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Ann J. Abadie is former associate director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and coeditor of numerous scholarly collections from the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference. Among those many volumes, Fifty Years after Faulkner was released in paperback in July 2020.
Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City, American Rose, and, most recently, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and the Christian Science Monitor. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in New York City.
Photo by Gilbert King
Alan I. Abramowitz is the Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his B.A. from the University of Rochester in 1969 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1976. Dr. Abramowitz has authored or coauthored six books, dozens of contributions to edited volumes and more than fifty articles in political science journals dealing with political parties, elections, and voting behavior in the United States. He is also one of the nation’s leading election forecasters. His “time for change” model correctly predicted the winner of the popular vote in every presidential election between 1992 and 2012.
Dr. Abramowitz’s newest book, The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation and the Rise of Donald Trump, was published by Yale University Press in 2018.
Elliot Ackerman is the author of the novels Dark at the Crossing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Green on Blue. His writings have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.
Natalie Adams is the co-author (with James Adams) of Just Trying to Have School: The Struggle for Desegregation in Mississippi. She is a professor at the University of Alabama, holding a joint appointment in New College and the College of Education. Natalie is the co-author of Cheerleader! An American Icon and Learning to Teach: A Critical Approach to Field Experiences and co-editor of Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between. She is the chair-elect of the Board of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life and the Coordinator of the Levitetz Leadership program at the University of Alabama, which provides $100,000 a year to students in scholarships, seed grants for entrepreneurial projects, and stipends for unpaid internships. She has also served as the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama and as Director of New College.
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.
Leif Anderson is a dancer, writer, artist, mother and grandmother, and the founder, performer and teacher of the dance technique and philosophy called Airth. She lives in Ocean Springs, Ms. and is the daughter of artist/naturalist, Walter Inglis Anderson, and writer/teacher, Agnes Grinstead Anderson. Leif has performed and taught in Massachusetts, New York City, and throughout the South. She has had residencies in New York and in New Orleans public schools, and was formerly a member of The Crescent City Ballet under Lelia Haller and Olè Flamenco Olè Spanish Dance Company under Teresa Torkanowsky. Leif’s drawings and sculpture have been exhibited in several Mississippi Galleries, in The New Orleans Academy Gallery, and in The Luise Ross Gallery of New York City. A Memoir: DANCING WITH MY FATHER was published in 2005 the University Press of Mississippi. She continues to make art and to dance, and has recently collaborated with Summer Baldwin, performing at the first Dance Festival to take place at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education in 2016.
Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than fifty books for children and young adults.
Her first novel, The Underneath, was named a National Book Award Finalist, a Newbery Honor Book, and the PEN USA Literature for Children Award. Her memoir, My Father’s Summers, won the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Poetry. Ms. Appelt was presented with the A.C. Greene Award by the Friends of Abilene Public Library, which named her a “Texas Distinguished Author.”
Her novel, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, was named a National Book Award Finalist and won the Green Earth Award, the Texas Institute of Letters Award, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Award.
Her novel, Maybe a Fox (co-written with Alison McGhee) won the Jean Flynn Award given by the Texas Institute of Letters, and was also named to the Texas Bluebonnet Master List. Angel Thieves, her newest book, is her first young adult novel. And her newest picture book, Max Attacks, has garnered starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.
She and her husband Ken live in College Station, TX with five adorable cats, Django, Peach, Mingus, Chica, and Ace. For more information, check her website: www.kathiappelt.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.
Kristen Arnett is the author of the New York Times-bestselling novel Mostly Dead Things and the story collection Felt in the Jaw. A queer writer based in Florida, she has written for The New York Times, Guernica, BuzzFeed, McSweeney’s, The Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere. She has been a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and a winner of the Ninth Letter Literary Award in Fiction and the Coil Book Award.
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
Mateo Askaripour’s work aims to empower people of color to seize opportunities for advancement, no matter the obstacle. He was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. His debut novel Black Buck was an instant New York Times bestseller and a Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick. He lives in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo.
Jami Attenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of five novels, including The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie. She has contributed essays about sex, urban life, and food to the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and Lenny Letter, among other publications. Her most recent novel is All Grown Up. She divides her time between Brooklyn and New Orleans.
Born Aug. 3, 1946, in Meridian, Mississippi, Howard Bahr served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and worked five years as a railroad yard clerk and brakeman before beginning a long-time position as curator at Rowan Oak, the home of William Faulkner in Oxford, where he also taught literature at the University of Mississippi. He began writing in the 1970s, publishing historical fiction and nonfiction in such publications as Southern Living and Civil War Times Illustrated and co-editing a short-lived publication, Lagniappe (1974-1975). In 1987, he published a children’s story, Home for Christmas, which was re-issued following the publication of his first novel in 1997. The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War is a historical novel set during the 1864 Battle of Franklin in Tennessee. The novel was nominated for several awards, earning the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He followed that with The Year of Jubilo in 2000, set in a fictional Mississippi town following the Civil War. In The Judas Field (2006), a veteran of the Battle of Franklin returns to the battlefield years later to recover the body of one of the fallen soldiers, and in the process remembers that fateful day. For thirteen years he taught at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee, but he has since returned to Jackson, Mississippi. His latest novel, Pelican Road, is set along a railroad between Meridian, Mississippi, and New Orleans in the 1940s. It was published in May 2008.
Jack Bales has been the Reference and Humanities Librarian at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for more than 35 years. He has published numerous works on Willie Morris including Conversations with Willie Morris (2000), Shifting Interludes: Selected Essays (2002), and Willie Morris: An Exhaustive Annotated Bibliography and a Biography (2006). His book of Morris’s essays, Shifting Interludes, has recently been published in paperback. Bales has also written articles and essays on the Chicago Cubs, and is currently working on a documentary history of this baseball team during the nineteenth century when the players were known as the Chicago White Stockings.
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.
Kelle Barfield is owner of Lorelei Books in Vicksburg, Mississippi, an independent bookstore devoted to keeping the love of literacy and learning alive.
A retired employee of Entergy Corporation, Barfield has practiced nuclear power communications for more than 30 years and continues to serve as a communications advisor and trainer to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
She serves on the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation and is chair-elect of the Economic Development Foundation in Vicksburg-Warren County.
Barfield received a master of science degree in communications management from Syracuse University in New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jim Barksdale is Chairman of the Board and President of Barksdale Management Corporation, a private company that manages his investments and philanthropic activities. He has over 35 years of operational experience and served as President and CEO of Netscape Communications Corp. from January 1995 until the company merged with America Online in March of 1999. Following the merger, Barksdale joined the Time Warner Board of Directors. He sits on the boards of several other companies and foundations.
Barksdale has held other management positions, including CEO at AT&T Wireless Services (formerly McCaw Cellular Communication), President and COO of McCaw Cellular Communications, and Executive Vice President and COO of Federal Express Corporation. He has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including the “Executive of the Year” award at the 1997 ETRE Budapest Conference; the BEAR Award from Brown University, as well as the induction into the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame.
Barksdale has a passion for education and through the Barksdale Foundation established the Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi in 1997 and the Barksdale Reading Institute in 2001. He and his wife, Donna, through the University of Mississippi, recently funded the creation of the Mississippi Principal Corps to help change the way school principals are trained.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Barksdale was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour as chairman of the Governor’s Commission on the Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal of Mississippi. Most recently, he was asked by Gov. Barbour to chair the Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition. He was awarded the 2011 Mississippi Medal of Service in recognition of his service to the state in education and Katrina Recovery.
Barksdale is a native of Jackson and a graduate of Murrah High School. He received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. Jim and Donna Barksdale live in Jackson.
Cynthia Barnett is the author of three previous books, including Rain, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and named a finalist for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing. She lives with her family in Gainesville, Florida, where she is also Environmental Journalist in Residence at the University of Florida. http://cynthiabarnett.net
James “Jim” Barnett is retired as Director of the Historic Properties Division with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. He is the author of three books: The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735, Mississippi’s American Indians, and Beyond Control: The Mississippi River’s New Channel to the Gulf of Mexico, all published by University Press of Mississippi. He lives in Natchez with his wife, landscape artist Sharon Richardson.
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.
Born in Saigon and raised on Boston’s north shore, Quan Barry is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the author of four poetry books; her third book, Water Puppets, won the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and was a PEN/Open Book finalist. She has received NEA Fellowships in both fiction and poetry, and her work has appeared in such publications as Ms. and The New Yorker. Barry lives in Wisconsin.
Jennifer is a native of Milton, Florida but has lived in Jackson for 25 years. She attended Northland Baptist Bible College and later received her master’s degree in history from Florida State University. As an architectural historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jennifer has surveyed over 800 historic Mississippi schools, conducted building-by-building damage assessments in fourteen historic districts on the Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and more recently has documented scores of antebellum outbuildings in and around Natchez. In addition to publishing several scholarly articles about school architecture and segregation, she has written numerous National Register nominations for historic schools around Mississippi. In 2016, she authored the National Historic Landmark nomination for the Medgar and Myrlie Evers House in Jackson. As Chief Architectural Historian, she oversees the National Register of Historic Places and the Survey and Inventory programs and serves on the Review Committee for the Mississippi Landmark program.
Cassie Beasley is from rural Georgia, where, when she’s not writing, she helps out on the family pecan farm. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first book, Circus Mirandus, was a New York Times bestseller.
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.
Sandra Beasley is the author of four poetry collections-Made to Explode, Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling-as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir and cultural history of food allergies. She served as the editor for Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include the 2019 Munster Literature Centre’s John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, a 2015 NEA fellowship, and five DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Jim Beaugez is a contributor to Rolling Stone, Guitar Player and other music and audio media. He created My Life in Five Riffs, a documentary series for Guitar Player that traces contemporary artists back to their sources of inspiration, and his profile of Greg Iles from Guitar Aficionado appears in the paperback edition of the author’s bestselling novel Mississippi Blood.
He grew up in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
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.
Melanie Benjamin is a New York Times bestselling author whose books include The Girls in the Picture, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, The Aviator’s Wife, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, and Alice I Have Been. Benjamin lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.
Photo by Deborah Feingold
Chanelle Benz has published short stories in Guernica, Granta.com, Electric Literature, The American Reader, Fence, and The Cupboard, and is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize. Her story collection The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead was published in 2017 by Ecco. It was named a Best Book of 2017 by the San Francisco Chronicle and one of Electric Literature’s 15 Best Short Story Collections of 2017. It was also longlisted for the 2018 PEN/Robert Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. She currently lives in Memphis, where she teaches at Rhodes College. The Gone Dead is her debut novel.
Photo by Andrew Hamilton
Adrienne Berard is an award-winning journalist and graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has been the Writer-in-Residence at Delta State University in Mississippi and now resides in Williamsburg.
A former 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, the international Word Among Us, Southern Writers Magazine, The Texas Review, Southern Literary Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America essays.
A Good Girl (2017) was shortlisted in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition, as well as featured novel for panel discussion at the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals. The novel was shortlisted in the 2017 Kindle Book Award for Literary Fiction, a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, shortlisted by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction of the Year Award, and placed in the permanent collection of the Texas State Library and Archive Commission,Texas Center for the Book.
Johnnie’s second novel, How We Came to Be (2018) was a finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition. Named a “Must Read” by Southern Writers Magazine, the novel was featured for panel discussion for the 2018 Louisiana Book Festival and Mississippi Book Festival. It was selected for the 2019 Deep South Magazine recommended reading list and shortlisted by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters for 2019 Fiction of the Year. It is the recipient of the Summerlee Book Prize, HM by the Center for History and Culture at Lamar University.
Her third novel, Sisters of the Undertow (2020) was chosen for discussion at the 2020 national AWP Conference, the Pat Conroy Literary Center of South Carolina, the Southern Book Festival/Humanities Tennessee, and Words and Music Literary Feast of New Orleans. It was an official selection for the 2020 international Pulpwood Queens Book Club and Deep South Magazine’s recommended reading list for 2020. Named “Best of the University Presses, 100 Books” by the Association of University Presses, Sisters of the Undertow was shortlisted in the Kindle Book Awards for literary fiction. It was placed in the Texas Center for the Book, State Library Collection.
Johnnie was chosen as a selected speaker in the 2020 TEDx Fearless Women Series. She also supports young writers in public schools through the Letters About Literature program with the Texas Center for the Book and with the Write for Mississippi program. In 2021, she was named a teaching artist with Gemini Ink Writing Arts Center.
Kai Bird is a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and journalist. He is the acclaimed author of biographies of John J. McCloy and of McGeorge and William Bundy. He won the Pulitzer Prize for biography for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (co-authored with Martin J. Sherwin). His work includes critical writings on the Vietnam War, Hiroshima, nuclear weapons, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the CIA. He lives in New York City and Washington, D.C., with his wife, Susan Goldmark.
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.
Katie Blount became director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History February 1, 2015. Blount began her career at MDAH in 1994 in the public information section. She went on to serve as deputy director for communication, overseeing the department’s strategic planning process and working with the team that planned the new Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which opened in 2017 in celebration of the state bicentennial.
Blount earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan in English and history and her M.A. in southern studies from the University of Mississippi. She lives in Jackson with her husband and their two children.
Richard Boada is the author of the poetry collections: We Find Each Other in the Darkness, The Error of Nostalgia, and Archipelago Sinking. He is the recipient of the 2020 Mississippi Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship and has been nominated for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award in 2013, 2015, and 2021. He is a graduate of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. His poetry appears in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Urban Voices: 51 Poets / 51 Poems, Rhino, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry East, North American Review, and Third Coast, among others. Currently, he teaches creative writing at the West Virginia Wesleyan College MFA Low Residency Program.
Eliza Borné is the editor of the Oxford American, a quarterly literary magazine dedicated to featuring the best in Southern writing. Widely celebrated for its annual Southern Music issue, the OA has won four National Magazine Awards in its 25-year history, including the 2016 award in General Excellence. The magazine was founded in Oxford, Mississippi, and is now headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. Eliza has edited essays and stories that have been honored by the Best American series, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and elsewhere; she edited one of the finalists for the 2017 National Magazine Award in Essays & Criticism. Eliza currently serves on the Board of Directors of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference and the Arkansas Cinema Society. She is also on the talent committee of the Arkansas Literary Festival and sits on the Arts & Culture Commission of the City of Little Rock. Eliza was born and raised in Little Rock and received a B.A. in English from Wellesley College. She started at the Oxford American as an editorial intern and has also served as associate editor, managing editor, and interim editor of the magazine
I grew up on Riverdale Farms, eight hundred and fifty three prime acres in northern Grenada County, Mississippi. Although farming is in my DNA, I majored in instrumental music at Delta State University, and throughout my life have been involved with composing or performing music in one way or another.
After college I briefly served as a clerk for the Mississippi Legislature. Then I worked as a deck hand on a Mississippi River towboat, the Greenville, and for a while I was a rodeo hand in Estes Park, Colorado. Back in Mississippi, I took a job with the National Association of Home Builders and taught construction skills to disadvantaged youths, a position I held for thirteen years.
Late in my teaching career I shifted focus to my original college degree and taught instrumental music to students in Amite and Scott counties, Mississippi. The highlight of this tenure was accepting an invitation for my band students to march in the 2010 Rex Parade in New Orleans.
Today I build custom furniture and write narrative nonfiction. My first book, Crooked Snake: The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard, was published in 2019 by UPM. I am married with two adult children.
Mark Bowden is the author of thirteen books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down. He reported at the Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, and other magazines. He is also the writer in residence at the University of Delaware. His most recent book is The Three Battles of Wanat: And Other True Stories.
The Huffington Post named Roderick Boyd as one of the 25 most feared financial reporters in America. His book about the near collapse of AIG, Fatal Risk, was long-listed for the 2011 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. A former staffer of Fortune, in 2012 Boyd founded The Foundation for Financial Journalism, a non-profit newsroom that seeks corporate accountability through the use of investigative reporting.
Boyd’s October 2015 article on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International was the first to reveal the insurance and pharmaceutical regulatory scam that led to Valeant’s near-collapse, as well as to prison sentences for two executives. Netflix’s “Dirty Money” series featured Boyd and his reporting for “The Drug Short,” its January 2018 profile of Valeant. In addition, Boyd’s year-long investigation into Insys Therapeutics broke the news of the management-sanctioned policy of physician bribery that spurred increased prescriptions for its fentanyl formulation. Starting in 2017, federal prosecutors indicted Insys’ founder and chairman, its CEO, and its sales chief, a dozen of the company’s leading prescribers, as well as 10 of its sales executives, for the conduct Boyd’s reporting had raised years prior. PBS’ Frontline used Boyd and his work for “Opioids Inc.,” its 2020 documentary on Insys.
Patricia Boyett is the Director of the Women’s Resource Center at Loyola University New Orleans and teaches courses for the Department of History on race, gender and social justice. She received her PhD at the University of Southern Mississippi, her BA in History from Mississippi Valley State University, and her BFA in Theatre from Arizona State University. Her book, Right to Revolt, was the recipient of the Eudora Welty Book Prize in 2016.
Dr. Regina N. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow (Hutchins Center, Harvard University, Spring 2016), Associate Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University, and co-host of the critically acclaimed southern hip hop podcast Bottom of the Map with music journalist Christina Lee. Her expertise and research interests include post-Civil Rights African American literature, hip hop culture, race and the contemporary U.S. South, and sound studies.
Dr. Bradley is the author of Chronicling Stankonia: the Rise of the Hip-Hop South. Chronicling Stankonia explores how Atlanta, GA hip hop duo OutKast influences the culture of the Black American South in the long shadow of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Bradley is also the editor of a collection of essays about OutKast for the University of Georgia Press titled An OutKast Reader.
A prominent public voice and leading scholar on southern hip hop culture, Dr. Bradley’s work has been featured on a range of news media outlets including Washington Post, NPR, and Atlanta Journal Constitution. Additionally, In May, 2017 Dr. Bradley delivered a TEDx talk, “The Mountaintop Ain’t Flat,” about the significance of hip hop in bridging the American Black South to the present and future.
Dr. Bradley can be reached via Twitter (@redclayscholar) or through her website, www.redclayscholar.com.
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
H. W. (Henry William) Brands was born in Oregon, went to college in California, sold cutlery across the American West and earned graduate degrees in mathematics and history in Oregon and Texas. ~ He taught at Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M University before joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History. He teaches history and writing to graduate students and undergraduates. ~ He writes on American history and politics, with books including The Zealot and the Emancipator, Dreams of El Dorado, Heirs of the Founders, The General vs. the President and Reagan. Several of his books have been bestsellers; two, Traitor to His Class and The First American, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. ~ He publishes historical poetry on Twitter @hwbrands and “A User’s Guide to History” on Substack.
Jennifer Brannock is the Curator of Rare Books and Mississippiana at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has a BA in Art History and a MSLS from the University of Kentucky.
Charlie R. Braxton is a noted poet, playwright and cultural critics from Mississippi, the land where the blues begin. He is also one of the leading hip hop journalists of the 1990s. His feature articles, essays and reviews on various aspects of hip hop culture have appeared in top publications such as Beatdown, 4080, Blaze, The Source, Rap Pages, One World, Rime Magazine, Code of the Street (UK), The Pound (Canada), Bbarak Magazine (Czech Republic), One More Robot (Ireland) Rap Sheet, Vibe, XXL, Scratch and Murderdog Magazine. Charlie has written extensively about East Coast, West Coast and Mid-West hip hop, including cover stories on Biggie Smalls, Too $hort, Tupac Shakur, Westside Connection and The Fugees. He is best known for his groundbreaking work on Southern hip hop, chronicling the genre’s rise in the late 90s and early 2000s. During this period Braxton writings played a key role in covering Southern artists like Master P, Pastor Troy, Cee-Lo Green, Juvenile, Young Buck, Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins, Outkast, Killer Mike, David Banner and countless others on a national level. As a cultural critic, Braxton has appeared in a number of documentaries and talk shows that examine the state of hip hop culture and Black music in general, two of the most notable are the documentaries, The Dirty States of America which aired on MTV and Electric Purgatory: the Plight of the Black Rocker that aired on the Ovation Network. He has also appeared on BET, CNN, BBC’s Radio One and Netflix. In 2012, Braxton co-authored the book, Gangsta Gumbo (Camion Blanc Press, 2012), a history of Southern Hip hop with French writer, Jean-Pierre Labarthe. The book was published in France. In addition, Braxton has written book reviews for The Washington Post, The L.A. Review of Books, Art Today St. Louis, Valley Voices Literary Journal, The Hattiesburg American and The Clarion Ledger. By connecting Southern hip hop to the broader history of Southern music, Braxton played a key role in helping the world to understand the beauty of the modern-day Southern culture.
As a political commentator, Braxton’s work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Vibe, Image Magazine, Bet.com and BK Nation.org. He also the 2019 recipient of the Margaret Walker Alexander For My People Award for his outstanding contribution to African American Arts and Letters.
Charlie Braxton is also the author of three volumes of verse, Ascension from the Ashes (Blackwood Press 1991), Cinder’s Rekindled (Jawara Press 2013) and Embers Among the Ashes: Poems in a Haiku Manner (Jawara 2018). His poetry has been published in various anthologies including, Trouble the Water edited by Jerry Ward, In the Tradition edited by Ras Baraka and Kevin Powell, Step Into a World edited by Kevin Powell, Roll Call edited by Tony Medina, Soulfires edited by Rohan Preston and Daniel Widerman, Fertile Ground edited by Kysha N. Brown and Kalamu ya Salaam, and Bum Rush the Page: The Def Jam Poetry Anthology edited by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes. In addition, his poems have appeared in numerous literary publications such as African American Review, Cutbanks, Drumvoices Review, Black Magnolias, The Minnesota Review, The San Fernando Poetry Journal, The Black Nation, Massiffe, Candle, Transnational Literary Magazine, Eyeball, Sepia Poetry Review, Specter Magazine and The San Fernando Poetry Journal.
Charlie Braxton has written two plays. His first play, Artist Doesn’t Live Here Anymore was mounted by The Acting Company of Tougaloo in 1984. His second play, Bluesman has been anthologized in the book, Mississippi Writers: Reflections on Childhood and Youth Volume IV, Edited by Dorothy Abbott, University Press of Mississippi (July 1, 1991).
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
Elizabeth Miki Brina is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Bread Loaf Scholarship and a New York State Summer Writers Institute Scholarship. She currently lives and teaches in New Orleans.
Nancy K. Bristow is a professor of history at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she is also the Chair of the History Department, a founding member of the African American Studies Program, and a member of the Leadership Team of the Race and Pedagogy Institute. She is the author of three books, Making Men Moral: Social Engineering During the Great War (NYU Press, 2006), American Pandemic: Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic (Oxford University Press, 2012), and Steeped in the Blood of Racism: Black Power, Law and Order and the 1970 Shootings at Jackson State College. An award-winning teacher, she has also provided historical commentary through outlets ranging from The Guardian, The Nation, and TIME Magazine to NPR and PBS.
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.
Brian Broome is an award-winning writer, poet, and screenwriter, and K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is pursuing an MFA. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He lives in Pittsburgh.
Carolyn J. Brown is a writer, editor, and independent scholar from Jackson, Mississippi. She is author of The Artist’s Sketch: A Biography of Painter Kate Freeman Clark (2017) and the award-winning biographies A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty (2012) and Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker (2014). Her most recent book is A De Grummond Primer: Highlights of the Children’s Literature Collection. All her books are published by University Press of Mississippi. Find Carolyn at www.carolynjbrown.net.
Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.
John Gregory Brown is the author of the novels Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery; The Wrecked, Blessed Body of Shelton Lafleur; andAudubon’s Watch. For two decades he has taught and directed the creative writing program at Sweet Briar College, in Virginia, where he serves as the Julia Jackson Nichols Professor of English. He and his wife, the novelist Carrie Brown, have three children.
“Julie K. Brown’s important book offers not just a definitive account of the Epstein case, but a compelling window into her own experiences as a dogged reporter at a regional newspaper, facing off against both powerful interests set against her reporting.” - Ronan Farrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Catch and Kill.
Dauntless journalist Julie K. Brown recounts her uncompromising and risky investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex trafficking operation, and the explosive reporting for the Miami Herald that finally brought him to justice while exposing the powerful people and broken system that protected him.
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
Historian, author, curator, and educator, Lonnie G. Bunch, III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, who was appointed in June 2019.
Prior to assuming this position, Bunch was the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). In this position he provided strategic leadership in areas of scholarship, collections, fundraising and academic and cultural partnerships.
As a public historian, a scholar who brings history to the people, Bunch has spent nearly 30 years in the museum field and is one of the nation’s leading figures in the historical and museum community.
Prior to his July 2005 appointment as director of NMAAHC, Bunch served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society, one of the nation’s oldest museums of history.
Bunch has held several positions at the Smithsonian, and spent a number of years at both the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum.
A prolific and widely published author, Bunch has written on topics ranging from slavery, the black military experience, the American presidency, and all black towns in the American west to diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums.
In service to the historical and cultural community, Bunch has served on the advisory boards of several professional organizations. Among his many awards, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Commission for the Preservation of the White House in 2002 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2009.
Bunch has received honorary doctorates from an array of Universities including: Harvard University, Princeton University, Brown University, Dominican University, Roosevelt University, Rutgers University, Northwestern University, and Georgetown University.
Born in the Newark, N.J. area, Bunch has held numerous teaching positions across the country including American University; the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; and The George Washington University. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from American University in African American and American history.
He is married to Maria Marable Bunch, a museum educator. They have two daughters, Sarah and Katie.
Mike Bunn is a historian and author who has worked with several cultural heritage organizations in the Southeast. He currently serves as Director of Historic Blakeley State Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama. He is author or co-author of several books, including Fourteenth Colony: The Forgotten Story of the Gulf South During America’s Revolutionary Era; The Assault on Fort Blakeley: “The Thunder and Lightning of Battle (forthcoming in 2021); Early Alabama: An Illustrated Guide to the Formative Years, 1798-1826; Alabama From Territory to Statehood: An Alabama Heritage Bicentennial Collection; Well Worth Stopping to See: Antebellum Columbus, Georgia Through the Eyes of Travelers; Civil War Eufaula; Battle for the Southern Frontier: The Creek War and the War of 1812; and Images of America: The Lower Chattahoochee River. Mike is editor of Muscogiana, the journal of the Muscogee County (Georgia) Genealogical Society. He is also Chair of the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission. Mike earned his undergraduate degree at Faulkner University and two masters degrees at the University of Alabama. Mike and his wife Tonya live in Daphne, Alabama with their daughter Zoey. www.mikebunn.net
Hank Burdine was born and raised in Greenville, Mississippi in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. He was a road builder and gentleman farmer. After a sixteen-year walkabout with his family in the Sangre de Christo Mountains of Southern Colorado and the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle, Hank returned home to his beloved Delta where he lives on his farm. His late wife, Sallie, always said, “Hank never really left the Delta as he returned often to water his roots.” Highly involved with the Mississippi River, he serves as a Commissioner on the Mississippi Levee Board. Hank wrote the introduction to Panther Tract: Wild Boar Hunting in the Mississippi Delta by Melody Golding, and he wrote Mississippi Delta, The Flood of 2011 and contributed to The Delta, Landscapes, Legends and Legacies of Mississippi’s Most Storied Region, which was published by Coopwood Publishing and Delta Magazine.
Linda Burgess is an artist and writer whose work inhabits that elusive place where memory and reality overlap, capturing moments in time that hint at an underlying narrative. Her art is in the collections of The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Zimmerli Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Art, and The Polaroid International Collection among others. She is the author of Mount Vernon’s Magnificent Menagerie and the Very Mysterious Guest, a children’s book about George Washington’s animals illustrated by her daughter and artist, Maggie Dunlap. For more information visit lindaburgess.com.
Tori Bush is a writer, teacher and PhD candidate in the English department at Louisiana State University with an interest in the environmental humanities, postcolonial theory, and critical race studies. She is co-editor of the anthology, The Gulf South: An Anthology of Environmental Writing published by University Press of Florida in 2021. She also has an MFA in creative nonfiction and has forthcoming works in Southern Quarterly and ISLE.
Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of Sex and the City, Lipstick Jungle, The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Trading Up, Four Blondes, Summer and the City, and Killing Monica. Sex and the City, published in 1996, was the basis for the HBO hit series and two subsequent blockbuster movies. Lipstick Jungle became a popular television series on NBC, as did The Carrie Diaries on the CW. Her most recent book is Is There Still Sex in the City? (published in August by Grove Press).
Photo by Patrick McMullan
Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of sixteen novels, including A Small Hotel, Hell, and the Christopher Marlowe Cobb series. He is also the author of six short-story collections and a book on the creative process, From Where You Dream. He has twice won a National Magazine Award for Fiction and received the 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University.
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.
James T. Campbell is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History at Stanford University and co-author, with Elaine Owens, of Mississippi Witness: The Photographs of Florence Mars. His previous books include Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History, and Race, Nation and Empire in American History. A committed public historian, Campbell has worked as a consulting historian for numerous documentary films, curricular projects, and museum exhibitions, including the ‘Power of Place’ exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. She is the author of two children’s books as well as Into the Free, which received Christy Awards for Best Debut Novel and Book of the Year 2013 as well as the Mississippi Library Association’s Fiction Award.
This debut novel received a rare starred review by Publishers Weekly and was selected as one of five finalists for the University of Mississippi Common Reading Experience 2014. It also was selected as a best novel of 2013 by LifeWay, USA TODAY, and many bookclubs.
Cantrell’s sophomore novel, When Mountains Move, is the sequel to her debut. Since its release in September 2013, it has been named a 2013 Best Read by LifeWay, was shortlisted for several awards, and won the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction.
The Feathered Bone, Cantrell’s third novel, released in January 2016 and was inspired by the real-life kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. The novel is currently a finalist for SIBA’s 2017 Southern Book Prize.
Cantrell’s new novel, Perennials, releases August 2017. The story follow two estranged sisters who reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary. A family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.
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.
Tracy Carr is the Mississippi Center for the Book Director and the Library Services Director at the Mississippi Library Commission.
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.
Brian Castner is a nonfiction writer, former Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer, and veteran of the Iraq War. His most recent book is “Stampede,” a new history of the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush. He is also the bestselling author of “Disappointment River,” “All the Ways We Kill and Die,” and the war memoir “The Long Walk,” which was adapted into an opera and named a New York Times Editor’s Pick and Amazon Best Book of the Year. His journalism and essays have appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Esquire, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and on National Public Radio. He is the co-editor of “The Road Ahead,” a collection of short stories featuring veteran writers, and has twice received grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, to cover the Ebola outbreak in Liberia in 2014, and to paddle the 1200 mile Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean in 2016.
Casey Cep is a writer from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in English, she earned an M.Phil in theology at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The New Republic, among other publications. This is her first book.
Photo by Kathryn Schulz
Mamta Chaudhry’s fiction, poetry, and feature articles have been published in the Miami Review, The Illustrated Weekly of India, The Telegraph, The Statesman, Writer’s Digest, and The Rotarian, among others. She lives with her husband in Coral Gables, Florida, and they spend part of each year in India and France. Haunting Paris is her first novel.
Photo by Daniel Fryer
Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of Aru Shah and the End of Time, The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and The Gilded Wolves. Her work has been nominated for the Locus and Nebula awards, and her books have appeared on Barnes and Nobles Best New Books of the Year and Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year lists. Chokshi lives in Georgia, but doesn’t have much of a Southern accent. Alas.
Olivia Clare is the author of a book of short stories, Disasters in the First World (Black Cat/Grove Atlantic), and a book of poems, The 26-Hour Day (New Issues). Her novel is forthcoming from Grove Atlantic. Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in The Paris Review, Granta, The Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. She is currently an Assistant Professor in English, Creative Writing, at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Tom Clavin was a reporter for 15 years for The New York Times served as editor of weekly newspapers before turning to writing full-time. Four of his books have been New York Times best sellers: Dodge City, The Heart of Everything That Is, Halsey’s Typhoon, and The Last Stand of Fox Company. Other recent titles that have received popular and critical acclaim include The DiMaggios, Last Men Out, Reckless, and Valley Forge. Wild Bill was published by St. Martin’s Press in February 2019, and this November Harper Collins will release All Blood Runs Red. He lives in Sag Harbor, NY.
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.
Adam Clay was born and raised in Mississippi. He is the author of four book of poems. His most recent collection, To Make Room for the Sea, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2020. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Tin House, Bennington Review, Georgia Review, Boston Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission. He directs the Center for Writers at The University of Southern Mississippi, where he teaches creative writing and edits Mississippi Review.
Langdon Clay was born in New York City and raised in New England. He photographs around the country and beyond for shelter, magazines, and coffee table books. The bulk of his commercial work involves architecture, interiors, gardens, and food. His art photography can be found in museums in Paris, London, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and Jackson. He resides on the banks of Cassidy Bayou in the little Mississippi Delta town of Sumner, with his wife Maude Schuyler Clay and three mostly grown children; Anna, Schuyler, and Sophie. His forthcoming book Langdon Clay: Cars: New York City 1974-1976 will be released in November.
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.
Leroy Clemons is an alderman at large in the city of Philadelphia, Mississippi and executive director at the Neshoba Youth Coalition. In 2004, he co-founded and became president of the Philadelphia Coalition, a multiracial task force that successfully pushed for the successful prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan’s 1964 murders of three young civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andy Goodman and Mickey Schwerner.
Kate Cochran is Editor of The Southern Quarterly: A Journal of Arts & Letters in the South and an Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she teaches courses on southern literature, American literature, and English education.
Courtney E. Cockrell is currently an attorney with a state agency in Mississippi focusing on employment law matters. She is also on the legal staff of MarchOn Voter Protection Corps, a national organization concentrating on voter protection and voter education.
Prior to handling employment matters, Ms. Cockrell worked for a large plaintiff’s firm where she focused on securing social security disability benefits for her clients. She also played an active role in ensuring a positive and credible process for thousands of African American farmers throughout the country with her work with the Black Farmers Settlement Litigation.
In the community, Ms. Cockrell often speaks with students in an effort to encourage them to strive to meet their full potential in life. She also volunteers her time and legal services to the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project where she currently serves as the chairperson of the board of directors. Ms. Cockrell has also been a coach for the Magnolia Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial competition.
In addition to her professional and civic responsibilities, Ms. Cockrell is a proud member of the Evers family. As the granddaughter of James Charles Evers and the great-niece of Medgar Wiley Evers, she had the honor of being featured in two editions of the UM Lawyer, a publication distributed to alumni and friends of the University of Mississippi School of Law, as well as Glamour Magazine, and online publication Air Mail. Ms. Cockrell was also featured in President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Special with Katie Couric on CBS.
She holds a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Mississippi School Of Law, where she served as a member of the Moot Court Board. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mississippi and a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee State University.
Mary Ann Connell practices law with Mayo Mallette, PLLC. She served as university attorney for the University of Mississippi from 1982 to 2003. She served as the school board attorney for the Oxford, Mississippi School District from 2003 to 2013. She has taught courses in higher education law, school law, legal research and writing; business law and employment law. She is a frequent presenter at national conferences on subjects involving higher education and school law. She is a past president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys; past president of the Mississippi Council of School Board Attorneys, and a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys; the NAACP Freedom Award for life-long service in the area of education and civil rights; the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association Outstanding Woman Lawyer in Mississippi Award; the University of Mississippi Chancellor’s Award for outstanding contributions toward increasing diversity, and the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society Award for outstanding teacher of the year. In 2015, she was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame.
M Shelly Conner is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas. She and her wife live on their central Arkansas homestead with their dog Whiskey where she writes about DIY, black queer womanhood, self-sustainable living and their interesting intersections. Her debut novel everyman (Blackstone Publishing) is available for pre-order from all retailers and will be released July 20, 2021.
Cassandra King Conroy is an award-winning author of five novels, a book of nonfiction, numerous short stories, magazine articles, and essays. She has taught creative writing on the college level, conducted corporate writing seminars, and worked as a human interest reporter.
King’s first novel, Making Waves has been through numerous printings since its release in 1995. Her second novel, the New York Times bestseller The Sunday Wife, was a Booksense choice; a Literary Guild and Book-of-the-Month Club selection; a People Magazine Page-Turner of the Week; Books-a-Million President’s Pick; Utah’s Salt Lake Libraries Readers’ Choice Award nominee; and a South Carolina Readers’ Circle selection. As one of Booksense’s top discussion selections, The Sunday Wife was selected by the Nestle Corporation for a national campaign to promote reading groups.
The Same Sweet Girls was the national number one Booksense Selection on its release in January 2005; a Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild selection; and spent several weeks on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Both The Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls were nominated for Southern Independent Booksellers Association’s book of the year award. A fourth novel, Queen of Broken Hearts, set in King’s home state of Alabama and released March 2007, became a Literary Guild and Book-of-the-Month Club Selection as well as a SIBA bestseller. The fifth novel, Moonrise, was a SIBA Okra Pick and a Southern Booksellers bestseller, as was her book of non-fiction, released in 2013, The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life. Most recently, King has been writing for Coastal Living and Southern Living as well as contributing essays to various anthologies. Her new book is a memoir, Tell Me a Story: My Life With Pat Conroy and it was released from William Morrow on October 29, 2019.
The widow of acclaimed author Pat Conroy, Cassandra resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, where she is honorary chair of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.
Brian Contine is a Sales Manager for Penguin adult sales and sells to independent bookstores in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Prior to taking his position at Penguin, he worked at The University of Texas Press, where he spent time working in Sales, Marketing & Publicity, Editorial (acquisitions), and the Director’s Office. He began his bookselling career at BookPeople Bookstore, where he managed the floor for a number of years. He runs a public discussion of literature called The Voyage Out Book Group, which has been meeting the last Sunday of each month at BookPeople for the past eight years. He lives in Austin with his wife and two boys.
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, Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A successful public intellectual, she has written opeds for the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, TIME, and more.
Dr. Cox regularly gives media interviews on the subject of southern history and culture and is the author of four books, including No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice (April 2021), 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.
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.
Jim Crockett is Professor Emeritus of Accountancy at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), and an Adjunct Professor of Accountancy at The University of Mississippi. He earned the BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Mississippi and the DBA from Mississippi State University. Dr. Crockett has served on the faculty of the University of West Florida and as Chairman of the its Department of Finance and Accounting. He also served as Professor and Director of the School of Professional Accountancy at USM. In 2012 he served as Visiting Professor of Accountancy at Western Kentucky University (WKU. Crockett has been an active member of the Mississippi Society of CPAs (MSCPA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Institute of Management Accounting (IMA), and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). He was the MSCPA’s Educator of the Year in 2005 and Treasurer of the MSCPA in 2006-2007. Crockett has presented many continuing professional education programs on a national basis. He has published three books with the University Press of Mississippi (Operation Pretense, Hands in the Till, and Power Greed Hubris), two monographs, and numerous articles in professional and academic journals. Crockett retired as a Lt. Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He is married to the former Dorothy Douglas and they have two grown sons and four grandchildren. Jim is a life-long sports fan.
John Currence is chef/owner of City Grocery Restaurant Group, including City Grocery, Bouré, Big Bad Breakfast (Oxford MS, Birmingham AL and Inlet Beach FL), Snackbar, & Main Event Catering. Born and raised in New Orleans, John’s career in food has covered half the globe, but is tightly focused on his roots in the Deep South and Louisiana. John was the James Beard Best Chef South in 2009 and a recent participant on Top Chef Masters. He is a contributing editor at Garden & Gun Magazine, and author of Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes From My Three Favorite Food Groups and Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book Of The Day. John is the founder of Move On Up Mississippi a non-profit foundation focusing on celebrating individuals that are doing significant work to help address the issue of childhood obesity.
Susan Cushman was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and came of age in the 1960s Jim Crow South. She pledged Tri Delt sorority at Ole Miss in 1969. (“Mary Margaret” in her novel was also a Tri Delt at Ole Miss in the 1960s.) Her previously published books include Friends of the Library (short stores), Cherry Bomb (a novel), Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s (a memoir), and three anthologies she edited, including Southern Writers On Writing. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Susan writes with deep insight into the South’s storied past, bringing elements of hope and healing to her short stories, memoir, and novels, honoring the heart, soul, and history of the South. John and Mary Margaret is her seventh book.
Margery Cuyler has written more than 50 children’s books, including Skeleton Hiccups, Bullies Never Win, 100th Day Worries, Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler, That’s Good! That’s Bad!, and most recently, Skeleton for Dinner and Purim Chicken. In the fall of 2017, Bonaparte Falls Apart, The Little Fire Truck, and Best Friends will be released. In addition to being an author, Margery has worked at the executive level for a number of publishers. Margery enjoys visiting schools, where she shares her books with her favorite people (children!), and attending conferences. She and her husband, the parents of two grown children, live in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Dennis Dahmer is a Civil Rights Activist and educator and the son of slain Forrest County NAACP President Vernon Dahmer, Sr.
Ellen Rodgers Daniels opens the next chapter in her forays into the heart of Mississippi culture. This Rolling Fork native brings a curious mind and a keen eye to the task, honed from her dozen years as a bookseller at Lemuria, her work as a gallery assistant at Fischer Galleries and her fine art photography, which has been shown in galleries throughout the Southeast.
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.
Patrick Dean writes on the outdoors, outdoor athletes, and the environment. He has worked as a teacher, a political media director, and is presently the executive director of a rail-trail nonprofit. An avid trail-runner, paddler, and mountain-biker, he lives with his wife and dogs on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.
Mason Deaver is a non-binary author and librarian from a small town in North Carolina where the word “y’all” is used in abundance. When they aren’t writing or working, they’re typically found in their kitchen baking something that’s bad for them or out in their garden complaining about the toad that likes to dig holes around their hydrangeas. I Wish You All the Best is their debut novel. You can find them online at masondeaverwrites.com and on Twitter @masondeaver.
Photo by Trịnh Hồng Hương
A native of Holly Springs, Mississippi, Roy is the Executive Director and one of the founders of the Hill Country Project . He was active as a high school student in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and then as a general organizer. Roy earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Brandeis University in 1970. Continuing his education at Brandeis, he went on to earn a Masters and later a Doctorate in Political Science in 1978. He has also pursued additional studies at Jackson State, Duke, Carnegie-Mellon, Michigan and Harvard Universities.
Active in many community, civic and professional organization, Roy has received numerous awards and has been cited for outstanding achievements and contributions, including National Alumni of the Year Award from Brandeis. Roy retired 2008 as Vice President for Jackson State University. During his ten year tenure at Jackson State, he also served as Executive Vice President.
He has a wife, Rubye and one daughter, Aisha Isoke.
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.
Mary Lindsay Dickinson is widow of Jim Dickinson. Jim Dickinson (1941–2009) worked with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Alex Chilton, the Replacements, and T-Model Ford, among others. His sons, Luther and Cody, are the founding members of the North Mississippi Allstars. Ernest Suarez, Washington, DC, is David M. O’Connell Professor of English at the Catholic University of America and president of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. He has published widely on southern literature, contemporary poetry, and music.
Jamie Dickson has taught English and creative writing for 18 years, and currently chairs the English department at Germantown High in Madison County. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College, his poems and essays have appeared in The Louisiana Review, Poetry Quarterly, Glassworks, McSweeny’s, The Common, and other journals. For the past four years, he has been a faculty member of the McMullen Young Writers Workshop in Jackson, MS.
Alda P. Dobbs is the author of the upcoming novel Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. She was born in a small town in northern Mexico but moved to San Antonio, Texas as a child. Alda studied physics and worked as an engineer before pursuing her love of storytelling. She’s as passionate about connecting children to their past, their communities, different cultures and nature as she is about writing. Alda lives with her husband and two children outside Houston, Texas.
Michael Dobbs was born and educated in Britain, but is now a U.S. citizen. He was a long-time reporter for The Washington Post, covering the collapse of communism as a foreign correspondent. He has taught at leading American universities, including Princeton, the University of Michigan, and Georgetown. He is currently on the staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His previous books include the bestselling One Minute to Midnight on the Cuban missile crisis, which was part of an acclaimed Cold War trilogy. He lives outside Washington, D.C.
Eric Jay Dolin is the author of thirteen books, including Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe, and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U.S. Maritime History. His most recent book before Black Flags, Blue Waters is Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse, which was chosen by gCaptain and Classic Boat as one of the best maritime books of 2016. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his PhD in environmental policy, Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.
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.
Deborah D. Douglas is the Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University and a senior leader with The OpEd Project, leading thought leadership fellowships and programs that include the University of Texas at Austin, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Urgent Action Fund in South Africa and Kenya, and the McCormick Foundation-supported Youth Narrating Our World (YNOW). While teaching at her alma mater, Northwestern University’s Medill School, she spearheaded a graduate investigative journalism capstone on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and taught best practices in Karachi, Pakistan. She is an award-winning journalist, including the 2019 Studs Terkel award, and founding managing editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism. Douglas is author of “Moon U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places, and Events That Made the Movement” (Moon Travel, 2021) and is among 90 contributors to “Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019,” edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain (Random House/One World).
Timothy Duffy is a renowned photographer and founder of the Music Maker Foundation, which assists traditional musicians in need. Timothy has been recording and photographing traditional artists in the South for forty years. Duffy builds years-long relationships with artists in order to produce evocative, spiritual portraits and haunting landscapes.
Duffy captures both environments and people with “the ability to meld past and present into a joyful, singular moment of timelessness,” in the words of renowned Southern photographer Sally Mann. His work is held in the permanent collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Beineke Library, Ogden Museum of Art, the Morris Museum of Art, among other museums and institutions. His extensive musical recordings are held in the Southern Folklife Collection in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina. He lives with his wife, Denise, the co-founder of Music Maker, in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Kitty Dumas is a writer and native of Eupora, MS. She is (still) completing a memoir.
Allegory is ever-present in the work of William Dunlap, an artist and writer who refers to what he does as “hypothetical realism.” “The places I paint and the people I write about aren’t real… but they could be.” He is the recipient of international fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and Lila Wallace Foundation, and his art is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, Mississippi Museum of Art, and United States Embassies throughout the world. Short Mean Fiction: Words and Pictures (2016), his initial foray into literary fiction, is followed by his most recent collection of short stories, Lying and Making a Living: Fiction with Footnotes (2021). He is author of Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster (2019) about the magnum opus by Mississippi folk artist, O. W. “Pappy” Kitchens, and the subject of DUNLAP (2006) published by the University Press of Mississippi with essay by J. Richard Gruber and foreword by Julia Reed. William Dunlap maintains studios in Mississippi and South Florida, and is married to the artist/writer Linda Burgess. They have one daughter, Maggie, also an artist and writer who lives in London. For more information visit williamdunlap.com
Lee Durkee is a graduate of the Mississippi public school system and was bussed to various schools throughout the Hattiesburg area. He later attended Pearl River Junior College, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Arkansas, and Syracuse University. He is the author of the novels Rides of the Midway (WW Norton, 2000) and The Last Taxi Driver (Tin House Books, 2020). His work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Sun, The Best of the Oxford American, Zoetrope: All Story, Tin House, and Mississippi Noir. In 2022 Scribner will publish Stalking Shakespeare, a memoir about his obsession with trying to find a lost portrait of William Shakespeare. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
Charles W. Eagles is William F. Winter Professor of History at the University of Mississippi and the author of Civil Rights, Culture Wars: The Fight over a Mississippi Textbook, The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss, and Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama.
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.
Glory Edim is the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, a Brooklyn-based book club and online community that celebrates the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood. In fall 2017, she organized the first ever Well-Read Black Girl Literary Festival. She has worked as a creative strategist for over ten years at startups and cultural institutions, including Kickstarter, The Webby Awards and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She received the 2017 Innovator’s Award from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes for her work as a literary advocate. She serves on the board of New York City’s Housing Works Bookstore and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Liz Egan directs the McMullan Young Writers Workshop, and teaches creative writing and directs the writing center at Millsaps College. She holds an MFA in fiction from George Mason University, and is co-editor of Gazing Grain Press, an inclusive feminist chapbook press. Her fiction has appeared in ink&coda, MAYDAY Magazine, SFWP Quarterly, and Parhelion, and was listed as a 2016 Gertrude Stein Award Finalist.
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.
Helen Ellis is the author of Southern Lady Code, American Housewife and Eating the Cheshire Cat. Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City. You can find her on Twitter @WhatIDoAllDay and Instagram @American Housewife.
Photo by Lara Magzan Photography
Anjali Enjeti is a former attorney, award-winning journalist, and activist. She writes a political column for ZORA magazine and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Reinhardt University. Her recent essays and articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Newsday, The Nation, Longreads, The Georgia Review, Guernica, Al Jazeera, and The Paris Review. She lives with her family near Atlanta.
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 A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through A Real and Imagined Literary Landscape (Timber Press, March 2021). A native of Mount Olive, Mississippi, he is the author of two other books: 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. His essays have been published in the Hedgehog Review, Vanity Fair, The American Scholar, The Georgia Review, and The New Yorker. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, he is currently a visiting professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. He divides his time between Oxford, Mississippi, and Washington, DC.
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).
Jelani M. Favors is associate professor of history at Clayton State University.
Alvin S. Felzenberg was the principal spokesman for the 9/11 Commission and Director of Communications for the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress. He served in two presidential administrations, as an adviser to the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and on the majority staff of the U.S. House of Representatives. He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and is the author of The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn’t). He holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. He lives in Washington, DC.
Beth Ann Fennelly, a 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, is the former poet laureate of Mississippi and teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three books of poetry and three of prose, most recently, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs, which was a Goodreaders Favorite and an Atlanta Journal Constitution Best Book. She lives with her husband, Tom Franklin, and their three children In Oxford, MS. www.bethannfennelly.com
Tim Fielder is an Illustrator, concept designer, cartoonist, and animator born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He has a lifelong love of Visual Afrofuturism, Pulp entertainment, and action films. He is known for his graphic novel series, Matty’s Rocket, and his TEDx Talk on Afrofuturism. His most recent work is the critically acclaimed graphic novel, Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale, published by HarperCollins Amistad.
Robert W. Fieseler is the winner of the 2020 Columbia Journalism School First Decade Award, the 2019 NLGJA (National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association) Journalist of the Year and a debut nonfiction author. He currently lives with his husband and dog in New Orleans. He graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship and the Lynton Fellowship in Book Writing.
Fieseler’s essays and feature stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and recognized in roundups of best nonfiction by The Atlantic. He writes about marginalized groups and overlooked people who make the world better for themselves. As such, his heroes tend to be exiles and outcasts seeking their own strange forms of freedom.
As a little boy in flat flat Chicago, Fieseler’s favorite movie was The Wizard of Oz, and he thought he lived in Kansas. He loved the Wicked Witch and melted everywhere he could, including one time in the middle of Cook Country traffic court when his mother was disputing a ticket. Now, he owns an opinionated Cairn Terrier – same breed as Toto – who accompanies him to the library. Perhaps unsurprisingly to his mother, Fieseler grew to be a proud gay American.
Ann Fisher-Wirth’s sixth book of poems is The Bones of Winter Birds, chosen in Terrapin Books’ open reading period and published in 2019. Her fifth book, Mississippi, is a poetry/photography collaboration with Maude Schuyler Clay (Wings Press 2018). Ann is coeditor, with Laura-Gray Street, of The Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity UP 2013). She has received a MIAL Poetry Award and two MAC Poetry Fellowships, a Rita Dove Poetry Prize, and a Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and has had residencies at Djerassi, The Mesa Refuge, Hedgebrook, and CAMAC/France. Recipient of a senior Fulbright to Switzerland and a Fulbright Distinguished Chair award to Sweden, she is a senior fellow of the Black Earth Institute and was 2017 Poet in Residence at Randolph College. She teaches at the University of Mississippi, where she also directs the Environmental Studies program—and she teaches yoga in Oxford, Mississippi.
Candace Fleming is the acclaimed author of numerous books for children, including Ben Franklin’s Almanac, an ALA Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; as well as Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!; Gabriella’s Song; and When Agnes Caws; all ALA Notable Books. She lives in a suburb of Chicago.
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 an author, culinary educator, and raconteuse from the Mississippi Delta. She has received The Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, The James Beard Book Award for American Cooking, Southern Independent Booksellers Award, Food 52 Piglett Award, and Gourmand International Book Award.
Gilbert Ford holds a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute and an MFA in Writing For Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author and illustrator of picture books Flying Lessons, The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring, and How the Cookie Crumbled. The Mysterious Messenger marks his middle grade novel debut that he has authored and illustrated.
Michael Ford is a documentary photographer and filmmaker. He is also the proprietor of Yellow Cat Productions, an award-winning media production company based in Washington, D.C.
Richard Ford is the author of the Bascombe novels, which include The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day—the first novel to win the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award—The Lay of the Land, and New York Times bestseller Let Me Be Frank with You. His other works include bestselling novel Canada and the short story collections Rock Springs and A Multitude of Sins, which contain many widely anthologized stories and most recently his only work of non-fiction, Between Them: Remembering My Parents. He lives in Boothbay, Maine, with his wife Kristina Ford.
Heather Fox is an illustrator of stories for children. Her art is filled with quirk and dashes of whimsy that is created in both doodle and digital forms. When she isn’t creating, she is probably drinking a hot cup of coffee, eating Chinese food, or chasing down her dog (Sir Hugo) that has stolen one of her socks. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
X.M. “Mike” Frascogna, Jr. is a practicing attorney with over 47 years of experience in domestic and international litigation, entertainment and sports law, and all forms of alternative dispute resolution. He has assisted the FBI in hostage negotiations, served as a Special Master in six Mississippi Circuit Court districts, arbitrated and mediated hundreds of cases, and litigated in the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands. Frascogna is a graduate of Mississippi State University (BS – 1969; MA – 1970), Mississippi College (J.D. cum laude – 1972; MBA – 1976; MSS – 1982), and is currently a Ph. D Candidate in U.S. Contemporary History at the University of Mississippi. He has co-authored a number of publications related to the topics of negotiation and entertainment including Entertainment Law for the General Practitioner, (American Bar Association, Chicago), and the 1980 Deems-Taylor Award winner, This Business of Artist Management, (Billboard Books, New York). Frascogna and his two sons have co-authored several books and film documentaries about high school and junior college football in Mississippi. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Mississippi College School of Law since 1978, and, a frequent lecturer at the University of Mississippi Law School and Millsaps College.
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.
Shennette (pronounced shuh-NET) Garrett-Scott is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. Her first book: Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal. Banking on Freedom tells the story of the St. Luke Bank: the first and only bank organized and run by African American women, women who transformed the teller cage and boardroom into sites of activism and resistance. Banking on Freedom reveals how African American women shaped—and were shaped by—U.S. finance and capitalism from the end of the Civil War to the Great Depression. An award-winning author, her research and writings focus on race, gender, and capitalism. She is currently at work on a book-length project looking at modern slavery, gangsters, and bootlegging in the 1920s Mid-South. Dr. Garrett-Scott is featured in the PBS documentary BOSS: The Black Experience in Business. Follow her on Twitter at @EbonRebel.
Jimmie is a legal and political writer as well as columnist for The Clarion-Ledger. He has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist covering the people, places and things that make Mississippi special.
Jimmie has won numerous awards, including the Sigma Delta Chi award, the Best of Gannett, the Mississippi Press Association reporting award and the National Association of Black Journalists award. Jimmie is a member of the regional Hall of Fame of the National Association of Black Journalists.
He has appeared on True Crime national shows, including TV One’s “Fatal Attraction” and “For My Man,” “Snapped, and Redrum,” which is murder spelled backward. Jimmie also served as a researcher and consultant for the former live television show CourtTV.
A graduate of Jackson State University, Jimmie and his wife Pattie are the proud parents of one daughter, April.
Tim Gautreaux is the author of three novels and two earlier short story collections. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and GQ. After teaching for thirty years at Southeastern Louisiana University, he now lives, with his wife, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Monika Gehlawat is Associate Director of the School of Humanities and Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her critical monograph In Defense of Dialogue: Reading Habermas and Postwar American Literature (2020) is a featured title in Routledge’s Press Research in American Literature and Culture Series. She writes and teaches about contemporary literature, visual art, and critical and aesthetic theory, and has published essays in Post45, Contemporary Literature, The James Baldwin Review, and Literary Imaginations, among others. She is the 2021 recipient of USM’s Faculty Research Award and the 2020 recipient of the Faculty Senate Teaching Award. Along with serving as the Series Editor of Literary Conversations, Gehlawat is also Critic for the Center for Writers and Post-Chair of the University Graduate Council. Her next project focuses on twenty-first century ekphrastic novels and reflects her career-long commitment to working in the interdisciplinary mode.
Peter Geye was born and raised in Minneapolis, where he continues to live. His previous novels are Safe from the Sea and The Lighthouse Road. Wintering also recently won the Minnesota Book Award.
Winner of the 1984 National Book Award for Fiction for her collection of short stories, Victory Over Japan, Ellen Gilchrist has been declared “a national treasure” by the Washington Post for her various works, which at present constitute a collection of twenty-three books. She has received numerous other awards for her work, as well as a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Fiction. A Mississippi native, she currently lives in Fayetteville (Washington County) and was for many years a faculty member at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville.
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.
Bruce Golden, LMS (born in Mississippi; refuses to leave)
Golden has worked in the Jackson Public School System for over 25 years—10 years as a middle school science teacher and the last 15 years as a librarian. He moved from the library at Peeples Middle School to the library at the Power Academic and Performing Arts Center (APAC) at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. He received the Carroon Apple award for 2018. (The School Libraries Section of MS Library Association selects and presents the Carroon Apple Award for the purpose of recognizing outstanding accomplishment in the field of school library media services. The award seeks to recognize the professional legacy begun by Barbara Carroon in this area of school librarianship.)
His current position at Power also affords him the opportunity to integrate his career interests as a musician. He has been a performing member of the Mississippi Symphony orchestra for 40 years as an improvising artist in the US and Europe for almost 50 years.
Golden’s wife is a philosophy professor at Millsaps College. He has two daughters, the youngest of whom is an 8th grader in advanced academics at Bailey APAC and a visual arts emphasis at Power.
Golden is never better than when he collaborates with teachers, librarians, students, musicians, and anyone else curious and interested in the world we live in.
Melody Golding is an author, photographer and artist living in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History Archives Center acquired her solo documentary exhibit; Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember and also her documentary photography and oral history project on Panther Tract: Wild Boar Hunting in the Mississippi Delta. Her photographs are on display in the Congressional Hearing Room at the Department of Homeland Security and have been featured in solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and at numerous universities, colleges and museums.
Melody’s three books published by The University Press of Mississippi are; Katrina; Mississippi Women Remember, Panther Tract; Wild Boar Hunting in the Mississippi Delta and Life Between the Levees: America’s Riverboat Pilots - released spring 2019. Her photography has also been published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, Journal of Women’s Studies.
Her work has been featured and published by the Royal Photographic Society Awards Journal, London England. Her work is in private and public collections and she has written for various statewide publications.
Melody received her BFA from Mississippi State University.
Phillip “Pip” Gordon was born in Memphis and grew up in West Tennessee. He graduated in 2005 from the University of Tennessee at Martin and holds an MA and PhD from the University of Mississippi where he was awarded the Francis Bell McCool Fellowship for Faulkner Studies. He has published essays on AIDS narratives, on representations of bullying and suicide in LGBTQ+ fiction for Young Adults, and on “EthnoHeteroNationalism” in the age of Trump. He’s also published essays on Harper Lee, Alice Walker, and Hubert Creekmore, in addition to numerous essays on William Faulkner. His first book, Gay Faulkner: Uncovering a Homosexual Presence in Yoknapatawpha and Beyond, was published by the University Press of Mississippi in January 2020. His most recent projects include an essay on the how the 1918 Influenza pandemic influenced Faulkner’s writing in the Fall 2020 issue of the Mississippi Quarterly and forthcoming essay on trans studies approaches to Faulkner’s works in the Faulkner Journal.
He currently lives in Platteville, Wisconsin, where he is an Associate Professor of English and Gay Studies Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
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
Michael Gorra is the Mary August Jordan Professor of English, at Smith College, where he has taught since 1985. His books include The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War (2020), described by Drew Gilpin Faust as “rich, complex, and eloquent” and Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece (2012), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, he is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and other journals, and his travel essays have twice been included in the annual volumes of Best American Travel Writing. Earlier books include The Bells in Their Silence: Travels through Germany (2004); After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie (1997); and The English Novel at Mid-Century (1990).
Gorra is the editor of the newly-published Library of America edition of the Mississippi-born writer Elizabeth Spencer (Novels and Stories, 2021) and has also edited Norton Critical Editions of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury. Born in New London, Connecticut, Gorra was educated at Amherst College and Stanford University. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife, the art historian Brigitte Buettner. They have one grown daughter.
Juliet Grames is SVP and Associate Publisher at Soho Press, where she also curates the Soho Crime imprint of critically acclaimed international and multicultural crime fiction. She has been a book editor for fourteen years, the last nine of which have been at Soho. She is also the author of the novel The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna.
Photo by Nina Subin
Kristin L. Gray drinks coffee (cream, no sugar) and writes books (funny, not sad) from her home in northwest Arkansas. She loves to read, walk her dogs, and eat cake for breakfast. Kristin’s fourth-grade self would never believe she has five children, two dogs, one fish, a bearded dragon, and a shy gecko. Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge is her first novel. To learn more about Kristin, or to send her a cake, visit her online at KristinLGray.com.
Ms. Miriam Gray currently serves as an English II Instructor at Lanier High School. Ms. Gray recently completed her seventh year as an educator.
Gray received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Literature from Millsaps College and her Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education from Belhaven University.
Gray’s best moments as an educator thus far, include witnessing her students bring Antigone to life; assisting them in writing and editing pieces for Art, Poetry and Justice publications to address social justice issues; and having circle talks in class.
Shannon Greenland grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog.
Photo by Marliese Carmona
Chandler Griffin is Mississippi native, documentary filmmaker, educator and the Founder of Barefoot Workshops, with sixteen years of experience leading over one hundred and twenty media-based workshops across twenty-four countries. Chandler and his wife, Alison Fast, are continuously creating Mississippi-based documentaries through their production company, Blue Magnolia Films, and constantly working to develop and pioneer new media-based programs that empower individuals and grassroots organizations to make change in their communities across the globe. For Mississippi’s bicentennial, Chandler & Alison are leading a statewide storytelling project to produce one-hundred community-based new media stories that will also be published in a photo book, Mississippi Bright Spots. They live between Los Angeles, the Mississippi Delta and Cape Town, South Africa. Chandler holds a BFA in Photography and a BFA in Video/Film from the Savannah College of Art & Design.
J. Richard Gruber, Ph.D., is an independent curator, art historian and writer, and Director Emeritus of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. He also served as Director of the Wichita Art Museum, Director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and Deputy Director of the Morris Museum of Art and Director of its Center for the Study of Southern Painting. He received his doctorate in art history from the University of Kansas in Lawrence and M.A. in art history from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has written and contributed to numerous publications, with a focus on artists of the American South. He taught art history and museum studies classes at the University of New Orleans, at Augusta State University, and at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Jeff Guinn is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Go Down Together, The Last Gunfight, Manson, and The Road to Jonestown. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a member of the Texas Literary Hall of Fame.
A native of Atlanta, Matthew Guinn earned a BA in English from the University of Georgia. He continued graduate school at the University of Mississippi, where he met his wife Kristen and completed a master’s degree. At the University of South Carolina, where he earned a Ph.D. in English, he was personal assistant to the late James Dickey. In addition to the Universities of Mississippi and South Carolina, he has taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and at Tulane University’s School of Continuing Studies in Madison, Mississippi.
Matthew and Kristen live in Jackson, Mississippi, with their two children, Braiden and Phoebe.
Minrose Gwin is the author of three novels: The Queen of Palmyra, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award; Promise; and The Accidentals. Wishing for Snow, her 2004 memoir about the convergence of poetry and psychosis in her mother’s life, was reissued by Harper Perennial in 2011. Wearing another hat, she has written four books of literary and cultural criticism and history, most recently Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement, and coedited The Literature of the American South, a Norton anthology. Minrose has taught as a professor at universities across the country, most recently the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently lives in Austin, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Like the characters in Promise, she grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi.
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.
John Hailman is a retired federal prosecutor from the US attorney’s office in Oxford, Mississippi. He was an inaugural Overby Fellow in Journalism and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of four previous books: the critically-acclaimed biography Thomas Jefferson on Wine; the true-crime memoirs From Midnight to Guntown: True Crime Stories from a Federal Prosecutor in Mississippi and Return to Guntown: Classic Trials of the Outlaws and Rogues of Faulkner Country; and a book of essays on wine, food, and travel based on his nationally syndicated columns, The Search for Good Wine: From the Founding Fathers to the Modern Table; all published by University Press of Mississippi.
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall is the founding director of the Southern Oral History Program and the Julia Cherry Spruill Professor of History Emerita at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America, Revolt Against Chivalry: Jessie Daniel Ames and the Women’s Campaign Against Lynching, and coauthor of the prize-winning Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World. She resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Eldridge C [Redge] Hanes was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and educated at Woodberry Forest School in Orange, Virginia, and Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina. Following his graduation in 1967 from Duke with a BA in Economics, Redge enlisted in the Army where he graduated from the Combat Engineering Officer Candidate School in Belvoir, Virginia. Redge served three years of active duty the final 14 months of which were in the Republic of Viet Nam where he reviewed the Bronze Star Medal among others.
Redge worked at Hanes Corporation for eight years before starting his own company, Xpres Corporation in 1980. After numerous mergers and acquisitions Redge retired as the chairman of The Russ Companies, an international consumer products company.
In addition to his business interests, Redge served on numerous boards and committees in the arts, environment, and education. He was the chairman of the board of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, board member of the Fuqua Graduate School of Business at Duke University, board member of the North American Wildlife Foundation, vice chairman of the American Arts Alliance, and Vice President of the North Carolina Writers Network, Redge has published two novels, Billy Bowater and Justice by Another Name, and has a third being published in the spring of 2022. He has contributed essays to several books and periodicals.
Dr. Shirley Ann James Hanshaw, Professor Emerita, has taught in colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Mississippi and was instrumental in establishing the first African American Studies Program at Mississippi State University where she became the first African American tenured Full Professor in the English Department. During a six-year hiatus from academia during the 1980s, she became the first African American technical writer/editor at the US Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, MS. She has received several awards, including a six-year Danforth Associateship for Outstanding Teaching in the Sciences and Humanities and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. Her diverse research interests have led to scholarly presentations across the African Diaspora-including Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, The Virgin Islands, and Hawaii; across Europe- including France, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, and England; and Asia- in Japan. Dr. Hanshaw was appointed to head the MSU-Tougaloo Exchange Program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the first partnership between an HBCU and a predominantly white institution in Mississippi and was recently named Diversity Educator of the Year. Her first book, Conversations with Yusef Komunyakaa, was published in 2010. She earned B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English with a minor in French.
Phil Hardwick loves a good mystery. Early in his career, he solved real ones as a police officer and state investigator. These days he’s an economic developer and college instructor who spends his spare time writing mysteries.
He is the author of The Mississippi Mystery Series, a 10-book collection of short novels featuring Jack Boulder, Mississippi’s premier (fictional) private eye, including the latest volume, Letters from Lexington. His award-winning column on leadership and economic/community development appears bi-weekly in the Mississippi Business Journal.
He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Southeast Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and is also a member of the Authors Guild.
Sarah Frances Hardy is the author/illustrator of three children’s books: Puzzled by Pink published by Viking Children’s Books and Paint Me! and Dress Me! both published by Sky Pony Press. Dress Me! was chosen as a featured selection in the Children’s Book of the Month Club as well as a finalist for the SCBWI MidSouth Crystal Kite award. In 2017, Sarah Frances was given the Honored Artist Award by the Mississippi State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Sarah Frances lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with her husband John and three daughters where she serves as Chair of the City of Oxford Historic Preservation Commission and President of the Friends of the J.D. Williams Library Board for the University of Mississippi. She is also on the board of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters as well as the Louisiana/Mississippi region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Additionally, Sarah Frances is an active volunteer with the Oxford Lafayette County Literacy Council.
Jaime Harker is professor of English and the director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi, where she teaches American literature, LGBTQ literature, and gender studies. She has published essays on Japanese translation, popular women writers of the interwar period, Oprah’s book club, William Faulkner, Cold War gay literature, and women’s liberation and gay liberation literature. She is the author of three books: America the Middlebrow: Women’s Novels, Progressivism and Middlebrow Authorship Between the Wars; Middlebrow Queer: Christopher Isherwood in America; and The Lesbian South: Southern Feminists, the Women in Print Movement, and the Queer Literary Canon, which was released in the fall of 2018 by the University of North Carolina Press. She is the founder of Violet Valley Bookstore, a queer and feminist bookstore in Water Valley, Mississippi. She lives in Water Valley with her wife, Dixie Grimes. For more, visit her author website at www.jaimeharker.com
Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling, USA Today bestselling, and #1 international bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including The Forest of Vanishing Stars, The Book of Lost Names and The Winemaker’s Wife. Kristin, whose books have been translated into 29 languages, is also the co-founder and co-host of the popular web series and podcast Friends & Fiction. She lives in Orlando with her husband and son. Visit her at www.KristinHarmel.com.
First elected to Congress in 2009, Gregg served five terms representing Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District. During his time in Congress, he served as a member of the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce which has jurisdiction over a broad swath of the economy including healthcare, energy, transportation, and telecommunications. On the Energy and Commerce Committee, Gregg served as Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee and Vice Chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee. In addition, Gregg was selected by Speaker Paul Ryan to serve as the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration for the 115th Congress where he was instrumental in reforming the ways that Congress handles sexual harassment allegations. He was also the Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress and served two terms on the Committee on Ethics.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Gregg practiced law for twenty-seven years, including serving as the prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland, Mississippi. He served on the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board, remained active in his community as a member of both the Pearl and Rankin County Chambers of Commerce, and served as the board attorney for the Mississippi Baptist Children’s Village.
Artist and model maker based in Oxford, MS. Created small models of old Oxford during the pandemic and with the help of photographer Pableaux Johnson, put the collection together in book form, tiny oxford.
Shelby Harriel is a mathematics instructor at Pearl River Community College. She received a B.A. in history with a minor in mathematics and an M.Ed. with concentrations in history and mathematics. Though her career has always revolved around mathematics, she actively pursues her lifelong interest of history through research, writing, and speaking to the public. Her twelve-year research on women soldiers of the Civil War has been published in various newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and brochures for the National Park Service and state historic sites. She has given numerous presentations about women soldiers in over ten states. For her efforts, PRCC named her the Outstanding Humanities Instructor of the Year for 2014. She has also assisted in implementing course redesign in the mathematics department at PRCC as well as helped with the district math competition for middle school students and the first annual Women in STEM Symposium, both events hosted by PRCC. Her first book, Behind the Rifle: Women Soldiers in Civil War Mississippi is the first study with a regional focus of the role women soldiers played in the Civil War and was published by the University Press of Mississippi in March 2019. Shelby is happily engaged.
Derrick Harriell was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s worked as assistant poetry editor for Third World Press and The Cream City Review and has taught community writing workshops for individuals of all ages, including senior citizens. A two-time Pushcart Nominee, Harriell’s poems have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies. Cotton is his first collection of poems.
Derrick Harriell is the director of the Master of Fine Arts-Creative Writing Program and assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at the University of Mississippi. He’s the author of three collections of poetry: Cotton (Aquarius Press-Willow Books, 2010), Ropes, (Aquarius Press-Willow Books, 2013), and Stripper in Wonderland (Louisiana State University Press, 2017). His essays and book reviews have been published widely.
Stephen Harrigan is the author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestselling novel The Gates of the Alamo and his recent narrative history of Texas, Big Wonderful Thing. His other books include the novels Remember Ben Clayton and A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, as well a career-spanning collection of essays, The Eye of the Mammoth. He is also a screenwriter who has written many movies for television, as well as a journalist whose work has appeared in a wide range of magazines, especially Texas Monthly, for whom he is a writer-at-large. His newest novel, The Leopard Is Loose, will be published in January 2022 by Knopf.
Bracey Harris is a Mississippi-based journalist. Previously, she covered education for The Clarion Ledger. She’s a fan of squeezing into classroom desks, government accountability and timely responses to public records requests. She is the first recipient of the Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship from the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization. A Mississippi native, Bracey studied journalism at the University of Mississippi.
Jessica B. Harris is one of a handful of African Americans who have achieved prominence in the culinary world. She holds a PhD from NYU, teaches English at Queens College, and lectures internationally. The author of the memoir My Soul Looks Back as well as twelve cookbooks, her articles have appeared in Vogue, Food & Wine, Essence, and The New Yorker, among other publications; she has made numerous television and radio appearances and has been profiled in The New York Times. Considered one of the preeminent scholars of the food of the African Diaspora, Harris has been inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America, received an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University, holds awards from sources too numerous to note, and recently helped the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture to conceptualize its cafeteria.
Nathan Harris holds an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas. He is a recipient of the University of Oregon’s Kidd Prize and was a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize. He lives in Austin, Texas. The Sweetness of Water is his first novel.
Zakiya Dalila Harris spent nearly three years in the editorial department at Knopf Doubleday before leaving to write her debut novel, The Other Black Girl. Prior to working in publishing, Harris received her MFA in creative writing from the New School. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in Guernica and the Rumpus. She lives in Brooklyn.
Jamie Harrison has lived in Montana with her family for almost thirty years. She has worked as a caterer, writer, and as a technical editor for archaeological, botanical, and biological reports. She is the daughter of Jim Harrison.
She has previously published the Blue Deer series (Edge of Crazies, Going Local, An Unfortunate Prairie Occurrence, Blue Deer Thaw).
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, including Feels Like Falling, The Peachtree Bluff series, and Under the Southern Sky. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism, her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Southern Living, Traditional Home, USA Today, Domino, and O. Henry. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her work has been optioned for film and television, and her books have received numerous accolades including Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads, Parade’s Big Fiction Reads, and Entertainment Weekly’s Spring Reading Picks. Kristy is the co-creator and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. She blogs with her mom Beth Woodson on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on KristyWoodsonHarvey.com. She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel.
Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13.
Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed to that post by the Senate in June 2010. Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Hayden was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was an assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. Hayden was library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the young adult services coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a library associate and children’s librarian from 1973 to 1979.
Hayden was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.
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.
Elizabeth Heiskell is a Mississippi cook and caterer, founder of Debutante Farmer Bloody Mary Mix, regular TODAY show contributor, and author of What Can I Bring?, The Southern Living Party Cookbook, and Come On Over!
Melanie Henry received her BBA from the University of Mississippi and her MBA from Mississippi College. She was the Associate Executive Director of The Mississippi Bar for 32 years. Melanie served as Managing Editor of the Mississippi Lawyer magazine, producing over 175 issues. She organized the annual Convention, Lectures, Forums and Workshops, was the Website Content Manager and Elections Manager. She served as Liaison to the Public Information Committee and the Women in the Profession Committee. In 2007, Melanie was the author of The Mississippi Bar’s 268 page coffee table book, “A Legacy of Service,” celebrating the Bar’s 100th Anniversary. In 2020, she authored her second book, “The First 100 Women Lawyers in Mississippi,” published by the Nautilus Publishing Company. She retired in 2020 and is enjoying life.
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.
Toni Hetzel has been a lifelong avid reader. She has been a road warrior for Random House books for more than 17 years, and worked in a bookstore for many years prior. She lives in Decatur, GA, with her family.
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.
Jesse J. Holland is a bestselling non-fiction author, longtime comic book and science-fiction fan, and the writer of the children’s novel Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Finn’s Story, co-author of the late, lamented-by-no-one-except-a-couple-of-diehard-fans collegiate comic strip Hippie and the Black Guy. He is a Race & Ethnicity reporter with The Associated Press in Washington, D.C and currently lives in Bowie, Maryland, with his wife and children.
Twenty three years ago Kimberly Willis Holt stopped talking about wanting to be a writer and started to pursue her dream. Because of her family’s Louisiana roots she considers herself a southerner, but her father’s military career took her to places beyond the South, including Paris and Guam.
She’s the author of more than fifteen books for a wide range of ages, many of which have won awards and honors. Her third novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She writes and gardens in Texas.
Dr. Leslie Hossfeld is Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at Mississippi State University. She is trained in Rural Sociology from North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Hossfeld has extensive experience examining rural poverty and economic restructuring and has made two presentations to the United States Congress and one to the North Carolina Legislature on job loss and rural economic decline. Dr. Hossfeld has served as Co-Chair of the American Sociological Association Task Force on Public Sociology, Vice President of Sociologists for Women in Society, President of the Southern Sociological Society, President Elect of the Alabama and Missisisppi Sociological Association, and appointed to the USDA Rural Growth and Opportunity Board of Advisors. She is co-founder and President of the Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems Program, Feast Down East. In 2015 she founded and directs The Mississippi Food Insecurity Project (MFIP) (www.mfip.msstate.edu), that examines food access and food insecurity in Mississippi. Dr. Hossfeld is also the Associate Director for Local Food Systems, Food Insecurity and Economic Development of the Myrlie Evers Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities
Judy Hottensen has been the Associate Publisher of Grove Atlantic since 2011, where she has spent over two decades in various roles. In 1997, Judy was the Director of Publicity at Grove Atlantic when Sex and the City was published.
She is thrilled to be publishing Is There Still Sex in the City? with Candace twenty-plus years later.
Lauren Hough was born in Germany and raised in seven countries and West Texas. She’s been an airman in the U.S. Air Force, a green-aproned barista, a bartender, a livery driver, and, for a time, a cable guy. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Wrath-Bearing Tree, The Guardian, and HuffPost. She lives in Austin.
Peter Houlahan is a freelance writer contributing to a wide range of publications. In his career as an emergency medical technician, he has written a number of articles related to his profession, including the impact of PTSD on first responders. He holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. A native Southern Californian, Houlahan now lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Norco ’80 is his first book.
Photo by Olivia J. Houlahan
Born in Deep Run, NC to a farming household, Vivian Howard learned early on to appreciate the ebb and flow of eating with the seasons. After graduating from North Carolina State University, Vivian moved to New York and began training under Voyage chef Scott Barton. She later went on to learn from creative, cutting-edge chefs Wylie Dufresne and Sam Mason at WD50 and then joined the opening team at Jean Georges Vongerichten’s critically-acclaimed Spice Market.
In 2005 Vivian and her husband Ben Knight returned to Vivian’s roots to open Chef & the Farmer, a “farm to fork” restaurant in the small town of Kinston, NC. She also owns and operates a second restaurant right across the street from Chef & the Farmer – The Boiler Room.
Vivian stars in and produces the Emmy- and Peabody-award winning show, “A Chef’s Life,” a PBS series that celebrates family, work and food in North Carolina. In 2016, she won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Personality/Host.” Simultaneously, that year, Vivian released her first ever cookbook – Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South. The cookbook was also nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award and was named ‘Cookbook of the Year’ by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
In fall 2017, Vivian will open her first restaurant outside of Kinston, Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington, NC. In early 2018, Vivian will also open Handy & Hot, a bakery in Kinston located on the same block as her two existing restaurants.
Jeffery B. Howell, a native of Durant, Mississippi, is an Associate Professor of History at East Georgia State College in Statesboro, Georgia. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in History from Mississippi State University. He earned a M.Div. from Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Hazel Brannon Smith: The Female Crusading Scalawag, and a co-author in two textbooks: The American Road: Crossing the American Landscape in the Modern Era U.S. History series, and the upcoming work, Our Western World.
Lisa Howorth was born and grew up in Washington, D.C., where her new novel is set in 1959. She is the author of the 2014 novel, Flying Shoes, and she has written for the Oxford American and Garden & Gun. Howorth taught art history at the University of Mississippi, receiving the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1996, and a MacDowell Fellowship in 2007. In Oxford in 1979, she and her husband founded Square Books, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in September, 2019.
Richard Howorth is founder & owner of Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, where he served two terms as the city’s mayor.
Bronwen Hruska is the Publisher of Soho Press, an award-winning independent publisher of literary fiction, international crime fiction and young adult fiction. Before joining Soho eleven years ago, Bronwen worked as a journalist and screenwriter. Her novel, Accelerated, was published by Pegasus Books in 2012.
Ladee Hubbard is a winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and the William Faulkner—William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds a BA from Princeton University, an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in New Orleans, where she is on the adjunct faculty in the Africana Studies Program at Tulane University. The Talented Ribkinsis her first novel.
Author of five nonfiction books:
Contributor to numerous publications including The Atlantic; Columbia Journalism Review; Los Angeles Times; Newsweek; New York Times; Outside; Oxford American; Washington Post Magazine; Smithsonian; VICE
Editor of four volumes of Attacks on the Press for the Committee to Protect Journalists; co-editor, nonfiction book Lines Were Drawn: Remembering Court-Ordered Integration at a Mississippi High School; former international enterprise editor, International Business Times; former line editor, VanityFair.com
Media appearances: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Fox & Friends; RT; The Diane Rehm Show; C-SPAN; C-SPAN2’s Book TV; numerous public television and radio programs including NPR and NPR affiliates
Photo by Julie L. Lester
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.
Howard Hunter is a native of New Orleans and a history teacher 38 years. He has published articles on New Orleans and the Civil War for both academic and general audiences. He is past president of the Louisiana Historical Society. Tearing Down the Lost Cause with co-author James Gill is his first book.
Jessica Ingram works with multi-media and archive to explore the ethos of communities, and notions of progress and resistance in American culture. Raised in Tennessee, she received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and MFA from California College of the Arts. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Oxford American, Vice, Wired Magazine, NPR, and as an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival. Ingram’s book Road Through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial (UNC Press 2020) was shortlisted for the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Book Prize and was named a New York Times Best Art Book of 2020.
Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.
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.
Melissa Iwai is a children’s book author and illustrator who incorporates both traditional and digital media into her art. When she’s not working, Melissa cooks and develops her own recipes. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Will Jacks is a process artist best known for his photographic work, but also incorporates explorations with land, objects, sound, video, and community engagement into his practice. His research examines the blurred areas between art and journalism, individual and collective, and the impact of each on the other.
Will’s first monograph documents the juke-joint Po’ Monkey’s Lounge which serves as a prism for examining cultural tourism and preservation and the complexities prevalent in both. It was published by University Press of Mississippi in October of 2019, and for this work Jacks was recognized by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters for outstanding achievement in photography. In 2020 he completed an M.F.A. in Studio Art from the Maine College of Art, and in 2021 he competed his MA in Journalism from the University of Mississippi.
Currently Will makes his home in the Mississippi Delta where he works and teaches at Delta State University. In addition, he works with other artists in creating the non-profit Jacks Farms Artist Residencies. He can often be found on rural backroads somewhere in the South exploring people, culture, history, geography, pattern, and the entanglement of where those worlds collide.
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.
John Jennings is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of the Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art. Jennings is also a 2016 Nasir Jones Hip Hop Studies Fellow with the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Jennings’ current projects include the horror anthology Box of Bones, the coffee table book Black Comix Returns (with Damian Duffy), and the Eisner-winning, Bram Stoker Award-winning, New York Times best-selling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic dark fantasy novel Kindred. Duffy and Jennings recently released their graphic novelization of Octavia Bulter’s prescient dystopian novel Parable of the Sower (Abrams ComicArts). Jennings is also founder and curator of the ABRAMS Megascope line of graphic novels.
Theodore R. Johnson is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Fellows Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, where he undertakes research on race, politics, and American identity. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, he was a National Fellow at New America and a Commander in the United States Navy, serving for twenty years in a variety of positions, including as a White House Fellow in the first Obama administration and as speechwriter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His work on race relations has appeared in prominent national publications across the political spectrum, including the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review, among others.
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.
When she’s not writing, Yvette Johnson works as the Executive Director of The Booker Wright Project. In this role, she creates and facilitates workshops on unconscious bias and privilege. The Project seeks to find new and innovate ways to address diversity without increasing division. Yvette is also a filmmaker and public speaker. Her award-wining film Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012.
Photo by CG Photo and Design
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.
Robert Jones, Jr. is a writer from New York City. He received his B.F.A. in creative writing, and M.F.A. in fiction from Brooklyn College. He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Essence, and The Paris Review. He is the creator and curator of the social-justice, social-media community Son of Baldwin, which has over 275,000 members across platforms. The Prophets is his debut novel.
Motivational speaker, historian, and women’s activist, Pamela D.C. Junior is the newly appointed director of the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, Mississippi. As former manager of Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Pamela fought passionately and tirelessly to make the Museum a first-class place of interpretation, bringing the museum from financial struggles to features across the nation, most notably, one of CNN’s “50 States, 50 Spots”. After seventeen years of service at Smith Roberson, Pamela became the inaugural director of the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the nation, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museums were she welcomed more than 250,000 visitors in her first year, and today, she is at the helm of the Two Mississippi Museums. Here she continues her tireless work to share the stories of Mississippi with audiences all over the world. She believes the stories told in the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum should be used as an educational tool for students. In her words, “If we teach children about the history of Mississippi—sharing the events that give us hope and bring us despair in a public space, where we see examples of people who never gave up, whose strength and tenacity can now give us hope and inspire us all to see others as we see ourselves— you will secure a twinkle in the eyes of many that will last a lifetime.”
Pamela has been honored over the years for her professional work as well as her community work. In 2015, she was awarded the Margaret Walker Center’s coveted For My People Award, in 2018 she was selected for Visit Jackson’s Hometown Hero and the Magnolia Bar Association’s Harriet Tubman awards, and most recently, she was honored with the 2019 Association of African American Museums Museum Leadership Award for her work in the museum field.
Pamela continues to serve her community with her recent appointments board member for Visit Jackson and advisory board member for the Mississippi Book Festival. She is also a member of Women for Progress of Mississippi. As a woman who knows that she did not get to this position without standing on the shoulders of many women whose vision for African Americans lives on today, she gives homage to the great women of her life such as her grandmother, mother, and mentors.
Pamela is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and earned a B.S. in Education, with a minor in Special Education from Jackson State University.
Slovenian lawyer Margerita Jurkovic, who knew absolutely nothing about American football when she arrived in Jackson, Mississippi, for Law School, has penned a memoir sure to captivate the most ardent of fans.
Margerita’s Gridiron Adventure will be published by The Mississippi Sports Council in August 2019 in trade paperback. From taking the reader to high-octane college venues such as Oxford and Starkville to equally electric high-school games at Pearl and Madison-Ridgeland Academy, the fast-paced, easy-to-read narrative puts the reader on the sidelines as the young lawyer gets an education not to be found in a textbook by law professor and mentor Mike Frascogna, Jr.
Yet the book serves as much, much more than just a weekly tailgate recap. Opening her mind to learning everything she can about what makes Mississippians tick, the lifelong European soon comes to admire many aspects of Southern culture and tradition.
Jurkovic will appear at the 2019 Mississippi Book Festival and looks forward to a book tour that will crisscross the state of Mississippi and reach into parts of Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The expected release date of Margerita Gridiron Adventure is August 1, 2019.
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
Sheree Rose Kelley is a keeper of family recipes and lore. From her Pulaski, Tennessee, birthplace to her current post as CEO of Belle Meade Winery, Sheree chronicles stories of loved ones and their ways in the kitchen.
Sheree was one of the nation’s top salespeople for The Pampered Chef, and she served as a regional tourism director for the State of Tennessee. By 2008 Sheree was known to all in Nashville as “The Belle Meade Cake Lady.”
She has traveled extensively across Europe and Central America cooking and baking with chefs in their homes ranging from thatch roofs to chateaux.
Sheree and her husband, Alton, manage Nashville’s Belle Meade Mansion. Sheree’s culinary classes are attended by thousands. Her first book, Breads & Spreads, garnered national acclaim. Servin’ Up Summer is her second book.
With the yearning to bring people together ever present, Sheree expands the way we look at food, Southern culture, and a good story.
Jodi Kendall is the middle grade author of The Unlikely of a Pig in the City and Dog Days in the City (HarperCollins). Jodi is a former wildlife journalist and current full-time non-profit development leader. Jodi holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and is a long-time member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s (SCBWI). She lives in New York City, where she continues to write books and is active with several animal rescue non-profits. You can learn more about Jodi on her website www.jodikendall.com and Instagram @Jodi_Kendall.
Alex Kershaw is a journalist and a New York Times bestselling author of books on World War II. Born in York, England, he is a graduate of Oxford University and has lived in the United States since 1994.
Photo by Michael Carroll
Harrison Scott Key is the author of Congratulations, Who Are You Again? and The World’s Largest Man, which won the Thurber Prize for American Humor, a major literary award, according to his mother. His writing has appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Oxford American, Outside, The New York Times, The American Conservative, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Mockingbird, Salon, Savannah Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Image, Southern Living, Gulf Coast, and Creative Nonfiction, as well as a number of magazines that don’t pay you anything at all, not even a little, but it was cool, because people who work at magazines are mostly poor, and helping the poor is a priority for Harrison, should he come under scrutiny. Harrison has spoken at hundreds of festivals, bookstores, conferences, variety shows, and universities around the country, as well as retirement communities and at least one religious organization whose members were perfectly courteous up until the end. He holds an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction and a Ph.D. in playwriting and teaches writing at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia, where he lives with his wife and three children.
Robert Khayat is Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Mississippi. As a student at Ole Miss, he was a two-time All-SEC baseball player. He was selected as an Academic All American football player and he led the nation in scoring among all college kickers. He played in the National Football League with the Washington Redskins for three seasons and was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1960. While still playing in the NFL, he enrolled in law school and earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1966. He was appointed to the University of Mississippi law faculty in 1969 and earned an LL.M. from Yale University. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NFL and the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation. He was named chancellor of the University of Mississippi in 1995.
His first book, The Education of a Lifetime, was a New York Times bestselling education book. The Mississippi Library Association named him 2013 Author of the Year, and the book earned a national IPPY Award for best memoir.
Taylor Kitchings is the author of the novel Yard War (Wendy Lamb/Penguin Random House), winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction award in 2016 and a finalist for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. His short fiction appeared inTight Lines from Yale University Press. He teaches AP literature and creative writing at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
Sam Kleiner is a historian and lawyer in New York City. A native of Tucson, Arizona, he holds degrees from Northwestern University, the University of Oxford (where he was a Marshall Scholar), and Yale Law School. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, and Foreign Policy.
Michael Knight is the author of three novels, three collections of short stories, and a book of novellas. He lives Knoxville with his wife and two daughters and teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee.
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
Marisa Kwiatkowski is an investigative reporter at USA TODAY. She previously worked for media outlets in Michigan, South Carolina and Indiana. Marisa’s work has spurred federal and state investigations, criminal charges, resignations and changes to federal law and state policy. She and her IndyStar colleagues earned national and state awards for their investigation into USA Gymnastics’ handling of child sexual abuse allegations, including those against former doctor Larry Nassar. Marisa has earned more than 50 other journalism awards. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University. Marisa can be reached at email@example.com or @byMarisaK.
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.
An old idiom asserts that a picture speaks a thousand words, and the hundreds of images which follow tell the story of medicine with texture, color, and depth words often can’t convey. Mississippi has always possessed a distinctive medical sense of place, with its history strongly influenced by its sultry climate as well as native and imported diseases. The long struggle of physicians was arduous in their efforts to battle the state’s significant health challenges, which included poverty, race, and an often-malignant climate.
Written by Lucius “Luke” Lampton, MD and Karen Evers, longtime editors of the state’s respected monthly medical journal, Images in Mississippi Medicine: A Photographic History of Medicine in Mississippi provides an extraordinary and unrivaled account of the evolution of medicine in Mississippi from territorial times to today’s latest technology. This magnificently illustrated book offers a unique array of rare photographs and historical images as well as compelling essays by Dr. Lampton which reveal the untold story of Mississippi’s medical history, a largely forgotten drama peppered with forgotten but brilliant medical heroes who helped shaped the larger history of the state in both political and social terms. Over two decades in the making, this book will prove essential to anyone interested in the medicine in the state.
The story of medicine is the story of men and women and their endeavors to care for their patients and advance their profession. The book’s chapters explore with fascinating narrative and vivid imagery the rise of hospitals and medical institutions, physician pioneers, the history of the treatment of mental illness, the emergence of public health, the crusade for medical education, and the accomplishments of organized medicine.
Published by the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) under the auspices of the Commemorative Committee for the 150th Anniversary meeting of the MSMA House of Delegates. The work of this Committee is done in honor and memory of Mississippi physicians, without whom this history would not have been possible.
Anne Geddie Landrum is the wife of Tom Landrum. They were married for sixty-seven years, and they have five children, sixteen grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. Anne worked with Tom in the Youth Court system, in real estate, and with Primerica Financial Services. Thirty-eight years ago they retired and founded Landrum’s Country - a retail store manufacturing handcrafted pine furniture. A few years later, they established Landrum’s Homestead & Village - a living history museum which attracts visitors from around the country. Today, Anne and her children continue the legacy she and Tom began with the homestead. They encourage others to remember and learn the history of our ancestors, to value family dependence on each other, and to preserve our heritage.
Mike Landrum is one of Tom and Anne Landrum’s sons, and he serves as the Landrum family spokesperson. Mike is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, and he is also an NFL alumni as he played with the Atlanta Falcons from 19884-1986. Mike and his wife Amy are thirty-one year veterans with the NYSE financial services company Primerica. Mike and his wife Amy have five children and five grandchildren, and they reside in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Todd Lape is the Production and Design Manager for the University Press of Mississippi and has been with the press for over 21 years. He designed the current version of Photographs: Updated and Expanded by Eudora Welty that was released in April of 2019.
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.
Ariel Lawhon is a critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. She is the author of The Wife The Maid and The Mistress, Flight of Dreams, I Was Anastasia, and the Code Name Hélène. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, Indie Next, Costco, Amazon Spotlight, and Book of the Month Club selections. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and four sons. Ariel splits her time between the grocery store and the baseball field.
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
Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Kiese Laymon, Ottilie Schillig Professor in English and Creative Writing and the University of Mississippi, is the author of the novel Long Division, the memoir Heavy, and the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.
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)
Saul A. Lelchuk’s debut novel, Save Me From Dangerous Men, is the start of a series featuring bookseller and PI Nikki Griffin. The series has been optioned for film and television and the foreign rights have sold in multiple countries. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and International Thriller Writers (ITW). Lelchuk holds a B.A. in English from Amherst College and a master’s degree from Dartmouth College, where he teaches graduate creative writing. He divides his time between California and New Hampshire.
Jeffrey Lent was born in Vermont and grew up there and in western New York State. He studied literature and psychology at Franconia College in New Hampshire and SUNY Purchase. His first novel, In the Fall, was a national bestseller. His other novels are Lost Nation, A Peculiar Grace, After You’ve Gone, and A Slant of Light, which was a finalist for the New England Book Award and a Washington Post Best Book of 2015. Lent lives with his wife and two daughters in central Vermont.
Sara A. Lewis earned her PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. She is associate editor of the Oxford American.
Odie Lindsey’s fiction appears in Best American Short Stories, Iowa Review, Guernica, Electric Literature, Fourteen Hills and elsewhere. He is a combat veteran, and his related story collection, We Come To Our Senses (W.W. Norton), was included on Best of 2016 lists at Electric Literature and Military Times. The New York Times Book Review noted that it “captures our culture now.” Lindsey is an associate editor of the Mississippi Encyclopedia. His novel is forthcoming from W.W. Norton.
Bill Loehfelm is the author of the critically acclaimed Devil series about New Orleans Police Department rookie Maureen Coughlin, featuring the novels, Let the Devil Out, Doing the Devil’s Work, The Devil in Her Way, and The Devil She Knows. He is also the author of the stand-alone novels, Fresh Kills and Bloodroot, set in his hometown of Staten Island. His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in several anthologies. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, AC Lambeth, a writer and yoga instructor, and their dog. He plays drums in a rock-’n-’roll band. The fifth Maureen Coughlin novel, The Devil’s Muse, will be published in July, 2017.
Robby Luckett received his BA in political science from Yale University and his PhD in history from the University of Georgia. A native Mississippian, he returned home, where he is a tenured Professor of History and Director of the Margaret Walker Center and COFO Civil Rights Education Center at Jackson State University. His books include a collection of essays, Redefining Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), and a monograph, Joe T. Patterson and the White South’s Dilemma: Evolving Resistance to Black Advancement, (University Press of Mississippi, 2015).
Robby is an Advisory Board member for the Mississippi Book Festival, and he serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Common Cause Mississippi and as Secretary of the Board for the Association of African American Museums. In 2017, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba appointed him to the Board of Trustees of Jackson Public Schools, and, in 2018, he received a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellowship for his work in racial equity. Robby has three children: Silas, Hazel, and Flip.
Ebony Lumumba is an associate professor of English at Jackson State University and serves as department chair. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Mississippi a Master of Arts in English from Georgia State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She was named the 2013 Eudora Welty Research Fellow by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Eudora Welty Foundation and was honored as Tougaloo College’s Humanities Teacher of the Year in 2014. She specializes in postcolonial literatures of the Global South and black mothering as resistance in her research academic publications and instruction. Dr. Lumumba is an active scholar with publications that include a chapter in From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Help: Critical Perspectives on White-Authored Texts of Black Life; an article in the Eudora Welty Review titled “‘Caught in the act of living’”: Welty as a voyeur and witness of black life”; a chapter titled “The Matter of Black Lives in American Literature: Eudora Welty’s Non-Fiction and Photography” and a chapter in the forthcoming collection New Essays on Welty Class and Race.
Born in 1977, Carter Dalton Lyon grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, where he attended public schools and graduated from Henry Clay High School in 1995. He went to college at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, majoring in history and completing an honor’s thesis on the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico. After working on Capitol Hill for two years following graduation, Dalton moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and taught British and United States history at St. Timothy’s-Hale School (now called St. David’s School). Desiring a graduate degree in history and wanting to further pursue his interests in examining the civil rights movement, he entered the Graduate School at the University of Mississippi in 2004. He completed a Master’s thesis that chronicled the early months of the Jackson church visit campaign and expanded upon it for his PhD dissertation, “ Lifting the Color Bar from the House of God: The 1963-1964 Church Visit Campaign to Challenge Segregated Sanctuaries in Jackson, Mississippi,” which he completed and defended in 2010. This dissertation formed the basis of his book, Sanctuaries of Segregation: The Story of the Jackson Church Visit Campaign, which was published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2017. For the last six years, Dalton has been teaching U.S. history and chairing the history department at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee. He is married to Sally Cassady of Gulfport, Mississippi, and has two young daughters, Lucy Rose and Ann Carter.
Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emerging Civil War. He is the series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, published by Savas Beatie, and the “Engaging the Civil War” Series, published in partnership with Southern Illinois University Press. Chris is a writing professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, where he also serves as associate dean for undergraduate programs. Chris is also historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died. Chris has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in all the major Civil War magazines. Chris serves on the board of directors for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust and the advisory board of the Civil War Roundtable Congress.
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).
Steven Manheim is an award-winning photographer based in Cleveland, Ohio, including awards from the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors and for All Ohio Excellence in Journalism. His book Blues Musicians of the Mississippi Delta combines his lifelong passion for music, photography, and history. He is a native of Canton, Ohio and a graduate of Ohio State University.
Mesha Maren is the author of the novel Sugar Run (Algonquin Books). Her short stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, The Southern Review, Triquarterly, Crazyhorse and elsewhere. She serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at Federal Prison Camp Alderson and is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Duke University.
Rebecca Mark, the Chair of the English Department and Director of the Center for Academic Equity at Tulane University is a scholar and Professor whose research addresses southern writing and cultural representations of trauma. Her books include: The Dragon’s Blood: Feminist Intertextuality in Eudora Welty’s Fiction (University Press of Mississippi 1994), and Ersatz America: Hidden Traces, Graphic Texts, and Mending of Democracy (University of Virginia Press, 2014).
Professor Mark is presently completing The Radical Welty: A Private Address and Owl Eyes, a book of original graphic inscriptions. Professor Mark was a Posse Mentor (2010-2014), the founding Executive Director of the Newcomb College Institute (2006-2008), and a founding member of the Deep South Regional Humanities Center (2001-2003). Professor Mark received the Public Humanities Achievement Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council for directing the civil rights conference Unsettling Memories (2004), the Weiss Presidential Fellow in 2014, and the Greenberg Family Professor in Social Entrepreneurship 2014-present.
Karl Marlantes graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, before serving as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. He is the bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War. He lives in rural Washington.
Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. “Gospel Memories,” a radio program of classic gospel, spiritual, and jubilee music, airs on Chicago’s WLUW-FM and received a commendation from the African American Museum of Philadelphia, and in 2017 earned Bob a Gospel Image Award. It was named Best Gospel Radio Show of the Year by the Rhythm of Gospel Awards in 2018.
Bob writes about classic and contemporary gospel music as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Gospel Music (www.journalofgospelmusic.com), formerly known as The Black Gospel Blog, and was nominated for a Rhythm of Gospel Award in 2013 and 2018.
Bob first book, A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music, was published in March 2015 by the University of Illinois Press as part of its Music in American Life Series and received a 2016 Certificate of Merit in Historical Sound Recorded Research from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections
Bob graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1985 and earned an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in 2002. He lives in Chicago with his wife, author and educator Laurel Delaney, and their two cats.
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 publication is Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald (July 2015), which she co-edited with Tom Nolan.
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 F. Marszalek is the executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, Mississippi State University., holding this position from 2008 to the present. He is also the Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, serving in the MSU Department of History from 1973 to 2002. He is the author of multiple books, articles, and book reviews, including his latest entitled Hold on with a Bulldog Grip, A Short Study of Ulysses S. Grant, published in 2019 by the University Press of Mississippi. He is also the winner of numerous awards for his long time work in the American Civil War, Biography, Jacksonian America, and African American history. For more information, see www.johnfmarszalek.com.
John F. Marszalek III is the author of Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi (2020, University Press of Mississippi), named the 2020 Digital Book World Best Nonfiction Book and Best Book Published by a University Press. He is also a host of the podcast Queer Voices of the South on the New Books Network. John is a National Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor in Mississippi. He has been a counselor educator for over 20 years and is currently clinical faculty of the online clinical mental health counseling program at Southern New Hampshire University. He received his PhD in counselor education at Mississippi State University.
Before moving back to Mississippi, John lived in Buffalo, NY, Washington, DC, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and New Orleans, LA. John lives with his husband in Starkville, Mississippi.
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.
Melissa M. Martin grew up on the Louisiana coast and has lived in New Orleans for 20 years. After graduating from Loyola University in New Orleans, she worked as an adult literacy teacher until she evacuated to Northern California during Hurricane Katrina. While living there, she worked at some of the top Napa Valley vineyards and restaurants, and this is where she honed her self-taught culinary skills to a professional level. Martin returned to New Orleans three years later and opened Satsuma Café, a casual farm-to-table restaurant, and worked at Café Hope, a nonprofit restaurant, teaching at-risk youth to cook seasonal food. In 2014, she opened Mosquito Supper Club, where she serves family-style meals to small groups of guests who reserve a place at her table months in advance. Find her on Instagram @mosquitosupperclub.
Jimmi Mayes was born in Jackson, MS. During his high school years he performed in Mississippi Juke Joints with touring groups and after graduating from high school he left to pursue his career as a musician. Before he was twenty-one he was performing and touring with musicians who were legends in the business. Jimmi Mayes became a highly sought after drummer and an expert with the shuffle.
Jimmi Mayes played and toured with Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Robert Junior Lockwood, and more over the course of his career. He backed Marvin Gaye and later became the bandleader for Joey Dee & the Starliters who had a monster hit the “Peppermint Twist” during the time Jimmi was with them. He became good friends with Jimi Hendrix and eventually he was asked by Jimi Hendrix to record with him. Mayes is on four of Hendrix’s albums.
Mayes formed a band called the Mill Street Depo which became the toast of the town in Mexico City. During this time he cut tracts for a movie sound-tract and a compilation album on CBS Records. After the Mexico work he returned to Chicago and was hired to back Jimmy Reed for several shows.
Jimmi Mayes performed in Las Vegas in 2015 as a member of the Original Legends of the Blues band. The Original Legends of the Blues band also released a CD which includes three tracts by Jimmi Mayes.
Previous to the work with the Original Legends of the Blues band Jimmi Mayes released his book The Amazing Jimmi Mayes “Sideman to the Stars” published by the University Press of Mississippi. Jimmi Mayes is also featured in a recently released and highly acclaimed documentary America’s Blues which premiered during the International Blues Challenge in 2016.
Jimmi Mayes was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame October 16, 2016 at Buddy Guy’s Legends Chicago; and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Central Mississippi Blues Society in 2016. He is a member of the Mississippi Artist Roster.
His latest album will be released in 2017 by Mississippi Delta Records. My Whole Life’s A Shuffle is being recorded at the B.B. King recording studio located on the MVSU campus. The album features Jimmi Mayes on drums and vocals. The CD includes new original music with dynamite sounds, along with Jimmi’s core band the album features national and international artists on horns, harp, guitar, keys, and bass. Jimmi Mayes is represented by Mississippi Delta Blues, Inc.
Panny Flautt Mayfield, a lifelong resident of the Mississippi Delta, is an award-winning journalist who has been photographing blues and gospel musicians at festivals, clubs, churches, and juke joints for decades. Her collections have been exhibited in museums across the United States and Europe and have earned critical acclaim from Aperture magazine. She has been recognized with more than thirty awards of excellence from the Mississippi Press Association, the Associated Press, the Mississippi Film Commission, and the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi.
Storytelling is the heart and soul of Elizabeth McCain’s life. Originally from Mississippi, she is the author of a compelling memoir, A Lesbian Belle Tells OUTrageous Southern Stories of Family, Loss, and Love, an expansion of her award-winning one-woman play. Elizabeth’s true tales are about her Mississippi roots, coming out in Washington, DC as a lipstick lesbian, experiencing family rejection, and finding love and belonging. Her stories take readers and audiences on a wild ride through a Southern Belle’s life of soul-searching, rule breaking, and truth telling. Filled with heart and humor, as only this belle can tell, her memoir was nominated for Best Lesbian Memoir of 2021 by the Lambda Literary Society and the Golden Crown Society. As a transformational storyteller, story coach, spiritual counselor, and Interfaith minister, Elizabeth’s mission is to inspire people to share their own stories for personal growth, transformation, and community building. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her spouse, Marie, and their two spoiled dogs. Elizabeth will perform her play in October in Provincetown, MA, for Women’s Week. She will also be performing and doing book readings throughout the South soon. www.elizabethmccain.com.
Bren McClain’s debut novel, One Good Mama Bone, from Pat Conroy’s Story River Books won the 2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction and the 2019 Patricia Winn Award for Southern Literature. It was also named Pulpwood Queen 2017 Book of the Year, a 2017 Great Group Reads by the Women’s National Book Association, a Southeastern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) Okra pick, longlisted for SIBA’s Southern Book Prize and a finalist for the 2018 Crook’s Corner Prize. She is at work on her next, which received the 2016 gold medal for the William Faulkner Novel-in-Progress. She lives on a hundred acres outside of Nashville, TN.
Charline R. McCord, a resident of Clinton, Mississippi, was born in Hattiesburg and grew up in Laurel, Mississippi, and Jackson, Tennessee. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern Mississippi and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Mississippi College, where she won the Bellamann Award for Creative Writing, edited the literary magazine, and was named 2009 Distinguished Alumna by the Mississippi College Department of English. She has co-edited a series of books with Judy H. Tucker: A Year in Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 2017), Coming Home to Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 2013), Christmas Memories from Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 2010), Christmas Stories from the South’s Best Writers (Pelican, 2008), Growing Up in Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 2008), A Dixie Christmas (Algonquin, 2005), Christmas in the South (Algonquin, 2004), A Very Southern Christmas (Algonquin, 2003), and Christmas Stories from Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 2001).
Tiffany McDaniel is a novelist, poet, and visual artist born and raised in Ohio. She is the author of The Summer That Melted Everything and Betty.
Alison McGhee is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, as well as Maybe a Fox, Firefly Hollow, Little Boy, So Many Days, Star Bright, A Very Brave Witch, and the Bink and Gollie books. Her other children’s books include All Rivers Flow to the Sea, Countdown to Kindergarten, and Snap. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Laguna Beach, California. You can visit her at AlisonMcGhee.com.
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)
C. Liegh McInnis is an English instructor at Jackson State University, the former editor/publisher of Black Magnolias Literary Journal, the author of eight books, including four collections of poetry, one collection of short fiction (Scripts: Sketches and Tales of Urban Mississippi), one work of literary criticism (The Lyrics of Prince: A Literary Look at a Creative, Musical Poet, Philosopher, and Storyteller), one co-authored work, Brother Hollis: The Sankofa of a Movement Man, which discusses the life of a legendary Mississippi Civil Rights icon, and the former First Runner-Up of the Amiri Baraka/Sonia Sanchez Poetry Award. His work has appeared in The Southern Quarterly, Konch Magazine, Bum Rush the Page, Down to the Dark River: Anthology of Poems about the Mississippi River, Black Hollywood Unchained: Essays about Hollywood’s Portrayal of African Americans, Black Gold: Anthology of Black Poetry, Sable, New Delta Review, Black World Today, In Motion Magazine, MultiCultural Review, A Deeper Shade, New Laurel Review, ChickenBones, Oxford American, Journal of Ethnic American Literature, and Red Ochre Lit.
Brian D. McLaren, a former pastor and English teacher, writes and speaks about the intersection of faith and contemporary life. His titles include A New Kind of Christian, The Great Spiritual Migration, We Make the Road by Walking, and an illustrated children’s book called Cory and the Seventh Story. Learn more at brianmclaren.net.
Chris McLaughlin is founder and executive director of the Animal Rescue Front. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston with a BA in earth sciences, she lives in Massachusetts with two cats. This is her first book.
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
Donnie McMahand is an Assistant Professor of African American Literature at Towson University. His publications include essays on works by Eudora Welty, Langston Hughes, Bebe Moore Campbell, Harper Lee, Lewis Nordan, Toni Morrison, and Randall Kenan. With co-author Kevin Murphy, McMahand won the Ruth Vande Kieft Prize for a 2013 essay about Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter.
Margaret McMullan is the author of nine award-winning books including the novel, In My Mother’s House, the story collection Aftermath Lounge, and the anthology, Every Father’s Daughter. Her young adult novels How I Found the Strong, When I Crossed No-Bob, and Sources of Light have received best book awards from Parents’ Choice, School Library Journal, the American Library Association, and Booklist, among other educational organizations. Margaret received an NEA Fellowship and a Fulbright professorship in Hungary to research her memoir Where the Angels Lived.
Margaret’s work has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Herald, Glamour, The Millions, The Morning Consult, Teachers & Writers Magazine, The Montréal Review, National Geographic for Kids, Southern Accents, Ploughshares, StorySouth, TriQuarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Greensboro Review, Other Voices, Boulevard, The Arkansas Review, Southern California Anthology, and The Sun, among others. She has served as a faculty mentor at the Stony Brook Southampton Low-res MFA Program in New York and she was the Melvin Peterson Endowed Chair in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Evansville, where she taught for 25 years. She writes full time now in Pass Christian, Mississippi.
Lisa McNair is the younger sister of Denise McNair, victim of the 16th Street Baptist church bombing. A lifelong resident of Birmingham, Lisa is a professional photographer and national public speaker with a personal memoir due out in 2021.
Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. A graduate of Ole Miss, Duke Writers, University of Iowa Distance Education, and the Yale Writers’ Conference, she is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and the Historical Novel Society, where she was recently a panelist. She writes poetry and short fiction, for which she just won the Award for Literary Excellence from Santa Barbara Literary Journal. The Abolitionist’s Daughter is McPhail’s major debut novel. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina, with her husband, Ray.
For more information, please visit Diane online at DianeMcPhailAuthor.com.
LaTanya McQueen has an MFA from Emerson College, a PhD from the University of Missouri, and was the 2017-2018 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Coe College. She published an essay collection, titled, And It Begins Like This and has been featured in Best American Essays, Carve Magazine, and Bennington Review. When the Reckoning Comes is her first novel.
Moriah McStay received a BA at Northwestern University, and two master’s degrees at University of Chicago. None of her degrees have anything to do with writing. Before her current life as a writer, she worked in finance and non-profit program management.
Her first novel is Everything That Makes You (Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins.) She now writes full-time and is hard at work on the next one. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband and three daughters.
Ellen B. Meacham is a Tennessee native and a longtime resident of Mississippi. She is the author of the book, Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi and has been a working journalist for more than two decades and has taught journalism at her alma mater, the University of Mississippi, since 2003. Meacham is also a former fellow with the American Association of Newspaper Editors, selected as one of only 20 journalism educators in the nation.
Her experience as a newspaper reporter, journalism professor, and author has given her extensive contacts within the state’s political and journalistic circles.
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 in Baton Rouge, La., She has also been featured on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC, the BBC, Ireland’s Newstalk Radio, Newsmax television, “Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal” and on numerous other public radio shows. She lives in the tiny town of Taylor (near Oxford, Mississippi) with her family, where she is a member of the town’s board of aldermen.
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
Allen Mendenhall is an associate dean at Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and editor of Southern Literary Review. His books include Literature and Liberty (2014); Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Pragmatism, and the Jurisprudence of Agon (2017); Of Bees and Boys (2017); The Southern Philosopher: Collected Essays of John William Corrington (2017); and Writers on Writing: Conversations With Allen Mendenhall (2019).
Photo by Paula Davis
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 grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. She is the author of two collections of short stories, Big World and Always Happy Hour, as well as the novels The Last Days of California and Biloxi. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, the Oxford American, New Stories from the South, Norton’s Seagull Book of Stories, American Short Fiction, Mississippi Review, and many others. She is a former James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction at the University of Texas and John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at Ole Miss. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi with her husband, Lucky, and her dog, Winter.
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.
Jennifer Moffett is the author of the novel Those Who Prey (a 2021 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Youth Literature nominee) and a forthcoming novel (2022) published by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. After working in New York for several animated television series, which included Arthur and Disney’s Doug, she received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Mississippi and wrote for regional publications, including Jackson Free Press. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various literary journals, including New Orleans Review and descant, where she is an Associate Fiction Editor. She won the Gary Wilson Short Story Award and published work in Sundress Publications’ Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place. She teaches creative writing at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where she is their 2021 Mississippi Humanities Council Instructor of the Year. Learn more at jbmoffett.com.
American photographer Andrew Moore is widely acclaimed for his photographic series, made over many years, which record the effect of time on the natural and built landscape. These series include work made in Cuba, Russia, Bosnia, Times Square, Detroit, the High Plains, and most recently, the American South.
Moore’s photographs are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Library of Congress amongst many other institutions.
His newest project, Blue Alabama, includes an original story by the novelist Madison Smartt Bell, will be published in book form in the fall of 2019. His previous work, Dirt Meridian, was published in 2015 and includes a preface by the author Kent Haruf. Moore’s bestselling Detroit Disassembled, which included an essay by the late Poet Laureate Philip Levine, was exhibited at the Akron Museum of Art before traveling to the Queens Museum of Art, and the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.
Moore’s other books include: Inside Havana (2002), Governors Island (2004) and Russia, Beyond Utopia (2005) Making History (2010), and Cuba (2012).
The son of a cattleman and grandson of a butcher, Matt Moore is the quintessential Southern cook. Author of A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen, his food writing has garnered critical acclaim from publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times. His Southern charm has landed him on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, and WGN. Matt resides in Nashville with his family and is also a musician, pilot, adventure seeker, entrepreneur, Moonshine cologne creator, avid fisherman and a cast iron and wild game enthusiast.
Wayètu Moore is the author of the novel She would Be King, named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed. She is the founder of One Moore Book, a nonprofit organization that creates and distributes culturally relevant books for underrepresented readers. Her writing can be found in the Paris Review, Guernica, and the Atlantic, among other publications. Moore is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University, and the University of Southern California. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Brittney Morris is the author of Slay. She holds a BA in economics from Boston University because back then, she wanted to be a financial analyst. (She’s now thankful that didn’t happen). She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the rain from her house in Philadelphia. She lives with her husband Steven who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn’t played enough horror games.
Brittney is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club, and she’s a four-time NaNoWriMo winner.
A lifelong Mississippian, Morris is retired from the University Press of Mississippi, where she was executive editor for many years living in Jackson. She is the widow of the writer Willie Morris.
Bill Morris brings passion to whatever he pursues. A lifelong resident of Jackson, Mississippi, Morris is the founder and president of The William Morris Group, an industry-leading insurance consulting and marketing firm. He has won virtually every award in his industry, including inclusion in the Million Dollar Round Table for over 50 consecutive years. His other pursuits include writing, art and book collecting, photography and music. His photographs of his alma mater became a popular coffee table book, Ole Miss at Oxford: A Part of Our Heart and Soul. His love for the Doo wop/R&B music of his youth, coupled with his ability to connect with people and what he credits as divine leading, resulted in deep friendships with four of his musical heroes, three of whom were members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As he shares in his memoir, This Magic Moment: My Journey of Faith, Friends, and the Father’s Love, Morris lived every fans’ dream with his “brothers from another mother” for three decades joining them at major music events, singing with them on stage and speaking and singing at all of their funerals. Morris and his wife Camille have two grown daughters and five grandchildren.
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.
Photographer Ken Murphy lives and works in his lifelong hometown of Bay St. Louis, Miss. He has authored and published four award winning photographic coffee table books, My South Coast Home, Photographs of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Mississippi, Mississippi: State of Blues with Scott Barretta, and Jackson with John Evans of Lemuria Books. His forthcoming book with designer Rick Dobbs is titled Local Spirit: Neighborhood Bars of Orleans Parish. Murphy is leading the charge to reopen Dan B. Murphy’s Restaurant & Bar this fall, back where it was before Katrina rearranged the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Currently a Lecturer at Towson University, Kevin Murphy writes about modern and contemporary southern fiction and has published essays and reviews in the Eudora Welty Review, The Southern Quarterly, Mississippi Quarterly, and Southern Literary Journal. With co-author Donnie McMahand, Murphy won the Ruth Vande Kieft Prize in 2013 for an essay on Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter. Murphy and McMahand were recently elected as Co-Vice Presidents of the Eudora Welty Society for 2020-2022.
Jackson native Tonja Murphy is thrilled to join the team after serving on the Board of Directors. Tonja puts her love for community, students, and books to use with the Mississippi Book Festival, as she takes on the role of Community Engagement Coordinator.
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).
The investigative work of Concordia Sentinel editor Stanley Nelson made him a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and on CNN and NPR. Winner of the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, among many other honors, Nelson was one of seven reporters featured in theColumbia Journalism Review’s 50th anniversary issue, “The Art of Great Reporting.”
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the New York Times best-selling author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, finalist for the Kirkus Prize in non-fiction, and recently named the Barnes and Noble Book of the Year. She is also the author of four books of poetry, and is poetry editor of Sierra, the national magazine of the Sierra Club. Awards for her writing include a fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Council, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for poetry, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her writing has appeared in NYTimes Magazine, ESPN Magazine, and twice in Best American Poetry. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.
Jill O’Connor is a pastry chef, food writer and author of seven cookbooks. She trained at the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London, England and studied with the late pastry chef Albert Kumin at The International Pastry Arts Center in Elmsford, New York. She holds a BA in English from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA.
Jill’s cookbook, Sticky, Chewy, Messy Gooey Treats for Kids was published by Chronicle Book in October, 2009. It is a sequel to her popular cookbook, Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth (Chronicle Books 2007) which is currently in its 8th printing and was named one of the top 25 cookbooks of the year by Food & Wine Magazine. Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey was also featured in the book Best of the Best, Food & Wine’s compilation of recipes from their favorite 25 cookbooks of the year. Her latest cookbook with Chronicle Books, Cake, I Love You, was just released in May, 2017.
Jill is the former pastry chef of the famous Golden Door Spa in Escondido, CA. She created new recipes as well as reworking classic European desserts into low-fat, low-calories treats. This work inspired her first cookbook, Sweet Nothings, (Chronicle Books.) Her other books include Phyllo, Easter Treats, and Simple French Desserts (all published by Chronicle Books.)
Along with her books, Jill has developed recipes for Southern Living, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Fine Cooking magazines. Currently, she is a writer for the San Diego Union Tribune food section developing recipes and working with staff photographers as the food and prop stylist for her stories.
Jill is a member of IACP (International Association of Cooking Professionals) and attended the Greenbrier Symposium for Professional Food Writers where she won the prestigious Greenbrier Award for excellence in food writing in 2007. She lives in Coronado, CA with her husband and two daughters.
Patrick O’Daniel is the Executive Director of Library Services at Southwest Tennessee Community College and previously worked for the Memphis Public Library and Information Center where he spent nine years in the History Department working with archival and genealogical collections. He holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Memphis and a Master of Science in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. O’Daniel is the author of When the Levee Breaks: Memphis and the Mississippi Valley Flood of 1927; Memphis and the Superflood of 1937: High Water Blues; and Historic Photos of Memphis. He has published articles in West Tennessee Historical Society Papers.
Paul Oliver is Vice President and Director of Marketing and Publicity at Soho Press as well as publisher of Syndicate Books. In a former life he owned a bookstore and thinks about that a lot.
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.
January Gill O’Neil is the author of Rewilding (fall 2018), Misery Islands (2014), and Underlife (2009), published by CavanKerry Press. She is an associate professor of English at Salem State University, and boards of trustees member with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and Montserrat College of Art. From 2012- 2018, she served as executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. A Cave Canem fellow, January’s poems and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Ploughshares and Ecotone, among others. In 2018, January was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, and was named the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence for 2019-2020 at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Photo by John Andrews
Gregg Orr, director for Ericsson, is a vice president with Westower Communications and has assembled the most complete private collection of Jim Harrison’s published material known to exist. He assisted in the preparation of the Rothschild bibliographical catalog of William Somerset Maugham.
Joanne O’Sullivan is a journalist for the Asheville Citizen-Times. She lived in New Orleans for several years and returns to southern Louisiana frequently. Between Two Skies is her debut novel. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and children.
Frank LaRue Owen’s poetry is influenced by diverse sources including dreams, the seasons, various landscapes, cross-cultural experiences, and the churning gyre of the soul’s journey, resulting in a style of poetry his late teacher referred to as ‘deep-mapping of unseen reality’.
Owen studied for a decade with a New Mexican wise woman who blended contemplative practice, dreamwork, and nature spirituality rooted in the forests, arroyos, and mountains of the American Southwest. The practice of poetry and Zen was inseparable from this path of deeper inquiry…along with lots of green chiles and pan-fried tortillas.
His first book of poetry, The School of Soft-Attention, was the winner of the 2017 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize and garnered a Silver Nautilus Book Award in 2018. His second book of poems, The Temple of Warm Harmony, will be released August 6, 2019 (Homebound Publications). His third book of poetry, Stirrup of the Sun & Moon, is a multidimensional, place-centric work exploring memory, ancestry, and numinous experiences rooted in his native Mississippi, New Mexico, and other beloved places in North and Central America. It will be released by Homebound Publications in April 2020, National Poetry Month.
Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, and now lives and writes in Seattle while negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations. The Merciful Crow is Owen’s debut novel. She resides in Seattle, WA. You can find her on Twitter and on her website.
Ted Ownby is professor of history and southern studies and director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.
Martin Padgett has an MFA from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and received a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellowship. He has written for Oxford American, Gravy, Details, and Business Week. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Timothy Pakron is a passionate cook, artist, photographer, and creator of the popular blog Mississippi Vegan. Before devoting himself to the culinary arts, he spent time as a fine artist in Charleston, South Carolina, and New York City. While living in NYC, he created the concept of Mississippi Vegan, merging his past and his present while celebrating kindness to animals through delicious food. His cookbook was released in the fall of 2018 with Avery. Pakron currently lives and works in New Orleans.
Nina Parikh has been with the Mississippi Film Office for 22 years, currently serving as the director. She studied filmmaking at New York University and University of Southern Mississippi, worked in the industry as a producer, and currently teaches as an adjunct professor at Millsaps College. As a producer of “Ballast”, an independent feature film made in Mississippi, she and the team were honored with two awards at the Sundance Film Festival 2009. Nina is a co-founder and board member of the Crossroads Film Festival & Society and Mississippi Film Alliance, a non-profit supporting indigenous filmmaking. She also serves on the boards of the Association of Film Commissioners International, Mississippi Book Festival, Creative Mississippi, and is the event producer of TEDxJackson.
Born in Lubbock, Texas, Kimberly King Parsons received her MFA from Columbia University. Her fiction has been published in The Paris Review, Best Small Fictions 2017, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Ninth Letter, and The Kenyon Review, among others.
Photo by Heather Hawksford
Ann Patchett is the author of seven novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, What now?, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. She has won numerous prizes, including the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, and her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Patchett is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl VanDevender, and their dog, Sparky.
Graduate University Of Mississippi 1975 Psychology
Graduate University Of Mississippi Medical School 1979
Internal Medicine Residency 1979-1982
Chief Resident in Internal Medicine 1982-1983
Practice of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics 1983-Present
Married to Mae and have 4 grown children
Lisa Patton, bestselling author of what Library Journal calls, “The Beloved Dixie Series:” Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter, Yankee Doodle Dixie and Southern as a Second Language is a Memphis, Tennessee native who spent time as a Vermont innkeeper until three sub-zero winters sent her speeding back down South. She worked many years in the music and entertainment business and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Her latest novel, Rush, a summer 2018 Okra Pick from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and a SIBA bestseller, has been praised by The Clarion-Ledger as “A humorous, yet heartfelt novel about hard work, patience and helping others.” With a rich storyline of social justice, female empowerment and profound friendship, Rush provides a ringside seat to one of the most sacred of all southern rituals–sorority rush at Ole Miss. The proud mother of two sons, eight bonus children, and eleven grandchildren, Lisa lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and their four-legged, furry daughter named Rosie. www.lisapatton.com
Dr. Robert Wesley Pearigen is the eleventh president of Millsaps College in Jackson, MS.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Pearigen is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he earned a bachelor of arts in political science. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Duke University. His post-graduate study included constitutional law, judicial process and political theory, particularly the work of Plato and Aristotle. His academic fields of interest include public law, political theory and American government.
Over his career, Dr. Pearigen has served as a secondary school teacher and trustee and in higher education as a professor, dean of students and vice president for university relations. As Millsaps’ president, Dr. Pearigen has launched a comprehensive college-wide strategic plan entitled “Across the Street and Around the Globe: Partnerships and Influence at Millsaps College.” Rooted in the college’s values, mission and purpose, the strategic plan has been animated by a growing awareness of the need to make the most of Millsaps’ distinctive strengths, including its location in the capital city of Mississippi, its international programs and partnerships (including a 4,500 acre bicultural reserve in the Yucatan), and the unique combination of a liberal arts college with a business school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
As a faculty member at Millsaps, Dr. Pearigen teaches courses in constitutional law, civil rights and liberties, jurisprudence and political theory. He is an advocate for, and believer in, liberal arts education as intrinsically meaningful for individuals as well as the very best preparation for a good and worthy life of learning, leadership and service.
Jessica Pearson lives in Nashville, TN and feels lucky to spend her days traveling around the Southeast talking to independent bookstores about Penguin Random House’s amazing books. This truly is the perfect job for a kid who could never see over her summer reading stack of library books. Jessica started her career as a bookseller for an indie bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains, worked as a buyer/manager for a bookstore in New York City, and joined Random House as a sales assistant in the New York office in 2009. After a brief hiatus, Jessica rejoined PRH as a sales manager for the Southeast in 2015 and is thrilled to be back working with the best publisher and the best indie bookstores in the country!
Attorney, Stennett, Wilkinson & Peden, Jackson, Mississippi; B.A. summa cum laude, University of Mississippi, 1966; Fulbright Scholar, University of Bristol, England, 1966-67; J.D., University of Mississippi School of Law, 1970; President, Young Lawyers Division, Mississippi Bar, 1978-79; staff assistant to Mississippi statesmen, John Stennis and William Winter; Mississippi Air National Guard, 1968-99, Colonel and Staff Judge Advocate; Graduate, Air War College; Legion of Merit; Mississippi Distinguished Civilian Service Medal; President, Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series, 2004-05; practicing attorney, 1970-present; Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award.
Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, and founded The Mysterious Press in 1975, which now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic in the United States and Head of Zeus in the U.K., as well as classic crime fiction through MysteriousPress.com. Among the sixty anthologies he’s edited are The Big Book of Jack the Ripper, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, The Best American Noir of the Century, The Best American Mystery Stories of the 19th Century and The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century. He served as the host for Turner Classic Movies for its “Month of Mysteries” in 2002. Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven in 2003. He has been given Lifetime Achievement awards by Noircon and The Strand Magazine.
Marc Perrusquia is the director of the Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis. He previously served as a journalist for The Commercial Appeal, the daily newspaper in Memphis, where he worked for more than 29 years as an investigative reporter, special projects reporter and editor. He has won numerous national awards for both feature writing and investigative reporting. His journalistic interests include criminal justice, predatory lending, political corruption, civil rights history, FBI surveillance and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The latter is a specialty he honed while covering dying assassin James Earl Ray’s unsuccessful attempts in 1997-98 to win a court-ordered release from prison. His interest in King and the movement led to the writing of his 2018 book, A Spy In Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, which tells the story of Ernest Withers and political surveillance in Memphis. Raised in Wisconsin, he is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Tina, a Memphis attorney, have three children.
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.
Torrey Peters is the author of the bestselling novel Detransition, Baby (Random House, 2021), which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize and was a Roxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club Pick. She is also the author of the novellas Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and The Masker. Peters holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth. She splits her time between Brooklyn and an off-grid cabin in Vermont.
Ashleigh Bryant Phillips is from rural Woodland, North Carolina. She’s a graduate of Meredith College and earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Her stories have appeared in The Oxford American, The Paris Review and others. Sleepovers is her first book.
Gin Phillips is the author of six novels, ranging from historical fiction to literary thriller to middle grade. Her work has been sold in 29 countries.
Gin’s debut novel, The Well and the Mine, won the 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Her recent novel, Fierce Kingdom, was named one of the Best Crime Novels of 2017 by the New York Times Book Review. GiIt was also was named one of the best books of 2017 by Publishers Weekly, NPR, Amazon, and Kirkus Reviews. A Kirkus starred review called it “poignant and profound,” adding that “this adrenaline-fueled thriller will shatter readers like a bullet through bone.”
Born in Montgomery, Al., Gin graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in political journalism. After time spent in Ireland, New York, and Washington, D.C., she currently lives with her family (plus a schnoodle and a mini golden mountain doodle) in Birmingham.
Graham and Parker Phillips are brother writer/directors based out of New York and Los Angeles. Parker studied literature at Bucknell University while Graham studied U.S. History at Princeton where he wrote his thesis on indigenous marginalization and resistance in the United States.
Graham has performed in a variety of roles on stage, film and television, including leads in the films Goats, Evan Almighty, XOXO, Staten Island Summer and Blockers, as well as in the Broadway musical 13. He was also a series regular on The Good Wife and currently plays on Riverdale and Atypical.
Their first short film, The Mediator, inspired by their father and set in 1890s gold country, won the 2015 Carmel International Film Festival. Their first feature, The Bygone, premiered at Austin, Bozeman and Deadcenter Film Festivals and was sold to Netflix.
They are set to direct the feature Rumble Through the Dark, based on Michael Farris Smith’s novel The Fighter and produced by Cassian Elwes, as well as Blackwood, based on Smith’s most recent work of the same name. They are also executive producing an original drama series with Michael Farris Smith as well as a thriller series based on John Hart’s New York Times best-selling novel, Redemption Road.
Julia Phillips is a Fulbright fellow whose writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Atlantic, Slate, and The Moscow Times. She lives in Brooklyn.
Photo by Nina Subin
Mary Laura Philpott is the author of the memoir-in-essays I Miss You When I Blink; the author and illustrator of a little humor book called Penguins with People Problems; a writer whose work appears in publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, O The Oprah Magazine, and others; the founding editor of Musing, the digital magazine published by Parnassus Books; and an Emmy-award winning co-host of A Word on Words, a literary interview show on Nashville Public Television. Mary Laura also enjoys traveling around the country to talk to people about books, reading, and writing.
Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and a 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church. Deesha is also the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband. Her work has been listed as Notable in the Best American Essays series, and her writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Brevity, dead housekeeping, Apogee Journal, Catapult, Harvard Review, ESPN’s The Undefeated, The Baltimore Review, TueNight, Ebony and Bitch magazines, and various anthologies. Deesha is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and a past Pushcart Prize nominee for essay writing in Full Grown People.
Tom Piazza is the author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels A Free State and City Of Refuge, the post-Katrina manifesto Why New Orleans Matters, and the essay collection Devil Sent The Rain. He was a principal writer for the innovative HBO drama series TREME, and the winner of a Grammy Award for his album notes to Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey. He lives in New Orleans.
Michael Pickard is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Millsaps College. The 2005 Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, DC, he has served on the faculty of the McMullan Young Writers Workshop and directs the Millsaps English Department’s Visiting Writers Series. His poems have appeared, among other places, in 236 and the Academy of American Poets’s Helen Burns Poetry Anthology. His current research focuses on Welty’s understanding of memory as it intersects with the ongoing curation of her legacy.
Charles Pickering started practicing law in 1961. He served as Jones County Prosecuting Attorney From 1964 until 1968 and served in the Mississippi State Senate representing Jones County from 1972 1980. After practicing law for 30 years he served as United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi for 13 years before being appointed to the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in New Orleans. Upon retirement from the 5th Circuit Judge Pickering returned to the practice of law with the Baker Donelson law firm in Jackson. He retired from the practice of law in 2019, but he continues to work on his timber farm. Judge Pickering served as President of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, as Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, William Carey University, President of Catfish Farmers of America, and as President of Wildlife Mississippi, a non-profit conservation organization. He served for some 12 years on the Board of Mission Mississippi which promotes racial reconciliation through Christian Faith, as well as 12 years on the Board of Alliance Defending Freedom which promotes religious liberty. He served on the original Board of Directors of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi. He continues to serve on the Boards of William Carey, Wildlife Mississippi and Magnolia State Bank. After retiring from the Bench Judge Pickering prepared the petition and led the effort that resulted in the exoneration of Clyde Kennard who was convicted of stealing chicken feed to prevent his being the first Black to be enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi He is the author of two books, SUPREME CHAOS and A PRICE TOO HIGH. He was featured in a segment of CBS’s 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace and appeared on numerous national television and radio programs. He and his wife of 62 years, Margaret Ann, have 4 children, Paige Dunkerton, Chip Pickering, former U. S. Congressman, Allison Montgomery and Christi Chapman, with 24 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Catherine Pierce is the author of four books of poems: Danger Days (2020), The Tornado Is the World (2016), The Girls of Peculiar (2012), and Famous Last Words (2008), winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. Each of her last three books received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Prize. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize winner and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission. Pierce’s work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Southern Review, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. She is professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.
Dav Pilkey is the author and illustrator of the worldwide bestselling series Captain Underpants and Dog Man. He is also the creator of the Caldecott Honor picture book The Paperboy, the California Young Reader Medal-winning Dog Breath, and the Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series, illustrated by Dan Santat.
When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he was diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, and behavioral problems. Dav was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hall every day. Luckily, Dav loved to draw and make up stories. He spent his time in the hallway creating his own original comic books.
In the second grade, Dav Pilkey made a comic book about a superhero named Captain Underpants. Since then, he has been creating bestselling books that explore fun, positive themes and inspire readers everywhere.
The Captain Underpants series has more than 80 million copies in print worldwide and has been translated into 39 languages. It has also been adapted for both the big and small screen. Dreamworks Animation released Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie which starred Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Kristen Schaal, and Academy Award Winner Jordan Peele. The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, a Netflix Original Series from Dreamworks, is currently in its second season and stars Sean Astin and Nat Faxon.
Pilkey’s latest creation, Dog Man, continues to be a #1 New York Times bestselling series with more than 23 million copies in print worldwide and translations available in more than 27 languages. Dog Man is being adapted as a stage musical in “Dog Man: The Musical” from TheatreWorksUSA in New York City in Summer 2019, with a North American tour to follow in Fall 2019 and beyond.
Dav embarked on a sold-out “Howl with Laughter” tour, meeting with thousands of kids, parents, and educators across North America, bringing communities together to celebrate reading and promote literacy. While on tour, Dav remarked, “Meeting readers while on tour has been the most rewarding and humbling experience. It inspires me to continue to write and illustrate books.”
Dav Pilkey was recently announced as the 2019 national spokesperson for the celebration of School Library Month by the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians. With his Reading Gives You Superpowers campaign, Dav reminds us the importance of associating reading with fun.
For more information, visit Dav online at http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/davpilkey and planetpilkey.com.
Ty Pinkins is truly a “son of the Mississippi Delta.” Born and raised in the small town of Rolling Fork, he is a former Communications Aide to President Barack Obama, and the author of 23 Miles & Running: My American Journey from Chopping Cotton in the Mississippi Delta to Sleeping in the White House. A decorated veteran of the U.S. Army he spent three years in combat, earning the Bronze Star for his actions. Ty is a dedicated public servant. Upon retiring after 21 years in the military, he co-founded The Pyramid Project, a nonprofit organization serving youth from low-income communities by providing career and academic related resources and mentorship opportunities. Ty is a lawyer at the Mississippi Center for Justice where he advocates on behalf of individuals in some of Mississippi’s most underserved communities by helping litigants navigate the justice court system. He earned his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center as well as his LL.M (Master of Laws in National Security Law) from Georgetown Law.
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.
Christian Pinnen is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Political Science at Mississippi College. Dr. Pinnen joined MC’s faculty in 2012 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has published articles and book chapters on colonial Mississippi, specifically the Natchez District. His first book, Complexion of Empire in Natchez: Race and Slavery in the Mississippi Borderlands was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2021. His second book, a co-authored volume with Charles Weeks entitled Colonial Mississippi: A Borrowed Land was published my University Press of Mississippi in 2021 as well. He currently teaches U.S. History, History of the Old South, Latin America Survey, the American Revolution, and American Slavery. His research focuses on race and slavery in the Spanish-American borderlands and capitalism in early America. Currently he is researching the history of the Forks of the Road Slave Market in Natchez for the National Park Service with Max Grivno.
Harriet Pollack, College of Charleston, is the author of Eudora Welty’s Fiction and Photography: The Body of The Other Woman (2016) and the editor and director of the new UPM series, Critical Perspectives on Eudora Welty. The series inaugural volume, New Essays on Eudora Welty, Class, and Race is forthcoming. Her previous edited and co-edited volumes include Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race, Emmett Till in Literary Memory and Imagination, Having Our Way: Women Rewriting Tradition in Twentieth-Century America, and Eudora Welty and Politics: Did the Writer Crusade? She has received the Phoenix Award for outstanding contributions to Eudora Welty scholarship and she has twice served as president of the Eudora Welty Society.
H.C. Porter, a Jackson, Mississippi, native, is an internationally known painter, printmaker and photographer with a signature gallery in Historic Downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her artwork is in private and corporate collections around the globe and has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions for the past 30 years. Most recently, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C., added one of Porter’s pieces to their collection. In 2015, her Backyards and Beyond painting series became a permanent exhibition in the Ground Zero Hurricane Museum in Waveland, Mississippi. Her work is featured on CD covers, including one featuring the voices of Maya Angelou, Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan. Porter’s work is also featured on the cover of Beyond Katrina, a book by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway. Her work hangs in the Mississippi Senate offices in Washington, D.C., and is in the collection of former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Marsha Barbour. In 2009, Porter received the Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters Visual Arts Award and was included in the 2011 Mississippi Invitational at the Mississippi Museum of Art. She has been the recipient of a Visual Artistic Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission.
Kevin Powers is the author of The Yellow Birds, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and was a National Book Award Finalist, as well as Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, a collection of poetry. He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry. He served in the US Army in 2004 and 2005 in Iraq, where he was deployed as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar.
Dr. Melissa Pringle received a Doctorate in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University, a Masters in Environmental Studies from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Millsaps College. She is the Executive Vice President and a Senior Principal Scientist with Allen Engineering and Science, Inc. (AllenES). Dr. Pringle specializes in coastal resources sciences, policy and management with a focus in resilience and restoration; water quality improvement, natural resources conservation, and watershed planning.
Dr. Pringle is passionate about coastal issues and strives to find the balance between economic development and environmental protection. She has organized and facilitated workshops focused on Nature-based Tourism, Coastal Resilience and Sustainability, Watershed Management, Low Impact Site Design Practices for Stormwater Management, Living Shorelines and Alternative Shoreline Management, and Green Infrastructure Solutions. She has worked closely with non-profit partners, private partners, local municipalities, state governments, and Federal agencies to educate and engage stakeholders.
Dr. Pringle served as the AllenES Team Lead for the 2017 Beach Outfall Design Challenge, in which AllenES’ stormwater runoff management design was selected as a final winning design.
Current Project: Embrace the Gulf: 2020.
The purpose of the Embrace the Gulf: 2020 campaign is to raise awareness of the value, sustainability and beauty of one of our nation’s greatest treasures: the Gulf of Mexico. It is designed to preserve, promote and enhance the Gulf through effective communication, education, partnerships, and community engagement.
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.
Brian A. Pugh currently serves as executive director of the Stennis Center for Public Service and as adjunct professor at Mississippi State University. Prior to working at the Stennis Center, Pugh worked in state government for over a decade for the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, Governor’s Office, and the Legislative Budget Office.
Michelle A. Purdy is a native Jacksonian. Her book, Transforming the Elite: Black Students and the Desegregation of Private Schools (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), tells the unknown story about black students who desegregated historically white elite private schools or the most prestigious independent schools during the Civil Rights Era. Such schools were not legally obligated to desegregate following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision but school leaders opted to change admission policies because of moral, political, and financial reasons. Purdy combines social history, policy analysis, and oral history to examine specifically the desegregation of The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside national efforts to diversify independent schools. She details how the first African American students to desegregate Westminster courageously navigated institutional and interpersonal racism in a contradictory and complex school culture. Transforming the Elite is the winner of the 2019 American Educational Research Association (AERA)-Division F (History and Historiography) New Scholar’s Book Award. In Jackson, Purdy graduated from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School where she later served as Associate Head of the Middle School and taught African American history. She is currently an associate professor of education at Washington University in St. Louis.
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.
Marshall Ramsey, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, shares his cartoons and travels the state as Mississippi Today’s Editor-At-Large. Marshall can often be found in communities across Mississippi, promoting public conversations about the news and inspiring audiences to engage in civic life. He’s also host of a weekly statewide radio program and a television program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is the author of several books. Marshall is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in business administration and marketing. His cartoons have appeared in the Clarion Ledger, where he worked for 22 years, as well as USA Today, CNN, Fox News, The Today Show, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine and 300 newspapers around the United States. He is a two-time Pulitzer Finalist and was named a top 100 employee of Gannett. He has received numerous MPA awards and the John Locher Memorial Award, which is given to nation’s top collegiate cartoonist.
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.
Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.
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
Peter H. Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling children’s book author and illustrator of many books for children, including the Judy Moody series, written by Meghan McDonald; The Dot; Ish; Sky Color; and Allison McGhee’s Someday, selling more than two million books in over 25 languages around the globe. In 1996, he founded FableVision with his twin brother Paul as a social change agency to help move the world to a better place by creating “stories that matter, stories that move.” He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, with his family and is the owner of The Blue Bunny Books and Toys independent bookstore. Visit him online at www.peterhreynolds.com.
Nathaniel Rich is the author of Losing Earth: A Recent History, which received awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Institute of Physicists and was a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award; and the novels King Zeno, Odds Against Tomorrow, and The Mayor’s Tongue. He is a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a regular contributor to The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The New York Review of Books. His new book is Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade. Rich lives in New Orleans.
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
Mark Richard is the author of national bestseller House of Prayer No. 2 as well as two award-winning short story collections The Ice at the Bottom of the World, and Charity; and a bestselling novel, Fishboy. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, The Paris Review, The Oxford American, Grand Street, Shenandoah, The Quarterly, Equator, and Antaeus. He is the recipient of the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Mary Francis Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters, and a National Magazine Award for Fiction. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, Spin, Esquire, George, Detour, Vogue, and The Oxford American, and he has been a radio correspondent in Europe for the BBC.
Richard also wrote the screenplay for the movie “Stop-Loss” produced by Paramount, and has been a writer/producer for Fox’s “Tyrant,” AMC’s “Hell on Wheels,” CBS’s “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” Showtime’s Emmy-winning series “Huff,” “Chicago Hope” on CBS, and “Party of Five” on Fox. He is currently co-executive producer for “Fear the Walking Dead.”
Richard lives in Los Angeles with his wife Jennifer Allen and their three sons.
Jeff Roberson, a native of Baldwyn, Mississippi, has spent nearly 30 years as a writer and editor in Oxford, Mississippi, mainly covering Ole Miss sports. A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Jeff cowrote Midnight Train with his first cousin, Jim Weatherly. The book reveals Weatherly’s life story, from his childhood in Pontotoc, Mississippi, to his years as an All-SEC quarterback at Ole Miss, through his career as a songwriter in Los Angeles and Nashville, and his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York in 2014.
Lyn Roberts is the general manager of the Square Books family of stores on the historic square in Oxford, Mississippi
James L. Robertson (“Jimmy”) was born July 30, 1940. A lot of water under the proverbial bridge before he authored Heroes, Rascals and the Law (2019).
Jimmy grew up in Greenville, Mississippi, graduating from high school in 1958. He has a B. A. from Ole Miss (1962) and a J. D. from Harvard (1965). He served as Justice, Supreme Court of Mississippi (1983-1992).
Robertson has practiced law in Greenville, Oxford and since 1993 in Jackson. He has taught law at Ole Miss, Fordham University, Mississippi College and Millsaps.
The former Justice has published bookoodles of articles more or less related to law, society, baseball and humanity. Variations on a Theme by Posner (2015) and Practical Benefits of Literature in Law (2016) are his favorites. “A Life Sentence Served By An Innocent Man” caba.ms/Articles (2011) is sobering.
Tops among Jimmy’s civic and pro bono activities have been the American Law Institute; Innocence Projects, capital defense, free speech litigation, Mississippi Opera and Red Sox Nation.
On June 2, 2019, Robertson addressed the Quentin Compson Memorial Symposium in Cambridge, MA.
Jimmy is married to Linda who said he should write a book; hence, Heroes and Rascals, has three sons and five grandchildren.
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.
Stuart Rockoff received his Ph.D. in US history from the University of Texas at Austin with a special emphasis on immigration and American Jewish history. He has taught several history courses in American and ethnic history at such schools as the University of Texas and Millsaps College and has published numerous articles and essays on southern Jewish history. In November, 2013, he became the executive director of the Mississippi Humanities Council, where he works to develop and support public programs that explore our state’s unique history and culture. He was a member of the scholarly review board for both the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. He also serves on the board of the Mississippi Book Festival.
Eric Rohmann is the Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator of My Friend Rabbit and received a Caldecott Honor for Time Flies. He has both written and illustrated numerous books for children, including Oh, No! and Bone Dog. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois.
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.
Polly Rosenwaike has published stories, essays, and reviews in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, The New York Times Book Review, Glimmer Train, New England Review, The Millions, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The fiction editor for Michigan Quarterly Review, she lives in Ann Arbor with the poet Cody Walker and their two daughters.
Photo by Michael Lionstar
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.
S. J. Rozan has won multiple awards for her fiction, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Nero, and Macavity, the Japanese Maltese Falcon, and the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award. S. J. was born and raised in the Bronx and now lives in lower Manhattan.
Photo by Charles Kreloff
Ellen Hunter Ruffin is the Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi. Ruffin has been involved with the American Library Association and served on many committees in various roles. Along with the Newbery Committee, Ruffin recently completed her term as the state representative on the American Library Association’s Council.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, which will be published by One World Random House in August 2021. His first book, We Cast a Shadow, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award, the Center for Fiction Prize and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Kenyon Review, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.
2x Grammy winning legend, Blues Hall of Famer, six-time Grammy nominee, and 13-time Blues Music Award winner, and autobiography on its way, Bobby Rush has been making records for nearly 70 years and has more than 400 recordings, 75 career releases, and now 27 studio albums to his name. He earned a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album and a Blues Music Award for Album of the Year for his studio recording Porcupine Meat in 2017. In 2019, at age 85, he released Sitting on Top of the Blues with 11 originals, earning him another Blues Music Award and Grammy Award nomination. He had a cameo in the Golden Globe-nominated Netflix original film Dolemite Is My Name, the Rudy Ray Moore biopic featuring Eddie Murphy as Moore. Rush kicked off 2020 with the release of “Dolemite Kid,” a single inspired by his nine years on tour with Moore, his day working with Murphy, and the hit film itself. But Rush, who turned 87 in November, is not done yet. With the release of his 2020 album Rawer Than Raw, an all-acoustic effort that pays tribute to the rich blues history of Mississippi, Rush has cemented his reputation as one of the preeminent bluesmen in the world, one of the last living links to the music’s glorious past, and an inspiration for its future stars. The album just won a Grammy Award.
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.
I am the Serials and Reference Librarian at the Raymond Campus of Hinds Community College. I have spent 16 years working in academic and public libraries where I have taught bibliographic instruction to first-year students and led workshops for first-time puppeteers. In my free time, I enjoy playing music, creating art, and DIY projects. I live in Jackson, MS with my two dogs, Alvy Singer and Navin R. Johnson.
Otis Sanford holds the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism at the University of Memphis, and is the author of the critically acclaimed new book, “From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics.” Sanford also serves as the political commentator for WREG-TV Channel 3 and writes a weekly Viewpoint column for The Commercial Appeal. Before joining the U of M in 2011, Sanford was editor for opinion and editorials at The Commercial Appeal and formerly served as the paper’s managing editor, the first African-American to hold both positions.
A Mississippi native, Sanford is a 1975 graduate of Ole Miss, and has more than 40 years of professional journalism experience, starting in 1975 at The Clarion-Ledger as an entertainment and feature writer. He then joined The Commercial Appeal as a staff reporter in 1977, and moved to The Pittsburgh Press in 1987 as an assistant city editor. In 1992, he was named deputy city editor of the Detroit Free Press, and returned to The Commercial Appeal in 1994 as deputy managing editor.
In his current role at the University of Memphis, Sanford is a full-time faculty member and conducts various lectures and workshops both on and off campus on journalism, politics, the First Amendment and public policy. He also is co-host of “Informed Sources,” a weekly public affairs show on WREG-TV.
Sanford is past president of the Associated Press Media Editors and past board chairman of the Mid-America Press Institute. Known for his longtime advocacy of freedom of the press and public service, Sanford is a nationally-recognized leader in newsroom management, diversity and journalism ethics. He is married to Rev. Dr. Elaine Sanford, founder and executive director of Her Faith Ministries in Memphis, and they have four children.
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)
As data producer for the PBS NewsHour, Laura Santhanam uses narrative and numbers to tell stories. She has worked on Emmy-nominated data-driven stories that explored the nation’s opioid crisis and developed polls to tap into national public opinion on the news of the day. She strives to connect trends to the human stories that are data’s essence. Her work at the NewsHour has merged her career as a newspaper reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press and the Arizona Republic with her work as a media analyst at Pew Research Center. A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in public policy from American University, Laura, her husband and two daughters live in Washington, D.C.
Gordy Sauer is a native Texan and transplant Missourian. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and an MA from Clemson University. His writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine and Boulevard, among other places, and he received a 2013 artist’s grant for residency at the Vermont Studio Center. A lifelong educator, he has taught snowboarding, fly fishing, middle school math and science, and now works as a speechwriter at Mizzou. This is his first novel.
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.
Known for chronicling and celebrating American sporting life and culinary culture through her novels, award-winning publisher, editor and author Susan Schadt launched Susan Schadt Press in February 2015.
Before launching her publishing company, Schadt was president and CEO of ArtsMemphis, a 50-year-old non-profit arts funding organization. During her time at ArtsMemphis, she spearheaded the Memphis For The Arts endowment campaign, which raised $27.2 million. In 2005, she partnered with Ducks Unlimited to launch the historic and ongoing Conservation Through Arts initiative, raising $4 million to support wildlife conservation, local arts groups and community events. Under her leadership, ArtsMemphis allocated more than $45 million to arts organizations in Memphis and Shelby County.
While at ArtsMemphis, Schadt founded Wild Abundance Publishing, where she authored and edited First Shooting Light, 2008; Wild Abundance, 2010; A Million Wings, 2012; and MEMPHIS: Sweet, Spicy & a Little Greasy, 2014. The imprint was awarded The Benny – the highest award from The Printing Industry Association Of The South, 2015. Schadt was also awarded the 2013 Silver Medal in the Independent Book Publisher’s Award.
In the Fall of 2016, Susan Schadt Press released The Chubby Vegetarian: 100 Inspired Vegetable Recipes for the Modern Table and Reel Masters: Chefs Casting About With Timing & Grace. The imprint was awarded the 2017 Silver Medal for Reel Masters in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) for Best Regional Non-Fiction in the South. Upcoming releases for Fall 2017 include: Calling The Wild: The History of Arkansas Duck Calls; A Legacy of Craftsmanship and Rich Hunting Tradition and Shelby Farms Park: Elevating A City.
A. Brad Schwartz is the co-author of Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago (William Morrow, 2018) with Road to Perdition creator Max Allan Collins. Currently a doctoral student in American history at Princeton University, Brad has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Smithsonian, and The Daily Beast.
Brad’s first book, Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News (Hill and Wang, 2015), draws upon a trove of long-lost listener letters to reexamine the infamous 1938 “panic broadcast.” The book is based on the groundbreaking research Brad conducted as part of his senior honors thesis at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he earned his B.A. in History and Screen Arts & Cultures in 2012. He also co-wrote a 2013 episode of the PBS series American Experience about the War of the Worlds broadcast, based in part on his thesis research.
Carrie is the author of the new acclaimed tween novel HORSE GIRL (Penguin Random House) as well as the bestselling Audible adventure series THE FLYING FLAMINGO SISTERS, which was hailed by the New York Times as a Best Audiobook for Road Trips with Kids.
An alum of The Groundlings comedy theater, she’s served as a staff writer for several Nickelodeon comedy variety specials and has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, the Today show and the Comedy Central Stage. You can hear her voice in several audiobooks, animated series and commercials - where she’s played everything from an evil robot to a sassy pickle.
As a journalist and essayist, she’s contributed to The New York Times, The Atlantic, Architectural Digest, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, McSweeney’s, and the book Mortified: Love is a Battlefield. Her comedic essay, Outsourcing Love - about hiring a virtual assistant to manage her love life - was optioned for a feature film. Carrie grew up writing plays and riding horses with her sister, actress Lindsay Seim, in the windswept plains of Nebraska.
Danielle Sellers is from Key West, FL. She has an MA from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of Mississippi where she held the John Grisham Poetry Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Subtropics, Smartish Pace, The Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Bone Key Elegies (Main Street Rag 2009) and The Minor Territories (Sundress Publications 2018). She teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, Texas.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton studied creative writing at Dartmouth and law at UC Berkeley. A recipient of the Lombard fellowship, she spent a year in the Dominican Republic working for a civil rights organization and writing. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her stories have been published or are forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Limestone Journal, and Broad! Magazine. She lives in the Bay Area, California. A Kind of Freedom is her debut novel.
Philip Shirley writes about a South he knows well, having lived in Alabama, Florida, Texas and Mississippi. His writing career has garnered more than 50 awards for fiction, poetry, speeches and feature articles. During the years he spent researching and writing The Graceland Conspiracy, he often paused to publish other work. First was a book of short stories called Oh Don’t You Cry for Me, which was a finalist for the Jefferson Prize. He co-wrote Sweet Spot: 125 Years of Baseball and The Louisville Slugger, a social history of Major League Baseball and its relationship to the Louisville Slugger brand. In 2014 Mindbridge Press released his first novel, The White Lie. He splits time between a home in Mississippi, a cabin in Paint Rock Valley in North Alabama, and Dauphin Island, Alabama. He is married to the painter Virginia Shirley and is former CEO of Godwin, the South’s oldest ad agency.