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Home:  >News & Events   >Newsletter   >2002

Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for July 12-18, 2002.

In this issue:


The following events all happened during this week in Mississippi history.


1862: Outspoken journalist and political activist Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. (July 16)

1892: Methodist Episcopal minister Nolan B. Harmon was born in Meridian, Mississippi. (July 14)

1901: Sara Dodge Kimbrough, a portrait painter and art teacher on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, was born in New York City. (July 14)

1903: Historian Thomas D. Clark was born in Louisville, Mississippi. (July 14)

1921: Josephine Ayres, who would publish fiction under the pen name Ellen Douglas, was born in Natchez, Mississippi. (July 12)

1922: Historian and biographer Louis R. Harlan was born in West Point, Mississippi. (July 13)

1923: Jimmy Faulkner, the son of John and the nephew of William Faulkner, was born in Oxford, Mississippi. (July 18)

1924: Baptist minister and civil rights activist Will D. Campbell was born in Liberty, Mississippi. (July 18)

1924: Political scientist Cecil V. Crabb, Jr., was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. (July 18)

1926: Playwright and poet Beah Richards was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (July 12)

1933: Theologian John Y. Fenton was born in French Camp, Mississippi. (July 12)

1935: Tennessee Williams’ first play, Cairo! Shanghai! Bombay!, was performed by the Garden Players in Memphis, Tennessee. (July 12)

1936: Poet and playwright Timothy Reynolds was born in Vicksburg. (July 18)

1936: Historian Samuel J. Wells was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. (July 18)

1937: Jay Higginbotham was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi. (July 16)

1946: Historian and poet Julius Eric Thompson was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (July 15)

1972: Historian W. B. Hamilton died. (July 17)


Mississippi State University online resource highlights state’s black authors

July 1, 2002

STARKVILLE, Miss. — What do novelist Margaret Walker Alexander, civil rights leader Medgar Evers and actress Beah Richards have in common? For one, all three are included in a unique Internet-available collection of Mississippi authors maintained at Mississippi State University.

The university’s Mitchell Memorial Library is home to an evolving online file of African-American authors compiled to assist students and scholars in researching black writers with Mississippi ties, said Gail Peyton, interim reference services coordinator.

The file can be accessed by choosing the “Of Special Interest” option at

Peyton said the list currently contains 91 novelists, playwrights, poets, and journalists who either had an influence on the state of Mississippi or who themselves were influenced by the Magnolia State. Each selection includes a biography and list of the author’s publications.

“It’s an exciting project,” she said. “The site is both a motivational tool for African-American students who want to know more about their history and themselves, and a valuable resource for all Mississippians.”

Peyton said she conceived the idea of gathering biographical and bibliographical information five years ago when several students came to the library in search of a comprehensive list during MSU’s Black History Month observance.

With the assistance of a $2,000 grant from the university’s Office of Research, the list was compiled by Peyton, her colleague and special collections reference librarian Lynn Mueller and student Brad McGee.

The resource remains “a work in progress,” Peyton said. At present, she has a list of about 30 authors — including journalist Ida B. Wells and television personality Oprah Winfrey — yet to be added to the collection.

“The Web is a fantastic resource,” she said, explaining that the names of emerging authors often can be found on Web sites or through electronic mail.

One source even arrived on her library doorstep by foot. Peyton said the student — who was, in fact, a published poet — sought her out and asked to be included.

For more information about “Mississippi’s African-American Authors,” contact Peyton at (662) 325-7671 or

Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your information to

AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

July 21-26: 29th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference
“Faulkner and His Contemporaries”
The University of Mississippi, Oxford

Conference and registration information is now available on the web at the

If you know of upcoming readings and appearances by Mississippi writers, please let us know by writing us at 


The following events are planned for the coming weeks and months. You may wish to begin planning now to attend or participate.

November 11, 2002

Poetry Reading by J. D. McClatchy, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

February 6, 2003

U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2002) Billy Collins reads from his poetry and offers commentary on his work and other matters. Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.

February 17, 2003

A reading by Clifton L. Taulbert on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.

April 10-13, 2003

Oxford Conference for the Book, Oxford, Mississippi.

July 20-25, 2003

30th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

If you know of additional news items for this newsletter or if you have suggestions, please write us at

For more information about events in the Oxford and University of Mississippi community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar:

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