The following events all happened during this week in Mississippi history.
1767: Jean Baptiste de Bienville, long-time governor and leader
of the Louisiana colony under French rule, died in France. (March 7)
1889: Novelist and short story writer Ben Ames Williams
was born in Macon, Mississippi. (March 7)
1906: Mystery writer William T. Brannon was born in Meridian,
Mississippi. (March 3)
1908: Historian W. B. Hamilton was born in Jackson, Mississippi.
1921:Marionettes, a one-act play by William
Faulkner, was first produced at the University of Mississippi.
1922:Con Leslie Sellers, Jr., who wrote more than
100 novels in several genres using different pseudonyms such as Robert
Crane and Lee Raintree, was born in Shubuta, Mississippi. (March 1)
Faulkner published Jealousy in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Faulkner publishes Turnabout in the Saturday Evening
Post; it was the basis for a film called Today We Live, which
premiered in Oxford at the Lyric Theatre April 12, 1933. (March 5)
1938: Sociologist Charles F. Longino, Jr., was born in
Brookhaven, Mississippi. (March 3)
Wright publishes Native Son by Harper and Brothers. Book
of the Month Club offers it as one of its two main selections. In three
weeks it sells 215,000 copies. (March 1)
was born in Yerington, Nevada. (March 1)
Faulkner arrives in Princeton to spend two weeks at the University
for Council on the Humanities. (March 1)
1958: Nature writer Rick
Bass was born in Forth Worth, Texas. (March 7)
1960: First telecast on CBS-TV of Tomorrow, based on the
short story by William
Faulkner and directed by Robert Mulligan with a screenplay by
Horton Foote. (March 7)
1989: Historian E. Wilson Lyon died in Pomona,
California, following a long illness. (March 4)
1993:Ann Ruff, writer of numerous travel books about Texas,
died. (March 4)
NEWS about MISSISSIPPI WRITERS
2002 Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha
Conference to focus on Faulkner and His Contempories
February 28, 2002
OXFORD, Miss. Information is now available
about an annual conference that brings together critics, readers, and fans of
the life and works of Nobel Prize-winning novelist William
The 29th annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference,
which will be held July 21-26, 2002, at the University of Mississippi, will
address the topic Faulkner and His Contempories through six days
of lectures and discussions by literary scholars and critics.
In addition to formal lectures, there will be
a performance of the folk opera As I Lay Dying, by the Nashville singer-songwriters
group Reckon Crew, discussions by Faulkner friends and family, and sessions
on Teaching Faulkner directed by James Carothers (University of
Kansas), Robert W. Hamblin
(Southeast Missouri State University), Arlie E. Herron (University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga), and Charles Peek (University of Nebraska at Kearney).
The Universitys John Davis Williams Library
will display Faulkner books, manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia; and
the University Press of Mississippi will exhibit Faulkner books published by
university presses throughout the United States. Films relating to the author’s
life and work will be available for viewing during the week. Ms. Booth’s
Garden, an exhibition of photographs by Jack Kotz, will be on display in
the Gammill Gallery at Barnard Observatory.
The conference will begin on Sunday, July 21,
with a reception at the University Museums for Paradox in Paradise, an
exhibition of mixed media artworks by Lea Barton. This will be followed by an
afternoon program of readings from Faulkner and the announcement of the winners
of the thirteenth Faux Faulkner Contest. The contest, coordinated by the author’s
niece, Dean Faulkner Wells,
is sponsored by Hemispheres Magazine/United Airlines, Yoknapatawpha Press
and its Faulkner Newsletter, and the University of Mississippi.
Other events will include a Sunday buffet supper
served at the home of Dr. and Mrs. M. B. Howorth Jr., Faulkner on the
Fringe — an open-mike evening at Southside Gallery, guided
day-long tours of North Mississippi on Tuesday, a picnic served at Faulkner’s
home, Rowan Oak, on Wednesday, and a closing party Friday afternoon at Square
Among the invited speakers are Michel Gresset,
Houston A. Baker Jr., Deborah Clarke, W. Kenneth Holditch, Thomas S. Rankin,
Merrill Maguire Skaggs, Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, Danièle Pitavy-Souques,
Grace Elizabeth Hale, and George Monteiro, along with other presenters to be
The registration fee for the conference before
July 1 is $150 for students, $175 for Friends
of the Center, and $200 for other participants. The fee after July 1 is
$175 for students, $200 for Friends, and $250 for others. The fee includes admission
to all program events, a buffet supper on opening day, a reception on Tuesday,
a picnic at Rowan Oak, conference session refreshments, and a closing reception.
The fee does not cover lodging, the optional tours of Faulkner Country, and
meals, except for those aforementioned.
More information about the conference, including
a printable registration form, is available at the Center for the Study of Southern
Culture web site, www.olemiss.edu/depts/south/faulkner/.
University of Southern Mississippi Libraries present virtual
exhibit on Will D. Campbell
D. Campbell: A Man of the Word emphasizes Campbells work as a
preacher, writer, and public speaker with digital reproductions of manuscript
materials and photographs, audio excerpts from the Will D. Campbell oral history
interview, narrative text, and video clips from the PBS Documentary Gods
Will. Mr. Campbell donated his papers to USM in 1999, and the exhibit links
to the online finding aid. Word also links to the transcript of the Will
Campbell oral history.
Born in Amite County, Mississippi in 1924, Will
Campbell was ordained as a Baptist minister at the young age of seventeen. Campbell
served in WWII and attended Wake Forest, Tulane, and Yale Universities before
receiving his first pastorate at a Baptist church in Taylor, Louisiana.
Wills social activism in regard to racial
justice and human rights made him ill suited for the confines of the small-town
Southern pulpit, and he left in 1954 to become Director of Religious Life and
Chaplain at the University of Mississippi.
Again, his views proved too controversial, and he left his post after only two
Will proclaimed his radical Christianity
through civil and human rights movements, religious organizations such as the
National Council of Churches and the Committee for Southern Churchmen, sermons,
speeches and books. The only white present at the first meeting of Martin Luther
Kings Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Will Campbell became a
behind-the-scenes operator for the Movement. He could be relied on to show up
in a crisis and do what needed to be done, like walking beside black schoolchildren
through a mob in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Probably best known for his writing, Campbells
autobiographical work, Brother to a Dragonfly, was a finalist for the
National Book Award and won the Lillian Smith Prize and the Christopher Award
in 1978. He is the author of seventeen works of fiction and non-fiction, including
two childrens books.
Campbells lectures present themes on the
commonness of all mankind and the importance of relationships with God, the
land, and one another. His talks sparkle with Southern humor and a distinct
voice known to mention rednecks, the evil of institutions, and racial reconciliation.
Sometimes described as a bootleg
preacher, Will Campbell professes a great love and affection for Country Music.
Will was close friends with the late Waylon Jennings, even traveling along on
Jennings tour bus. Campbell currently resides near the Country Music
Capital of the World of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Brenda. They
have three children.
Explore original manuscript materials, complete
with hand-written notations, from Will Campbells books and speeches. Listen
and watch Will Campbell discuss his views on life in media clips, and browse
photographs from the Will D. Campbell Papers in the virtual exhibit Will
D. Campbell: A Man of the Word at www.lib.usm.edu/~spcol/campbell.
Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your
information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW FEATURES in the MISSISSIPPI
The following articles were recently added or updated to the Writer
By Elmore Leonard
William Morrow (Hardcover, $25.95, ISBN: 0060008725)
Publication Date: February 2002
Leonard remains the only A-list crime
fiction writer who doesnt rely on a series hero. Not that his
people don't have plenty in common: expert at thinking on their feet,
not above bending the law, hard-boiled with a touch of romance, and
always possessing a quirky interest in the minutiae of daily life.
Where they differ is in what they do:
bail bondsmen, bookies, fallen priests, and now, a high diver surrounded
by a gaggle of Civil War reenactors. Dennis Lenahan, the high diver,
travels from gig to gig with an 80-foot ladder and a 22-foot-wide tank,
which, he tells female fans, looks like a 50-cent piece from the top
of the ladder.
His latest gig is at the Tishomingo
Lodge and Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. Everything is going swimmingly
until Dennis witnesses a murder 80 feet underneath him. Silence seems
the best policy, but it turns out quite a few people saw Dennis up on
his ladder, including a smooth-talking black man from Detroit called
Robert, who finagles Dennis into participating in an upcoming reenactment
of the Battle of Brices Cross Roads.
Thats only the tip of the iceberg,
of course, but the elaborate action is really only an excuse to let
another group of wonderfully eccentric people bang into each other.
Whats most impressive this time along with the fast-talking
characters is Leonards ability to get inside a world, respecting
the details yet always sensitive to the comic possibilities. There are
other crime novels involving Civil War reenactors (Peter Abrahams
Last of the Dixie Heroes, for example), but no one but Leonard
would think of throwing a casino and a high diver into the mix. Pure
Bones By Carolyn Haines
Delacorte (Hardcover, $23.95, ISBN: 0385335903)
Publication date: February 2002
Described on the somewhat staid cover
as “a mystery from the Mississippi Delta,” Haines’s third Southern cozy
(first in hardcover) is heavy on the cornpone, but is saved from the
totally ridiculous by a hearty leavening of laughter.
Sarah Booth Delaney and her cohorts,
Tinkie Richmond and Cece Dee Falcon (formerly Cecil but that’s for another
story) band together to save friend and horse breeder Eulalee “Lee”
McBride from a first-degree murder rap. Lee has confessed to the murder
of her loutish husband, Kemper Fuquar, in order to save her mixed-up
14-year-old daughter, Kip Fuquar, from the charge. The sheriff is hard-put
to find a woman any woman on the outlying magnolia-scented estates who
didn't have a motive to crush Kempers skull, then sic Avenger,
a temperamental show horse, on the rotter. When she’s not busy being
a PI, Sarah Booth stays busy playing with her red tick hound, Sweetie
Pie; talking to a resident ghost, Jitty, in her antebellum mansion;
reluctantly scouring the area for a date to the hunt ball; baby-sitting
for a willful Kip; and reading Kinky Friedman books. Sarah Booth keeps
up with her friends’ lipstick and nail polish colors, and even goes
along with having Sweetie Pie’s hair dyed brown from its graying shade.
The author’s long on accent, if short
on clues that help elucidate the mystery. But Haines (Them Bones)
keeps her sense of humor throughout, holding the reader’s attention
and internal laugh track right down to the last snicker.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings,
March 6: Barnard Observatory, University of Mississippi campus,
Oxford, Mississippi, 12:00 p.m. Lecture: Readings from a Marriage of Poetry and Prose,
by Tom Franklin, UM John and Renee Grisham Southern Writer-in-Residence,
and his wife, poet Beth Ann Fennally. Sponsored by Center for the Study
of Southern Culture, www.olemiss.edu/depts/south/.
March 6: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:00 p.m.
Ralph Angel will read from and sign copies of his book Twice Removed.
March 7: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:30 p.m.
Elizabeth Dewberry will appear on Thacker Mountain Radio to read and
autograph copies of her novel, Sacrament of Lies. Its the
story of a the daughter of a powerful Louisianna governor and the the
suspicious circumstances of her mothers apparent suicide. Musical
guest to be announced. www.thackermountain.com/.
March 8: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi Jim Fraiser will sign
and talk about Majesty of the Mississippi Delta at Square Books
in Oxford. From historic Port Gibson up the river to Memphis, Fraiser
details the architectural features of homes, churches, and stores dating
back as far as the early 19th century.
If you know of upcoming readings and appearances by Mississippi
writers, please let us know by writing us at email@example.com.
ON THE HORIZON
The following events are planned for the coming weeks and months. You
may wish to begin planning now to attend or participate.
March 21, 2002 Clinton, Mississippi, resident Nevada
Barr will return to Square Books in Oxford this time on Thacker
Mountain Radio, with her newest novel, Hunting Season. Its
the tenth book in the Anna Pigeon series. Anna investigates the murder
of a man at a Natchez Trace tourist spot. The show starts at 5:30 p.m.
March 26, 2002 Edward Cohen will
sign the new paperback edition of his memoir, The Peddlers
Grandson: Growing Up Jewish in Mississippi (Bantam Dell) at Lemuria
Tuesday, March 26, from 5:00-6:00 P.M. The book won Mississippis
top nonfiction awards in 2000, from the Mississippi Institute of Arts
& Letters and the Mississippi Library Association. Its a two-time
selection of Book Sense, the recommendations of independent booksellers
nationwide. Earlier that day, he will speak and sign at the Warren County
Vicksburg Public Library at noon
March 27, 2002 Edward Cohen will
speak to the Lee-Itawamba Library Book Luncheon Group in Tupelo at noon,
the Ole Miss Honors Program at 3:00, and at Square Books in Oxford at
5:00 to read from his book The Peddlers Grandson: Growing Up
in Jewish in Mississippi.
April 5, 2002 Richard Ford returns
to Square Books in Oxford with a new collection of short stories, A
Multitude of Sins. 5 p.m.
The Ninth Oxford Conference for the Book April 11-14, 2002
The University of Mississippi and Oxford, Mississippi
Interhostel: Views from the South: Literature, History, and
April 21-26, 2002
E. F. Yerby Conference Center, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi
Short-term academic program for individuals 50 and older (with accompanying
spouses or adult companions of any age). Sponsored by the Institute
for Continuing Studies. Fee: $845 (includes five nights hotel accommodations,
meals, classes and extracurricular activities). Sponsored by: UM Institute
for Continuing Studies. For more information, please contact: Lynne
Geller at 662-915-7282; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 27, 2002 Childrens book writer Laurie
Parker will give a reading at Square Books in Oxford from her new
book, The Turtle Saver. Its the story of a man who stops
on the Natchez Trace to move a turtle off the pavement and ends up setting
off a hilarious chain of events.
The 29th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference:
Faulkner and His Contemporaries
July 21-26, 2002
The University of Mississippi, Oxford