part of This School, This City exhibit programming, New Winston Museum will present “What Does It Mean to Be Southern,” a reading and panel discussion on Monday, November 17th at 7:00p.m.


In collaboration with UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA), New Winston Museum’s current exhibition, This School, This City explores the many ways that UNCSA and the Winston-Salem community enrich one another. In conjunction with this project, the Museum is hosting a reading and discussion entitled “What Does It Mean to Be Southern?”

Using the work of one UNCSA artist, Division of Liberal Arts faculty member Joseph Mills, the program will encourage a larger conversation on southern identity and life in the Camel City. The program has its origins in Mills’ newly released poetry collection, This Miraculous Turning. Revered for the conversational style of his poetry and his ability to use his art to explore the intersections of individual and community life Mills’ new collection revolves around themes of family, race, and identity, which he explores in poems that draw on his experiences of parenting two African-American children in contemporary Winston-Salem.

Joining Mills will be local writer Ed Southern, and Cheryl Harry, Director of African American Programming at Old Salem Museum and Gardens and author of Winston-Salem’s African American Legacy (Arcadia, 2013). The program will include readings by each of the three panelists and a moderated discussion exploring the historical and contemporary complexities of “being southern.”

New Winston Museum is located at 713 S. Marshall Street, Winston-Salem NC 27101. Admission is free.



More about Joseph Mills: 

Joseph Mills is the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professor of Humanities at UNCSA. He has published five volumes of poetry, including the recently-released “This Miraculous Turning.” His poetry has appeared in numerous publications and has been featured on “The Writer’s Almanac” with Garrison Keillor and in former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry.” 


More about Ed Southern: 

Ed Southern was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and began making up characters and stories shortly after. Before he was 10 years old, his mother had decided that “either this child is going to be a writer, or we’re going to have to spend a fortune on therapy for him.” (Whether that was a valid either/or proposition is still to be determined.) Southern’s previous work, all nonfiction, includes The Jamestown Adventure, Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas, and Sports in the Carolinas. He lives in Winston-Salem, and is executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.


More about Cheryl Harry:

Cheryl Harry is a cultural curator whose mission is engaging the community in the preservation and celebration of black heritage. She develops educational and outreach programming to spawn dialogue among people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. She is the director of African American programming at Old Salem Museums & Gardens. Harry is the author of the book Winston-Salem’s African American Legacy.


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