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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for October 4-10, 2002

In this issue:


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

1837: Southwestern humorist Joseph Beckham Cobb married Almira Clayton of Athens, Georgia. (Oct. 5)

1909: Historian John K. Betterworth was born in Jackson, Mississippi. (Oct. 4)

1917: Poet and educator Bessye Tobias Turner was born in Liberty, Mississippi. (Oct. 10)

1923: Psychologist Carol E. Izard was born in Georgetown, Mississippi. (Oct. 8)

1927: Writer Vivianne Cervantes Gladden, who also worked as a model, concert singer, and actress, was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi. (Oct. 8)

1927: Novelist Patrick D. Smith was born in Mendenhall, Mississippi. (Oct. 8)

1929: The Sound and the Fury, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Cape & Smith. (Oct. 7)

1930: As I Lay Dying, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Cape & Smith. (Oct. 6)

1932: Light in August, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas. (Oct. 6)

1940: Historian Wayne Flynt was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi. (Oct. 4)

1943: Novelist Frederick Barthelme was born in Houston, Texas. (Oct. 10)

1948: Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. (Oct. 6)

1950: Journalist Willie Kathryn Suggs was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. (Oct. 7)

1963: Novelist, poet, playwright, and jazz musician Al Young married freelance artist Arlin June Belch. (Oct. 8)

1964: Novelist Lawrence Wells married Gayle Brooke (since divorced). (Oct. 6)

1965: Novelist, journalist, and educator John A. Williams married Lorrain Isaac. (Oct. 5)

1965: “Mr. Acarius,” a story originally written by William Faulkner in 1953, was published in the Saturday Evening Post. (Oct. 9)

1971: Eudora Welty’s book One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression, A Snapshot Album, containing 102 photographs taken by Welty during her employment with the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, was published by Random House, New York. (Oct. 6)

1972: Novelist Lawrence Wells married writer and editor Dean Faulkner, niece of John Faulkner, Murry Falkner, and William Faulkner. (Oct. 4)

1975: Historian John Percy Dyer died. (Oct. 5)

1982: Children’s book writer Margaree King married account executive Kevin Lee Mitchell. (Oct. 9)

1985: The Long Hot Summer, a television movie based on The Hamlet by William Faulkner, was first telecast on NBC. Screenplay was by Rita Mae Brown and Dennis Turner. (Oct. 6-7)

1994: Poet and historian Eddie Gathings McNail died in La Feria, Texas. (Oct. 10)


Fans of literary Mississippi now have a guide to graves, homes, and haunts

Oct. 8, 2002

JACKSON, Miss. — William Faulkner’s Oxford, Eudora Welty’s Jackson, Walker Percy and Shelby Foote’s Greenville, Beth Henley’s Hazlehurst—adventure awaits the literary traveler in each of these Mississippi environs. But where does one find the gravesites and birthplaces, the inspirations and haunts of great Mississippi writers?

A new book, Touring Literary Mississippi published by the University Press of Mississippi ($46.00, hardback, ISBN 1-57806-367-1; $20.00, paperback, ISBN 1-57806-368-X), leads tourists to the right spots.

By taking the literary traveler on seven preplanned tours—through the Delta, along Highway 61, to the heart of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha Country, to sites near Interstate 55 and the Natchez Trace, to the piney woods of East and South Mississippi, and along the sun-struck Gulf Coast—this book captures the phenomenal abundance and diversity of Mississippi literature.

More than a guidebook, the book also gives explicit directions to writers’ homes and other literary sites. It includes capsule biographies and well over a hundred photographs of writers, their residences, and their literary environments.

“This book is intended to be a helpful guide for travelers who want to see homes and other sites,” the authors write in their preface. “With well over a hundred pictures, it is also designed for the armchair tourist.”

The sheer number of writers discovered, recovered, and claimed by Mississippi will astonish travelers both from within and from without the state. Authors include not only such major figures in the pantheon of American literature as Faulkner, Welty, Tennessee Williams, and Richard Wright but also reclaim the less well-known.

As the locations bring to life the connection of ordinary rituals with the stuff of fiction, poetry, and memoir, these hands-on tours make evident the special cross-pollination of writer and community in Mississippi.

Patti Carr Black is the author of Art in Mississippi, 1720- 1980 and The Southern Writers Quiz Book (both published by the University Press of Mississippi). Marion Barnwell, a fiction writer and an assistant professor of English at Delta State University, compiled and edited A Place Called Mississippi (published by the University Press of Mississippi).

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

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,

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 literary events by or about 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.

November 14, 2002

Donna Tartt, author of The Secret History, will sign and read from her long-awaited second novel, The Little Friend, at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

November 16, 2002

Mary Carol Miller will sign copies of Lost Landmarks of Mississippi. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

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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