Red Dirt Press Release

Red Dirt Press just announced the release of my new book, Don’t Date Baptists and Other Warnings from my Alabama Mother, on their website! Check it out here for more info.

Here are some quotes on my book from the press release that I would like to share.

Terry tells stories that are uniquely his and at the same time collectively ours. His cast of characters will have you nodding your head and saying, “Yes…I know those people, too!” He peels back his life with mature, discerning, perceptive eyes and invites us into his growing up and home town experience. He’s a story teller who isn’t afraid to share his doubts, joys, anger, sorrows, and soul.

—Wanda Meade, writer/photographer

In Terry Barr’s essays we hear an authentic Southern voice rooted in a particular time and place: Bessemer, AL, beginning in the 1950’s. He brings to bear a historian’s delight in concrete details combined with a probing sensitivity to the psychological tensions and complexities beneath the surface of characters and events.

—Steve Beauchamp, poet

Terry Barr’s beautiful, straight from the heart writings remind us of memory’s healing power; they are evocative of places I know very well but have never been, of people with whom I’m intimately familiar but have never met. These are remarkable personal essays—funny, wistful in the right measure, smart, and heartbreaking.

—Leslie T. White, Professor of English, University of New Orleans

If you want a copy of my book, it’s available now on Amazon!

Just Published!

My essay collection, Don’t Date Baptists and Other Warnings From My Alabama Mother, can be seen on Amazon now. It will be available to order on Monday, Feb. 15. And no knock on my Baptists friends because I did date a few of you anyway, and besides, you’re good people, right?

Check it out, read it, and leave a review. This has been a long and fun and exciting process to go through, and I am so excited to see it in print.

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If you want to know more about my essay collection or read an excerpt of it, click here.

Contributing to South Writ Large

Earlier this year, my essay “You Might as Well Eat” was selected for inclusion in the Winter 2016 issue of South Writ Large. Needless to say, but I am quite proud of this essay and where it got placed!

The Winter 2016 issue focuses on aftermath, so my essay about life and tornadoes in Alabama seems a great fit for the theme. You can read it in full here.

But for a sneak peek at the essay, here’s a short excerpt of the opening two paragraphs. Enjoy!

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It’s become a cliché that there are two kinds of people who live in the state of Alabama: those who listen to Paul Finebaum’s radio show, and those who lie and say they don’t. Depending on the subject, his voice can be troubling, maddening, self-righteous, or even humorous. He mainly talks about SEC football, and now he is simultaneously broadcast throughout the land on the SEC TV network every weekday from 3 to 7 Eastern Time. I listen to him while driving, watch him when I’m home. He isn’t much to look at, but then that’s not what attracts me.

It’s his voice, sharp and resonant, the one I somehow trust even when he disparages Alabama coach Nick Saban, which is, admittedly, rare. For it was his voice, when he still broadcast from Birmingham, that let me know that I wasn’t going to die from the blast of tornados that swept through my hometown in the spring of 2011. I’ll never forget that moment, that sound: “From wherever in the vicinity you can hear me and for whatever comfort or warning this gives you, right now the tornado is passing just north of our downtown studios. I can see outside, and believe me, it’s not something I want to see.”