[Front Pages] Bobbi Buchanan

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It took a “leap of faith,” Bobbi Buchanan says, to leave her job as a corporate writer after 16 years to found the quarterly e-zine New Southerner (newsoutherner.com) in the summer of 2005. But with 3,000 read­ers after just 19 issues, she’s never looked back on the decision to “do something you feel like you have a calling to do.”

Her calling was for a unique publication grounded in the South’s diverse and long traditions. “I wanted to create an identity for the South that doesn’t exist in the liter­ary world and to promote the idea of us having concerns and values that resonate everywhere,” she says — values like self-sufficiency, environmental stewardship and support for local economies. Regular departments include “Fuss,” which spot­lights the hottest sustainability issues, and “Dog-Eared,” offering poetry and prose as well as interviews with Southern writers. “Long-term we’d like to branch out,” she says, “perhaps do some things with the schools. It’s so important to engage the next generation.”