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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for June 14-20, 2002.

In this issue:


THIS WEEK in MISSISSIPPI LITERARY HISTORY

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

Year:

1897: Educator and author Charlemae Hill Rollins was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi. (June 20)

1914: Theologian Josiah G. Chatham was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (June 20)

1924: Psychiatrist B. C. Burris was born in Smithdale, Mississippi. (June 17)

1929: William Faulkner married Lida Estelle Oldham Franklin in College Hill, Mississippi. (June 20)

1935: William Mills was born in Hattiesburg. (June 17)

1941: Novelist John Armistead was born in Mobile, Alabama. (June 14)

1941: Richard Wright’s essay “Not My People’s War” appeared in New Masses. (June 17)

1962: William Faulkner fell from a horse in Oxford, Mississippi, which contributed to his already failing health. (June 17)

1975: Tennessee Williams’ play The Red Devil Battery Sign opened at Boston’s Shubert Theatre. The play ran less than two weeks. (June 18)

1980: Musician, educator, and writer Robert Warner Kirk died of cancer. (June 19)

1983: Southern culture specialist William Ferris married Susannah Louise Furr. (June 14)

1986: Novelist and playwright William Attaway died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California. (June 17)

1998: Frank Trippett died at the age of 71. (June 18)


NEWS about MISSISSIPPI WRITERS

Shay Youngblood, award-winning poet, playwright, novelist is new University of Mississippi Grisham writer-in-residence

June 3 , 2002


Shay Youngblood

OXFORD, Miss. — Shay Youngblood finds magic in the written word. As a toddler and avid reader, she even dreamed of living in a library.

As the 2002-03 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Youngblood shares her literary fascination when she assumes the teaching post in August.

An award-winning poet, playwright and fiction writer, she is the newest recruit for the 10-year-old program, which embraces emerging Southern writers. Relocating to the University of Mississippi to teach creative writing is “like coming home,” Youngblood said, after a stint as a visiting professor for New York University’s graduate creative writing program.

She is set to teach fiction in the fall and a multi-genre workshop next spring.

“Being from Georgia and having spent many summers in southern Alabama, the music, the food, the poetry in a turn of a Southern phrase, the thick smell of pine trees and a heavy rain coming are all familiar to me,” she said. “I appreciate being part of new writers’ growth by offering my experiences as a writer and teacher.”

Joseph Urgo, chair of the UM Department of English, said he and his colleagues are looking forward to Youngblood’s arrival. “Shay was a hit at the Oxford Conference for the Book, delivering a riveting reading from her book Black Girl in Paris,” he said.

The Oxford community “has a rich literary history and I expect to be inspired to create new work,” said Youngblood, whose short story “Born With Religion” won a Pushcart Prize. “When I heard about the blues archives at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, I thought I might also attempt to work on a project that would combine my love of music and theater.”

Youngblood’s other work includes Soul Kiss and The Big Mama Stories. Her play Talking Bones received the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award in 1993, and Shakin’ The Mess Outta Misery received best playwright, producer, director and supporting actor awards from the Hollywood NAACP Theater Awards in 1991.

“The Grisham fellows are accomplished writers, and I’m honored to be part of such a distinguished group,” said Youngblood, who has degrees from Brown University and Clark-Atlanta University. “The generosity of the Grisham residency will allow me to not only develop new work and encourage new writers, but it also gives me the opportunity to be in a community with colleagues whose work I admire.”

The annual appointment, which includes housing and a stipend, is funded by the novelist and his wife, who were Oxford residents for several years. Recipients are required to teach writing workshops and participate in department activities.


Deadline for Welty exhibit, writing contest, Faulkner Conference discounts fast approaching

July 1, 2002, is a deadline for several artistic and literary events in Mississippi.

An exhibition of photographs by Eudora Welty, “Passionate Observer: Eudora Welty — Among Artists of the Thirties,” will close at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson on June 30.

July 1 is also the deadline for entries in the William Faulkner Short Fiction Writing Competition, part of the Tallahatchie RiverFest in New Albany, Mississippi scheduled for September 27-28, 2002.

Finally, anyone who would like to attend the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference at the University of Mississippi should be aware that preregistering for the conference prior to July 1 costs $25 less than registration fees after July 1.


Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your information to mwp@olemiss.edu.


AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

June 26: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi

Novelist Joe Kanon will read and sign copies of his historical thriller The Good German, at Square Books in Oxford. Visit www.squarebooks.com for details.

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 www.olemiss.edu/depts/south/faulkner/.

If you know of upcoming readings and appearances by Mississippi writers, please let us know by writing us at mwp@olemiss.edu. 


ON THE HORIZON

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 mwp@olemiss.edu.

For more information about events in the Oxford and University, Mississippi Community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar:
www.olemiss.edu/calendar/

The Mississippi Writers Page is online at
www.olemiss.edu/mwp/


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