For The Bitter Southerner, Wyatt Williams explores his Louisiana upbringing and memories of his family and the state through the work of Lucinda Williams, the singer-songwriter born in 1953, the same year as his mother.

What I tried to type out on those nights instead was something about Lucinda’s approach as a poet: the way that, when you can’t exactly explain what you’re thinking or remembering without getting it somewhat wrong, or when the thing you’re trying to explain is inexpressible, sometimes the only way to do it is to just name your world: the places and people and things in it. Sometimes that can be the only way to explain it.