Wade Hall has been busy, very busy. Author of Conecuh People, a moving collection of oral histories from rural Alabama published by NewSouth Books, Dr. Hall performed an excerpt from his one-man play, One Man’s Lincoln, at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship in Montgomery, Alabama on November 6. Hall was honored to have an excerpt from this same play included in the production Our Lincoln staged at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. last February. The production is now available on DVD from the Kentucky Arts Council.
Separately, Dr. Hall has written a delightfully conceived work on the same subject, called Interview With Abraham Lincoln, which NewSouth Books will publish early next year. In the book, a fictional reporter named Shelby Grider speaks to our nation’s 16th president two days before he leaves Washington to reclaim Virginia and her Southern sisters for the Union. Lincoln’s words come directly from the historical record, but the interview format gives him voice. In a marvelous act of compression (the book is short), Hall gives a lively impression of the President, one which allows an understanding of Lincoln’s personal history and character and the breadth of his thinking as leader of our nation.
In other pursuits, Hall is working on plays about Hank Williams and W. C. Handy. He is also completing work on a collection of verse, A Conecuh Anthology: Poems from Conecuh Country.
Conecuh People, published by NewSouth Books, is an intimate collection of oral history interviews that captures the lives of the people who were once the backbone of the rural South. The interviews are elevated to art by the skill of Dr. Hall, who left his home in Bullock County, Alabama, after high school and became a college professor and well-known author in Kentucky, but who has returned now to live in the community where he grew up.