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Becky Albertalli is the #1 bestselling author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited, and the Leah on the Offbeat. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.
Isabelle Armand worked with fashion photographers in her native Paris and in New York City, where she lives and works since the 1980’s. Eventually, Armand’s predilection for art drew her away from the fashion industry. She assumed the position of U.S. editor for the French magazine Connaissance des Arts, in whose pages her own photographic portraits of contemporary artists appeared. After a productive stint as editor, Armand devoted herself to a full-time career in freelance photography. Concentrating on black-and-white film portraiture and documentaries, primarily in a 6 x 7 medium format, Armand’s highly original works can be found not only in private collections, but also in museum collections. In addition, they have been featured both in national and international publications.
Collections: Brooklyn Museum- Akron Art Museum- Private Collections in US, Great Britain and France.
Artist Books: Leonardo Drew: Works-TradingScreen-Friends, NYC
Press: Connaissance des Arts- Vogue Brazil- Acne Paper- The Eye of Photography – Slate- Everyday Incarceration - Innocence Project News-Lifeforce Magazine- The Clarion-Ledger-New York Times-Issue Magazine-Daily Beast-The Economist.
Alexia Arthurs was born and raised in Jamaica and moved with her family to Brooklyn when she was twelve. A graduate of Hunter College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has been published in Granta, The Sewanee Review, Small Axe, Virginia Quarterly Review, Vice, and The Paris Review, which awarded her the Plimpton Prize in 2017.
Photo by Kaylia Duncan
Jabari Asim is the author of five books for adults and nine books for children. His most recent works are Only The Strong, a novel; Preaching To The Chickens: A Story of Young John Lewis; and A Child’s Introduction To African American History. His next book, We Can’t Breathe, will be published in October. His other books include Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on Law, Justice and Life (editor); The N Word: Who Can’t Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why; and What Obama Means: For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future.
Asim served for 10 years as the executive editor of the Crisis, the NAACP’s flagship journal of politics, culture, and ideas. His awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016, and a Massachusetts Book Award Honor. He is an associate professor at Emerson College, where he directs the graduate program in creative writing.
Photo by Shef Reynolds
Radley Balko writes and reports on criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post blog The Watch. He was previously a senior writer and investigative reporter at the Huffington Post, and a reporter and senior editor for Reason magazine. He is author of the books “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces” and “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South” (co-authored with Tucker Carrington). His work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Mississippi Supreme Court and two federal appeals courts. He was named the L.A. Press Club Journalist of the Year in 2011. He has also won the Innocence Project’s Journalism Award in 2015, the NACDL Champion of Justice award in 2016, and the Bastiat Prize in 2017. He, his wife, and their two dogs live in Nashville, Tennessee.
Angela Ball is the author of six poetry collections, including The Museum of the Revolution: 58 Exhibits, Possession, Quartet, Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds (winner of the Donald Hall award from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs), and Talking Pillow, published by University of Pittsburgh Press in fall of 2017. She has helped to author Next Line, Please: A Book of Prompts for Poets and Writers, by David Lehman with contributions by Angela Ball, just out from Cornell University Press.
Awards for her work include an individual writer’s grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Arthur J. Schiable Award in the Humanities from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; invitations to represent the U.S. at the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam and the Poetry Festival of Bogotá, a residency at Chateau Lavigny in Switzerland, and a semester as Poet-in-Residence at the University of Richmond. Her work has twice won the Poetry Prize from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and twice received grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her work has been featured in Best American Poetry, on the Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and has been frequently anthologized. The many journals that have featured her poems and translations include Field, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, the New Republic, Poetry, Grand Street, Partisan Review, and The Atlantic Monthly. The 2013-15 Moorman Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, Ball served many years as Poetry Editor of Mississippi Review.
Marion Barnwell is professor emeriti of the Division of Languages and Literature at Delta State University. Among her publications are A Place Called Mississippi and Touring Literary Mississippi. Her stories have been published in Tapestry, Christmas Stories from Mississippi, Mad Dogs and Moonshine, and The RavensPerch. After the death of author Dorothy Shawhan, Barnwell and Libby Hartfield co-edited Fannye Cook: Mississippi’s Pioneering Conservationist.
Scott Barretta is a writer/researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail, the host of Highway 61 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, an instructor of blues courses at the University of Mississippi and Delta State University, a music columnist for the Clarion Ledger, and the former editor of, and continuing contributor to, Living Blues magazine. His publications include co-authorship of the book Mississippi: State of Blues (with Ken Murphy) and a blues curriculum for elementary students for the Mississippi Arts Commission. A producer of the recent documentary film “Shake ‘em on Down” about Mississippi Fred McDowell, Barretta received the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for Mississippi Heritage in 2016.
Kate Beasley holds a master’s in writing for children and young adult writers from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first novel, Gertie’s Leap to Greatness, was a Junior Library Guild selection, and Indies Introduce Selection, and a multi-regional Indie Bestseller. The New York Times Book Review called it “breathlessly, effortlessly fun.” Kate lives with her family in Claxton, Georgia, with two dogs, one parrot, lots of cows, and a cat named Edgar.
Janet Dewart Bell is a social justice activist and among her accomplishments are an Emmy® for outstanding individual achievement (CBS-TV affiliate in Washington, DC) and programming for National Public Radio honored with a Peabody award, considered the highest award in broadcasting. In addition, she was Director of Communications and Public Relations for District Council 37, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), in New York City. She was the Communications Director for the National Committee on Household Employment, which helped gained federal minimum wage coverage for household workers. As a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, she developed and taught a course on Effective Advocacy and co-taught a constitutional law course with her husband, Professor Derrick Bell. To celebrate his sixty-fifth birthday, she founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law. She lives in New York City.
A former English teacher and journalist, Johnnie Bernhard is passionate about reading and writing. Her work(s) have appeared in the following publications: University of Michigan Graduate Studies Publications, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, World Oil Magazine, The Suburban Reporter of Houston, The Mississippi Press, University of South Florida Area Health Education Magazine, the international Word Among Us, Southern Writers Magazine, The Texas Review, Southern Literary Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, “The Last Mayberry,” received over 7,500 views, nationally and internationally.
A Good Girl was short listed in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom International Creative Writing Competition, as well as featured novel for panel discussion at the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals. It was represented by Texas Review Press at the 2017 Texas Book Festival. A Good Girl is a finalist in the 2017 national Kindle Book Award for literary fiction, a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, a 2018 nominee for the Pushcart Prize, a 2018 nominee for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction Award, and shortlisted for the 2017 Lone Star Literary Review, Bloggers’ Choice Award in best Literary Fiction.
Johnnie’s second novel, How We Came to Be is set for publication in spring 2018. It is a finalist in the 2017 International Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.
Elise Blackwell is the author of five novels, most recently The Lower Quarter. Her short prose has appeared in the Atlantic, Witness,Brick, and other publications. Her work has been named to several best-of-the-year lists, translated into multiple languages, adapted for the stage, and served as inspiration for a Decemberists’ song. Originally from southern Louisiana, she now lives in South Carolina.
William Boyle is from Brooklyn, New York. His debut novel, Gravesend, was published as #1,000 in the Rivages/Noir collection in France, where it was shortlisted for the Prix Polar SNCF 2017 and nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Boyle is also the author of a book of short stories, Death Don’t Have No Mercy, and of another novel, Tout est Brisé (Everything is Broken), recently released in France. His newest novel, The Lonely Witness, is out now from Pegasus Crime. Gravesend will be reissued, also by Pegasus Crime, in September 2018. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
Rick Bragg is the author of seven books, including the best-selling Ava’s Man and All Over but the Shoutin’. He is also a regular contributor to Garden & Gun magazine. He lives in Alabama.
Photo by Steven Forster
Books by Sonny Brewer:
Rembrandt the Rocker, author, Over the Transom Press 1994 Fairhope AL
A Yin for Change, author, Over the Transom Press, 1996, Fairhope AL
Clarence Darrow Journeyman, ghostwriter, Seville Press, 1997, Pensacola FL
Stories from the Blue Moon Café, editor Vols 1-5, MacAdam-Cage 2002-2009, San Francisco CA
The Poet of Tolstoy Park, author, Random House, 2006, New York
A Sound Like Thunder, author, Random House, 2007, New York
Cormac the Tale of a Dog Gone Missing, author, MacAdam-Cage, 2008, San Francisco
The Widow and the Tree, author, MacAdam-Cage, 2009, San Francisco
Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Day Jobs They Quit, editor, MP Publishing LTD, 2010, Douglas, Isle of Man
Rose Brock is the editor of Hope Nation and a professor of Children’s and Young Adult Literature at Sam Houston State University. A veteran educator and advocate for using audiobooks as tool for literacy, Dr. Brock is one of the co-founders of the North Texas Teen Book Festival. She is also author of Young Adult Literature in Action: A Librarians Guide, Third Edition, publishing March, 2019.
Taylor Brown grew up on the Georgia coast. He has lived in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and the mountains of western North Carolina. His fiction has appeared in more than twenty publications including The Baltimore Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, and storySouth. He is the recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction, and was a finalist in both the Machigonne Fiction Contest and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. His short story collection In the Season of Blood and Gold was a finalist in the short story category of the 2015 International Book Awards. An Eagle Scout, he lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Photo by Benjamin Galland
Jimmy Cajoleas was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He spent years traveling the country playing music before earning his MFA from the University of Mississippi. He lives in New York.
Charles W. Calhoun is a historian who specializes in the political history of the United States from 1865 to 1900. He holds a B.A. in history from Yale University and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. In 2014 he retired as Thomas Harriot College Distinguished Professor of History at East Carolina University. He is the author of six books and the editor of five others. His latest book is The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant (University Press of Kansas, 2017).
Calhoun is the founder and past president of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. He has held several research grants, including a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.
-The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2017.
-From Bloody Shirt to Full Dinner Pail: The Transformation of Politics and Governance in the Gilded Age. New York: Hill and Wang, 2010.
-Minority Victory: Gilded Age Politics and the Front Porch Campaign of 1888. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008.
-Conceiving a New Republic: The Republican Party and the Southern Question, 1865-1900. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006.
-Benjamin Harrison. New York: Times Books-Henry Holt, 2005. American Presidents series edited by Arthur Schlesinger.
-Gilded Age Cato: The Life of Walter Q. Gresham. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988.
-The Gilded Age: Perspectives on the Origins of Modern America. Second edition, revised and enlarged. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007.
-The Human Tradition in America: 1865 to the Present. Wilmington: SR Books-Scholarly Resources, 2003.
-The Human Tradition in America from the Colonial Era through Reconstruction. Wilmington: SR Books-Scholarly Resources, 2002.
-The Gilded Age: Essays on the Origins of Modern America. Wilmington: SR Books-Scholarly Resources, 1996.
-A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, 1816-1899. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1980. Editor with others.
What sets Coach Jack Carlisle’s story apart is the adversity he overcame and the many lives impacted because he did. To say he was tough and determined is a resounding understatement. The book about his life, “Cactus Jack, Against All Odds,” covers his sixty-one year career with twenty high-school championships, five hall-of-fame inductions, distinguished college career and most importantly, a glimpse into the lives he influenced along the way. His high-school record of 262-70-17 places him in an elite group of most successful Mississippi coaches. Jack currently resides in New Albany, MS with his wife Jean and enjoys fishing, woodworking and hearing from old friends and players.
The Nautilus Publishing Company is pleased to the announce the launch of a new book, Jim Carmody, Big Nasty, Mississippi’s Coach by Ron Borne. The manuscript, which chronicles the life of Mississippi football coach Jim Carmody, was finished three days before Borne passed away.
The book offers readers a detailed account of Carmody’s remarkable coaching career and includes anecdotes from former players, including Brett Favre.
Carmody was the head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1982 to 1987. He led the Eagles to a 38-29 victory over Bear Bryant’s Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in 1982, breaking the Tide’s 56-game home winning streak. Carmody also scheduled a 1987 game against Jackson State University that broke a long-standing race barrier.
Carmody also served as an assistant coach at Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of North Carolina.
Professor Carrington is the founding director of the Mississippi Innocence Project (MIP) and Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law. MIP’s mission is to identify, investigate and litigate actual claims of innocence by Mississippi prisoners, as well as advocate for systemic criminal justice reform. To that end, MIP drafted and helped to pass into law the State’s first-ever DNA preservation and post-conviction testing statute, as well as the State’s first compensation legislation to aid those who have been wrongfully convicted.
Prior to coming to Ole Miss, Professor Carrington was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown Law Center, a trial and supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and a visiting clinical professor at Georgetown. MIP’s work has been covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and National Public Radio, among others. In 2010 Professor Carrington co-directed the documentary film Mississippi Innocence, which was featured selection of the American Constitution Society and screened at law schools around the country. Professor Carrington writes frequently about criminal justice issues, including wrongful convictions and legal ethics. His work has appeared in The Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, The Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, and the Mississippi Law Journal.
Outside of the Law School, Professor Carrington serves as an adviser to the American Law Institute’s re-drafting of the Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault and Related Offenses; as teaching faculty for Gideon’s Promise, a public defender training program for lawyers in the Deep South; and co-chairs the Ethics and Best Practices Committee for the Innocence Network.
Sheryll Cashin is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice at the Georgetown University Law Center. Currently she teaches Administrative Law, Race and American Law, and a writing seminar she recently designed about American segregation, education and opportunity. She has also taught Constitutional Law, Local Government Law, Property, and a seminar on urban development.
She writes about civil rights and race relations in America. Her most recent book, Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White (Beacon, 2017), explores the history and future of interracial intimacy, how white supremacy was constructed and how “culturally dexterous” allies undermine it. Her book, Place Not Race (Beacon, 2014), recommended radical reforms of selective college admissions in order to promote robust diversity; it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction in 2015. Her book, The Failures of Integration (PublicAffairs, 2004) explored the persistence and consequences of race and class segregation. It was an Editors’ Choice in the New York Times Book Review. Cashin is also a two-time nominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for non-fiction (2005 and 2009). She has published widely in academic journals and written commentaries for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Salon, The Root, and other media. She is frequently asked to speak to academic and policy audiences as well as at book events for people who engage with her as an author. She has delivered keynote or endowed lectures at twenty universities.
Professor Cashin was law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. As a Marshall Scholar, she received a masters in English Law with honors from Oxford University and received a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Law Review. Cashin was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, where her parents were civil rights activists. She lives in Washington with her husband and twin boys.
Mae Miller Claxton is a professor at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, teaching classes in Southern, Appalachian, and Native American literature. Book publications are Conversations with Dorothy Allison, Conversations with Ron Rash, and Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty: Twenty-First-Century Approaches. Articles have appeared in Mississippi Quarterly, South Atlantic Review, and Southern Quarterly, among others. She is currently working on a book project entitled Horace Kephart: Writings. She served as president of the Eudora Welty Society from 2010-2012.
Maude Schuyler Clay was born in Greenwood, Mississippi. After attending the University of Mississippi and the Memphis Academy of Arts, she assisted the photographer William Eggleston. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, and the High Museum, Atlanta, among others. The University Press of Mississippi published her monograph DELTA LAND in 1999, which received the Mississippi Arts and Letters Award in 2000, and DELTA DOGS, which received the award in 2014. She was the Photography Editor of the literary magazine The Oxford American from 1998-2002. Her book, MISSISSIPPI HISTORY, with a foreword by Richard Ford, was published in 2015 by Steidl, who will also publish a new Landscapes book in 2019. A collaboration with poet Ann Fisher-Wirth called MISSISSIPPI came out in 2018. There will be a major retrospective of her work at the Mississippi Museum of Art in 2020. She continues to live and work in the Delta.
Photo by Terri Loewenthal
Ginger Williams Cook is a full time artist, published illustrator, and workshop coordinator located in the Historic Fondren District of Jackson, Mississippi. Ginger’s most recent project has been illustrating a book with author Malcolm White called The Artful Evolution of Hal & Mal’s, published by The University Press of Mississippi. The book showcases her ability to evoke a sense of place in a beloved Jackson landmark through fluid line and color. The artwork produced in her studio ranges from quirky pet portraits and custom illustration for ad agencies. During International Women’s History Month one of Ginger’s playful illustrations landed on a limited edition bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips and was recognized at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity & Design with a Bronze Medal. Ginger also dedicates energy to coordinating mindfulness based creativity workshops and studio art enrichment courses. She is passionate about the creative collaboration within her hometown of Jackson, MS, where she and her husband Justin are raising their two kids, Eloise & Oliver.
Dr. Lisa M. Corrigan (Ph.D. University of Maryland) is an Associate Professor of Communication, Director of the Gender Studies Program, and Affiliate Faculty in both African & African American Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of Arkansas. She researches and teaches in the areas of social movement studies, the Black Power and civil rights movements, prison studies, feminist studies, the Cuban Revolution, and the history of the Cold War.
Her first book, Prison Power: How Prison Politics Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation (University Press of Mississippi, 2016), is the recipient of the 2017 Diamond Anniversary Book Award and the 2017 African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book Award both from the National Communication Association.
Her writings and reviews have also appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Women & Language, Communication Quarterly, The National Journal of Urban Education and Practice, The Journal of Post-Colonial Writing, Intertexts, Review of Communication, the Southern Journal of Communication, the Journal of American Studies, and QED: A Journal in Queer Worldmaking. She is also a contributor to the Indivisible Guide and regularly leads political trainings and workshops in Arkansas and around the country.
She also co-hosts a podcast with Laura Weiderhaft called Lean Back: Critical Feminist Conversations, which was named the top podcast in Arkansas and one of the top thirty-five podcasts in the country by Paste magazine. It can be found on iTunes, Google Play, and your preferred podcast platform.
Karen L. Cox is an award-winning historian who has written op-eds for the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, TIME magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of three books, including Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture, Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture, and Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South, set in Depression-era Natchez, Mississippi.
Joseph Crespino is the Jimmy Carter Professor of history at Emory University. He is the author of In Search of Another Country, winner of the 2008 Lillian Smith Book Award from the Southern Regional Council, and Strom Thurmond’s America. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.
Photo by Kay Hinton
David is the author of The Mississippi Book of Quotations. He serves as a judge for the Willie Morris Literary Award for Fiction based in New York City. He has produced three documentary films and is currently working on a fourth film.
David serves as Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Mississippi. He is a former United States Marshal who spent over 12 years with the U.S. Justice Department before joining the Court.
In his early 20’s David worked for Mississippi Governor William Winter. In that role he helped secure passage of pioneering legislation that brought a statewide system of kindergartens, reading aides, compulsory school attendance, and other badly needed reforms to Mississippi.
In 2014 David produced a feature length documentary film, The Toughest Job, that won a regional Emmy for Best Historical Documentary. He recently completed a documentary on a major conservationist who is doing pioneering restoration work along the Mississippi River. Mississippi Public Broadcasting plans to broadcast that film later this year.
David graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee where he worked on the Sewanee Fire Department. He is a mountain climber and marathoner who has climbed some of the world’s highest peaks and competed in the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. In 1983 he hiked the entire 450 miles of the Natchez Trace, known as “The Devil’s Backbone,” and is believed to be the first person to trek the entire distance of that ancient trail since the 1800’s.
David and his wife, Claire, have twins affectionately known as the doublets. They live on a farm near Oxford with five large, ferociously lovable dogs.
Susan Cushman was co-director of the 2010 and 2013 Creative Nonfiction Conferences in Oxford, Mississippi, and director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. Susan’s essays have been published in four anthologies and numerous journals and magazines. She is the author of two books and editor of two anthologies:
Editor, Southern Writers on Writing (University Press of Mississippi, May 2018)
Author, Cherry Bomb, a novel (Dogwood Press, August 2017)
Editor, A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be (Mercer University Press, March 2017)
Author, Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s (eLectio Publishing, February 2017)
Susan is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. She has lived in Memphis since 1988.
Gene Dattel is a cultural and economic historian who lectures widely. He was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta. He was educated at Yale University and the Vanderbilt University Law School. He then embarked on a twenty-year career in finance as managing director of Salomon Brothers and Morgan Stanley. He lived overseas for fifteen years – London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo – during his financial career. His first book, The Sun that Never Rose, about Japan was a prescient and widely acclaimed treatment of Japan’s cultural and financial problems.
He then turned his attention homeward to America. His Cotton and Race in the Making of America (2009) described the fateful intersection of the power of cotton to the African American experience. Dattel’s recent book, Reckoning with Race: America’s Failure (2018), is a frank appraisal of America’s racial issues with the past tied to the present and the future. His forthcoming personal family essay, “Jewish Immigrants: From Eastern Europe to the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta” (2018) will be published by the New York Historical Society.
Dattel has served as an advisor to the Pentagon, major financial institutions, and cultural institutions from the New York Historical Society to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. He initiated the process that led to the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.
Jack Davis is a professor of environmental history at the University of Florida and the author of several books, including The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in History, and An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century. Davis first gained a sense of place that is important to his writing while living in Mississippi in the early 1990s. His next book is a natural and cultural history of the bald eagle.
Photo by Lynn Weir
A native of Mobile, Miriam C. Davis graduated from Emory University with a degree in history. A Fulbright Fellow, she studied at both the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) and the University of York (England) before earning a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After teaching for sixteen years at Delta State University, she left as Professor of History in 2011. She is now a freelance writer and ghostwriter. Her first book was Dame Kathleen Kenyon: Digging Up the Holy Land. Her most recent book is The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story, listed by the New York Times Book Review as summer true crime reading.
Jim Dees is the author of The Statue and the Fury, which won the 2017 Independent Publishers Association’s Bronze award for best non-fiction in the South. The book was also nominated for the “Best Nonfiction Book of the Year” by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Since Fall 2000, Dees has been the host of The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, a music and literature program heard weekly on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Dr. deShazo’s research and scientific work includes over 200 peer-reviewed original scientific articles including publications in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and the Journal of Immunology, regular contributions to the online medical resource Up To Date, numerous book chapters, scientific abstracts and presentations and the book, The Racial Divide in American Medicine (University Press, 2018). His research has resulted in the modern classifications and criteria of fungal sinusitis and sarcoid sinusitis, unique contributions on insect allergy and biology (fire ants and bed bugs), the immunology of HIV, and the experiences of black physicians in the American South. He received the Hoff Research Medal of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the Morton Research Medal of the Southern Medical Association and numerous federal and private research grants. He received the “Best of the Year Award” for medical writing from the American Journal of Medicine in 2014.
Dr. deShazo has continued as an active practitioner of internal medicine and pediatrics throughout his career. He received the Laureate Medal of the Mississippi Chapter of the ACP and the designation of Master of the American College of Physicians (MACP) in 2015. He is a distinguished fellow of the American College of Allergy and holds fellowship status in the ACP, ACA, and AAAAI. He was elected to the American Clinical and Climatological Association in 2009.
Dr. deShazo has collaborated with other UMMC faculty and staff to develop programs to address Mississippi’s poor health. He developed and hosts a statewide, live, call-in medical program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting radio and serves as a producer of a series of health documentary programs for MPB television. Awards for Southern Remedy have included 6 “Telly” producer awards, a regional “Emmy” nomination in 2014, media awards recognition from the AAMC and the MS state medical society, and the first place Achievement Award for Mississippi from the Associated Press in 2017. With UMMC colleagues, he also developed a state-wide, church-based Community Health Advocate Training Program sponsored by UMMC and recognized by the Mississippi Humanities Council with a Humanities Partnership Award. He is actively engaged in a variety of activities to improve health literacy, health disparities and racial reconciliation.
David DiBenedetto, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Garden & Gun Magazine, is also the author of the book On the Run: An Angler’s Journey Down the Striper Coast (HarperCollins), which received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. Under his watch, the magazine has published three books: The Southerner’s Handbook, Good Dog, and The Southerner’s Cookbook, all New York Times bestsellers.
James L. Dickerson is the great grandson of Steve Turner, one of the framers of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890. Currently, he is publisher of Sartoris Literary Group, one of the most influential trade book publishers in the South, and publisher of the online magazine, NEW ORLEANS REVIEW OF BOOKS, which serves Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama.
Dickerson is a former editorial writer for The Commercial Appeal and the Jackson Daily News. He was also a book critic for the Baltimore Sun, Toronto Star, BookPage, and Nashville Tennessean.
In the mid-1980s, he published a Memphis-based music magazine, Nine-O-One, the first magazine published in the South to ever obtain newsstand distribution in all 50 states, ultimately to become the third largest circulation music magazine in the U.S., behind Rolling Stone and Spin. During that time, he also was executive producer of Pulsebeat—The Voice of the Heartland, a music syndication with about 100 radio stations.
Dickerson has written almost 35 books, including: Going Back to Memphis: A Century of Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Glorious Soul , a finalist for the prestigious Gleason Award; That’s Alright, Elvis: The Untold Story of Elvis’s First Guitarist and Manager, Scotty Moore, co-authored with Moore (also a finalist for the Gleason Award) and Mojo Triangle: Birthplace of Country, Blues, Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll, which won a first-place award from the Independent Publishers’ Association. Dickerson wrote a second book with Scotty Moore, Scotty & Elvis, published in 2013 by University Press of Mississippi.
Other music titles include: Good Girls, Bad Girls: The Rise and Fall of Women in Music, Just For a Thrill: Lil Hardin Armstrong, First Lady of Jazz (the first and only biography of the Memphis-born singer/songwriter who had strong ties to Oxford, MS), and Colonel Tom Parker: The Curious Life of Elvis Presley’s Eccentric Manager, the movie rights of which were sold earlier this year to a major Hollywood movie company.
History titles include Dixie’s Dirty Secret (a book about the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission); Devil’s Sanctuary: An Eyewitness History of Mississippi Hate Crimes, co-authored with Alex A. Alston; Inside America’s Concentration Camps: Two Centuries of Internment and Torture; and The Hero Among Us: Memoirs of an FBI Witness Hunter by legendary FBI agent Jim Ingram, co-written with Dickerson.
In the photo, Dickerson is playing a vintage 1950s-era 600 series Silvertone guitar of the type Delta bluesmen ordered from Sears Roebuck.
Todd Doughty is VP, Executive Director of Publicity for Doubleday. He has worked with John Grisham, Jane Mayer, Maya Angelou, Dan Brown, Kevin Kwan, Candice Millard, Ian McEwan, Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg, Jeffrey Toobin, Chuck Palahniuk, Hampton Sides and many other authors over the course of his twenty year career.
William Dunlap is an artist, writer, arts advocate, and commentator who has distinguished himself during a career spanning more than four decades. He is the author of Short Mean Fiction: Words and Pictures, a collection of short stories with drawings. A comprehensive survey of his work entitled, Dunlap was published in 2006. William Dunlap maintains studios in Coral Gables, Florida; McLean, Virginia; and Mathiston, Mississippi. He is married to artist/writer Linda Buress. They have one daughter, Maggie, who is also an artist and published illustrator of two children’s books.
Photo by Kay Holloway
John T. Edge has served as director since the 1999 founding of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. Winner of the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation, he is author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South (Penguin Press), named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Publisher‘s Weekly, and a host of others. Now in paperback, Nashville selected the book as a citywide read for 2018.
“Is “The Potlikker Papers” a history of the South by way of food stories, or a story about Southern food by way of our history? By the time you come to the end of this rigorous volume, you’ll know that the two are indivisible. Edge has long shaped the conversation about food not only in this region but across the country through his pulpit as director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. The Potlikker Papers is his defining contribution to that conversation.” — Wyatt Williams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Edge holds an M.A. in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and an M.F.A. in Creative Non Fiction from Goucher College. A columnist for the Oxford American and Garden & Gun, Edge wrote the “United Tastes” column for the New York Times for three years.
Julia Eichelberger, Marybelle Higgins Howe Professor of Southern Literature and director of the program in Southern Studies at the College of Charleston, has been teaching at the College since 1992. Her first book, Prophets of Recognition: Ideology and the Individual in Novels by Ellison, Morrison, Bellow, and Welty, was published by LSU Press. She has also published essays in Mississippi Quarterly, Studies in American Jewish Literature, Southern Literary Journal, and the Eudora Welty Review, and most recently in the collection Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race, edited by Harriet Pollack (U of Georgia Press, 2013).
For her book Tell About Night Flowers: Eudora Welty’s Gardening Letters, 1940-1949, she selected, edited, and annotated letters Welty wrote to two close friends who shared her love of gardening. With Mae Miller Claxton, she co-edited and contributed to a collection of thirty-one essays entitled Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty: Twenty-first Century Approaches, published in 2018. She is now at work on another book featuring Welty’s correspondence with Frank Lyell.
Eric Etheridge is the author and photographer of Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders. The book contains the mug shots of all 329 Riders arrested in Jackson, Miss., in 1961, as well as his contemporary portraits and profiles of more than 90 Riders.
The portraits have been exhibited at the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Freedom Rider Museum in Montgomery, AL, the Jewish Community Centers in San Francisco and Washington, DC, and elsewhere.
Twenty portraits were included in the exhibition “Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968,” which originated at the High Museum in Atlanta, and later traveled to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, the Field Museum in Chicago, the Skirball in Los Angeles and the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York City.
After the first edition of Breach was published in 2008, Etheridge helped create the Mississippi Freedom 50th Foundation, which organized a weeklong series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rides. The May 2011 event was hosted by then governor Haley Barbour and Congressman Bennie Thompson. More than 90 Riders attended with their families, in addition to several hundred high school and college students from around the country.
Etheridge began his career as a magazine editor, working at Rolling Stone, Harper’s Magazine, 7 Days and elsewhere. He later worked online, creating and running websites for Microsoft, the New York Times, and others. A native of Mississippi, he lives in New York City.
W. Ralph Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past and The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South. The essay “The Past Is Just Another Name for Today” appears in Southern Writers on Writing and a forthcoming essay on the life and legacy of Mahalia Jackson will appear next spring in Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community-Builders, and Agitators for Faith and Justice. His essays and criticism have been published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, The American Scholar, NPR, WIRED, and The New Yorker. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, he is currently a visiting professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi.
Jim Ewing is an award-winning journalist, editor and author.
His background of more than three decades as a writer and editor at The Clarion Ledger, Mississippi’s largest newspaper, earned him a reputation as a well-respected journalist.
Among his awards, he is a three-time winner of the J. Oliver Emmerich Award (the Mississippi Press Association’s highest honor for commentary), in addition to other state, regional and national honors.
He is the author of seven books (Findhorn Press/Inner Traditions) on mindfulness, eco-spirituality and alternative health, published in English, French, German, Russian and Japanese.
He is a former organic farmer and has served on numerous agricultural and environmental boards and nonprofits for many years.
His latest books are Redefining Manhood: A Guide For Men and Those Who Love Them (2015), and Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (2012).
William R. Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music and folklore, is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of its Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore.
The former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1997-2001), Ferris has conducted thousands of interviews with musicians ranging from the famous (B.B. King) to the unrecognized (Parchman Penitentiary inmates working in the fields).
He has written or edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films. He co-edited the massive “Encyclopedia of Southern Culture” (UNC Press, 1989), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His other books include: “Mule Trader: Ray Lum’s Tales of Horses, Mules and Men” (1992), “Local Color” (1982, 1992), “Images of the South: Visits with Eudora Welty and Walker Evans” (1978), “Mississippi Black Folklore: A Research Bibliography and Discography” (1971), “Blues from the Delta” (1970, 1978, 1988), translated into Italian as “Il Blues del Delta” (2011), and “Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues” (2009), translated into French as “Les Voix du Mississippi” (2013). His most recent book, “The South in Color: A Visual Journal,” was published in 2016 by the University of North Carolina Press.
Bill Ferris’ films include “Mississippi Blues” (1983), which was featured at the Cannes Film Festival. He has produced numerous sound recordings and hosted “Highway 61,” a weekly blues program on Mississippi Public Radio for nearly a decade. He also has published his own poetry and short stories.
A native of Vicksburg, Miss., Ferris was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, where he taught for 18 years. He also taught at Yale University and Jackson State University. A graduate of Davidson College, he received a Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania (1969).
He has won many prestigious honors, including the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities, the American Library Association’s Dartmouth Medal, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award, and the W.C. Handy Blues Award. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine named him among the Top Ten Professors in the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society. In 2014, the French translation of Give My Poor Heart Ease won the Coup de Coeur de l’Académie Charles Cros Musiques du Monde prize from Académie Charles Cros in the world music book category, and Ferris received the B. L. C. Wailes Award, given to a Mississippian who has achieved national recognition in the field of history by the Mississippi Historical Society. In 2017, Ferris received the Mississippi Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.
At Carolina, Ferris has been teaching classes on the history of music in the American South and its impact on the region’s history and culture. His students have explored Native American songs, Appalachian folk ballads and Afro-American hymns, spirituals and work chants, and considered a range of forms including blues, country music, gospel, jazz, rock, and rap.
Kendra Field is assistant professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). The book traces her ancestors’ migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration. Field also served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis’ W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009). Field has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and she is the recipient of the Western Writers of America’s, 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, the 2016 Boahen-Wilks Prize, and the Organization of American Historians’ Huggins-Quarles Award. Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.‘s “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” (2013) and “Roots: A History Revealed” (2016). Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Previously, Field worked in education and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.
Ann Fisher-Wirth’s most recent project is a collaborative poetry/photography manuscript called Mississippi with the photographer Maude Schuyler Clay (Wings Press 2018). Ann’s other books of poems are Dream Cabinet, Carta Marina, Five Terraces, and Blue Window; she has also published an academic book on William Carlos Williams and four poetry chapbooks. With Laura-Gray Street, she coedited the groundbreaking Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity UP 2013, 2014). Ann’s work appears widely and has received numerous awards, including the Mississippi Arts and Letters Poetry Award and two Mississippi Arts Commission poetry awards. Ann has had residencies at The Mesa Refuge; Djerassi Resident Artists Program; Hedgebrook: Women Authoring Change; and CAMAC/Centre d’Art, Marnay, France. She was Anne Spencer Poet in Residence at Randolph College in Lynchburg during April 2017. She is a Fellow 2015-2018 of the Black Earth Institute, the recipient of a senior Fulbright to Switzerland and a Fulbright Distinguished Chair award to Sweden, and past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. She teaches American literature and poetry workshops, and directs the Environmental Studies program, at the University of Mississippi.
John M. Floyd’s work has appeared in more than 250 different publications, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Strand Magazine, Mississippi Noir, and The Saturday Evening Post. A former Air Force captain and IBM systems engineer, John is also a three-time Derringer Award winner, an Edgar Award nominee, and a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. HIs stories have twice been selected for inclusion in the annual Best American Mystery Stories anthology, and his seventh book, The Barrens, is scheduled for release in late 2018. John’s short fiction has been praised by James Patterson, Douglas Preston, Nevada Barr, Carolyn Haines, Jan Burke, Tom Franklin, and many others.
MARTHA HALL FOOSE is the author of Screen Doors & Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales of a Southern Cook, the best-selling homage to Southern cooking, won the James Beard Award for American Cooking and The Southern Independent Booksellers Award. Her other titles include: A Southerly Course: Recipes & Stories from Close to Home; Oh Gussie! Cooking and Visiting in Kimberly’s Southern Kitchen and My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen with Asha Gomez. Martha makes her home in the Mississippi Delta with her husband and son.
Josh Foreman is a sixth-generation Mississippian. He taught, wrote and traveled in Asia from 2005 to 2014. His writing has appeared in the Southern Review, the Sun Herald, Groove Korea, and other newspapers and magazines. He holds a BA from Mississippi State University and an MFA from the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Charles Frazier, historical fiction writer and National Book Award winner for his debut novel Cold Mountain, will bring his timely new book to life as he discusses Varina, based on the life of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s wife – a woman of strength and independence who was far ahead of her time. Frazier contends that the presence of Civil War monuments in America today “indicates how much the issues of the Civil War are . . . baked into the framework of our country and our culture.” He lives in his home state of North Carolina.
Craig W. Gill is the Director of the University Press of Mississippi. He has worked at the press for over twenty years rising from Senior Editor to Editor-in-Chief to Director. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin he has worked in scholarly publishing for twenty-eight years at Northwestern University Press, the University of Chicago Press, the University Press of Kentucky, and the University Press of Mississippi. Over the course of his career he has acquired and published almost seven hundred books.
Robert Gordon is a writer and filmmaker. His books include Memphis Rent Party, It Came from Memphis, Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters, and Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion. He won a Grammy for his liner notes to the Big Star boxed set Keep an Eye on the Sky. His film work includes producing and directing the documentaries Johnny Cash’s America and William Eggleston’s Stranded in Canton. His Best of Enemies, about William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, won an Emmy in 2017 and was shortlisted for an Oscar. Gordon lives in Memphis. www.TheRobertGordon.com
Novelist Matthew Guinn is the author of The Resurrectionist, The Scribe, and a forthcoming novel set on the Natchez Trace in the antebellum era. He is associate professor of creative writing at Belhaven University.
Like the characters in her latest novel, Promise, Minrose Gwin grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi. She began her writing career as a newspaper and wire service reporter in cities throughout the southeast. Her Civil Rights-era novel, The Queen of Palmyra, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her memoir, Wishing for Snow, tells the story of her mother’s descent into mental illness. Her third novel, The Accidentals, is forthcoming next year.
Wearing another hat, Minrose is also the author of cultural and literary studies books and articles. In her most recent scholarly book, Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement, she writes of the reverberating impact of the Mississippi Civil Rights leader’s activism and martyrdom on writers, journalists, and musicians. Minrose was also a coeditor of The Literature of the American South, a Norton anthology, and has taught as a professor at universities across the country, most recently the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
List of Books:
Promise: A Novel
The Queen of Palmyra: A Novel
Wishing for Snow: A Memoir
Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement
The Woman in the Red Dress: Gender, Space, and Reading
The Feminine and Faulkner: Reading Beyond Sexual Difference
Black and White Women of the Old South: The Peculiar Sisterhood in American Literature
Jo was born near Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where her favorite artist, Walter Anderson, painted a secret room. Jo later moved to a ghost town, Electric Mills, Mississippi. Anderson’s secret room and the ghost town inspired Jo’s novel, Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe. Today Jo lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband, children, and her dog Pupper, who just happens to closely resemble the character of Percy in the book. Jo is also a lawyer with Wyche, PA., whose lawyers have worked to preserve over 100,000 acres of land for future generations. Jo is a graduate of Millsaps College and Yale Law School. Jo also founded www.outdoorosity.org, a free resource for educators and families celebrating the treasures and curiosities of nature with stories, know-how and inspiration to get readers outside. You can find Jo online at JoHackl.com.
Karen Hayes is living every book-lover’s dream: running her own bookstore. Together with novelist Ann Patchett, she co-owns Parnassus Books in Nashville TN. Karen found her way to the owner’s desk after a career that included 12 years at Ingram Content Group, the nation’s largest book distributor, plus 18 years as a traveling sales rep for Random House. During her time at Random House she came to love and respect the vibrant community of independent bookstores she called on. In addition to being the managing owner of Parnassus books, she also sits on the board of The Porch Writers’ Collective and represents Parnassus in the citywide Nashville Reads initiative.
Jane Hearn was married to Jim Lucas at the time of his death. She has archived and restored these images for a touring exhibition and website: jimlucasphotography.com.
She is a fifth generation Mississippian who for many years was an interior designer and owner of a contract commercial furniture company in Jackson. She served for many years on the Tougaloo College Board of Turstees where she worked to preserve, restore and develop Tougaloo’s art collection. Upon retirement she founded and managed the Tougaloo Art Colony which received the Chair’s Award for Special Achievements in the Humanities from the Mississippi Humanities Council in 2001.
Jane is a graduate of Delta State University. She and husband Terry Stone live in Beaufort, SC.
Bethany Hegedus’ books include the award-winning Grandfather Gandhi and Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story, both co-written with Arun Gandhi, grandson to the Mahatma and illustrated by Evan Turk. Her latest picture book is Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird (Jan 2018) which is a Junior Library Guild 2018 selection. Forthcoming picture book includes Hard Work But It’s Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter (the first picture book on the 39th president). The pictures books also join Bethany’s novels Truth with a Capital T and Between us Baxters in gracefully handling race, class and diversity issues. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults, Bethany is prior editor of the literary journal Hunger Mountain. Bethany is the Owner and Creative Director of The Writing Barn, a writing retreat, workshop and event space in Austin, Texas. A former educator,Bethany speaks and teaches across the country.
Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Elizabeth Heiskell’s culinary journey started in her mama and daddy’s Delta kitchen, where food and fun went hand in hand—a tradition she is passing down to her three daughters. She went on to serve as Lead Culinary Instructor at Viking Cooking School in Greenwood, MS. Today she owns a bustling vegetable business with her husband, Luke, selling beautiful vegetables to the best restaurants in the South. Heiskell’s long-time love is her catering company, Elizabeth Heiskell Catering, where she has served the famous and not-so-famous for 20 years. In her spare time, she produces e Debutante Farmer line of Bloody Mary mixes. Heiskell is a TODAY show food contributor and a regular on Sirius XM radio. Find her on Instagram at @elizabethheiskellcatering.
Dr. Herts is a native of the Arkansas Delta region. As director of The Delta Center, he serves as executive director of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, a Congressionally designated partnership with the National Park Service. As a 2016 Executive Academy Fellow with the Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Leadership Institute, he was awarded an executive education certificate from the 2017 Authentic Leadership for the 21st Century Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Herts serves on the Alliance of National Heritage Areas governing board, the Mississippi Blues Commission, and the Mississippi Historical Society Board of Directors. He also recently received a gubernatorial appointment to the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services.
Previously, Dr. Herts served as Associate Director with the Office of University-Community Partnerships at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. As a Leadership Newark Fellow, he received the Berkowitz Distinguished Service Award for his commitment to the Greater Newark community. He also is an alumnus of the Teach For America Mississippi Delta corps and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s Emerging Engagement Scholar Program.
Dr. Herts holds a Ph.D. in planning and public policy from Rutgers Graduate School-New Brunswick. He also holds a M.A. in Social Science from The University of Chicago and a B.A. in English from Morehouse College. His interest areas include university-community engagement and partnership development, community-based tourism planning, place branding/marketing, and regional development.
Veera Hiranandani earned her MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl, which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist. A former book editor, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute and Writopia Lab.
Tim Huggins is the founder of Newtonville Books, as well as cofounder of the writers-and-musicians series, Earfull. He is currently the CFO at the award-winning independent bookstore, Brookline Booksmith. Originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi (or as he likes to say, “The Delta”), Huggins first job as a bookseller was with Lemuria Bookstore. He now lives with his family in West Newton, Massachusetts.
T. R. Hummer’s most recent books of poetry are After the Afterlife (Acre Books) and the three linked volumes Ephemeron, Skandalon, and Eon (LSU Press). Former editor in chief of The Kenyon Review, of The New England Review, and of The Georgia Review, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, the Richard Wright Award for Artistic Excellence, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and the Donald Justice Award in Poetry. He lives in Cold Spring, New York.
Timothy T. Isbell, Gulfport, Mississippi, is an author and freelance photojournalist. He was a member of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize winning newsroom of The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi. He has been inducted into The University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame and is a Knight Foundation/National Endowment of the Arts grant recipient for his photographic study of the Vietnamese people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is author and photographer of Gettysburg: Sentinels of Stone, Shiloh and Corinth: Sentinels of Stone, and Vicksburg: Sentinels of Stone, all published by University Press of Mississippi. His most recent book for University Press, Mississippi Gulf Coast, is a study of Mississippi’s coastal region and its recovery from Hurricane Katrina, the nation’s worst natural disaster in 2005. Due for release in the fall of 2018, Mississippi Gulf Coast will be introduced at the Mississippi Book Festival on August 18.
Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta town of Rosedale, Linda Williams Jackson likes to spin stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Her debut middle grade historical novel, Midnight Without a Moon, is about an ordinary thirteen-year-old African-American girl, Rose Lee Carter, who must make an extraordinary decision after the 1955 murder of Emmett Till. Deemed “a powerful novel” by reviewers, Midnight Without a Moon appears on recommended reading lists at multiple middle schools and public libraries, including the New York Public Library and the San Francisco Public Library. Midnight Without a Moon was recently listed among the 2018 Notable Children’s Books by the Association for Library Service for Children.
A Sky Full of Stars, Jackson’s second book in The Rose Lee Carter Series, was published on January 2, 2018.
Jackson currently makes her home in Southaven, Mississippi. She shares this home with her husband and three children.
Varian Johnson is the author of nine novels, including The Parker Inheritance, which received four starred reviews and was named a Junior Library Guild selection and a Spring 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List pick among other accolades. His middle grade caper novel, The Great Greene Heist, has been named to over twenty-five state reading and best-of lists. In addition, Varian has written for the Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts middle-grade fantasy series as well as novels and short stories for YA audiences. Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is honored to now be a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.
Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in Farmington Hills, outside of Detroit. He worked in advertising and marketing communications for a number of years before turning to fiction. His critically acclaimed debut novel, August Snow, has been nominated for the Hammett and the Strand Awards. His second novel, Lives Laid Away, is forthcoming in January 2019.
Motivational speaker and historian, Pamela D.C. Junior is the newly appointed director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum located in Jackson, Mississippi. As director over the first state sponsored civil rights museum in the country, Ms. Junior realizes the importance in telling the absolute “Truth” when interpreting the history of the many persons who fought and died for change in the South.
As former manager of Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Pamela pasionately and tirelessly fought to make this Museum a first-class place of interpretation. Her many awards and accolades include: January of 2014, Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center was named, “50 States, 50 Spots” by CNN. Pamela was named 2014 Hometown Hero by the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau. Also in 2014 the City of Jackson’s administration gave the highest award of naming a day in honor of Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center. January of 2015, Pamela received the “For My People Award” for her artistic and academic commitment to the black community. January, 2015 she received a proclamation from the City of Jackson, Mississippi for her professionalism, diligence, and dedication to service in making a positive impact in this community. And most recently, February 2017, Pamela was honored by city council and the mayor of the City of Jackson for 26 years of dedicated service to the City of Jackson.
Pamela is a board member of the MS Children’s Museum; advisory board of director for the Mississippi Book Festival and, board of director of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area; Pamela is also co-founder of the Mississippi Black Theater Festival.
Michael Kardos is the Pushcart Prize-winning author of the novels The Three-Day Affair and Before He Finds Her and the story collection One Last Good Time. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where he codirects the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.
Photo by Megan Bean
Jamie Kornegay is the author of the novel Soil. A former producer for Thacker Mountain Radio and proprietor of Turnrow Book Co., he is now a teacher, videographer, and is completing a new novel set in Mississippi.
Gary Krist is the author of a bestselling trilogy of urban history books: City of Scoundrels (2012), about Chicago’s tragic summer of 1919, Empire of Sin (2014), about the reform wars in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, and The Mirage Factory (2018), about the rise of Los Angeles in the early 20th century. His first narrative nonfiction book was The White Cascade (2007), a book about the 1910 Wellington avalanche. Krist has also written three novels—Bad Chemistry (1998), Chaos Theory (2000), and Extravagance (2002)—and two short story collections—The Garden State (1988) and Bone by Bone (1994). He has been a regular book reviewer for the New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post, and has also written for such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Esquire, the New Republic, and National Geographic Traveler. He has been the recipient of The Stephen Crane Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Lowell Thomas Gold Medal for Travel Journalism, and other awards.
Photo by Bob Krist
Since becoming an All-SEC linebacker for Mississippi State, Paul has racked up experience in the NFL, CFL, and XFL and was named CFL Rookie of the Year in 1999. Combine that with a Masters of Science in Sports Administration, as well as coaching experience at the high school and collegiate levels, and it is easy to see why Paul is one of the premier performance specialists in the United States.
Irene Latham is the author of more than a dozen current and forthcoming books, including two novels for children Leaving Gee’s Bend and Don’t Feed the Boy. Winner of the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, her poetry books for children include Dear Wandering Wildebeest, When the Sun Shines on Antarctica, Fresh Delicious and Can I Touch Your Hair? (with Charles Waters). Irene lives on a lake in Alabama where she does her best to “live her poem” every single day by laughing, playing the cello, and birdwatching.
Andrew Lawler is author of two books, The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke and Why Did the Chicken Cross the World: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization. As a journalist, he has written more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles from more than two dozen countries. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and many others. He is contributing writer for Science and contributing editor for Archaeology. Andrew’s work has appeared several times in The Best of Science and Nature Writing.
Photo by R. Plaster
Edward Lee is the author of Smoke & Pickles; the chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky; and culinary director of Succotash in Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C., and National Harbor, Maryland. He appears frequently in print and on television, earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award–winning PBS series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. He lives in Louisville and Washington, D.C. Follow Edward on Instagram and Twitter @chefedwardlee.
Photo by Sara Babcock
Joe Lee, Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Dogwood Press, has a background in radio, television, and journalism. A graduate of Mississippi State University and a native Mississippian, he launched Dogwood Press in 2002 with his first suspense novel, On The Record. The Dogwood Press team now includes nine other authors, including Derringer-Award winning short story author John Floyd, novelists Valerie Winn, Randy Pierce, Susan Cushman and Janet Brown, and Molly May, author of the brand-new inspirational memoir My Crowning Achievement (Beating Cancer). Joe is the author of eight suspense novels, including this year’s faith-based Oakdale series mystery, 40 Days. He lives with his family in Brandon, Mississippi.
Joe Lee novels:
40 Days (2018)
Director’s Cut (2014)
Last Chance Texaco (2012)
The Long Road Home (2011)
The Magnolia Triangle (2009)
Judgment Day (2007)
Dead Air (2004)
On The Record (2002)
Sara A. Lewis earned her PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. She is associate editor of the Oxford American.
Ebony Lumumba is currently an assistant professor of English at Tougaloo College where she teaches courses in global and American literatures and chairs the department of English and Modern Languages. Ebony received her Master of Arts degree in English at Georgia State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is also a doctoral candidate in the department of English at the University of Mississippi where she is completing her dissertation titled “Of Mules and Mamas: Four Women, Africana Mothering, and Resistance.”
She was named the 2013 Eudora Welty Research Fellow by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Eudora Welty Foundation and Tougaloo College’s Humanities Teacher of the Year in 2014. Her publications include a chapter in From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Help: Critical Perspectives on White-Authored Texts of Black Life (2014) titled “Must the Novelist Ask Permission?: Authority and Authenticity of the Black Voice in the works of Eudora Welty and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help ”, “‘Caught in the act of living’”: Welty as a voyeur and witness of black life” published in the Eudora Welty Review and “The Matter of Black Lives in American Literature” which can be found inTeaching the Works of Eudora Welty published earlier this year. Ebony is happily married to her kindergarten sweetheart Chokwe Antar Lumumba—the Honorable Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi and the couple has two unbelievably adorable daughters, Alaké and Nubia.
George is best known for his participation in a 1981 attempted coup of a Caribbean island-nation and more recently for his work following British Petroleum’s oil spill in 2010. He spent more than fourteen years with a national recognized environmental contracting firm as a senior executive overseeing sales, marketing and field operations. Prior to that, he worked as an environmental scientist at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Today he is a partner at Malvaney & Associates, and Enhanced Environmental and Emergency Services (E3).
Professor Emerita of English at Millsaps College where she taught for twenty-seven years, Suzanne Marrs received the 1998 Phoenix Award for Outstanding Welty Scholarship from the Eudora Welty Society and the 2004 Distinguished Professor Award from Millsaps; she was Mississippi’s Humanities Scholar of the Year in 2009. Marrs is the author of Eudora Welty, A Biography, and of One Writer’s Imagination: The Fiction of Eudora Welty as well as being the editor of What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell and the co-editor (along with Harriet Pollack) of Eudora Welty and Politics: Did the Writer Crusade. Marrs’s most recent book is Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald (July 2015), which she co-edited with Tom Nolan. Her most recent essay appears in Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty.
Though she has now retired from the faculty of Millsaps College, Marrs continues to serve as Welty Foundation Scholar-in-Residence at the Eudora Welty House and has a number of projects in the offing.
John Marzalek is graduate of Canisiu College, 1961, where he received his masters and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, 1963, 1968. He participated in ROTC at Canisius and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Intelligence branch upon graduation. He was on active duty from 1965-1967, serving at Fort Benning, Fort Holabird, and in a psychological operations battalion in Viet Nam.
From 2008 to the present he has been the executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association’s Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University. From 1998-2012, he was the Director and Mentor of Distinguished (Undergraduate) Scholars, He is co-editor (with Timothy B. Smith) of The World of Ulysses S. Grant book series at Southern Illinois University Press, 2014 to present.
He is the author or editor of fifteen books and over three hundred articles and book reviews. Sherman, A Soldier’s Passion for Order was a finalist for the 1993 Lincoln Prize and won non-fiction awards from the Mississippi Library Association and the Ohioiana Library Association. His first book Court Martial, A Black Man in America was made into a Showtime motion picture and reissued as a paperback under the new title Assault at West Point. President Bill Clinton presented the family of the wronged black West Point cadet a posthumous U.S. Army commission during a White House ceremony. Along with Charles D. Lowery, he edited The Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights, which the Library Journal named one of the best reference books of 1992. Three of his books (Sherman, A Soldier’s Passion for Order, The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson’s White House, and Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies, A Life of General Henry W. Halleck) have been History Book Club Selections. His latest books are The Best Writings of Ulysses S. Grant (2015) which won a writing award from the U.S. Army Foundation, Lincoln and the Military (2014) and A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow, South Carolina’s George Washington Murray (2006). He continues to lecture widely throughout the nation and has appeared on the major television networks. He serves on the board of advisors of the Lincoln Forum and the Lincoln Prize. Canisius College named him a distinguished alumnus; he received the Richard Wright Literary Award for life time achievement by a Mississippi author, and the Mississippi Historical Society presented him its highest award, the B.L.C. Wailes Award for national distinction in history. His graduate students published a book in his honor entitled Of Times and Race: Essays Inspired by John F. Marszalek, 2013.
He and his wife, Jeanne, have established Library Fund Endowments at Mississippi State University, Canisius College in Buffalo NY and St. Mary’s College in South Bend Indiana. Presently, along with David Nolen and Louie Gallo of the U.S. Grant Association, he is completing the first completely annotated edition of the Memoirs of U.S. Grant, which will be published by Harvard University Press in 2017.
Clara Martin is the Children’s Books Buyer and Event Coordinator at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi.
She is the owner of TwentybyJenny.com, where she reviews books for children of all ages.
Clara attended Vanderbilt University where she received a B.A. in English Literature and Art History, and she also received a MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
She lives in Jackson, MS, and she is definitely a Ravenclaw.
Pearl Amelia McHaney is the Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern Literature at Georgia State University where she edits the annual peer-reviewed Eudora Welty Review. She is a 2017 recipient of the Governor’s Award in the Arts and Humanities. In 2014, she received the Phoenix Award for outstanding achievement in Welty Studies from the Eudora Welty Society, and in 2009, Eudora Welty as Photographer was the Eudora Welty Prize awarded by Mississippi University for Women and the University Press of Mississippi. She has also lectured and published on work by William Faulkner, Barry Hannah, David Mamet, Sindiwe Magona, Alice Munro, Natasha Trethewey, and Tennessee Williams.
A Tyrannous Eye: Eudora Welty’s Nonfiction and Photography (UP Mississippi 2014)
Eudora Welty as Photographer (UP Mississippi 2009)
Occasions: Selected Writings by Eudora Welty (UP Mississippi 2009)
Eudora Welty: Contemporary Reviews (Cambridge 2005)
A Writer’s Eye: Collected Reviews by Eudora Welty (UP Mississippi 1994)
James McLaughlin holds law and MFA degrees from the University of Virginia. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Portland Review, The Clackamas Literary Review and elsewhere. He grew up in rural Virginia and lives in the Wasatch Range east of Salt Lake City, Utah. BEARSKIN is his debut novel (2018; Ecco).
Photo by Nancy Assaf McLaughlin
Ellen Meacham is a Tennessee native, longtime resident of Mississippi, and a career journalist and journalism instructor at her alma mater, the University of Mississippi. She is the author of Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi and has been a working journalist for more than twenty years. She is a member of the faculty in the University of Mississippi’s journalism school, where she teaches news reporting and editing. Meacham is uniquely positioned to write Delta Epiphany. Her experience as a newspaper reporter has given her extensive contacts within the state’s political and journalistic circles. In addition, her master’s degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi undergirds her understanding the culture and the people of the Mississippi Delta. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today Online, The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee and The Advocate Baton Rouge. She lives outside of Oxford, Mississippi, with her family.
Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian. A contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review and a contributing editor of Time magazine, he is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, American Gospel, and Franklin and Winston. Meacham lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Heidi Ross
Greg Michalson is co-publisher of Unbridled Books. Previously he was a founder of BlueHen Books, an imprint of Putnam, and general editor of fiction at MacMurray & Beck. He spent twenty years with the Missouri Review. He is the author of numerous short stories and articles and has co-edited a number of books.
Jonathan Miles is the author of the novels Dear American Airlines and Want Not, both New York Times Notable Books. He is a former columnist for the New York Times and has served as a contributing editor to magazines ranging from Details to Field & Stream, and his journalism has been frequently anthologized in Best American Sports Writing and Best American Crime Writing. He is also the author of a book on fish and game cookery, The Wild Chef, and competed in the Dakar Rally, an off-road race through Africa.
Photo by Callie Miles
Mary Miller is the author of two collections of stories, Big World and Always Happy Hour, as well as a novel, The Last Days of California, which has been optioned for film by Amazon Studios. Her stories have appeared in the Oxford American, McSweeney’s Quarterly, American Short Fiction, and Mississippi Review, and have been anthologized in New Stories from the South, Mississippi Noir, and The Seagull Reader. She is a former James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas and John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at Ole Miss.
The stories of Clarion-Ledger investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a suspected serial killer behind bars. His stories have also exposed injustices and corruption in Mississippi, helping lead to investigations, exonerations, firings and reforms of state agencies. A winner of a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant and more than 30 other national awards, including being named a Pulitzer Prize finalist, he is finishing his memoir about his pursuit of civil rights cold cases, Race Against Time, for Simon & Schuster.
Cody Morrison grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University. He began his career in book-selling in 1993 when Off Square Books, an annex of Square Books, was opened. Since that time he has worked in shipping/receiving, accounts payable, and overseen the used, rare, and remainder book procurement among many other duties. He has been the adult book buyer at Square Books since 2006.
Julie Murphy is the #1 New York Times Bestseller of DUMPLIN’, and its sequel PUDDIN’. Her 2017 young adult novel, RAMONA BLUE, is a YALSA 2018 Best Fiction for Young Adult nominee and appears on 2018’s Rainbow List. In 2018, the DUMPLIN’ movie will hit theaters, staring Jennifer Aniston and breakout star Danielle MacDonald, with an original soundtrack by Dolly Parton. Julie, a former librarian, is a fierce advocate for body positivity and is a full time writer living in Texas with her husband, dog, and two cats. You can visit Julie at www.juliemurphywrites.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @andimjulie.
Scott Naugle was born in Davidsville, Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Insurance and Risk Management. He subsequently earned a Master of Liberal Studies Degree from Millsaps College and a Master of Arts degree from Tulane University where he also served as an adjunct professor for two years.
Scott is the Chief Operating Officer of BXS Insurance, one of the largest publicly-traded insurance brokerages in the United States. He is also co-owner of Pass Christian Books/Cat Island Coffeehouse in Pass Christian, Mississippi.
Scott has served on the Mississippi Book Festival board since its inception. He is also a board member of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. He is Vice President of the Pass Christian Historical Commission and Vice President of the Pass Christian School Board.
If pushed, Scott will admit to several thousand books in his collection at home as a collector and reader of signed and first editions. Among his favorite authors are William H. Gass, Virginia Woolf, Christopher Hitchens, and Jesmyn Ward (Jesmyn is also one of his favorite people).
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Oceanic (Copper Canyon). Honors include a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A collection of her nature essays is forthcoming from Milkweed. She is poetry editor of Orion magazine and professor of English in The University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Chris Offutt is the author of the short story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, the novel The Good Brother, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. He has written screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme, and has received awards from the Lannan, Whiting, and Guggenheim foundations, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Jim O’Neal is a cofounding editor of Living Blues magazine, research director with the Mississippi Blues Trail, and former owner of the Stackhouse record store in Clarksdale. He and his ex-wife, the late Amy van Singel, published Living Blues in Chicago before turning it over to the University of Mississippi in 1983. In 1984 he participated in an international conference in Belgium celebrating the legacy of Charley Patton. The talks form that conference were published in a book edited by Robert Sacre which has been revised and expanded in a new University Press of Mississippi edition, Charley Patton: Voice of the Mississippi Delta. O’Neal’s contributions to the book include a chapter on the retentions of the Delta in Chicago blues and a new essay based on his later research in Mississippi on Patton. His other works include The Voice of the Blues: Classic Interviews From Living Blues Magazine (coedited with van Singel), chapters in Nothing But the Blues and The Billboard Illustrated History of Jazz & Blues, and forewords to Woman With Guitar: Memphis Minnie’s Blues, Blues in Black & White: The Landmark Ann Arbor Blues Festivals, Blues Before Sunrise: The Radio Interviews, and Willie Dixon: Preacher of the Blues.
Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of three books, including May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem, and has two forthcoming this September: Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, and Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation. Perry is a scholar, an essayist and a book reviewer. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her two sons.
Catherine Pierce is the author of The Tornado Is the World and The Girls of Peculiar, both winners of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Prize, and of Famous Last Words, winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.
Randall Pinkston is a semi-retired award-winning journalist who covered national and international issues. He spent most of his career with CBS, first at the flagship station, WCBS-TV, then CBS NEWS. Pinkston began his professional career at WJDX-FM and WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. He also worked at Post-Newsweek Stations in Jacksonville, Florida (WJXT-TV) and Hartford, Connecticut (WFSB-TV).
Pinkston joined CBS News in 1990 as a White House Correspondent, covering the administration of President George H. W. Bush. After Bush’s re-election defeat, Pinkston became a general assignment correspondent in CBS’ Washington Bureau and, later, the Northeast Bureau in New York City.
Pinkston covered many of the major stories of the past three decades, including the Kosovo conflict; the crisis in Haiti; the war in Afghanistan; the war in Iraq; earthquakes in Turkey, Italy, and Chile; Tiger Woods’ return to the Augusta National Golf Club Masters Tournament; the final launch of NASA’s shuttle, Discovery, from the Kennedy Space Center; the election of Pope Francis; and the 2016 Presidential Debates. He also contributed feature reports to SUNDAY MORNING and 48 HOURS.
After leaving CBS in 2013, Pinkston held several freelance positions, including correspondent/anchor for Arise TV, moderator for the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, interviewer for The HistoryMakers of Chicago
Pinkston, a former adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, is currently an adjunct at Stony Brook University School of Journalism and the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism.
He is the recipient of the Silver M Award from the University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media; the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2008 Public Service Award for coverage of the AIDS crisis among African-Americans. He also won three national Emmy Awards and two for local news coverage. In 1996, he received an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism and the Edward R. Murrow Award for the documentary, “CBS Reports: Legacy of Shame.”
Pinkston attended Wesleyan University (CT) and graduated from Millsaps College (MS) with a B.A. degree in History. He received a certificate from Columbia University’s Michelle Clark Fellowship Program for Minority Journalists. He also earned a J. D. degree from the University of Connecticut Law School.
Harriet Pollack’s fifth and most recent book is Eudora Welty’s Fiction and Photography: The Body of The Other Woman. In European Journal of American Culture, Welty critic Peter Schmidt writes, “With this book, Harriet Pollack . . . may have produced the finest study yet of Eudora Welty. .. Her close readings of stories and photographs are fine-grained and astute, and she is matchless in contextualizing Welty’s production within the cultural history of the times. . . . Pollack makes extensive readings of archival material, especially letters and unfinished drafts. . . . Accessible and lively, her writing will interest not just specialists but also a wide range of potential readers.”Pollack’s previous books include Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race, Emmett Till in Literary Memory and Imagination, Having Our Way: Women Rewriting Tradition in Twentieth-Century America, and with Suzanne Marrs, Eudora Welty and Politics: Did the Writer Crusade? She has been Southern Literary Journal’s book review editor. In 2009 she organized the Welty at 100 Centennial Academic Conference here in Jackson. She is now organizing a Welty conference to be held this coming February in Charleston, SC.
Susan Puckett is the former food editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who co-wrote Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen (Rux Martin/HMH Books) with Eddie Hernandez, the co-owner and executive chef of the popular Atlanta-based Taqueria del Sol restaurants. The Jackson native also wrote Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South (University of Georgia Press, 2013), a culinary travelogue which was named one of 10 Books All Georgians Should Read by the Georgia Center of the Book in 2014. She also collaborated with James Beard Award-winning chef Steven Satterfield on Root to Leaf (Harper Wave, 2015), and with Daron “Farmer D” Joffe on Citizen Farmers: The Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy Food, Build Thriving Communities, and Give Back to the Earth (Abrams, 2014), which won a cookbook-writing award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
After earning her journalism degree at Ole Miss in 1977, Susan became a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger where she wrote A Cook’s Tour of Mississippi (Hederman Brothers, 1980), leading her to study food and nutrition at Iowa State University. Since then, her food writing has appeared in numerous publications including Eating Well, National Geographic Traveler, and The Local Palate. She lives in Decatur, Ga., where she has several new book projects in the works.
Jamie Quatro’s debut novel, Fire Sermon, is an Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. In the U.K., the novel has been named a W.H. Smith 2018 Fresh Talent title and a Foyles Five pick. Fire Sermon is forthcoming in translation in The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Poland. Quatro’s debut collection, I Want To Show You More, was a New York Times Notable Book, an NPR Best Book of 2013, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Georgia Townsend Fiction Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize. A Contributing Editor at Oxford American, Quatro teaches in the MFA program at Sewanee, The University of the South, and lives with her husband and four children in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
Photo by Stephen Alvarez
Frederick Ramey is one of two owner-publishers of Unbridled Books, an independent press specializing in commercial literature, and a member of the board of Colophon Literary Center. He is also Executive Director of Leaping Man, “a publisher of Art and Argument”. At the most recent millennium, he was a founding editor of BlueHen Books—a literary imprint of Putnam—and through the 1990s was Publisher and Executive Editor of MacMurray & Beck, an award-winning Colorado publishing house.
Julian Rankin was raised in Mississippi (the Mississippi Delta and Oxford, Mississippi) and North Carolina (Hillsborough, North Carolina). He received his BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed operations and marketing internships with the United States Senate and CNN. He is the recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s first annual residency at Rivendell Writers Colony.
Based out of Jackson, Mississippi, Rankin is the founding Director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange at the Mississippi Museum of Art. His personal work explores identity in the contemporary South. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Catfish Dream: Ed Scott’s Fight for his Family Farm and Racial Justice in the Mississippi Delta, published by the University of Georgia Press as part of the Southern Foodways Alliance Studies in Culture, People, and Place series.
Hear a 2017 interview with the author on Mississippi Public Broadcasting here.
Julia Reed is a contributing editor at Garden & Gun, where she writes the magazine’s “The High & the Low” column. Her books include But Mama Always Puts Vodka in Her Sangria; Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties; and Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena. Reed divides her time between New Orleans and Greenville, Mississippi.
Photo by Paul Costello
Nathaniel Rich is the author of three novels: King Zeno, Odds Against Tomorrow, and The Mayor’s Tongue, all New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice selections. His short fiction has been published in McSweeney’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Vice, among other publications. He is a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and the Atlantic. Rich lives in New Orleans.
Photo by Pableaux Johnson
Steve Robertson is a proud Mississippian who grew up in Columbia Mississippi—the same hometown as NFL great Walter Payton.
Robertson has covered Mississippi State and college football recruiting for 18 years. He is the Co-Publisher of Genespage.com, the Mississippi State affiliate for Scout.com. A contributor to the site since 2001, Robertson has helped transform Genespage.com into the national leader in Mississippi State athletics coverage.
The Boneyard, Robertson’s podcast, is the most listened to team specific show nationally on the VSporto network.
Starkville, Mississippi is home to the Robertson family. Steve and his wife, Dana, have four wonderful children, Oni, Audrey, Mia and Ian.
Stephanie Rolph is an Associate Professor in the History Department at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She earned her PhD in History from Mississippi State University in 2009. In addition to her book, Resisting Equality: The Citizens’ Council, 1954-1989, Rolph’s work has appeared in the The Right Side of the Sixties: Reexamining Conservatism’s Decade of Transformation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and in the Journal of Southern History (2016). Her current project looks at the rise of Radical Right politics in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to her work as a teacher and a scholar, Rolph is Academic Director for the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, an inter-institutional non-profit committed to advancing undergraduate education in the field of poverty studies and antipoverty work.
Anne Farris Rosen is the daughter of John Herbers and an award-winning freelance journalist in Washington, D.C. She teaches at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She has worked for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Arkansas Gazette, and the Pew Research Center.
Her previous book includes:
Test Pilot: How I Broke Testing Barriers for Millions of Students and Caused a Sonic Boom in the Business of Education with Stanley H. Kaplan, founder of KAPLAN Test Prep. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Dubbed “The Architect” by President George W. Bush, Karl Rove was the chief strategist for both of Bush’s runs for the White House and served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the West Wing. He previously ran Rove & Co., an Austin, TX, public affairs firm that was involved in over 75 Republican campaigns for president, senator, governor and congressman.
Today, Rove writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal and is a frequent Fox News contributor. He is also the author of the acclaimed The Triumph of William McKinley (2015) and the New York Times bestseller Courage and Consequence (2010) and is working on a new book on presidential decision-making.
Ellen Hunter Ruffin serves as the curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi. In the American Library Association, Ruffin has served on several prestigious committees: The John Newbery Award, The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture (Chair), the Bechtel Fellowship and Special Collections Committee (Chair), and is currently serving on the American Library Awards Committee. Ruffin is currently serving as the state of Mississippi’s Councilor to the American Library Association.
Ruffin’s love for children’s literature has continued throughout her life as a middle school, high school, and public librarian. Her favorite series as a child was P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins. Interestingly, Ruffin was the first to play the part of Mary Poppins at Orlando’s Walt Disney World in 1973-74. Her passion for connecting children with books continues as she teaches children’s literature to pre-service educators at Southern Miss as adjunct faculty in the School of Library and Information Science.
Salman Rushdie is the author of thirteen novels: Grimus, Midnight’s Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, Luka and the Fire of Life, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, and his newest novel, The Golden House.
Rushdie is also the author of a book of stories, East, West, and four works of non-fiction – Joseph Anton – A Memoir, Imaginary Homelands, The Jaguar Smile, and Step Across This Line. He is the co-editor of Mirrorwork, an anthology of contemporary Indian writing, and of the 2008 Best American Short Stories anthology.
A Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature, Salman Rushdie has received, among other honours, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice), the Writers’ Guild Award, the James Tait Black Prize, the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature, Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany, the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature, the Premio Grinzane Cavour in Italy, the Crossword Book Award in India, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the London International Writers’ Award, the James Joyce award of University College Dublin, the St Louis Literary Prize, the Carl Sandburg Prize of the Chicago Public Library, and a U.S. National Arts Award. He holds honorary doctorates and fellowships at six European and six American universities, is an Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T, and University Distinguished Professor at Emory University. Currently, Rushdie is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
He has received the Freedom of the City in Mexico City, Strasbourg and El Paso, and the Edgerton Prize of the American Civil Liberties Union. He holds the rank of Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres – France’s highest artistic honour. Between 2004 and 2006 he served as President of PEN American Center and for ten years served as the Chairman of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, which he helped to create. In June 2007 he received a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2008 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a Library Lion of the New York Public Library. In addition, Midnight’s Children was named the Best of the Booker – the best winner in the award’s 40 year history – by a public vote.
His books have been translated into over forty languages.
He has adapted Midnight’s Children for the stage. It was performed in London and New York by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2004, an opera based upon Haroun and the Sea of Stories was premiered by the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.
A film of Midnight’s Children, directed by Deepa Mehta, was released in 2012.
The Ground Beneath Her Feet, in which the Orpheus myth winds through a story set in the world of rock music, was turned into a song by U2 with lyrics by Salman Rushdie.
R. Kim Rushing was born in Tylertown, MS in 1961. He studied photojournalism at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. He received a B.F.A. from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN in 1986, and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas in Austin, TX in 1989.
Kim has been a professor of art at Delta State University for 26 years where he started the first B.F.A. with an emphasis in photography in Mississippi in 1994 He has been directing that program since then. He has served on the Board of Governors for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters since 1998.
Sidney L. “Sid” Salter is Chief Communications Officer and Director of the Office of Public Affairs at Mississippi State University. He has enjoyed a unique career as an award-winning journalist, political columnist, television commentator, talk radio host, author, educator, and university administrator.
Salter formerly served as MSU’s first journalist-in-residence at the MSU Libraries and was the inaugural holder of the Kelly Gene Cook Chair in Journalism at the University of Mississippi, where he served on the Journalism faculty in the 1990s.
He is a member of the Miss. Press Association’s Hall of Fame. His syndicated political columns have been published in Mississippi and a number of national newspapers since 1983.
Salter represents MSU on the board of directors of the University Press of Mississippi (UPM) and serves on the Southeastern Conference Communicators Executive Committee. In 2017, he was named one of “Mississippi’s Top 50” most influential leaders.
In 2011, Salter wrote the highly-successful biography of legendary MSU broadcaster Jack Cristil, which funded MSU’s Jacob S. “Jack” Cristil Endowed Scholarship. He has co-authored or contributed to several other non-fiction books, including three with UPM.
Salter and his wife, Leilani, are the parents of four grown children and have six grandchildren. They are members of Starkville’s First United Methodist Church.
David G. Sansing is emeritus professor of history at the University of Mississippi. He was born in 1933 in Greenville, Mississippi, and earned his BA and MA degrees from Mississippi College and his PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition to authoring several school textbooks on the history of Mississippi, Sansing has written A History of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion (with Carroll Waller), The University of Mississippi, A Sesquicentennial History, A Troubled History: Governance of Higher Education in Mississippi, Mississippi Governors: Soldiers Statesmen Scholars Scoundrels (A Bicentennial Edition), and The Other Mississippi: A State in Conflict with Itself.
Advance Praise for The Other Mississippi from Gov. William Winter
“David Sansing, in typical form, utilizes his remarkable talent as a Southern historian to highlight an amazing portrait of the ‘Other Mississippi’ — one in which the closed society of the past is only part of the story of our state. In captivating style, David eloquently reminds us all of the common bonds that bind us, as it gives a candid, yet hopeful view of Mississippi’s continuing struggles — ones in which we ‘cannot rewrite the past but can chart our own future’.”
Governor, Mississippi (1980-1984)
A school librarian for many years, Augusta Scattergood is now a full-time writer. Having worked in libraries in Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, and Georgia—and read thousands of books along the way—she thinks writing and being a librarian are the two best professions in the world. Her first book, Glory Be, published by Scholastic Press in 2012, was named to numerous state reading lists, was one of Amazon’s Best Middle Grade novels of the year and received the SCBWI Southeast region’s Crystal Kite and a 2013 Mississippi Author Award.
Her second middle-grade novel, The Way to Stay in Destiny, is set in Florida and narrated by a piano-playing, baseball-tossing boy. It received a starred listing on Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the year, 2016.
Making Friends with Billy Wong, was published by Scholastic in August, 2016. The story of a friendship between Azalea, a young girl who comes from Texas to help her grandmother, and a boy named Billy Wong, recently moved to Arkansas to attend the public school there, this novel was based on the stories of Chinese American immigrants living in the South during the pre-Civil Rights era.
Augusta now lives and writes in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband and occasional grand-dog visitor.
For additional information, visit her website, augustascattergood.com.
Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and the novels The Story of Land and Sea and Free Men. Her writing has also appeared in The Oxford American, Granta, Literary Hub, Garden & Gun, Catapult, and Lenny. This year, she is serving as the Eudora Welty Chair of Southern Literature at Millsaps College.
Michael Farris Smith is the author of The Fighter, Desperation Road, Rivers, and The Hands of Strangers. He has been awarded the Mississippi Author Award for Fiction, Transatlantic Review Award, and Brick Streets Press Story Award. His novels have appeared on Best of the Year lists with Esquire, Southern Living, Book Riot, and numerous others, and have been named Indie Next List, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Amazon Best of the Month selections. His essays have appeared with The New York Times, Bitter Southerner, Writer’s Bone, and more. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.
Photo by Luisa Porter
Bestselling author Charlie Spillers of Oxford, MS, is a former Marine, agent, federal prosecutor and Justice Attaché for Iraq. His first book, “Confessions of An Undercover Agent: Adventures, Close Calls and the Toll of a Double Life” describes his harrowing experiences during a decade of undercover crime fighting and narrow escapes. Playing different roles and adopting multiple identities, he infiltrated burglary and safe-cracking rings, drug trafficking groups, Dixie Mafia auto-theft rings, Mafia and Mexican-linked drug smuggling operations, and fought police corruption.
He capped off a unique career by becoming a federal prosecutor. While with the Department of Justice, he served three tours in Iraq. First as an attorney-adviser to the Iraqi court that tried Saddam Hussein, Chemical Ali and other regime leaders. He then served as the U.S Department of Justice Attaché for Iraq and worked on a program to disrupt Al Qaeda financing. His work related to Iraq was recognized by the FBI Director, the Deputy Attorney General, the British Ambassador and Britain’s Minister of State for the Armed Forces.
The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters nominated “Confessions” for the 2016 Best Nonfiction Book Award, Amazon recognized it as “the #1 New Release” in law enforcement memoirs, several bookstores chose it as one of the best books of the year, and for months it was one of the weekly top 10 bestselling books in the state. It ended 2017 on the top 10 list and began 2018 as a bestseller. Mr. Spillers has been a featured author at the state book festivals in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee, and was a keynote speaker for the 2017 MS Writers Guild annual conference.
Mr. Spillers’ next book, “Whirlwind: A Frank Marsh Novel,” an international thriller, will be released soon.
Mark C. Stevens is the author of Cooking with Spices - 100 Recipes for Blends, Marinades and Sauces from Around the World. He learned to cook from his Italian mother and grandmother, Nonna Yvelise. From his aunt, he inherited a love of travel. In the calendar year 2017, he visited all 7 continents while accumulating stories, recipes and adventures. When he’s not playing alchemist with various spice combinations, he works as a 1st Assistant Director on film and television shows (Dallas Buyers Club, Beasts of No Nation, Beyoncé’s Lemonade). In his spare time, Mark writes food and travel content for the culture website Uproxx.com.
Mark is most at home in an aromatic kitchen or a rustic backyard over a traditional Argentina parrilla, trading stories among friends and family while something simmers close by. As a resident of New Orleans and a founding member (and first King) of the Red Beans and Rice Lundi Gras Krewe, usually a cocktail is involved.
Robert St. John is a restaurateur, chef, columnist, and author. Robert St. John has spent almost four decades in the restaurant business. Thirty of those years have been as the owner of the Purple Parrot, Crescent City Grill, Mahogany Bar, Branch, Tabella, and Ed’s Burger Joint in Hattiesburg, MS. For 20 years he has written a weekly syndicated newspaper column. St. John was just named a part of the 2017 ‘Mississippi Top Fifty’ by Y’all Politics and Supertalk Mississippi. St. John has been named the state’s top chef three consecutive years and was honored as Mississippi Restaurateur of the Year.
His restaurant— The Purple Parrot Café— has been named the best fine dining restaurant in Mississippi and just received its sixth Four-Diamond rating from the AAA Travel Guide. Additionally, in 2011, AAA named Purple Parrot Café the second-best fine-dining restaurant in the South (just behind Commander’s Palace). Tabella has been voted “Best Italian” in Mississippi, Crescent City Grill has been voted one of “Mississippi’s Top Ten” restaurants, and the Mahogany Bar has been voted among the “Top 100 Beer Bars in America” for the past three consecutive years.
St. John is the author of ten books, including three previous collaborations with watercolorist Wyatt Waters. His 11th book, A Mississippi Palate, another collaboration with Waters was released November 1st. Their book, An Italian Palate, was written in Europe while St. John, his wife, and his two children traveled through 17 countries on two continents for six months. He and Waters lead group tours to Italy twice a year.
St. John is the creator, producer, and host of the Public Broadcasting series Palate to Palette with Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters which begins airing on October 12th.
St. John has been featured in USA TODAY and appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, National Public Radio, Martha Stewart Living, and the Turner South network, among others.
In 2009, St. John founded Extra Table, a non-profit organization that purchases healthy foods and provides them to soup kitchens and mission pantries throughout Mississippi.
Nic Stone, author of Odd One Out and the New York Times best-selling and William C. Morris Award finalist Dear Martin, was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time.
Don Tate is the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children. In 2013, he earned an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award for his first picture book text, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw. In 2016, he won The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Book Award for Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, his first authored and illustrated picture book. That book received a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, a Christopher Award, and a 2016 Texas Institute of Letters book award, among others. In 2016, he was also honored with an Illumine Award given by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. His most recent book is Strong As Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became the Strongest Man on Earth.
Don enjoys visiting elementary schools throughout the country, sharing his literary experiences with children (view a video of Don in action at a school). Don lives in Austin, Texas.
Born and raised in Biloxi, I have been a resident of rural Hancock County since 1995. My love for photography began in high school, and for the past two decades I have played the role of, among other things, photojournalist, wedding photographer, and creative designer. But as an amateur naturalist with a professional background in the environmental sciences, my true passion has always been nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. I am particularly focused on taking fine art photos of the Mississippi Coast’s many diverse and beautiful natural areas.
I especially enjoy photographing the Barrier Islands. In recent years, I have been taking regular multi-day camping expeditions to Horn Island to document the beauty of this vast and unspoiled wilderness. My experience as a boater and outdoorsman enable me to take on the logistical challenge of documenting this beautiful remote island wilderness, which can often be harsh and dangerous. Recently, Gulf Island’s National Seashore used one of my Horn Island photos for the cover of their newspaper, Gulf Islands Today.
My work has been published in several publications, including Coast Business Journal, Coast Magazine, South Mississippi Living Magazine, and various calendars and technical publications. My work has been displayed in countless gallery shows and exhibits. With the completion of Discovering Cat Island I plan to focus almost exclusively on photographing Mississippi’s barrier islands.
Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a #1 New York Times Best Seller and winner of the William C. Morris Award Winner, a National Book Award Longlist title, a Printz Honor Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and is available in over 20 countries. A film adaptation has been produced by Fox 2000 George Tillman directing and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg starring.
Photo by Anissa Photography
T.K. Thorne, a retired Birmingham, Alabama police captain, has written two award-winning historical novels, Noah’s Wife and Angels at the Gate, filling in the untold backstories of extraordinary, yet unnamed women—the wives of Noah and Lot—in two of the world’s most famous sagas. The New York Post’s “Books You Should Be Reading” list featured her first non-fiction book, Last Chance For Justice, which details the investigators’ behind-the-scenes stories of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing case. T.K. loves traveling and speaking about her books and life lessons. She writes at her mountaintop home near Birmingham, Alabama, often with two dogs and a cat vying for her lap. www.TKThorne.com
Margaret Bradham Thornton is the author of the novels A Theory of Love and Charleston and the editor of Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, for which she received the Bronze ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in autobiography/memoir and the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship published in 2006, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature.
Her work has appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, The Paris Review, The Seattle Review, World Literature Today, Theatre History Studies and The Times Literary Supplement.
Brenda Travis is the founder of The Brenda Travis Historical Education Foundation, an organization based in McComb, Mississippi whose mission is to teach civil rights history to today’s youth. She speaks widely to schools and civic groups about her experiences as a 1960s civil rights activist. Co-author John Obee also served in the civil rights movement in Mississippi. He was an adjunct professor of law at Michigan State College of Law and has lectured nationally and internationally on discrimination issues.
Glennray Tutor is considered to be part of the Hyperrealism art movement. Tutor is known for his use of bright colors, detail, and metaphor. His still life subject matter consists of small commonplace artifacts of daily life, such as glass jars, cola bottles, toys, marbles, comic books, and fireworks. Tutor‘s paintings have appeared on the covers of books, record albums, and magazines as well as in television programs and movies. He has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His work is in many public, private, corporate and museum collections throughout the world. He resides in Oxford, Mississippi.
Tiffany Quay Tyson is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. Her most recent novel, The Past is Never, was chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as a 2018 “Okra Pick.” Her debut novel, Three Rivers, was a finalist for both the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. Both books have appeared on the Clarion-Ledger’s Mississippi bestseller list. Tyson is a graduate of Delta State University. After college she worked for a brief stint as a newspaper reporter in the Mississippi Delta, where she received the Frank Allen Award for Journalism. She is the recipient of two Heartland Emmy Awards including one for writing for a children’s public television program. She is a faculty member at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and the Lighthouse Young Writers Program. She lives in Denver, Colorado.
Charlotte Jones Voiklis manages her late grandmother Madeleine L’Engle’s literary business. She lived with her grandmother during college and graduate school, co-hosting dinner parties, helping answer readers’ letters, and earning a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. Charlotte has worked in academia, nonprofit communications and fundraising, and philanthropy. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Catherine Egley Waggoner, Springfield, Ohio, is professor of Communication at Wittenberg University. She is coauthor of Making Camp: Rhetorics of Transgression in U.S. Popular Culture and recipient of Wittenberg’s 2014 Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching. She grew up in Leland, Mississippi, and still calls the Delta “home.”
M.O. Walsh is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the author of the story collection The Prospect of Magic and the novel My Sunshine Away, which was a New York Times Bestseller and won the Pat Conroy Book Award for Fiction. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Southern Review, Oxford American, the New York Times, The Guardian, and others, and have been anthologized in Best New American Voices and Southern Writers on Writing. He is currently the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans.
Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the author of the novels Where the Line Bleeds; Salvage the Bones, which won the 2011 National Book Award; and Sing, Unburied, Sing, which won the 2017 National Book Award. She is also the editor of the anthology The Fire This Time and the author of the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. From 2008-2010, Ward had a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. She was the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for the 2010-2011 academic year. In 2016, the American Academy of Arts and Letters selected Ward for the Strauss Living Award. She lives in Mississippi.
Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
Kent Wascom’s first novel, The Blood of Heaven, was named a best book of the year by the Washington Post and NPR. It was shortlisted for the David J. Langum Sr. Prize for Historical Fiction and longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan Award for First Fiction. Wascom was awarded the 2012 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Prize for Fiction. He lives in Louisiana.
Photo by Natasha Kraus
Charles Waters is a children’s poet/actor/educator who has performed in colleges, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools all over America. His poems have appeared in Amazing Places edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis, One Minute til Bedtime edited by Kenn Nesbitt and The Poetry Friday Anthology series edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship (co-written with Irene Latham) is his first book.
Widely known for his watercolors of Southern culture, Wyatt Waters creates paintings of the roadside South. Waters’ works have been featured in ART & ANTIQUES, AMERICAN ARTIST, WATERCOLOR, MISSISSIPPI MAGAZINE, DELTA MAGAZINE and PLEINAIR MAGAZINE. His paintings are held in private and corporate collections. He’s had solo shows at the MS Museum of Art, The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, The Meridian Museum of Art and The Jackson Municipal Gallery. He owns and operates the Wyatt Waters Gallery in Clinton, MS. He has collaborated with Robert St. John on A SOUTHERN PALATE, SOUTHERN SEASONS, AN ITALIAN PALATE, and A MISSISSIPPI PALATE. He received the MS Institute of Arts & Letters Award for AN OXFORD SKETCHBOOK, the MS Library Association Special Award for Art for his collaboration with Robert St. John on A SOUTHERN PALATE, and the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He lives with his dog, James in Clinton, MS.
Lawrence Wells is the publisher at Yoknapatawpha Press. Notable books: William Faulkner: the Cofield Collection, by Jack Cofield, a photo-biography listed on NY Times’ top fifteen gift books list. RIOT: Witness to Anger and Change, by Ed Meek, 2015 photo-essay on the University of Mississippi and James Meredith. Wells is also the author of two historical novels: Rommel and the Rebel and Let the Band Play Dixie (Doubleday 1987-88). He was awarded the 2014 Faulkner-Wisdom prize for narrative non-fiction at the Words and Music Festival in New Orleans and script-writer of the Emmy-winning 1994 Mississippi ETV documentary “Return to the River” narrated by James Earl Jones. Past contributor to NY Times Syndicate. Education: BA, MA, University of Alabama, PhD, University of Mississippi. Resides in Oxford, Mississippi.
Jonathan W. White is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University and is the author of several books, including Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman, and Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and Jefferson Davis Prize, a “best book” in Civil War Monitor, and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 2015 book prize. He has published more than seventy-five articles, essays and reviews, and is the winner of the 2005 John T. Hubbell Prize for the best article in Civil War History, the 2010 Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize, and the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Prize for his Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History (2010). He is president of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Lincoln Forum, the Board of Advisors of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia, and the Ford’s Theatre Advisory Council. His most recent books include Lincoln on Law, Leadership and Life (2015), Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War (2017), and “Our Little Monitor”: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War (2018), which he co-authored with Anna Gibson Holloway. Check out his website at www.jonathanwhite.org/ or follow him on Twitter at @CivilWarJon.
Deborah Wiles is the author of picture books — ONE WIDE SKY and FREEDOM SUMMER — and middle-grade novels: LOVE, RUBY LAVENDER (which made its way onto 32 state book award lists), EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS (a 2005 National Book Award Finalist), THE AURORA COUNTY ALL-STARS (a SIBA Book Award finalist), and two documentary novels: COUNTDOWN, book one of The Sixties Trilogy, and REVOLUTION, book two, which was also a National Book Award Finalist.
Deborah’s work has received the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, the PEN/Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, a Jane Addams Peace Award honor, and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award, among many others. For the past 25 years she has taught writing workshops to thousands of emerging adult writers, students, and teachers, in assemblies and workshops, at writing conferences, retreats, and in schools around the world. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grows the world’s most beautiful zinnias, climbs Stone Mountain, and avoids the Atlanta traffic.
Photo by Sonya Sones
Frank J. Williams is the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and has served as President of The Ulysses S. Grant Association since 1991. One of the country’s most renowned experts on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, he is the author or editor of over twenty books, contributed chapters to several others, and has lectured and taught the subject throughout the country. At the same time, he has amassed an unsurpassed private library and archive that ranks among the nation’s largest and finest Lincoln and Civil War collections which he and his wife, Virginia, donated to Mississippi State University in June 2017. In 2000, the Chief Justice was appointed to the United States Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission created by Congress to plan events to commemorate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln in 2009. Since 1996, Chief Justice Williams has served as founding Chairman of The Lincoln Forum, a national assembly of Lincoln and Civil War devotees. For 9 years, he served as President of the Abraham Lincoln Association and, for 14 years, as President of The Lincoln Group of Boston. He is currently at work on an annotated bibliography of all the Lincoln titles published since 1865. He is the author of Lincoln as Hero and a book of essays, Judging Lincoln, both published by Southern Illinois University Press. He, with Harold Holzer and Edna Greene Medford, has written The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views, Social, Legal and Pictorial published by Louisiana State University Press. His Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America’s Greatest Leader, with William D. Pederson, was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2009. He also serves as Literary Editor of the Lincoln Herald where his quarterly “Lincolniana” survey appears.
The Chief is an adjunct professor at Roger Williams School of Law where he teaches mediation and at the United States Naval War College where he teaches “Abraham Lincoln and Statesmanship.”
He has been named by Lawdragon as one of the top 500 judges, out of 30,000 in the United States.
The Chief also served in the U.S. Army from 1962-67 achieving the rank of Captain. For his service he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star, 3 Air Medals and, from the Republic of Vietnam, the Gallantry Cross with Silver Star for Valor.
On December 30, 2003, the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Defense, invited Chief Justice Williams to be a member of the then Military Commissions Review Panel for tribunals to be held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the rank of Major General. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 created the Court of Military Commission Review on which Williams served as a civilian appellate judge. He served as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review from November 21, 2007 to December 23, 2009.
Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright live in Utah with their four uniquely intense children. In 2008 Sarah Jane opened a simple online shop that has since grown into a worldwide business with art prints, fabrics, wallpaper, puppets, and illustrated children’s books. Kenneth is a full-time educator and history teacher. This is their first picture book together. Visit them online at www.loladutch.com and on Instagram at @loladutch. Find Sarah Jane at www.sarahjanestudios.com and on Instagram and Twitter at @sarahjanestudios.
Merrill Wyatt lives in Toledo, Ohio, with her husband, daughter, three cats, and a hamster who might possibly be an immortal magician. She spent far too much of her childhood wandering around cemeteries and old Victorian homes. A middle-school technology teacher, she is dollphobic, donut-obsessed, and owns too many pairs of shoes.
Photo by LaVonda Josett Johnson
Steve Yarbrough is the author of eleven books, most recently the novel The Unmade World, due out in January 2018. His other books are the nonfiction title Bookmarked: Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, the novels The Realm of Last Chances, Safe from the Neighbors, The End of California, Prisoners of War, Visible Spirits and The Oxygen Man, and the short story collections Veneer, Mississippi History and Family Men. His work has been published in several foreign languages, including Dutch, Japanese and Polish, and it has also appeared in Ireland, Canada, and the U.K. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the California Book Award, the Richard Wright Award and the Robert Penn Warren Award. He has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
The son of Mississippi Delta cotton farmers, Steve is currently a professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College. He has two daughters—Lena Yarbrough and Antonina Parris—and is married to the Polish writer Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough. They live in the greater Boston area.
Steve is an aficionado of jazz and bluegrass music, which he plays on guitar, mandolin and banjo, often after midnight.
Steve Yates is the author of The Legend of the Albino Farm: A Novel from Unbridled Books, the Knickerbocker Prize-winning Sandy and Wayne: A Novella, and the Juniper Prize-winning Some Kinds of Love: Stories among others. He is associate director / marketing director at University Press of Mississippi, and lives in Flowood with his wife Tammy.
Photo by Ellie Banks
Nicola Yoon is the #1 NYT bestselling author of Everything, Everything, which is now a major motion picture, and The Sun Is Also a Star, a National Book Award finalist and Michael L. Printz Honor Book. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and now lives in Los Angeles with her family.