Reading Together Blog

Alight with the Power of Words

Rick Bragg says he “grew up at the knee of front-porch talkers, of peole who could tell a story and make you believe you had been there, right there, in the path of the bullet or the train, in the warm arms of a new mother, in the teeth of a mean dog. The men, sometimes dog drunk, sometimes flush with religion but always alight with the power of words, could make you feel the breath of the arching blade as it hisssssed past their face on the beer joint floor, could make you taste the blood in your mouth from the fist that had smashed into their own, could make you hear the loose change in the deputy’s pocket as he ran, reaching for them, just steps behind.” 

“The women in my world, aunts and cousins and grandmas and a girlfriend or two, could telegraph straight to your brain the beauty of babies you never touched, songs you never heard, loves you never felt. They could make you cry about a funeral you never saw, make you mourn for a man you had never even met. ... They had a gift, one the rest of us who aspire to be storytellers can only borrow. ”

Rick Bragg has the gift for telling stories. His trilogy of memoirs has enabled readers to walk the blacktops of rural Alabama and get to know him and his people. Now we have the fine pleasure of hearing stories in the writer’s own voice. Please join us on April 14 and welcome Rick Bragg to Kalamazoo.


Rick Bragg