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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2003

Faulkner birthday celebration set for Sept. 25 at Ole Miss

Sept. 20, 2003

By Deidra Jackson
University of Mississippi News Services

OXFORD, Miss. — It’s only a matter of time before local leaders declare William Faulkner’s birthday to be a civic holiday in Oxford.

At least that’s the belief shared by some literature lovers at the the University of Mississippi as they plan a free, public celebration of what would have been the Nobel Prize-winning author’s 106th birthday this Thursday, Sept. 25.

“I don’t know why Faulkner’s birthday is not already a state or national holiday, for that matter,” said Joseph Urgo, chair of the Department of English.

“Very few towns in America can attest to having been home to one of humanity’s giants. Because of Faulkner, today Oxford, Mississippi, is the epicenter of American literature and world literature.”

Held at Faulkner’s historic home Rowan Oak on Old Taylor Road, the 4 p.m. celebration is sponsored by the University Writing Center and Department of English. Cake and punch will be served.

Coinciding with UM’s Writing Emphasis Week, the event features a reading by North Dakota native Larry Watson, author of Orchard, his sixth and latest novel. It is a portrait of the entangled lives of two couples in rural Wisconsin during the 1950s.

Commemorative toasts are to be offered by Donald Kartiganer, UM’s Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies, and Charles Reagan Wilson, director of the UM Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Oxford Mayor Richard Howorth will reflect on Faulkner at Rowan Oak.

“It’s no Hollywood set, but it is far more glamorous to us,” reads invitations to the event.

For more information or for assistance related to a disability, call the Department of English at 662-915-7439.

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