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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for May 23-29, 2003

In this issue:


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

1700: After having established a French colony in what is now Mississippi, Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur D’Iberville returned to France. (May 28)

1736: French forces under Bienville were defeated by the Chickasaw in the Battle of Ackia, near present-day Tupelo. (May 26)

1892: Poet Maxwell Bodenheim was born in Hermanville, Mississippi. (May 26)

1899: Railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman embarked on a scientific expedition to Alaska, which became the subject of Looking Far North: The Harriman Expedition to Alaska, 1899, by Mississippi writer Kay Sloan and William H. Goetzmann. (May 23)

1904: According to a local legend, a “witch” broke out of some chain links surrounding her grave and burned down Yazoo City, Mississippi, a feat made famous in the book Good Ole Boy by Willie Morris. (May 25)

1916: Novelist Walker Percy was born in Birmingham, Alabama. (May 28)

1921: Poet J. Edgar Simmons was born in Natchez, Mississippi. (May 28)

1925: William Faulkner published “Sunset” in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. (May 24)

1925: Marketing professor Charles L. Broome was born in Prentiss, Mississippi. (May 26)

1925: Richard Wright graduated from Smith Robertson Junior High School, in Jackson, Mississippi, as valedictorian. (May 29)

1926: Poet and playwright John Crews was born in Monroe, Michigan. (May 25)

1937: Novelist Jean Davison was born in Spanish Fort, Mississippi. (May 25)

1941: Richard Wright’s signed appeal against American intervention in the European war appeared in the New Masses. (May 27)

1952: Cecil Kuhne, author of several books on river rafting, was born in Louisville, Mississippi. (May 26)

1959: Filmmaker and “Muppet” creator Jim Henson married Jane Anne Nebel, a puppeteer and business executive. (May 28)

1962: William Faulkner accepted the Gold Medal for Fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in New York. (May 24)

1966: Novelist and memoirist Reuben G. Davis died in Yazoo City, Mississippi. (May 28)

1989: Choral suite from the opera Pamelia, libretto by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith, was performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. (May 29)


Latest issue of literary journal hits newsstands

Collection of 57 works showcases established & new writers, artists

May 28, 2003

By Deidra Jackson
University of Mississippi News Services

OXFORD, Miss. — The latest issue of The Yalobusha Review, the University of Mississippi’s annual literary journal, features short stories by award-winning playwright Shay Youngblood and acclaimed fiction writer Steve Almond.

Twenty-six images, 20 poems, six short stories, three works of creative nonfiction and two translations by other notable writers and artists, as well as UM faculty and students, are highlighted in the publication’s eighth volume. Works by lauded poets Claude Wilkinson of Nesbit and Charles Wright of Virginia also are included in the new edition.

Youngblood and Wilkinson are past John and Renée Grisham writers-in-residence, a prestigious teaching appointment at UM. Editor Joy Wilson, a Department of English graduate student from Palmdale, Calif., worked with a staff of other English graduate students for the current issue.

“As opposed to some university literary magazines where graduate students read some of the unsolicited manuscripts, it is really run by our students, from editorial matters to business management,” said David Galef, the journal’s faculty adviser and administrator for UM’s English graduate program. “Thanks to Joy Wilson and her staff, this year’s issue has a lot of superb writers, and it reads wonderfully.”

Incoming editor Andy Davidson of Lexington, Va., said the journal received more than 600 submissions from throughout the world and described the quality of the works as high. The journal accepts poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, photography and black-and-white artwork from established and new writers and artists every Aug. 15 through Jan. 15.

Other featured works this year are a joint interview featuring noted North Carolina authors Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle, and a short translation from Cuban writer Diana Chaviano’s “El Hombre, La Hambra, Y El Hambre.”

Founded in 1995, The Yalobusha Review is a collaborative effort between the UM departments of English and Art. It is published each April in conjunction with the master of fine arts programs in creative writing and art. Single issues are $10, and multiple-year subscriptions are $8.

For submission guidelines or to obtain a copy, e-mail the editor at or call the UM Department of English at 662-915-7439. Copies can be purchased from the campus bookstore and Square Books in downtown Oxford.

Tallahatchie RiverFest seeks short fiction

May 27, 2003

NEW ALBANY, Miss. — The Tallahatchie RiverFest, which will be held Sept. 26 and 27 in downtown New Albany, announces the 2003 William Faulkner Awards for short fiction.

The adult short story competition is open to all age 19 and older. The work must be original, unpublished short fiction with no more than 5,000 words. The deadline to enter work is June 3. The entry fee is $10 per work. First place carries an award of $500 and second place $250.

Participants are asked to send original unpublished short fiction with three copies of the manuscript and a copy of the work on disc (Microsoft Word format preferred). The original copy must include a cover page with title, name, address, and phone number for notifying winners. Additional copies should include only the title of the manuscript. Lost, misplaced or misdirected manuscripts are not the responsibility of the sponsor. No manuscripts will be accepted postage due.

Winners of the contest automatically release publication rights to the Tallahatchie RiverFest. Winners will be announced during the RiverFest on Sept. 26, 2003. If the winner is in attendance, he or she will be recognized and given the opportunity to read from the work. No manuscripts will be returned and only winners will be notified. For names of winners enclose a SASE.

The 2002 winner was Dory Adams of Pittsburgh, Penn. Adams won the $500 award for “As Easy as That.” The second place winner was Vonnie Madigan, from Sacramento, Calif.

In the student competition the short story must be the original, unpublished work of a Union County or New Albany high school student. The deadline to enter is June 4. The competition is free for high school students.

“The Tallahatchie RiverFest committee wants to encourage individuals to explore expression through the written word,” said Anna Quinn, literary competition chairperson. “As the birthplace of William Faulkner, it’s only appropriate to hold this competition.”

For competition guidelines or more information, call the Union County Development Association at 662-534-4354 or 1-888-534-8232 or on the web at

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

AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

June 19-22: Ford Center for the Performing Arts, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

“Oxford Film Festival.” Oxford’s first community-sponsored film festival consists of 4 days of screenings, along with workshops on film-making, screen-writing, etc., for adults and children, juried professional independent and amateur films, presentations and awards. Ticket prices & details TBA. 10 a.m.-midnight daily. For more information, visit the festival web site,

June 26-29: The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

The “Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers’ Workshop” is designed to give poets and fiction writers experience in the art of writing. The workshop features writing practice and critiques, as well as readings and craft presentations. By the end of the four days, participants should emerge with improved writing skills, as well as a greater appreciation for the process from thought to printed page. Open to anyone interested in writing. Pre-registration is required. Tuition for the workshop is $395 per person and includes workshops, lectures, panel discussions, readings, and one evening reception. The registration deadline is Friday, June 6, 2003. For more information, visit the workshop web site,

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.

July 20-24, 2003

30th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi. Information and registration forms available at

October 16, 2003

Elmore Leonard, author of more than 30 novels (including Bandits, Get Shorty, and Tishomingo Blues), numerous film and television productions, essays and commentaries, will read and talk about his career. For more information on Leonard, visit Elmore Leonard’s new book, When the Women Come Out to Dance, is to be published in November 2003. Johnson Commons Ballroom, The University of Mississippi, 7 p.m. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English at the University of 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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