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Home:  >News & Events   >Newsletter   >2003

Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for January 16-22, 2004

In this issue:

  • This week in Mississippi Literary History
  • News about Mississippi Writers
  • Author events: readings, book signings, and appearances
  • Announcements: News briefs, conferences, calls for papers, and reader announcements
  • On the horizon: events coming up in the weeks and months ahead


THIS WEEK in MISSISSIPPI LITERARY HISTORY

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

Year:
1700: Henry de Tonty arrives at Biloxi from upriver to help with the building of the settlements and fortifications. With his arrival, the two French colonies on the North American continent are linked for the first time. (Jan. 16)

1813: Physician, lawyer, and historian Reuben Davis was born in Winchester, Tennessee. (Jan. 18)

1815: Southwestern humorist Joseph Glover Baldwin was born at Friendly Grove factory near Winchester, Virginia. (Jan. 21)

1907: Poet and novelist Hubert Creekmore was born in Water Valley, Mississippi. (Jan. 16)

1917: English professor Juanita V. Williamson was born in Shelby, Mississippi. (Jan. 18)

1923: Religion writer Martha Nelson was born in Merigold, Mississippi. (Jan. 19)

1931: Acclaimed stage and screen actor James Earl Jones, who co-wrote his autobiography Voices and Silences with Penelope Niven, was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi. (Jan. 17)

1931: Political scientist Samuel H. Barnes was born in Mississippi. (Jan. 20)

1931: William Faulkner’s daughter, Alabama, died, nine days after being born prematurely. (Jan. 20)

1938: Methodist minister and founder of the National Federation for Decency in 1977 Donald E. Wildmon was born in Dumas, Mississippi. (Jan. 18)

1939: The Wild Palms, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Random House. Faulkner’s original title for the book, If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, was changed at the request of the publisher. (Jan. 19)

1939: U.S. Air Force officer and motivation consultant Will Clark was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi. (Jan. 19)

1942: Walker Percy’s second cousin (and guardian) William Alexander Percy died in Greenville, Mississippi, from a stroke. Later that year, Walker would begin a three-year bout with tuberculosis. (Jan. 21)

1946: It was announced that Richard Wright’s Black Boy had sold 195,000 copies in the Harper trade edition and 351,000 through the Book of the Month Club, making it the fourth best-selling nonfiction title for 1945. (Jan. 19)

1954: William Faulkner arrived in Rome after visiting England, France, and Switzerland. He was working on Land of the Pharaohs for Howard Hawks. (Jan. 19)

1963: The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway. The play closed after 69 performances. (Jan. 16)

1979: A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur by Tennessee Williams opened off-Broadway at the Hudson Guild Theatre in New York. It performed only 36 times. (Jan. 17)

1985: Novelist Borden Deal died of a heart attack in Sarasota, Florida. (Jan. 22)

2000: Food writer Craig Claiborne died at East Hampton, New York. (Jan. 22)


NEWS about MISSISSIPPI WRITERS

English professor Adam Gussow wins award for book from Society for Southern Literature

Jan. 13, 2004

Adam Gussow
Adam Gussow

OXFORD, Miss. — Adam Gussow, University of Mississippi assistant professor of English and Southern studies, is the latest recipient of the Society for Southern Literature’s C. Hugh Holman Award.

Named for the late University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill English professor and Southern Literary Journal editor, the award recognizes the “best book of literary scholarship or criticism in Southern literature during a given calendar year,” according to the society.

Gussow received the award for Seems Like Murder Here: Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition (University of Chicago Press, 2002). The award was presented at the December convention of the Modern Language Association in San Diego.

“Seems Like Murder Here is a classic interdisciplinary study,” said Charles Reagan Wilson, director of UM’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture. “Adam’s depth of understanding of the music and community makes that book stand out as one of the most important studies of African-American literature.”

Wilson won the award with the center’s founder William Ferris in 1990 for their Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 1989).

An expansion of Gussow’s dissertation, Seems Like Murder Here is his first scholarly work and his second blues-themed book. Mister Satan’s Apprentice: A Blues Memoir, an account of Gussow’s experience playing harmonica alongside Harlem guitarist Sterling Magee, was published by Pantheon in 1998.

“It’s extremely rare for an assistant professor’s first scholarly book to win this kind of prize,” said Joseph Urgo, chair and professor of English at UM. “This proves the point that Adam Gussow is a rising star in Southern studies.”

Besides the Holman Award, Seems Like Murder Here recently received a John G. Cawelti Book Award honorable mention from the American Culture Association. A section of the book published in African American Review won the journal’s Darwin T. Turner Award for the best essay of 2001.


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

Jan. 20, 2004: Off-Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:00 p.m.

Elijah Wald presents his work Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues. Signing/reception at 5 p.m., reading at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.squarebooks.com.

Through Feb. 29, 2004: National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Passionate Observer: Photographs by Eudora Welty, highlighting over 50 of Welty’s black-and-white photographs from the 1930s, will be exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. For more details, visit the museum web site at www.nmwa.org.

Feb. 12, 2004: Johnson Commons Ballroom, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, 7:00 p.m.

Reading and lecture by Richard Ford. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English at the University of Mississippi.

If you know of upcoming literary events by or about Mississippi writers, please let us know by writing us at mwp@olemiss.edu.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

‘Ask John Grisham’ contest

In anticipation of John Grisham’s new legal thriller, The Last Juror, Doubleday is inviting readers to submit ten questions that they have always wanted to ask John Grisham. The person who submits the ten best questions will win an HP Pavilion zd7000 Digital Entertainment Notebook PC from HPshopping.com. For details, visit the contest web site at www.randomhouse.com/features/grisham/contest/. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 20, 2004.

Send your Mississippi writer-related announcements to 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.

April 1-4, 2004

The 11th Oxford Conference for the Book, in Oxford, Mississippi. Notable authors, editors, publishers and others in the trade gather with educators, literacy advocates and book lovers for panel discussions, readings and scholarly presentations. The 2003 conference is dedicated to Mississippian and author Walker Percy (1916-90). Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Oxford Tourism Council, and Square Books. Free admission; preregistration recommended through the Center for Study of Southern Culture (www.olemiss.edu/depts/south/).

June 17-20, 2004

Oxford Film Festival, in Oxford, Mississippi. Oxford’s second annual 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 and details are available at www.oxfordfilmfest.com.

July 25-29, 2004

31st Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, “Faulkner and Material Culture.” The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi. More information, including registration fees and online application forms, available at www.outreach.olemiss.edu/events/faulkner.


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 of Mississippi community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar:
www.olemiss.edu/calendar/


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