Official Panelists

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Ann J. Abadie

Ann J. Abadie

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...

Kristen Arnett

Kristen Arnett

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,...

Mateo Askaripour

Mateo Askaripour

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...

Jim Barksdale

Jim Barksdale

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...

Cynthia Barnett

Cynthia Barnett

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...

Quan Barry

Quan Barry

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...

Jennifer O. Baughn

Jennifer O. Baughn

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...

Sandra Beasley

Sandra Beasley

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...

Johnnie Bernhard

Johnnie Bernhard

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...

Kai Bird

Kai Bird

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...

Richard Boada

Richard Boada

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...

Roderick Boyd

Roderick Boyd

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...

Regina N. Bradley

Regina N. Bradley

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...

H. W. Brands

H. W. Brands

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...

Jennifer Brannock

Jennifer Brannock

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.

Elizabeth Miki  Brina

Elizabeth Miki Brina

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.

Brian Broome

Brian Broome

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...

Carolyn J. Brown

Carolyn J. Brown

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...

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown

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...

Julie K. Brown

Julie K. Brown

“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...

Lonnie G. Bunch III

Lonnie G. Bunch III

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...

Mike Bunn

Mike Bunn

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...

Linda Burgess

Linda Burgess

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...

Tori Bush

Tori Bush

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...

Brian Castner

Brian Castner

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...

Adam Clay

Adam Clay

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...

Leroy Clemons

Leroy Clemons

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...

Kate Cochran

Kate Cochran

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

Courtney E. Cockrell

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...

M Shelly Conner

M Shelly Conner

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...

Karen L. Cox

Karen L. Cox

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,...

James R. Crocket

James R. Crocket

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....

Susan Cushman

Susan Cushman

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...

Dennis Dahmer

Dennis Dahmer

Dennis Dahmer is a Civil Rights Activist and educator and the son of slain Forrest County NAACP President Vernon Dahmer, Sr.

Patrick Dean

Patrick Dean

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...

Roy DeBerry

Roy DeBerry

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...

Kerry Dicks

Kerry Dicks

Kerry Dicks is an archaeologist and writer from Natchez, Mississippi. Her work, whether digging up ancient artifacts or writing about Louisiana surfers, has taken her on assignment as far away from home as the Italian countryside and as close to her own childhood as the backwoods of...

Alda P. Dobbs

Alda P. Dobbs

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...

Deborah D. Douglas

Deborah D. Douglas

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,...

Timothy Duffy

Timothy Duffy

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...

Kitty Dumas

Kitty Dumas

Kitty Dumas is a writer and native of Eupora, MS. She is (still) completing a memoir.

William  Dunlap

William Dunlap

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...

Lee Durkee

Lee Durkee

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...

Helen Ellis

Helen Ellis

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...

Anjali Enjeti

Anjali Enjeti

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,...

W. Ralph Eubanks

W. Ralph Eubanks

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...

Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly

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...

Tim Fielder

Tim Fielder

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...

Martha Hall Foose

Martha Hall Foose

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...

Gilbert Ford

Gilbert Ford

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....

Monika Gehlawat

Monika Gehlawat

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...

Ellen Gilchrist

Ellen Gilchrist

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...

Phillip  Gordon

Phillip Gordon

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...

Michael Gorra

Michael Gorra

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...

Richard Grant

Richard Grant

Richard Grant is an author and journalist currently based in Tucson, Arizona. His 2020 book Dispatches From Pluto was a New York Times bestseller and a winner of the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. His latest book is The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez,...

Jeff Guinn

Jeff Guinn

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.

Eldridge C. [Redge] Hanes

Eldridge C. [Redge] Hanes

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...

Shirley A. James Hanshaw

Shirley A. James Hanshaw

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...

Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel

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...

Gregg Harper

Gregg Harper

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...

Lee Harper

Lee Harper

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.

Stephen Harrigan

Stephen Harrigan

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....

Nathan  Harris

Nathan Harris

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

Zakiya Dalila Harris

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...

Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey

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...

Elizabeth Heiskell

Elizabeth Heiskell

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

Melanie Henry

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...

Jesse J. Holland

Jesse J. Holland

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...

Lauren Hough

Lauren Hough

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...

Jeremy Houston

Jeremy Houston

Jeremy Houston is from Natchez, Mississippi. Houston is a veteran of US Marine Corps. After his military service, he moved back to Natchez, to become one of the city’s up and coming historian and tour operator in the area. Houston is the founder of Miss Lou Heritage Group & Tours,...

Howard Hunter

Howard Hunter

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...

Jessica Ingram

Jessica Ingram

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...

Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson

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...

Melissa Iwai

Melissa Iwai

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

Will Jacks

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...

Theodore R. Johnson

Theodore R. Johnson

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...

Robert Jones, Jr.

Robert Jones, Jr.

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...

Sheree Rose Kelley

Sheree Rose Kelley

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...

Robert Khayat

Robert Khayat

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...

Marisa Kwiatkowski

Marisa Kwiatkowski

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...

Anne Geddie Landrum

Anne Geddie Landrum

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...

Mike Landrum

Mike Landrum

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...

Ariel  Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon

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...

Kiese  Laymon

Kiese Laymon

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...

Robert L. Luckett, Jr.

Robert L. Luckett, Jr.

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...

Chris Mackowski

Chris Mackowski

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...

John F. Marszalek III

John F. Marszalek III

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...

Melissa M. Martin

Melissa M. Martin

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...

Elizabeth McCain

Elizabeth McCain

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...

Chris McLaughlin

Chris McLaughlin

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.

Lisa  McNair

Lisa McNair

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.

LaTanya McQueen

LaTanya McQueen

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,...

Jerry Mitchell

Jerry Mitchell

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...

Jennifer Moffett

Jennifer Moffett

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...

Allison Moorer

Allison Moorer

Allison Moorer is a singer/songwriter, producer, and author who has released ten critically acclaimed albums. Her first memoir, Blood, was released in October 2019 to high praise and received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist. She has...

William H. Morris

William H. 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...

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

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...

Martin Padgett

Martin Padgett

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

Timothy Pakron

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...

Torrey Peters

Torrey Peters

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...

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips

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...

Gin Phillips

Gin Phillips

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...

Deesha Philyaw

Deesha Philyaw

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...

Charles Pickering

Charles Pickering

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...

Catherine Pierce

Catherine Pierce

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...

Ty Pinkins

Ty Pinkins

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...

Christian Pinnen

Christian Pinnen

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...

Elodie Pritchartt

Elodie Pritchartt

Elodie is a retired freelance writer, blogger and editor from Natchez, Mississippi. She is a sixth-generation Natchezian, who left Natchez for California in 1980 and returned home in 2007. She lives in Natchez with her boyfriend, Tommy Polk. Together they run a B&B called Shantybellum...

Brian A. Pugh

Brian A. Pugh

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...

Nathaniel Rich

Nathaniel Rich

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...

Maurice Carlos  Ruffin

Maurice Carlos Ruffin

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...

Bobby Rush

Bobby Rush

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...

Gordy Sauer

Gordy Sauer

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...

Carrie Seim

Carrie Seim

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...

Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and...

Timothy B. Smith

Timothy B. Smith

Timothy B. Smith (Ph.D. Mississippi State University, 2001) is a veteran of the National Park Service and currently teaches history at the University of Tennessee at Martin. In addition to numerous articles and essays, he is the author, editor, or co-editor of twenty books, including award...

Deanne Love Stephens

Deanne Love Stephens

Deanne Love Stephens is professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is author of Plague Among the Magnolias: The 1878 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Mississippi.

Katherine St. John

Katherine St. John

Katherine St. John is a native of Mississippi and a graduate of the University of Southern California who spent over a decade in the film industry as an actress, screenwriter, and director before turning to penning novels. When she’s not writing, she can be found hiking or on the beach...

Nic Stone

Nic Stone

Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write...

Danielle Bishop Stoulig

Danielle Bishop Stoulig

Danielle Bishop Stoulig grew up just outside of Hattiesburg, MS, and received two degrees from Southern Miss. She is a former Assistant Curator at the de Grummond Collection and considers herself very fortunate to have been a member of the staff there for eighteen years. She is currently an...

Heather Marie Stur

Heather Marie Stur

Heather Marie Stur, Ph.D., is professor of history at USM and senior fellow in the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society. She is the author of Saigon at War: South Vietnam and the Global Sixties (Cambridge 2020), The U.S. Military and Civil Rights Since World War II (ABC-CLIO...

Annalyn  Swan

Annalyn Swan

The biographer Annalyn Swan and her husband and co-author, Mark Stevens, have spent decades in the art and publishing worlds of New York, Mark as a veteran art critic-for Newsweek, The New Republic and New York magazine—and Annalyn as the former arts editor of...

Don Tate

Don Tate

Don Tate is an award-winning author, and the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children. He is also one of the founding hosts of the blog The Brown Bookshelf - a blog designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers,...

Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi, as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial...

Sally Palmer Thomason

Sally Palmer Thomason

Sally Palmer Thomason was born, raised, and educated in California but has lived in Memphis for over fifty years. She retired as the dean of continuing and corporate education at Rhodes College and has authored several books, including The Power of One: Sister Anne Brooks and the...

Sami Thomason-Fyke

Sami Thomason-Fyke

Sami Thomason-Fyke (she/her) is a Youth Services Specialist at the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library. She was formerly a bookseller, events coordinator, and social media coordinator at Square Books in Oxford, MS. You can keep up with her reading recommendations at samisaysread.com....

Wright Thompson

Wright Thompson

Wright Thompson is a senior writer for ESPN. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his family. Photo by Thomas McCallum

Eric Tribunella

Eric Tribunella

Eric L. Tribunella is the author of Melancholia and Maturation: The Use of Trauma in American Children’s Literature, the co-author of Reading Children’s Literature: A Critical Introduction, and the editor of Edward Prime-Stevenson’s Left to Themselves....

Heather Truett

Heather Truett

Heather Truett is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Memphis and serves as the Development Director for The Pinch literary journal. She is #actuallyautistic and passionate about bringing more neurodivergent voices to the publishing table. Heather was born in Kentucky, sharing a...

Vincent Venturini

Vincent Venturini

Vincent Venturini is a native of Jackson, having grown up in the southern section of the city. He attended school at St. Therese elementary School and St. Joseph High School. He earned degrees at Mississippi State University (BA) the University of Southern Mississippi (MSW) and the...

Marisel Vera

Marisel Vera

A Chicago-born writer based in Pittsburgh, PA, Marisel Vera is the author of The Taste of Sugar and If I Bring You Roses. Through her work, Vera explores the particular burdens that Puerto Ricans carry as colonial subjects of the most powerful country in the world.

M.O.  Walsh

M.O. Walsh

M.O. Walsh is the author of the novels My Sunshine Away (a New York Times bestseller), The Big Door Prize, and the story collection The Prospect of Magic. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Southern Review, Oxford American, American...

Dawnie Walton

Dawnie Walton

Dawnie Walton is a writer, editor, and author of the novel The Final Revival of Opal & Nev. She earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (2018) and holds a journalism degree from Florida A&M University (1997). Formerly an editor at Essence and Entertainment...

Lawrence Wells

Lawrence Wells

Lawrence Wells, author of In Faulkner’s Shadow, is the director of Yoknapatawpha Press in Oxford, Mississippi, which he established with his late wife Dean Faulkner Wells. Wells cofounded the quarterly literary journal The Faulkner Newsletter and Yoknapatawpha...

Karen  White

Karen White

With almost two million books in print in fifteen different languages, Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 28 novels, including the popular Charleston-set Tradd Street mystery series, The Last Night in London, Dreams of Falling, The...

David Whiteis

David Whiteis

David Whiteis, an internationally published critic and journalist with over 45 years of experience writing about blues, jazz, and other essential issues, is a Chicago resident who currently writes on a regular basis for Living Blues Magazine, Jazz Times, the Chicago Reader, and other...

Curtis Wilkie

Curtis Wilkie

Curtis Wilkie covered civil rights activity in Mississippi in the 1960s and afterward served as a national and international correspondent for a quarter century at the Boston Globe. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

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