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State of the Heart
South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, Volume 2

Edited by Aïda Rogers
Foreword by Marjory Wentworth

Diverse and distinguished storytellers celebrate the state's renowned and remote destinations

South Carolina is a state of inspiration as well as recreation. Through its natural beauty, storied heritage, and curious character, the Palmetto State finds its way into the hearts and imaginations of every native, resident, and guest to set foot on its thirty-two thousand square miles of soil. Continuing the format of the popular original, this second volume of State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love celebrates and commemorates the connections that the accomplished contributors have found in the well-known and far-flung locations most dear to them. With companionable charm and storytellers' spirits, editor Aïda Rogers and the thirty-eight contributors invite you to amble across South Carolina with them for a chance to see the state as they have come to know it.

For writers beloved places can captivate, teach, comfort, and occasionally haunt. In this collection contributors reflect on their hometowns, the rivers and roads that marked their lives' journeys, and the maligned neighborhoods they transformed just by living and working in them. Family beach vacations, churches and churchyards, athletic arenas modest and grand, a mountain vista, a quiet pond, a city park, an old-time produce market, Lake Murray, Brookgreen Gardens—these are just a sampling of the nearly three dozen private and public places favored by this diverse group of writers of fiction, memoir, poetry, history, journalism, and more. Photographs, artwork, verse, and even a few recipes accompany the essays, bringing readers further into sharing the writers' experiences.

While State of the Heart is rooted in the landscape of South Carolina, readers from anywhere will relate to its universal themes of growing up and growing old, recognition of past mistakes, returned-to faith, the closeness of family and friends, honoring those who came before, and setting our collective sights on the promise of the future for cherished people and places.

Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina's poet laureate, provides the foreword to this collection, which includes her poem "One River, One Boat."

Aïda Rogers is a writer and editor whose feature journalism has won national and regional awards. She has worked in newspapers, television, and magazines. Rogers is the editor of State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, coeditor of Writing South Carolina: Selections from the First Annual High School Writing Contest, and coauthor of Stop Where the Parking Lot's Full, a guide to some of South Carolina's most beloved restaurants. She holds a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and lives in Columbia.

"Aïda Rogers has gathered a remarkable group of the Palmetto State's best writers and in her doing so State of the Heart gives readers a tour of South Carolina that transcends time and geography, capturing the immense but often conflicted soul of the state."—Ron Rash

"What an amazing mix South Carolina is. She's a library where quick fun-read paperbacks press against solemn leather bound tomes, a family reunion with rich and poor and black and white, with our gracious plenty of everybody crowding around this homemade trestle table. One thing binds these essays. Each one is written from the heart."—William Baldwin

"Oh joy for the Lazy Traveler! The second volume of  State of the Heart, visits with home-loving, stellar South Carolina writers, is even better than the first, rich as woods-dirt with deeply personal homages to ruined churches, haunted roads, beaches, eateries, odd critters and humanity—thoughtful, beautifully written, effortless exploration."—Dot Jackson




6 x 9
208 pages
52 b&w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-61117-596-7
hardcover, $39.95s

ISBN 978-1-61117-597-4
paperback, $19.95t

ISBN 978-1-61117-598-1
ebook, $18.99t
Ron Aiken
Jack Bass
Nancy Brock
Jim Casada
Emily L. Cooper
Ronald Daise
Christopher Dickey
Tim Driggers
Sue Duffy
Pam Durban
Margaret Shinn Evans
Herb Frazier
Sammy Fretwell
Shani Gilchrist
Vera Gómez
Harlan Greene
Rachel Haynie
Tommy Hays
Josephine Humphreys
Thomas L. Johnson
Charles Joyner
Janna McMahan
Ray McManus
Ben McC. Moïse
Mary Alice Monroe
Patricia Moore-Pastides
Glenis Redmond
Rose Rock
Aïda Rogers
Valerie Sayers
Bernie Schein
George Singleton
Katie Stagliano
Michel Smoak Stone
Marjory Wentworth
Ernest L. Wiggins
Susan Millar Williams
Curtis Worthington

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