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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for August 9-15, 2002.

In this issue:


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

1864: The town square in Oxford, Mississippi, is burned by Union Gen. Andrew J. Smith. (Aug. 9)

1914: English professor Nora Calhoun Graves was born in Lake, Mississippi. (Aug. 11)

1915: Psychologist Ray F. Koonce was born in Grenada, Mississippi. (Aug. 15)

1920: English professor Helen Harrold Naugle was born in West Point, Mississippi. (Aug. 11)

1925: Journalist and ad copywriter David McCarthy was born in Saltillo, Mississippi. (Aug. 12)

1926: Spanish professor Carl W. Cobb was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi. (Aug. 11)

1934: Methodist minister Maxie D. Dunnam was born in Demer, Mississippi. (Aug. 12)

1934: Theologian Mozella G. Mitchell was born in Starkville, Mississippi. (Aug. 14)

1936: English teacher Ann A. Laster was born in Water Valley, Mississippi. (Aug. 10)

1936: Journalist Mary Lynn Kotz was born in Mathiston, Mississippi. (Aug. 12)

1939: Southern Review accepted Eudora Welty’s story “The Hitch-Hiker” for publication. (Aug. 11)

1970: Writer Patrick Creevy married Susan O’Connor. (Aug. 15)

1986: Outdoorsman and newspaper columnist Orville B. Eustis died of a heart attack. (Aug. 11)


Call for Papers: “Faulkner and the Ecology of the South”

Aug. 7, 2002

The 30th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference
“Faulkner and the Ecology of the South”
The University of Mississippi
July 20-25, 2003

The concept of ecology has come to have a dual focus, referring to the systems of relations that exist both in the natural world and the constructed world. These systems, one pertaining to the relationships between natural organisms and their physical environments, the other with human groups and their social, as well as physical, environments, are increasingly regarded as interdependent. As Lawrence Buell has recently put it, one of the major tasks of ecocriticism “is to put ‘green’ and ‘brown’ landscapes, the landscapes of exurbia and industrialization, in conversations with each other.”

One of the aims of the 2003 conference is to explore that “conversation” as it exists in Faulkner’s fiction. Throughout his career Faulkner was attentive to the communities of Jefferson and human groupings — ranging from the communities of Jefferson and Frenchman’s Bend and the distinct African American and Native American groups within and without these communities, to the complex family structures of Sartoris, Compson, Bundren, and McCaslin — and to the specific settings of those groups within their natural and constructed environments. The play of setting and individual and group dynamics is constant, at times harmonious, at other times a source of conflict, as the human vacillates between struggle against the various forms of environment and a desire to act in accord with them.

Here are some of the questions that might be addressed: How does Faulkner’s fiction develop and change in its depiction of the ecological situation? Do ecological issues become moral and ethical issues in the fiction? Is there any kind of consistent Yoknapatawpha ecology? How does the fiction treat the phenomena of weather, “natural” disaster, the relations between town and county, animal and human? To what extent does Faulkner’s fiction reflect the larger Southern ecological situation within which much of that fiction takes place?

We are inviting 50-minute plenary addresses and 15-minute papers for this conference. Plenary papers consist of approximately 6,000 words and will be published by the University Press of Mississippi. Short papers consist of approximately 2,500 words and will be delivered at panel sessions.

For plenary papers the 14th edition of the University of Chicago Manual of Style should be used as a guide in preparing manuscripts. Three copies of manuscripts must be submitted by January 15, 2003. Notification of selection will be made by March 1, 2003. Authors whose papers are selected for presentation at the conference and for publication will receive (1) a waiver of the conference registration fee, (2) lodging at the University Alumni House from Saturday, July 19, through Friday, July 25, and (3) reimbursement of travel expenses, up to $500 ($.345 a mile by automobile or tourist class airfare).

For short papers, three copies of two-page abstracts must be submitted by January 15, 2003. Notification will be made by March 1, 2003. Authors whose papers are selected for panel presentation will receive a waiver of the $200 conference registration fee. In additional to commercial lodging, inexpensive dormitory rooms are available.

All manuscripts and inquiries should be addressed to Donald Kartiganer, Department of English, The University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677. Telephone: 662-915-5793, e-mail: Manuscripts should only be sent by conventional mail, not e-mail or fax.

Call for Papers: “Disclosing the Secret in Eudora Welty’s Fiction and Photography”

Aug. 6, 2002

The Eudora Welty Society is calling for papers to be delivered at its panel “Disclosing the Secret in Eudora Welty’s Fiction and Photography” at the American Literature Association Conference in Boston May 22-25, 2003.

“The future story writer in the child I was must have taken unconscious note and stored it away then; one secret is liable to be revealed in the place of another that is harder to tell, and the substitute secret when nakedly exposed is often the more appalling.”

—Eudora Welty, “Listening,” One Writer’s Beginnings

The topic refers to several ideas of the secret:

  • to Welty’s patterns of revealing and exposing while holding back and obscuring
  • to her interest in revelation of the unspoken and to the images repeatedly associated with the revelation
  • to her discussions of and uses of mystery
  • to specific secrets in specific fictions and/or the photography.

Send proposals of 500 words to by November 11, 2002. Expressions of interest are welcome ASAP.

Call for Papers: “Sideshow Wonders: Carnivals, Parades, Pageants, and Fairs in Eudora Welty’s Works”

Aug. 6, 2002

The Eudora Welty Society is issuing a call for papers for its session at the Convention of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia, November 14-16, 2003, on the topic “Sideshow Wonders: Carnivals, Parades, Pageants, and Fairs in Eudora Welty’s Works.”

For centuries, carnivals, parades, pageants, and fairs have provided unusual meeting places for people from all aspects of society. Such extravaganzas provoke questions about race, class structures, sex, and even violence. Eudora Welty was clearly fascinated with these transitory events. She writes about parades in One Writer’s Beginnings, carnival “freaks” in “Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden” and “Petrified Man,” beauty pageants in “Hello and Goodbye,” a tent show in “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies,” and Mardi Gras in The Optimist’s Daughter. She also took numerous photographs of the fairs that traveled periodically to Jackson, Mississippi.

Submissions should explore how Welty’s backdrop of the fair, carnival, pageant, or parade influences our reading of her fiction, viewing of her photography, or both. Feel free to discuss the concept of the carnivalesque or to consider comparisons with other authors such as Carson McCullers and other photographers such as Diane Arbus.

Send proposals of approximately 500 words to M. Katherine Grimes, Ferrum College, P. O. Box 1000, Ferrum, VA 24088, email, by March 1, 2003.

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

NEW BOOKS by Mississippi Writers

The Roadless YaakThe Roadless Yaak: Reflections and Observations About One of Our Last Great Wilderness Areas
Edited by Rick Bass
Lyons Press (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN: 1585745456)
Publication date: August 2002


This collection of essays — twenty-seven in all — about the Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana brings to life the wilderness and isolation, exhilaration and trepidation that visitors (and residents) encounter here. The half-million-acre Yaak Valley is home to only 150 people but untold numbers of elk, deer, grizzly bears, cougars, and other critters, big and small. An astonishing 175,000 acres remain roadless in this remote area near the Canadian border. Read about a mother who spends Thanksgiving weekend in the Yaak with her children. “...the Yaak is where my children and I together, have fallen headlong into the glory of the unfamiliar, into the last of the planet’s wilderness, the unpredictability of the natural landscape, the authentic hush possible only away from the clamor” (“Traveling Close to Home,” Debra Gwartney).

You will learn about a teacher who is torn between the world beyond the Yaak and the life he has come to know: mountains, thick forests, snow, and bears. And you will learn why we as a people must protect wilderness like this for future generations.

Contributors include Todd Tanner, Bill McKibben, Gregory McNamee, Jeff Ferderer, Amy Edmonds, Scott Daily, John Lane-Zucker, Sue Halpern, Time Lenhan, Debra Gwartney, Bob Shacochis, Doug Peacock, Annick Smith, William Kittredge, Jim Fergus.

Last Scene AliveLast Scene Alive
By Charlaine Harris
Minotaur (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN: 0312262469)
Publication date: August 2002


In the first installment of the Aurora Teagarden series, Real Murders, the small town of Lawrenceton, Georgia, was beset by a series of horrific murders. Librarian Aurora “Roe” Teagarden teamed up with true crime writer Robin Crusoe to catch the killer, and the results of their investigation have gone down in Lawrenceton history.

Now Robin is back in town, set to begin filming the movie version of the terrible events of so many years ago. Of course he’s not alone — he brings with him a cast and crew the size of which nearly overwhelms the tiny excitement-starved town. Roe is disturbed to discover that the film’s crew includes her stepson, who despises her, as well as an actress set to play her in the film. Everyone in Lawrenceton suddenly goes movie crazy, mentally composing awards-acceptance speeches while prancing around the fringes of the set awaiting discovery.

Roe’s not so crazy about the whole thing ... and neither is a secret, vicious murderer. When bodies start dropping, it’s up to Roe to reprise her role as amateur sleuth and stop the carnage before it gets out of hand. It’s no problem for the beloved small-town librarian in this wonderfully cozy installment in the adored Aurora Teagarden mystery series.

AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

Aug. 1-Nov. 4: J. D. William Library, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

“Civil Rights, Mississippi, and the Novelist’s Craft.” This exhibit highlights fictional accounts set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement, including works by Ellen Douglas, Patrick D. Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, Eudora Welty, Lewis Nordan, William Mahoney, Joan Williams, and many others. Supplementing the display of books will be correspondence, manuscripts, and related ephemera drawn from the archive’s literary collections. Located in the Hall of Mississippi Writers in the Special Collections Department, J. D. Williams Library. Open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. For more information, please contact: Leigh McWhite, (662) 915-7937,

Sep. 5: Bondurant Hall Auditorium, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, 7:00 p.m.

Poetry Reading by Denise Duhamel and Nick Carbo. Joint poetry reading by two accomplished poets who are also husband and wife. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English. For more information, contact the English Department at (662) 915-7687,

Oct. 7: Bondurant Hall Auditorium, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, 7:00 p.m.

Poetry Reading by Alan Michael Parker. Respected poet Alan Michael Parker will read from his work. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English. For more information, contact the English Department at (662) 915-7687,

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.

January 16, 2003

Poetry Reading by Tom Chandler, 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.

March 25, 2003

Poetry Reading by Andrew Hudgins, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

March 26-30, 2003

Seventeenth Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana. For information, visit their web site at

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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