Dr. David Ludley, Clayton State University professor of Art History and English, recently had his poem “Sundowners” chosen, through double-blind peer-review, to be published in the literary journal Confluence, a publication of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, in conjunction with sponsoring universities across the country, including Duke, Stanford and others.
“After I submitted the poem to various literary journals for double-blind peer review, I was very pleased when the editor of the respected journal Confluence informed me it had been selected for publication, Ludley says. “On one level, "Sundowners" is about my mother's journey through the stages of Alzheimer's disease, the loss of short-term memory, and the symptom of `Sundowners’ Syndrome, which is the tendency to hallucinate and experience paranoia late in the day.
“On other levels, the poem involves trust -- between a father and a son, a wife and a husband, and other levels of trust in what is real. This work evolved through my experiences helping with the care of my mother during various summers and, later, visiting her in the nursing home. It is also grounded in my love and respect for my late mother.”
Ludley admits that writing piece was a challenge.
“This poem has been years in the making,” he says. “It was challenge writing about someone I love, my late mother, enduring the tragedy of what Alzheimer's does to the mind. At the same time, I had to be true to the facts of the experience and not romanticize or embellish.”
Despite the challenges, Ludley says the experience was very rewarding.
“Having my mother's story late in life and the story of her Alzheimer's published in a well-regarded journal that others may read and learn from has been the most rewarding,” he says.
Ludley also looks forward to the future.
“The success of this publication encourages me to further pursue my other creative projects--including other poems and a novel I have been working on for some time now,” he explains. “The novel is entitled “Buffalo Fandango” and involves my travels out west, which includes a thread of Native-American mythology and its relation to an explorer-ancestor, all brought up to my experiences in the late Sixties in California.”
A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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