Bo Emerson

staff writer

I'm an Atlanta native and a long-time AJC feature and news writer. (At my first newspaper job, in South Carolina, we used typewriters, copy paper and glue pots.) I've covered everything from Prince's Purple Rain tour to the Olympic bombing. I'm married to columnist Maureen Downey and we have four children.

Latest from Bo Emerson

50 shades of Clay: Clay Harper’s latest record is darker, with reason
 Rain spatters like gravel against the half-opened windows of the upstairs club at Avondale Towne Cinema. A pulsing fog of harmony radiates from the makeshift stage where two musicians are playing lap steel and theremin. The crowd is packed cheek-to-jowl into the hot, clammy room, and, surprisingly, the listeners are entranced by this ambient...

Posted: a day ago

Rain spatters like gravel against the half-opened windows of the upstairs club at Avondale Towne Cinema. A pulsing fog of harmony radiates from the makeshift stage where two musicians are playing lap steel and theremin. The crowd is packed cheek-to-jowl into the hot, clammy room, and, surprisingly, the listeners are entranced by this ambient...
Atlanta Public Schools students see ‘Hamilton’
 More than a thousand Atlanta Public Schools students had the coolest class trip of the century this week as they trooped into the Fox Theatre to watch that phenomenon called “Hamilton.” “This is absolutely amazing,” said Grady High School senior Morgan Watkins during intermission. The University of Georgia-bound...

Posted: 2 days ago

More than a thousand Atlanta Public Schools students had the coolest class trip of the century this week as they trooped into the Fox Theatre to watch that phenomenon called “Hamilton.” “This is absolutely amazing,” said Grady High School senior Morgan Watkins during intermission. The University of Georgia-bound...
Things to do in and around Atlanta on Thursday, May 24
 With an 40 percent chance of rain Thursday, some indoor activities might be appropriate. Check out a pop culture convention, head to a concert or spend a day out with the toddlers. MOMOCON AT THE GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER   A four-day convention for fans of Japanese anime, American animation, comics, video games, and tabletop...

Posted: 2 days ago

With an 40 percent chance of rain Thursday, some indoor activities might be appropriate. Check out a pop culture convention, head to a concert or spend a day out with the toddlers. MOMOCON AT THE GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER   A four-day convention for fans of Japanese anime, American animation, comics, video games, and tabletop...
Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama, trace families to Jonesboro
 Michelle Obama and Meghan Markle  both can trace their families to the same Georgia town, and not only were their ancestors both Jonesboro residents, they lived there at the same time. According to professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak, both had third great-grandmothers living in Jonesboro in the years after the Civil War. Meghan...

Posted: 8 days ago

Michelle Obama and Meghan Markle  both can trace their families to the same Georgia town, and not only were their ancestors both Jonesboro residents, they lived there at the same time. According to professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak, both had third great-grandmothers living in Jonesboro in the years after the Civil War. Meghan...
Ryan Gainey, gardening genius, profiled in documentary film
 Gardeners will tell you that a weed is just a plant out of place. Nothing was out of place in the gardens of Ryan Gainey, a horticultural wizard who designed gardens for Atlantans and others around the world, but whose greatest creation might have been his own idiosyncratic life. Gainey died tragically in July, 2016, apparently trying to...

Posted: 9 days ago

Gardeners will tell you that a weed is just a plant out of place. Nothing was out of place in the gardens of Ryan Gainey, a horticultural wizard who designed gardens for Atlantans and others around the world, but whose greatest creation might have been his own idiosyncratic life. Gainey died tragically in July, 2016, apparently trying to...
Tom Wolfe’s ‘A Man in Full’ had Atlanta pegged
 Tom Wolfe spent years researching and writing what would become perhaps his most significant novel, 1998’s “A Man in Full,” and the city of Atlanta was collectively proud and apprehensive to be in the crosshairs of the writer’s gimlet-eyed scrutiny. Atlanta’s jitters manifested early. Wolfe came to town to celebrate...

Posted: 11 days ago

Tom Wolfe spent years researching and writing what would become perhaps his most significant novel, 1998’s “A Man in Full,” and the city of Atlanta was collectively proud and apprehensive to be in the crosshairs of the writer’s gimlet-eyed scrutiny. Atlanta’s jitters manifested early. Wolfe came to town to celebrate...
Foraging for food in Atlanta’s urban forest with Concrete Jungle
 On a recent drizzly Tuesday, Katherine Kennedy and five volunteers wrestled with a mulberry tree on Pearl Street. While four members of the foraging party held the corners of a blue tarp, the tallest, Riley Perszyk, stood on the bed of a pickup truck, grabbed a high branch of the tree and shook it like a Polaroid picture. Down came a hail...

Posted: 12 days ago

On a recent drizzly Tuesday, Katherine Kennedy and five volunteers wrestled with a mulberry tree on Pearl Street. While four members of the foraging party held the corners of a blue tarp, the tallest, Riley Perszyk, stood on the bed of a pickup truck, grabbed a high branch of the tree and shook it like a Polaroid picture. Down came a hail...
Ga. Tech prof: Looking for the science in sci-fi
 Who puts the science in science fiction movies? Hardly anybody, it seems. Lisa Yaszek, professor of science fiction studies at Georgia Tech, said “It’s hard to make science really exciting on the big screen. It’s easier to blow things up.” But a few directors score points with Yaszek, notably James Cameron, whose...

Posted: 16 days ago

Who puts the science in science fiction movies? Hardly anybody, it seems. Lisa Yaszek, professor of science fiction studies at Georgia Tech, said “It’s hard to make science really exciting on the big screen. It’s easier to blow things up.” But a few directors score points with Yaszek, notably James Cameron, whose...
How to cook a possum: Rick Bragg on his momma’s table
 In Margaret Bragg’s kitchen, the food of poverty never went out of style. She is a wizard with fatback, turnip greens, sow-belly and tripe, and she’s not impressed with the fact that the rest of the world has caught up with her, and that catfish is served at the most fashionable tables. “She wouldn’t care what the...

Posted: 17 days ago

In Margaret Bragg’s kitchen, the food of poverty never went out of style. She is a wizard with fatback, turnip greens, sow-belly and tripe, and she’s not impressed with the fact that the rest of the world has caught up with her, and that catfish is served at the most fashionable tables. “She wouldn’t care what the...
Three male gorillas leaving Zoo Atlanta
 Three male gorillas from Zoo Atlanta will soon leave Atlanta for a new home at a new zoo. Mbeli, Kali and Gunther are western lowland gorillas who  have lived together as part of a bachelor group at the Atlanta facility since 2012. Zoo Atlanta spokesperson Rachel Davis said the gorillas will move on May 16. She would not reveal the name...

Posted: 18 days ago

Three male gorillas from Zoo Atlanta will soon leave Atlanta for a new home at a new zoo. Mbeli, Kali and Gunther are western lowland gorillas who  have lived together as part of a bachelor group at the Atlanta facility since 2012. Zoo Atlanta spokesperson Rachel Davis said the gorillas will move on May 16. She would not reveal the name...
Allergies in Atlanta: Why they’re bad and getting worse
 It is not your imagination. The allergy season really is getting worse. In Atlanta, a combination of factors, from climate change to automobiles to perverse choices by gardeners, are conspiring to turn your eyes and nose into a rheumy, runny battlefield. You probably took note of this back in April when the pollen count reached 5,354, or...

Posted: 22 days ago

It is not your imagination. The allergy season really is getting worse. In Atlanta, a combination of factors, from climate change to automobiles to perverse choices by gardeners, are conspiring to turn your eyes and nose into a rheumy, runny battlefield. You probably took note of this back in April when the pollen count reached 5,354, or...