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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2003

Tenth Oxford Conference for the Book scheduled for April 10-13

March 31, 2003

Editor’s note: This article appears on the official conference web site.

OXFORD, Miss. — Since its inauguration in April 1993, the Oxford Conference for the Book has celebrated books, writing, and reading and has also dealt with practical concerns on which the literary arts and the humanities depend, including literacy, freedom of expression, and the book trade itself.

The 2003 conference, the tenth in the series, is dedicated to Stark Young (1881-1963), a distinguished writer and theatre critic from Mississippi. The April 10-13 program will include a lecture by John Pilkington and other presentations on Young’s life and art, dramatic readings from his writings, a screening of the film based on his popular novel So Red the Rose, and an exhibition at the University Library.

This year’s conference will begin on Thursday afternoon with Thacker Mountain Radio, a weekly radio program broadcast live on WOXD-FM in Oxford and rebroadcast on Public Radio in Mississippi. Appearing on this special conference edition of the radio show will be authors Percival Everett and Robert Stone. The program will continue through Sunday afternoon with addresses, panels, and readings.

Among the notable authors of fiction and nonfiction scheduled to read selections from their work and to respond to questions from the audience are Ace Atkins, Calvin Baker, Emily Bingham, Marshall Boswell, Percival Everett, Tom Franklin, Jere Hoar, Michael Mewshaw, Scott M. Morris, George Singleton, Robert Stone, and Shay Youngblood.

Barry Hannah will begin Friday morning's program as moderator for two sessions for writers and readers. Helene Atwan of Beacon Press, Beau Friedlander of Context Books, and Kathy Pories and Shannon Ravenel from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill will discuss the publishing business. Ted Ownby has invited authors Michael Mewshaw, Clifton Taulbert, and Lauren F. Winner to talk about memoirs. Kathryn McKee will moderate “Appalachian Voices,” a session with comments and readings by George Ella Lyon, Ron Rash, and Crystal Wilkinson. Constance Curry, Paul Henrickson, Winson Hudson, and Charles Marsh will discuss their books on the civil rights movement; Ethel Young-Minor will moderate. Elaine H. Scott, Claiborne Barksdale, and George Ella Lyon will discuss issues affecting readers and reading. David Galef and M.F.A. students from the University of Mississippi will offer two sessions.

The conference will celebrate American Poetry Month with readings by poets Beth Ann Fennelly, Blair Hobbs, Shara McCallum, and Ron Rash. George Ella Lyon, award-winning author of children’s books, poetry, and a novel for adults, will speak at the conference and, under sponsorship of the Junior Auxiliary of Oxford, visit local schools and take part in the Young Authors Fair at the Oxford-Lafayette County Library.

Conference sponsors include the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Department of English, Department of Journalism, John Davis Williams Library, McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College, John and Renée Grisham Visiting Writers Fund, Barksdale Reading Institute, Sarah Isom Center for Women, University Museums, Junior Auxiliary of Oxford, and Square Books. The conference is partially funded by the University of Mississippi and grants from the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Tribal-State Compact Fund, and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

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