Posted in Fiction

I have a Master of Arts in Teaching from Lee University which is in Cleveland, TN, to establish my Southern Legitimacy… to further cement my southern roots, I was born in Columbia, SC, raised, largely, in Oklahoma and Texas, and lived in Tennessee and Georgia for a significant portion of…

Click here to read more... John Mason: Flash Fiction: January 2021

John Mason: Flash Fiction: January 2021

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, I am a native Atlantan born to a father also raised in Atlanta and a mother from small-town northern Florida. I spent many childhood summer days either swimming in a black water spring near the Suwanee River, or jumping into the frigid…

Click here to read more... Martha Payne: Fiction: January 2021

Martha Payne: Fiction: January 2021

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: My grandfather gave me my first chew of tobacco around the age of five, and I started hunting with a shotgun when I was eight. As for my interest in the Southern aesthetic, well, that probably began in about the fifth grade, when my buddy and I…

Click here to read more... Heath Dollar : Fiction : January 2021

Heath Dollar : Fiction : January 2021

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

I know what it feels like to walk barefooted behind my daddy while he plows that red Georgia clay on a hot summer day. That fresh turned dirt was cool on my feet, and a feeling like no other for a little boy. You can’t go back in time but…

Click here to read more... Joseph Leverette: Memoir : January 2021

Joseph Leverette: Memoir : January 2021

Posted in Blog

Southern Legitimacy Statement: We’re so southern, we visit family and friends, outside, ten feet apart, on our big old front porch. We wash our hands, we wear masks, and we are always socially distant. It’s hard not to hug, it hurts not to pat someone on the back but by…

Click here to read more... 2020. Moving On.

2020. Moving On.

Posted in Blog

Why do we read? Neil Gaiman says we read fiction because it can show you a different world. One essential “function of fiction in human life” he says, lies in “its ability to introduce us to different versions of the world by envisioning alternate possibilities for the way things are.”…

Click here to read more... A Couple or Three Books by Mule Alumni

A Couple or Three Books by Mule Alumni

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and have lived in the South when it was segregated, have seen the changes forged through the efforts of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, have witnessed the flare ups ignited by racial inequities and injustices in the ensuing…

Click here to read more... James Ryer: Fiction: Dec 2020

James Ryer: Fiction: Dec 2020

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and lived twenty years in Knoxville, Tennessee where I spent many evenings Agee-style with the saw of cicadas and the scent of hose water on hot grass. As an adolescent, there was nothing I wanted more than to leave the place for some far-flung…

Click here to read more... Anna Oberg: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

Anna Oberg: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m Southern California, born and raised, (learned to surf in high school P.E.). But my Dad’s parents came from big families in Oklahoma, leaving behind more relatives than he can count. My statement feels like a family reunion in blazing summer, light years from home; a house…

Click here to read more... Curtis Miller: Fiction : Dec 2020

Curtis Miller: Fiction : Dec 2020

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Born and bred in Texas. If you see a guy trying not to lose his balance while walking across the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia in his cowboy boots, that would be me. The Oldest Barber in Texas His great-granddaughter hung a sign from his barber pole saying…

Click here to read more... Kevin Grauke: Fiction: Dec 2020

Kevin Grauke: Fiction: Dec 2020

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I grew up in south-central South Dakota. My maternal great grandfather’s family came from Nodaway County, Missouri named after the Nodaway River that flows south. My home town is Mission, population less than a thousand, the largest city on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. I have not…

Click here to read more... CL Prater: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

CL Prater: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

Posted in Poetry

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Fayetteville, Arkansas is my home. I grew up here and then was gone for a very long time. But I came back to live here again and to research and write. I’m a local historian, a novelist, and a poet. Some of my work is set in…

Click here to read more... Jerry Hogan: Poetry: Dec 2020

Jerry Hogan: Poetry: Dec 2020

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: “I am a Chicago native who lived in New Orleans for brief stints (the longest being nine months in duration) at various times during my twenties. Since I was a restless vagabond gal, I constantly moved and traveled to places where I thought I might get a…

Click here to read more... Leah Mueller: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

Leah Mueller: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I grew up n a small town on the Kentucky-Tennessee border where elections were determined by which politician passed out the most half-pints of liquor. When we were kids we got paid 50 cents a piece to pass out Seagram’s Seven and Coronal Lee. When we weren’t…

Click here to read more... Starla Sloan: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

Starla Sloan: Creative Non-Fiction: Dec 2020

Posted in Fiction

SOUTHERN LEGITIMACY STATEMENT When we unexpectedly showed up at Grandma’s house on any given Sunday, she would send one of my older brothers into the yard to catch a chicken or two. She was quicker and more efficient at wringing the chicken’s neck, so she would deftly, with a flick…

Click here to read more... Sheila Arnold: Fiction: Dec 2020

Sheila Arnold: Fiction: Dec 2020

Posted in Poetry

Southern Legitimacy Statement: When we think of the south, those of us who are older remember sitting on porches to visit or to help others string beans when the crop was in. Our house, in southwestern Virginia, faced a street where we could watch cars pass, sometimes with people we…

Click here to read more... Gail Peck: Poetry: Dec 2020

Gail Peck: Poetry: Dec 2020

Posted in Poetry

My SLS varies with my mood and the moon. Sometimes I think about how race relations and people’s perspectives have and have not changed. Sometimes it’s as simple as what’s on the table for dinner. Sometimes it’s about the overarching kindness you find and share through even casual acquaintances. Sometimes…

Click here to read more... James Ryer : Poetry : Dec 2020

James Ryer : Poetry : Dec 2020

Posted in Fiction

SOUTHERN LEGITIMACY STATEMENT When we unexpectedly showed up at Grandma’s house on any given Sunday, she would send one of my older brothers into the yard to catch a chicken or two. She was quicker and more efficient at wringing the chicken’s neck, so she would deftly, with a flick…

Click here to read more... Sheila Arnold : Fiction : Nov 2020

Sheila Arnold : Fiction : Nov 2020

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was raised in the foothills of North Carolina and have spent the majority of my adult life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Watauga County, NC. This piece locates its narrative along Brushy Fork Ridge, where I built my house twenty years ago. The Tao of…

Click here to read more... Philip Arnold: Essay : Nov 2020

Philip Arnold: Essay : Nov 2020

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am a double immigrant from Italy and Venezuela who became a Texan 25 years ago. On top of that, I am a first-generation college graduate who received a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. That’s over 30 years of experience as a…

Click here to read more... Elisabetta La Cava : Fiction : Nov 2020

Elisabetta La Cava : Fiction : Nov 2020

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Nicole Yurcaba is a Ukrainian-American poet and essayist who teaches at Bridgewater College in Virginia. Well-Traveled It’s had a long journey, your letter. Today, it arrived nearly six weeks post-maling—at its intended destination, not to its intended person. I am not there, in Iceland. I am 4,852…

Click here to read more... Nicole Yurcaba : Essay : Nov 2020

Nicole Yurcaba : Essay : Nov 2020

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Dear editors at The Dead Mule, Have I ever told you how much I love the South? Probably not, because we’ve never met. I live all the way up here in Alberta, Canada and have so much appreciation for the Southern United States having a food background…

Click here to read more... Lindsay Brown : Essay : Nov 2020

Lindsay Brown : Essay : Nov 2020

Posted in Fiction

SOUTHERN LEGITIMACY STATEMENT: Mississippi birthed me skinny, Louisiana fattened me up, Georgia married me off, Tennessee worked me like a borrowed mule and Florida retired me. My favorite quote is from Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz. ” The South is a place. East, west, and north are nothing…

Click here to read more... Claire Massey : Flash Fiction : Nov 2020

Claire Massey : Flash Fiction : Nov 2020

Posted in Fiction

My Southern Legitimacy Statement: We lived up in a holler outside Waynesboro, Tennessee. My dad was a master sergeant in Korea, at 23 years old. They killed everyone else, except Private Simmons, so they put my dad in charge. We never got along, so I hit the road Jack… Those…

Click here to read more... Christopher J. Ananias : Flash Fiction : Nov 2020

Christopher J. Ananias : Flash Fiction : Nov 2020