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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for August 29-September 4, 2003

In this issue:


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

1907: Western novelist John H. Culp was born in Meridian, Mississippi. (Aug. 31)

1908: Novelist, poet, and essay writer Richard Wright was born in Roxie, Mississippi, a small community near Natchez. (Sept. 4)

1912: Historian Aubrey C. Land was born in Panola County, Mississippi. (Sept. 2)

1920: Cookbook writer Craig Claiborne was born in Sunflower, Mississippi. (Sept. 4)

1921: Eudora Welty, age 12, won $25 in “Jackie Mackie Jingles Contest.” (Aug. 29)

1927: Business writer and professor Thomas H. Jerdee was born in Minneapolis, Mississippi. (Aug. 30)

1927: Presbyterian minister Mac N. Turnage was born in D’Lo, Mississippi. (Aug. 31)

1927: Actor and screenwriter Wyatt Cooper was born in Quitman, Mississippi. (Sept. 1)

1939: Novelist and poet Chester L. Sullivan was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. (Sept. 2)

1948: Journalist and writer Joseph Bosco was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Aug. 30)

1951: English professor W. Lawrence Hogue was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi. (Aug. 30)

1958: Writer and journalist Willie Morris married Celia Ann Buchan. (Aug. 30)

1979: On or about this date, western novelist John H. Culp died in Norman, Oklahoma. (Aug. 31)

1982: Music composer and writer Lehman Engel died of cancer in New York City. (Aug. 29)

NEW BOOKS by Mississippi Writers

Blue Window: Poems

By Ann Fisher-Wirth

Archer Books (Paperback, $14.00, ISBN: 1931122156)

Publication date: August 2003


“In that shadowy time before sorrow…” the title poem of Ann Fisher-Wirth’s Blue Window begins, invoking a young girl’s world of befores: before sexual and political awareness; before loss, grief, and guilt; before deaths in the neighborhood and the family. Fisher-Wirth continues tracing a series of journeys begun at that time. An Army brat and lifelong traveler who grew up in California and now lives in Mississippi; daughter, lover, wife, and mother; environmentalist, literature professor, and student of yoga and Reiki, Ann Fisher-Wirth writes out of the full range of her experience. Grounded in the body and the earth, Blue Window mourns and celebrates what it is to be alive.

“Many American poets have written what gets called ‘the autobiographical lyric.’ Very few poets have written it with such fierce and stinging accuracy. [Ann Fisher-Wirth] is, stylistically, a realist and a modernist. Like William Carlos Williams … she can be a little headlong, perhaps a little ruthless, and that quality gives this book, which also has the virtues of tenderness and attentiveness, its steel and its nerve.”
—Robert Hass, former U.S. poet laureate, author, most recently, of the collection Sun Under Wood

“Sweet, rank, precise, unafraid of either deep pain or deep joy, these poems remind me of horses in a pasture, always aware of their power and grace, even in repose, and always, completely natural. It is not just the poet who is acutely alive, in this work, but, somehow, the poems themselves.”
—Rick Bass, Author, The Hermit's Story: Stories, The Roadless Yaak, and others.

Ann Fisher-Wirth lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she teaches poetry and environmental literature at the University of Mississippi. She is the author of William Carlos Williams and Autobiography: The Woods of His Own Nature and of numerous essays on American literature, and a Fulbright Scholar who in 2002-2003 held the Chair of American Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. She and her husband Peter Wirth have five children.


AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

September 4: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5 p.m.

Dr. Ann Fisher-Wirth, University of Mississippi professor of English, will read from her collection of poems entitled Blue Window. For more information, visit

September 16: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi

Larry Brown signs and reads from his unusual, new novel, The Rabbit Factory. For more information, visit

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.

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.

February 12, 2004

Reading and lecture by Richard Ford. 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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