1940: Historian Eric N. Moody was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
1944: Fiction writer Eugene R. Dattel was born in Greenwood,
Mississippi. (March 31)
1944: Science writer Frank White was born in Greenwood,
Mississippi. (April 3)
1945:The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee
Williams opened in New York City at the Playhouse Theatre. It
took 24 curtain calls and won the New York Drama Critics Circle
Award for best play. (March 31)
1946: Historian Lee E. Williams II was born in Jackson,
Mississippi. (April 2)
1947: English professor Beverly Taylor was born
in Grenada, Mississippi. (March 30)
1949: Model and entrepreneur Naomi Sims was born in Oxford,
Mississippi. (March 30)
1950: Novelist and screenwriter Rudy Wilson was born in
Meridian, Mississippi. (March 29)
1953:The Brooch, a teleplay written by William
Faulkner, Ed Rice, and Richard McDonagh and based on Faulkners
story, was broadcast on Lux Video Theatre. (April 2)
Faulkner arrived in Venezuela on a two-week State Department trip.
Faulkner published Hell Creek Crossing in the Saturday
Evening Post. (March 31)
died of lung cancer in San Juan, Puerto Rico, two months after retiring
from her position in the U.S. State Department. (April 3)
1972:Small Craft Warnings by Tennessee
Williams opened at Truck and Warehouse Theatre in New York. The
play ran for 200 performances as a commercial but not a critical success.
1993: Writer Joseph Alexander died following a severe burn
in a household fire in San Francisco, California. (April 1)
1999: Psychiatrist Garfield Tourney died in Jackson, Mississippi.
NEWS about MISSISSIPPI WRITERS
Legislature plans Welty home funds
March 25, 2002
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) The historic home
where the late Eudora Welty grew
up and wrote all of her books will get at least $700,000 from the state while
family and supporters map out the houses preservation.
Both the House and the Senate have included
the money in separate versions of a bond bill to finance repairs at Mississippi
universities, junior colleges and state buildings.
Governments issue bonds to borrow money. As
with a person who takes out a loan, the state repays the debt over a number
The Senate, in major bond programs, plans to
allocate about $121 million; the House, $163 million. The chairmen of the tax-writing
committees in both chambers expect a compromise to be somewhere between those
figures. The bond proceeds for the Welty home restoration will be used to match
a $3 million grant from the National Endowment
for the Humanities.
Historians have said the house needs a new roof
and still has the original 1925 electrical wiring. Other work is to include
new plumbing, a central heating and cooling system, and foundation stabilization.
Weltys niece, Mary Alice White of Jackson,
said the family is working with the department to keep the interior and contents
almost completely intact. I am very grateful the Legislature saw the value
in honoring Mississippis literary heritage. Im prejudiced. I think
Eudora is one of the most distinguished authors in America. Her home will be
one of the most intact literary home museums in the country, White said.
Rep. Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, chairman of the
House Ways and Means Committee, said selling lawmakers on the renovation of
Weltys home was an easy task. Her home is a place of not only state
significance but national significance, McCoy said. Miss Welty is
one of the most famous contributing citizens. She is nationally and internationally
known. We want to do everything we can to preserve it and promote the great
heritage she left us.
White said plans are to restore the homes
gardens to the way they looked in the 1930s. When people go into the house
they will see the home as Eudora left it with all the paintings and books,
White said. I have continued to be amazed reading the fan letters from
all over the world, from as far away as Japan, France and Germany and from people
that really appreciated Eudora's work.
Another area of agreement between the House
and the Senate is to set aside $15 million for campus improvements at historically
black Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn
The Legislature began setting aside the money
last year, part of a five-year commitment with the money tied to the settlement
of the college desegregation case signed in February by a federal judge. The
campus improvements are part of the overall $500 million settlement. The Senate
included the $15 million in a bond bill and, while the House did not, McCoy
said the money will be available.
This money will be provided. Were
not going to begin to spend these dollars as long as there is an appeal out
there. And then were going to spend them according to the settlement,
He said the College Board and Attorney General
Mike Moore have presented lawmakers with long-range plans for spending the money.
Both chambers also have agreed to at least $9 million for a new building for
the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and at least $12 million for construction
of a new Mississippi Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The diagnostic lab will
be constructed in Rankin County.
Weve been planning these for some
time, and were trying to bring to them to fruition this year, McCoy
The bills are Senate Bill 3197 and House Bill
Oxford Book Conference Celebrates Tennessee Williams, Grisham
OXFORD, Miss. Acclaimed American playwright
Tennessee Williams, who
is credited with transforming the contemporary image of Southern literature,
is paid tribute in the Ninth Oxford Conference for the Book April 11-14 at The
University of Mississippi.
This years comprehensive four-day seminar
of panel discussions, readings, signings and social events also honors UMs
John and Renee Grisham Southern
Writer-in-Residence Tom Franklin and the 2002-03 Grisham Writer appointee Shay
Youngblood, as well as six past holders of the prestigious post.
All conference sessions are in Johnson Commons
on the UM-Oxford campus unless otherwise noted.
Year after year, the Oxford Conference
for the Book draws a fine assemblage of writers, literary critics, publishers
and Southern literature lovers to the Southern literary mecca that is Oxford,
said Dr. Ann Abadie, associate director of the UM Center
for the Study of Southern Culture. This year is no different. We have
a spectacular lineup planned.
Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Miss.,
where his first home is now the towns Welcome Center. He is most noted
for his plays The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
There is little doubt that as a playwright,
fiction writer, poet and essayist, Williams helped transform the contemporary
idea of the Southern literature, writes UM English doctoral student and
writer Eric W. Cash. However, as a Southerner he not only helped to pave
the way for other writers, but also helped the South find a strong voice in
those auspices, where before it had only been heard as a whisper.
Drama critic Mel Gusso and literary scholar
W. Kenneth Holditch talk about Williams life and career in panel discussions.
Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Paula Vogel comments on Williams work
and his impact on her own writing.
Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern
Culture, UM departments of English
and history, Square
Books, and other UM departments and town organizations, the Conference for
the Book examines book culture from the seeds of a writers inspiration
to the marketing of a completed work. The event attracts book lovers from throughout
the world to discuss issues that affect readers, writers, booksellers, librarians,
scholars and others in the publishing industry.
In addition to selected readings from Williams
plays, a presentation of his one-act play The Gnadiges Fraulein is set
April 14 at 11 a.m. It is directed by Michele Cuomo, assistant professor of
theatre arts, with Dr. Colby Kullman, professor of English, providing its commentary.
The conference also celebrates American Poetry
Month, with readings by poets Beth Ann Fennelly, Natasha Trethewey and William
Trowbridge. The Young Authors Fair, sponsored in collaboration with the Junior
Auxiliary of Oxford, brings outstanding childrens author Gloria Jean Pinkney
(Back Home, The Sunday Outing) to local schools and to the conference.
The conference begins Thursday, April 11, at
5:30 p.m., with a segment on the Thacker
Mountain Radio Show, broadcast on 95.5 FM from Off Square Books in Oxford.
Fennelly and novelist Richard Flanagan (The Sound of One Hand Clapping,
Death of a River Guide) are guests.
That evening at 8, a special free screening
of the film version of novelist Larry
Browns short story collection Big Bad Love is set at Fulton
Chapel on the UM-Oxford campus.
Panel discussions begin Friday, April 12, at
9 a.m., with a welcome by Oxford Mayor Richard Howorth, owner of Square Books,
and a writers workshop, Submitting Manuscripts/Working Ones Way
Into Print. Barry Hannah,
UMs longtime writer-in-residence and author of Yonder Stands Your Orphan,
moderates that discussion. Panelists include Franklin; Amy Hundley, a senior
editor (and Hannahs editor) at Grove/Atlantic, Inc.; Sheri Joseph (Bear
Me Safely Over); Carol Houck Smith, an editor at W.W. Norton; Nat Sobel,
founder of Sobel Weber Associates; and Brady Udall (Letting Loose in the
Hounds, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint).
Hannah also moderates a second writers
workshop April 12 at 10:30 a.m., Finding a Voice/Reaching an Audience.
Expected on the panel are Steve Almond (My Life in Heavy Metal); Fiona
McCrae, director of Graywolf Press; Rick Moody (Purple America, The
Ice Storm); Aishah Rahman (Chiaroscuro: A Light and Dark
Comedy, Chewed Water); and poet Natasha Trethewey (Domestic Work,
In addition to various readings by noted poets
and writers Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, other workshops include The
Endangered Species: Readers Today and Tomorrow, April 13 at 9 a.m.; The
Book Business, April 13 at 10:30 a.m.; Covering Trouble, April
13 at 1:30 p.m.; and Poetry: Readings and Remarks, April 13 at 3
For more information, call the UM Center for
the Study of Southern Culture at 662-915-5993 or see www.olemiss.edu/depts/south/events/index.htm
for a schedule. Those requiring special assistance because of a disability also
should contact the sponsor.
Museum exhibit to feature Welty photographs alongside her contemporary
March 31, 2002
JACKSON, Miss. Eudora
Weltys photographs of the 1930s Great Depression will be presented
together with paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs of notable
American artists of the era in an exhibit to begin this spring.
The exhibition, Passionate Observer: Eudora
Welty Among Artists of the Thirties will open April 6 at the Mississippi
Museum of Art in Jackson and will run through June 30.
The exhibit will offer comparisons between Weltys
artistic motivation and other visual interpretations of the times. She once
said her purpose in photography, as in fiction, was not to point the finger
in judgment but to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between
people, the veil of indifference to each others presence, each others
wonder, each others human plight.
More than just a chronicle, Weltys photographs,
like her celebrated story writing, reveal the courage and dignity of the American
people during this pivotal era.
Among those whose work will be displayed alongside
Weltys are Southern artists Walter Anderson, William Hollingsworth, Marie
Hull, John McCrady, and Karl Wolfe; photographers Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott,
Margaret Bourke-White, and Dorothea Lange; and national artists Thomas Hart
Benton, Edward Hopper, and Grant Wood.
For more information about the museum, including
admission price and hours of operation, please contact the Mississippi Museum
of Art by telephone at (601) 960-1515. The museum web site address is www.msmuseumart.org.
For more on the Welty exhibition as well as
a number of special programs associated with the exhibition, visit the museums
web page on the exhibition at www.msmuseumart.org/welty/index.html.
Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your
information to email@example.com.
NEW BOOKS about Mississippi Writers
Tennessee Williams and the South
By Kenneth Holditch and Richard Freeman Leavitt
University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $30.00, ISBN 1-57806-410-4)
Publication date: April 2002
Description from the publisher:
Words and pictures that show the Souths imprint on the life
and works of the great playwright
No other writer has been more closely
connected to the region of his birth than Tennessee
Williams. Indeed, he remarked on several occasions that the farther
south one went in America, the more congenial life was. He wrote, he said,
not only of the present but also of the past and of a South that had no
counterpart anywhere else.
Combining his words with pictures, this
biographical album reveals the closeness of Williams to the American South.
Although he roamed far, he never forgot the more congenial climate
the South afforded him and his creativity.
Williams was born in Mississippi in 1911
and lived there with his family until he was seven. Thomas Lanier Williams,
who became Tennessee, absorbed much of his creative material
from this Mississippi home place. Many of his ancestors were distinguished
Tennesseans, a fact in which he took considerable pride. Although he grew
to maturity in St. Louis, it was to the South that he continually returned
in his memory and in his imagination. It was in New Orleans and Key West
that he chose to spend a large part of his later years.
His characters Amanda Wingfield
in The Glass Menagerie, Alma Winemiller in Summer and Smoke,
and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire are victims
of having outlived the southern past in which they had been at home. Unlike
them, despite the regions industrial transformation, Williams always
found the South his own.
This book underscores that intimate connection
by featuring photographs of people and places that influenced him. Enhanced
with a long essay and captioned with quotations from Williamss plays,
memoirs, and letters, more than one hundred pictures document the keen
sense of place that he felt throughout his life and career.
Kenneth Holditch, a professor emeritus
at the University of New Orleans, the editor of the Tennessee Williams
Journal, and the co-editor (with Mel Gussaw) of the Library of America
edition of Williamss works, lives in New Orleans.
Richard Freeman Leavitt is the editor/compiler
of The World of Tennessee Williams and the compiler of the photographs
and the genealogical chart for Lyle Leverichs Tom: The Unknown
Williams. He lives in the Great North Woods region of New Hampshire.
AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings,
April 3: Barnard Observatory lecture hall, University of Mississippi
campus, Oxford, Mississippi, 12 noon
Lecture: Yoknapatawpha 2001: Town & Country. Brown Bag Lunch
and Lecture Series presentation by University of Mississippi students
in a documentary fieldwork class. Sponsored by the Center for the Study
of Southern Culture, www.olemiss.edu/depts/south/.
April 3: Holmes Community College Library, Ridgeland, Mississippi
Jeanne Kelly will be on hand for a signing of her new book, From
Sunrise to Sunset. Kellys book was published by the Mississippi
Poetry Society as winner of the second annual Poet of the Year award.
She is an instructor at Holmes.
April 5: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:00 p.m. Richard Ford returns
to Square Books in Oxford with a new collection of short stories, A
Multitude of Sins.
If you know of upcoming readings and appearances by Mississippi
writers, please let us know by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Ninth Oxford Conference for the Book April 11-14, 2002
The University of Mississippi and Oxford, Mississippi
April 16, 2002 The Madison Public Library is having a book signing for poet Jeanne
Kelly, author of From Sunrise to Sunset, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
In honor of National Library Week, the library is sponsoring a book
signing featuring a local author each day. Her book will also be available
at the MPS Spring Festival at Lake Tiak-Okhata in Louisville,
Mississippi, on May 18.
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: email@example.com
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