Southern Writers & Their Books


To adapt a line from our artist and poet friend Kyle Brooks, we'll begin this Sunday morning with the following: We all got books, books in our lives. Some's got one. Some's got five.

Or 5,000, perhaps. Readerly folks such as us tend to surround ourselves with books. They wind up on shelves, of course, but also in stacks on side tables and the floor. They surround us and become part of our homes and lives. Thinking about this gave us an odd but fun idea. We had become familiar with the work of Brooklyn artist, designer and architect Annie Coggan, a native Georgian, and we started talking with her about the odd book-archiving habits of Southern writers. That conversation gave Annie an idea: She wanted to explore the topic more deeply and create something inspired by what she learned. Coggan wound up making a series of one-of-a-kind pillows that portray the private reading and writing spaces of great Southern writers.

Why pillows? Well, first of all, why not? And more practically, when you're reading, it's handy to have one to put your head on. 


Coggan drew from photographs of four Southern writers' habitats — Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and Margaret Mitchell. The interior scenes she stitched by hand onto the pillows examine certain legends about how these writers organized, stored and collected their writing and the books they surrounded themselves with. The interiors were drawn from vintage photographs, then stitched by hand into linen. The linen is hand-dyed from colors that evolve certain very Southern sensibilities: lilac paired with aubergine velvet to evoke a stormy Mississippi sky, crisp blue linen and light blue velvet like church clothes, egg-colored linen, the same as gentlemen’s summer suits, next to a deep Georgia red clay velvet.

We're putting all eight of these handmade, one-of-a-kind pillows up for sale in our General Store today. We expect they won't last long. But we also want you to join us in our weekly Sunday discussion in social media. Today's topic is how we live with our books. 

Over on Instagram (and Twitter and Facebook), share images of your own stacks of books, your scribblings in notebooks — or even, if you're one who walks in the steps of Old Bill Faulkner, the musings you write on your walls. We hope you’ll join the conversation and tell us how you live your books and the written word. Use the hashtag, #BSLivingWithBooks.