:: Masthead ::

dead mule school logo

“No good Southern fiction
(poem, essay, memoir)
is complete without a
Dead Mule”

Online since 1996, the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature represents the best, the finest, the most comprehensive compilation of original contemporary literature on the internet. Not kidding, 26 years in 2022 online gives us bragging rights over most every other online journal.

dead mule logo

Our publication credo? Provide readers with the best writing we can find on a consistent basis, month in, month out. Since 1996, can you believe it? *see bottom of page for creative commons information

We’ve hosted writing by poets laureate, mule skinners, horse traders and hornswagglers. While currently focusing our attention on the monthly publication of new material, we have little HTML elves working diligently in the background restoring the “hacked” database from the 1996 through 2006 and that writing will be available in the future, once again, with over 1000 entries located on the Mule at http://thedeadmule.wordpress.com

Okay, that’s just a little sample of Masthead dialog, the real stuff is on the way … our history, our editor’s bios. We’ll let you know on Facebook when it’s complete. Below is just a smattering of information…

Valerie MacEwan: Editor / Publisher

Valerie MacEwan and her husband Robert put the Dead Mule online in 1996 as an adjunct site to a hometown business directory. Remember those hometown directories, back before Google took over the internet? The original Dead Mule Literary Journal, a print magazine, was born from a NC Arts Council grant received in 1996. After paying for a print edition, the magazine went online and has been online — continuously — for twenty-five years. MacEwan is an award-winning Assemblage Artist as well as a writer and she’s dedicated to keeping this Mule online for another twenty-six years. Originally from Fort Smith, Arkansas, she contends there is always an Arkansas connection to everyone she meets. She and her husband and their two dogs live in eastern North Carolina.

CL Bledsoe: Assistant Editor

CL Bledsoe is the author of more than a dozen books, most recently the novel Man of Clay and the poetry collection Riceland. His work is available on Amazon, search for it. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize thirteen times, Best of the Net three times, and had two stories selected as Notable Stories of the Year by Story South’s Million Writer’s Award. Bledsoe has published stories, poems, essays, plays, and reviews in hundreds of journals and websites, including The Cimarron Review, The Arkansas Review, Pank, Nimrod, New York Quarterly, Barrow Street, Gargoyle, The Hollins Critic, New World Writing (formerly Mississippi Review Online), Hobart, The Pedestal Magazine, and many others. Originally from a rice farm in eastern Arkansas, Bledsoe now lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

*CL Bledsoe’s Memoirs  grace the hallowed halls of the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. We enjoy featuring his writing and hope you enjoy reading it. -Valerie

Read more on our ABOUT page

From our January 2015 issue:

With gratitude and affection, we give thanks to those friends who have helped and encouraged us through the years:

Helen Losse is the Mule’s amazing Poetry Editor Emeritus as you well should know. Without Helen – quite simply put – there would be no poetry section on the Mule. Her hard work and determination set the Mule apart from other literary journals as her high standards and vast knowledge assure readers the finest poetry available anywhere – online or not.

Phoebe Kate Foster
Wesley Burnett
Rebecca Cowell
Ruth Chapman Heinold
Caroline Anthony
Jane and Andy Olsen
Jeremy Jethro
Kevin Blankenship – past co-editor/poetry
Janis Owens
Charlie Whitley
Danny Lee Ingram
Tim Peeler
Gerald Bosacker
Ed Lynskey
Tim Bullard the original Mule Friend
Carter Monroe
CL Bledsoe
Wayne Scheer
Zan Nordlund
Ann Hite
Gideon C. Kennedy
G. C. Smith
John Biggs

and so so many more people over the last 26 years.

The Dead Mule is published in The South, USA.
The Mule does not discriminate but good taste and superb quality supersede all other criteria.

We also do not publish our contributor’s bios or previous publication credits. Google does a very good job of this for us.

*Copyright “Creative Commons but also, we’d like to copy Half Drunk Muse’s copyright statement of long ago (because it’s a good one). Obviously we’ve inserted our name:
Submission to and acceptance by Dead Mule grants us first electronic and indefinite archive rights. All other rights revert to the author upon publication. Please credit Dead Mule as the first publisher.

-Valerie MacEwan