Dear Birmingham

State of the Re:Union is a public radio show and website that sets out “to explore how a particular American city or town creates community, the ways people transcend challenging circumstances and the vital cultural narratives that give an area its uniqueness.” The program’s latest episode is on the Magic City, Birmingham, Ala., and features writing by yours truly. Stop by the site and check out my letter to the city.  


There’s even audio of me reading portions of the letter in the show. My reading is about 19 minutes into the show.  

Here’s an excerpt of the letter: 


Dear Birmingham,
I guess you always knew I’d come back to you.
Wooed by the palm trees of California’s East Bay Area, Seattle’s cool summers and snow capped mountains, and the bluegrass of Kentucky, I left you; for six years I called other cities home.
But I came back to the rich red earth that birthed me.
I came back to taxed groceries, seemingly endless DMV lines and poor customer service. I came back to government scandals and corrupt local politicians who have nicknames like La La. I came back to crime reports that scare suburbanites away from your downtown.
But I am not afraid of you.

Click here to read the entire letter and listen to the show. (You’ll find links to letters to the city on the right side of the page.)

2 Comments

  1. It is always amazing how “home” no matter how twisted and warped it can seem, will somehow call you back.

    Great piece.

  2. Thanks so much. These days I am actually glad to be back home. I’ve decided to stop complaining about Birmingham not being the city I want it to be and get off my butt and try to change it!

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