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John T. Edge writes about the American South. The Penguin Press published his latest book, The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South, named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Publisher‘s Weekly, and a host of others. Now in paperback, Nashville selected the book as a citywide read for 2018. He is also a writer and the host for the television show TrueSouth, which airs on the SECNetwork and ESPN.

Edge is a contributing editor at Garden & Gun. For twenty-two years he served as a columnist for the Oxford American. For three years he wrote the monthly “United Taste” column for the New York Times. His magazine and newspaper work has been featured in eleven editions of the Best Food Writing compilation. He has won four James Beard Foundation awards. In 2012 and 2020, he won Beard’s M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

Edge holds an MA in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. And an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College.

He is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, where he and his colleagues document, study, and explore the diverse food cultures of the American South. The SFA has completed more than 1,000 oral histories and 100 films, focused on people like fried chicken cooks, row crop farmers, oystermen, and bartenders.

Edge serves on the faculty of the MFA in Narrative Nonfiction program at the Grady College of the University of Georgia. He has written or edited more than a dozen books, including the foodways volume of the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.

He has served as culinary curator for the weekend edition of NPR’s All Things Considered, and he has been featured on dozens of television shows, from CBS Sunday Morning to Iron Chef.

Edge lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his son, Jess, and his wife, Blair Hobbs, a teacher, writer, and painter. Her website is

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