“Do not mention gravy!” Food in the Writing of Okie Poet Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

Karen Neurohr (Oklahoma State University)

Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel (1918-2007) and her family left Oklahoma for California in 1936. Throughout her life, she depicted the everyday lives of working class people in poetry and prose. Her subjects included the importance of food within her culture, migrant experiences, and popular culture. With this presentation, I will introduce Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel and her cultural expressions of food, discuss changing patterns of food in her writing, and share perceptions of her contention with the "biscuits and gravy poet" label given by a newspaper reporter.

Part of 09-06 Exploring Folklore and Literature, Saturday, October 15, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm