The first volume in what will be an annual collection, Cornbread Nation gathers the best of recent Southern food writing. In fifty-one entries--original features and selections previously published in magazines and journals--contributors celebrate the people, places, traditions, and tastes of the American South. In these pages, Nikki Giovanni expresses her admiration for the legendary Edna Lewis, James Villas remembers his friend Craig Claiborne, Rick Bragg thinks back on Thanksgivings at home, Robert Morgan describes the rituals of canning time, and Fred Chappell offers a contrarian's view of iced tea. "Collectively," writes John Egerton, these pieces "buttress our conviction that nothing else the South has to offer to the nation and the world--with the possible exception of its music--is more eternally satisfying, heartwarming, reconciling, and memorable than its food." With the publication of Cornbread Nation, we acknowledge with gratitude the abiding centrality of food in the ongoing life of the South. Contributors include: Colman Andrews, Jim Auchmutey, Roy Blount Jr., Gene Bourg, Rick Bragg, Fred Chappell, Lolis Eric Elie, Damon Lee Fowler, Nikki Giovanni, Jessica Harris, Karen Hess, Jack Hitt, Ted & Matthew Lee, Ronni Lundy, Robert Morgan, James Villas, and Robb Walsh.