PBS is at it again! Premiering on July 18th, Southern Storytellers is a three-episode docuseries aimed to “reveal Southern culture in its diversity and complexity” by “follow[ing] some of the region’s most compelling and influential contemporary creators to the places they call home.” Among other creatives in the worlds of music, TV, and film, several of our favorite writers will also appear in the series: Jesmyn Ward, Michael Twitty, Angie Thomas, David Joy, Jericho Brown, and Natasha Trethewey.
Check out the episode lineup below, but first! A clip of Jericho Brown giving a poetry reading at the University of Georgia and taking in Stone Mountain Park, the largest Confederate monument in the world.
Southern Storytellers “Episode 1”
Premieres: Tuesday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ET
In the first of a three-part series, Southern creators of literature, music, and film explore deep ties to their native South: Billy Bob Thornton reflects on a life of writing songs and screenplays; Adia Victoria celebrates her music and marriage near Nashville; David Joy laments the disappearance of the Appalachian culture he loves; Jericho Brown reveals the South as essential to his creativity; and Mary Steenburgen remembers her Arkansas childhood in song.
Southern Storytellers“Episode 2”
Premieres: Tuesday, July 25 at 9 p.m. ET
Six of the South’s most influential creators take us home to the places that define them: Mississippi’s Angie Thomas as she writes to change young lives; Jason Isbell remembers his roots in Muscle Shoals while Amanda Shires invites us home to the Tennessee farm the couple shares; Michael Twitty uncovers his roots in Alabama; Lyle Lovett traces his love of stories back to his childhood; Qui Nguyen reveals the small town that showed him the power of personal stories.
Southern Storytellers “Episode 3”
Premieres: Tuesday, August 1 at 9 p.m. ET
In this third and final episode, some of the South’s most compelling and influential contemporary creators take us home to the places that fertilize the stories they tell in books, songs, poems, and on screens large and small: Mississippi author Jesmyn Ward and poet Natasha Trethewey; Georgia screenwriter and series creator Michael Waldron; Arkansas songwriter Justin Moore; songwriter Tarriona “Tank” Ball from New Orleans; and Virginia songwriter Thao Nguyen.