Margaret Walker has lived and taught in Jackson, Mississippi, since 1949. She has published ten books, including five volumes of poetry, one volume of essays, a biography of Richard Wright, and her epic novel of the Civil War, Jubilee. In 1942 she won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for For My People, becoming the first American black woman to win a major literary prize in this country.
Dec 01 1992
An Interview with Margaret Walker
I’m one of the few black writers who lives in the South and writes there. Alice Walker told me she had to get out of Mississippi. She simply could not write there. I don’t feel that I have to be in exile to write. I wrote at Yaddo. I wrote at Cape Cod. I wrote in Virginia. I wrote in North Carolina. I wrote in New York. I wrote in Chicago. There is no place that I can live where I can’t write. Maybe if I were in New York or Chicago my stuff might be considered better than it’s considered as a southern woman living in Jackson. But I don’t care about that. Those places were too cold, the pace was too fast. I just like living where I live.