2023 Festival


The downtown Capitol Complex was awash with more than 6,700 visitors from across the country, eager to hear from hundreds of authors, such as Lois Lowry, Richard Ford, Mike Pence, Jason Reynolds, Richard Russo, James McBride, Harrison Scott Key, Jeanette Walls, and Ann Patchett. Live streaming of some panels increased access for thousands. More than 250 authors participated in Saturday’s festival, including 169 on 47 official panels and another 95 authors in Author’s Alley. Many panel discussions were standing room only and the nine booksellers sold thousands of books. Middle Grade authors enthralled more than 7,000 students on Friday at in-person events that were also streamed to 300 classrooms all over the state. 2023 Funders >






Out in Focus

Presented by the Mississippi Humanities Council through the United We Stand Initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities; LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi

Tenderly told, these panelists’ coming-of-age stories emphasize the unmatched power of prose and poetry as a means of self-expression. With main characters cast out on account of their “otherness,” these works explore gender, identity, and the redemptive joy of finding love where we least expect it.

  • Rita Brent (moderator)
  • K. Iver – Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco: Poems
  • Jeffrey Dale Lofton – Red Clay Suzie
  • Shastri Akella – The Sea Elephants
Vimeo PICS

Page to Screen

Presented by Mississippi Development Authority; Visit Mississippi

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Mississippi Film Office as its Executive Director discusses adapting novels into screenplays with two of our state’s most beloved authors and a USM grad who has written the screenplays for some of Eddie Murphy’s most iconic films.

  • Nina Parikh (moderator)
  • Michael Farris Smith – Salvage This World
  • David Sheffield
Page to Screen Page to Screen Page to Screen Page to Screen
Vimeo PICS

Dogwood Press

Presented by Pyron Group Insurance

Dogwood Press presents four of its most accomplished authors, whose stories are set mostly in Mississippi and notable for their enigmatic characters, tautly wound plots, and twists at every turn.

  • Joe Lee (moderator) – Resting Place
  • John M. FloydThe Barrens
  • Valerie Winn – The Dance Between
  • Candace Cox Wheeler – Squall in the Gulf
  • J. Stephen Beam – The Death Letter
Dogwood Press Dogwood Press Dogwood Press Dogwood Press
Vimeo PICS


Presented by Mississippi Humanities Council; Bailey & Carr Families

With razor-sharp clarity, cracking wit, and an unshakeable resolve to unravel the truth, four memoirists examine identity, family, race, inequality – and one hobby gone awfully awry.

  • Stuart Rockoff (moderator)
  • Nicole Chung – A Living Remedy: A Memoir
  • Ellen Ann Fentress – The Steps We Take: A Memoir of Southern Reckoning
  • Lee Durkee – Stalking Shakespeare: A Memoir of Madness, Murder, and My Search for the Poet Beneath the Paint
  • Shane McCrae – Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of Kidnapping
Vimeo PICS

KidNote: Literary Superhero Jason Reynolds

Presented by Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival; de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection; USM College of Arts & Sciences

New York Times-bestselling author Jason Reynolds will join JSU professor Dr. Ebony Lumumba to talk about his latest book Miles Morales Suspended. A born storyteller, Jason will discuss how he was first inspired by poetry, his prolific output (including more than 6 million books sold), and his passion for engaging young people.

  • Ebony Lumumba (moderator)
  • Jason Reynolds – Miles Morales Suspended: A Spider-Man Novel
Vimeo PICS

Nature & Environment

Presented by Marie & Brian Sanderson; Cornerstone Government Affairs
Coverage provided by C-SPAN
Room by BarbourHurst

In-depth, dramatic, and deeply immersed in the delicate splendor of the natural world, these works explore humanity’s connection to nature, the history of conservation, and the heroes who have paved the way.

  • Scott Naugle (moderator)
  • Dean King – Guardians of the Valley: John Muir and the Friendship that Saved Yosemite
  • Patrick Dean – Nature’s Messenger: Mark Catesby and His Adventures in a New World
  • Rien Fertel – Brown Pelican
  • Jack E. Davis – The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird

All Night, All Day

Panelists discuss their contributions to this collection of stories about “crossing over,” a deeply moving portrayal of death and the afterlife. Having bravely mined their own lives, these writers will discuss their (sometimes everyday) encounters with the mystical world in the wake of personal loss.

  • Susan Cushman (moderator) – All Night, All Day: Life, Death & Angels
  • Johnnie Bernhard – All Night, All Day: Life, Death & Angels
  • Averyell Kessler – All Night, All Day: Life, Death & Angels
  • Nancy Dorman-Hickson – All Night, All Day: Life, Death & Angels
Vimeo PICS

True Crime

Presented by Pigott Law Firm; Frankie & Roberts Wilson

Venture into the chilling world of true crime, where authors investigate the darkest corners of human behavior and the relentless pursuit of justice.

  • Chris Goodwin (moderator)
  • Mark Beaver – The Ballad of Karla Faye Tucker
  • Beverly Lowry – Deer Creek Drive: A Reckoning of Memory and Murder in the Mississippi Delta
  • Trent Brown – Roadhouse Justice: Hattie Lee Barnes & the Killing of a White Man in 1950s Mississippi
Vimeo PICS

Picturing the South

Presented by Fischer Galleries; University of Southern Mississippi Center for the Study of the Gulf South

Three photographers survey the South, training their lenses on its faces and characters, the urgency of its environment, and the landscape that shaped the imaginations of 20th-century writers.

  • Ryan Steed (moderator)
  • Ben Depp – Tide Lines: A Photographic Record of Louisiana’s Disappearing Coast
  • Neilson Hubbard – The American South
  • Tema Stauffer – Southern Fiction
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Lois Lowry

Presented by The James & Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation; Butler Snow, LLP

Newberry Award-winning author Lois Lowry talks to fellow writer Margaret McMullan about the inspiration behind her latest book, which breathes life into the 2000-year-old iron age tale of the Windeby bog body.

  • Margaret McMullan (moderator) – Where the Angels Lived: One Family’s Story of Exile, Loss, & Return
  • Lois Lowry – The Windeby Puzzle
In Conversation with Lois Lowry In Conversation with Lois Lowry In Conversation with Lois Lowry In Conversation with Lois Lowry
Vimeo PICS

Marriage, Memoir, & Misadventure

Presented by University of Mississippi Department of English & MFA Program; Friends of the Library at the University of Mississippi

With characteristic humor and unflinching honesty, four authors explore the complexities of marriage – the hard-won joys, the strained bonds, and even the transformative renewal borne of broken vows.

  • Beth Ann Fennelly (moderator) – Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs
  • Harrison Scott Key – How to Stay Married: The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told
  • Helen Ellis – Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge: Intimate Confessions from a Happy Marriage
  • Maggie Smith – You Could Make This Place Beautiful
  • Hannah Pittard – We Are Too Many: A Memoir (Kind of)
Vimeo PICS

The New York Review of Books

Presented by Bob Montgomery; Mississippi State University Honors College

Having helmed The New York Review of Books since 1984, Jackson native Rea Hederman will talk to some of its contributors about how its discerning literary coverage and commitment to editorial independence has helped shape public discourse for more than four decades.

  • Rea Hederman (moderator)
  • Nathaniel Rich – Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade
  • Leanne ShaptonSwimming Studies
Vimeo PICS

A View from Washington

Presented by Frontier Strategies; Crossroads Strategies
Coverage provided by C-SPAN
Room by BarbourHurst

An Emmy-Award Winning journalist moderates a panel of experienced political analysts to offer an inside look at the state of Washington, the Biden White House, and the ever-increasing chaos of campaign season.

  • Betsy Fischer Martin (moderator)
  • Ben Terris – The Big Break: The Gamblers, Party Animals, and True Believers Trying to Win in Washington While America Loses Its Mind
  • Jonathan Martin – This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future
  • Joey Garrison

Grit Lit

Presented by H.T. White Family Fund; Cornerstone Consulting Group

Two accomplished authors explore beauty, brutality, and the paradoxical nature of our most deeply-held human bonds – and the lengths to which humans will go to defend or destroy them.

  • Clay Smith (moderator)
  • Peter Heller – The Last Ranger
  • Eli Cranor – Ozark Dogs
Grit Lit Grit Lit Grit Lit Grit Lit
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Jeannette Walls

Presented by The Roost & The Hemingway Boutique Hotels in Ocean Springs, MS

Anton DiSclafani, author of The After Party, talks to #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls about her latest book. A historical novel, Hang the Moon follows Sallie Kincaid through prohibition-era Virginia in her inherited role as bootlegger, as she grapples with her family’s legacy and questions of redemption.

  • Anton DiSclafani (moderator) – The After Party
  • Jeanette Walls – Hang the Moon
In Conversation with Jeannette Walls In Conversation with Jeannette Walls In Conversation with Jeannette Walls In Conversation with Jeannette Walls
Vimeo PICS

Civil Rights

Presented by the Mississippi Humanities Council through the United We Stand Initiative of the National Endowment for the HumanitiesUSM College of Arts and Sciences

Hear gripping accounts of determination and resolve from the civil rights era, as panelists describe the courageous pursuit of equality in the face of violent resistance.

  • Pamela D.C. Junior (moderator)
  • Devery S. Anderson – A Slow, Calculated Lynching: The Story of Clyde Kennard
  • Kathleen W. Wickham – James Meredith: Breaking the Barrier
  • Alvin Hall – Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance
Vimeo PICS

See Us Differently

Presented by Mississippi Humanities Council

Educators involved in the development of the See Us Differently exhibition – a showcase of books written, illustrated, and hand-bound by authors while incarcerated – will present prerecorded interviews with some of the creators, as well as information about college courses and humanities programming in Mississippi prisons.

  • Carol Anderson (moderator)
  • Bill Taff
  • Patrick Rodriguez

Young Adult

Presented by Nancy & Cecil Brown; Mississippi Votes

In these coming-of-age stories, YA authors examine the mysteries of mental health, the importance of personal identity, and the universality of feeling out of place in a sometimes hostile world.

  • Sami Thomason-Fyke (moderator)
  • Mindy McGinnis – A Long Stretch of Bad Days
  • Jeffrey Dale Lofton – Red Clay Suzie
  • Mariama J. Lockington – Forever Is Now
Vimeo PICS

Historical Fiction

Presented by Danny Cupit; Chism Strategies

The past is creatively reimagined by authors who saw pockets of unanswered history and dared to ask “what if?”

  • Snowden Wright (moderator) – American Pop
  • William Alsup – The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Cheryl A. Head – Time’s Undoing
  • Tom Piazza – The Auburn Conference
Vimeo PICS


Presented by Friendly City Books; Mississippi State University Department of English

Panelists plumb the depths of death, the miracle of birth, and the life in between in their latest collections of poetry.

  • C. Liegh McInnis (moderator)
  • Ann Fisher-Wirth – Paradise is Jagged: Poems
  • Derrick Harriell – Come Kingdom: Poems
  • Cynthia Manick – No Sweet Without Brine: Poems
  • Christie Collins – The Art of Coming Undone: Poems
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with James McBride

Presented by Millsaps College; Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP

National Book Award-winner James McBride talks about his latest book: a story of profound compassion, in which a community rallies around a local boy to protect him from an unjust fate.

  • Jerid Woods (moderator) 
  • James McBride – The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Jeff Shaara

Presented by Lesly Gaynor Murray in memory of Stephen C. Edds; Atmos Energy
Coverage provided by C-SPAN
Room by BarbourHurst

Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities talks to the acclaimed author about his latest work, which brings to life one
of the most consequential figures in U.S. history. 

  • Jon Parrish Peede (moderator)
  • Jeff Shaara – The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt
In Conversation  with Jeff Shaara In Conversation  with Jeff Shaara In Conversation  with Jeff Shaara In Conversation  with Jeff Shaara

In Conversation with Richard Ford

Presented by The Eudora Welty Foundation

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford talks to John Hooks about his latest release, Be Mine – his fifth and final work of fiction that chronicles the life of his “everyman” character Frank Bascombe.

  • John Hooks (moderator)
  • Richard Ford – Be Mine: A Frank Bascombe Novel
In Conversation with Richard Ford In Conversation with Richard Ford In Conversation with Richard Ford In Conversation with Richard Ford
Vimeo PICS

Storytelling with Carmen Agra Deedy

Presented by Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival

Celebrated for her wit, wisdom, and enthralling narratives, Carmen Agra Deedy presents an unforgettable storytelling experience, guiding the audience through the art and heart of a timeless craft.

  • Ellen Hunter Ruffin (moderator) – A de Grummond Primer: Highlights of the Children’s Literature Collection
  • Carmen Agra Deedy – Wombat Said Come In
Storytelling with Carmen Agra Deedy Storytelling with Carmen Agra Deedy Storytelling with Carmen Agra Deedy Storytelling with Carmen Agra Deedy
Vimeo PICS

Novel Women

Presented by Brenna Weaver LPC; The Source by BankPlus

Told from the perspective of female protagonists, these generational stories delve into the lives of women, their families, and the limitations of the roles into which they were born.

  • Mary Miller (moderator) – Biloxi
  • Katy Simpson Smith – The Weeds
  • Jenny Jackson – Pineapple Street
  • Mona Simpson – Commitment
Novel Women Novel Women Novel Women
Vimeo PICS

Emotional Things: Youth Poetry Workshop

This workshop, geared toward middle and high school students, centers on writing about emotion without sounding like some cringey Tumblr post. Using metaphor and imagery, learn to make the reader understand exactly how you or your characters are feeling. For writers of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction.

  • James Dickson – Some Sweet Vandal: Poems

Career Memoir

Presented by Ginnie & Luther Munford

Three distinguished professionals talk about the trajectory of their celebrated careers in this compelling panel about the cost of achievement, the importance of commitment, and the lessons they’ve learned on their paths to success.

  • David Magee (moderator) – Dear William: A Father’s Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, Love, & Loss
  • Jay Wellons – All That Moves Us: A Pediatric Neurosurgeon, His Young Patients, and Their Stories of Grace and Resilience
  • James H. Herring – The Switcher
  • Robert Mugge – Notes From the Road: A Filmmaker’s Journey Through American Music
Vimeo PICS

Words that Bind

Presented by University of Mississippi College of Liberal Arts; Beard + Riser Architects

First time novelists showcase characters amid discoveries about their identities and the families, communities, and histories to which they are tied.

  • Jerid P. Woods (moderator)
  • Jamila Minnicks – Moonrise Over New Jessup
  • Tyriek White – We Are a Haunting
  • Claire Jiménez – What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Michael Farris Smith

Presented by PATH CompanyWise Carter Child & Carraway, P. A.

Acclaimed author Michael Farris Smith talks to Chuck Reece, co-founder and editor of Salvation South, about bringing his latest novel Salvage This World to life.

  • Chuck Reece (moderator)
  • Michael Farris Smith – Salvage This World
In Conversation with Michael Farris Smith In Conversation with Michael Farris Smith In Conversation with Michael Farris Smith
Vimeo PICS

Voices of the Past

Presented by Louisa Dixon and Jerry Johnson; Mississippi State University College of Arts & Sciences

Three authors discuss the power of sisterhood and the spirited resilience of women when faced with some of history’s most tumultuous challenges.

  • Lyn Roberts (moderator)
  • Diane C. McPhail – The Seamstress of New Orleans
  • Jennifer Coburn – Cradles of the Reich
  • Gabriella Saab – Daughters of Victory
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Ann Patchett & Lindsay Lynch

Presented by The Eudora Welty Foundation

Authors Ann Patchett and Lindsay Lynch will be in conversation to discuss Patchett’s coming-of-age novel, Tom Lake, and Lynch’s glamorous debut, Do Tell. Having worked alongside each other at Patchett’s popular Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, they’ll discuss their journey as colleagues, writers, and champions of literacy.

  • Ann Patchett – Tom Lake
  • Lindsay Lynch – Do Tell
Vimeo PICS

Middle Grade Dreams

Presented by University of Southern Mississippi de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection; Tonja Murphy

Stories from middle grade authors about endearing characters and their everyday struggles reveal meaningful lessons for young readers.

  • Elizabeth Simmons (moderator)
  • Doan Phuong Nguyen – Mèo and Bé
  • Jerry Craft – School Trip
  • Janae Marks – On Air with Zoe Washington
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Simon Winchester

Presented by Jane Hiatt / Hiatt Fund of Community Foundation for Mississippi

Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art Dr. Eric L. Motley joins New York Times-bestselling author Simon Winchester to discuss Winchester’s latest book, which maps the evolution of man’s efforts to transmit knowledge. From oral histories to digital networks to new media, hear these two lifelong learners discuss why how we process information determines how we comprehend ourselves – and each other.

  • Eric L. Motley (moderator) – Madison Park: A Place of Hope
  • Simon Winchester – Knowing What We Know: The Transmission of Knowledge: From Ancient Wisdom to Modern Magic
Vimeo PICS

Author Biography

Presented by Jones Walker LLP; Jackson State University
Coverage provided by C-SPAN
Room by BarbourHurst

Biographers delve into the lives of notable authors whose works resonate with themes of resilience, cultural tension, and universal human experiences, deeply influencing literature’s landscape.

  • Preselfannie McDaniels (moderator)
  • Maryemma Graham – The House Where My Soul Lives: The Life of Margaret Walker
  • Wayne Flynt – Afternoons with Harper Lee
  • Virginia McGee Butler – Becoming Ezra Jack Keats

Mothers Writing: The Magical-Mundane

Join memoirist Catherine Simone Gray (Unsilenced Woman) in a workshop for mothers and caregivers of all ages. Gather to write down the moments that continually ask to be voiced – the transcendent and the tedious, the magical and the mundane. Discover their edges and their intersections.

  • Catherine Simone Gray

Picture This!

Presented by Sara & Bill Ray; Friends of the Washington County Community Foundation

Authors and illustrators discuss integrating the heart-warming stories and charming illustrations that make these three picture books come alive.

  • Ellen Hunter Ruffin (moderator) – A de Grummond Primer: Highlights of the Children’s Literature Collection
  • Sarah Frances Hardy – One Mississippi
  • Alice Faye Duncan – Yellow Dog Blues
  • Carmen Agra Deedy Wombat Said Come In
Picture This! Picture This! Picture This! Picture This!
Vimeo PICS

Book Club Picks

Presented by Sarah Story & Chris Ragland; Mississippi State University Libraries

True to form, these page-turning picks examine the power and strange logic of human connection.

  • Lauren Rhoades (moderator)
  • Annabel Monaghan – Same Time Next Summer
  • Erica Bauermeister – No Two Persons
  • Terah Shelton Harris – One Summer in Savannah
Vimeo PICS

USM Creative Writing

Presented by University of Southern Mississippi Center for Writers

Take the road less traveled in this writing workshop led by graduate students from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers.


Southern Culture

Presented by Carolyn & Chris Ray; Mississippi Department of Archives & History

Authors unpack the depth and diversity of Southern culture, telling true stories from a pioneering dancer’s life, a resilient riverside community, and broad insightful cultural and racial examinations.

  • John T. Edge (moderator) – Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South
  • Carolyn J. Brown – To Dance, to Live: A Biography of Thalia Mara
  • Charles Reagan Wilson – The Southern Way of Life: Meanings of Culture and Civilization in the American South
  • Mary D. Coleman – Land, Promise, and Peril: Race and Stratification in the Rural South
Vimeo PICS

Fact & Fiction with Abrams

Presented by Wilma Wagner Cleveland in memory of Oliver H. Wagner; Janet & Luther Ott

Authors published by Abrams talk about the demands of crafting both memoir and fiction, and how each can be uniquely deployed to offer insight into the human experience.

  • Zack Knoll (moderator)
  • James Hynes – Sparrow
  • Nash Jenkins – Foster Dade Explores the Cosmos
  • Anya Liftig – Holler Rat: A Memoir
  • Greg Marshall – Leg: The Story of a Limb and the Boy Who Grew from It
Vimeo PICS

Cookbooks & Culture

Presented by Robert St. John; University of Southern Mississippi Special Collections

Celebrate Southern culinary culture with bakers and chefs who bring to the table family recipes that have been perfected over generations and capture the soul of the South.

  • Enrika Williams (moderator)
  • Erika Council – Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit with Over 70 Sweet & Savory Recipes
  • Jocelyn Delk Adams – Everyday Grand: Soulful Recipes for Celebrating Life’s Big & Small Moments
  • Ryan Mitchell – Ed Mitchell’s Barbeque
Cookbooks & Culture Cookbooks & Culture Cookbooks & Culture Cookbooks & Culture
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Richard Russo

Presented by Crooks Foundation

Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Russo joins Valerie Walley, Regional Director of Knopf/Random House, for a discussion of Russo’s latest installment in his North Bath trilogy series. Returning to upstate New York, Russo pulls readers in with the shocking discovery of a body and a mystery that unfolds as a small town bucks against the encroachment of its more affluent neighbors.

  • Valerie Walley (moderator)
  • Richard Russo – Somebody’s Fool
Vimeo PICS

Mississippi Football

Presented by FORVIS, LLC; Nautilus Publishing

Experience the world of football in Mississippi as the state’s most beloved sportswriter and local publisher discuss the journeys of players from hometown fields to major stadiums and the cultural impact of the sport.

  • Rick Cleveland – The Mississippi Football Book: Stories & Records from the Greatest Teams, Coaches, and the Players—Who Lived and Played in the Greatest Football State
  • Neil White – The Mississippi Football Book: Stories & Records from the Greatest Teams, Coaches, and the Players—Who Lived and Played in the Greatest Football State
Vimeo PICS

In Conversation with Mike Pence

Presented by Capitol Resources, LLC; Watkins & Eager, PLLC
Coverage provided by C-SPAN
Room by BarbourHurst

Mike Pence, 48th Vice President of the United States, will join former U.S. Representative Gregg Harper to discuss his revealing new book So Help Me God. From his early days in Indiana to his role in the Trump administration, Mike Pence’s book charts the key events (and people) that led him to the historic moment on January 6, when he reconvened Congress to uphold the peaceful transfer of power.

  • Gregg Harper (moderator)
  • Mike Pence – So Help Me God
Vimeo PICS

Literary Fiction

Presented by Mississippi Library Commission; University of Southern Mississippi Center for Writers

Introspective and unexpected, these four novels explore how their characters’ lives are shaped by their personal and familial pasts.

  • Monika Gehlawat (moderator)
  • Rebecca Makkai – I Have Some Questions for You
  • Patrick deWitt – The Librarianist
  • Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle – Even As We Breathe
  • Zelda Lockhart – Trinity
Vimeo PICS

African American History

Presented by Mississippi Humanities Council; Mississippi Department of Archives & History

In books about the post-Civil War South, the impact of WWI on Du Bois, and the daring escape of Ellen and William Craft, these panelists probe astonishing histories of identity, progress, and the fight for freedom.

  • Michael Morris (moderator)
  • Chad. L. Williams – The Wounded World: W.E.B. Du Bois in the First World War
  • Evan Howard Ashford – Mississippi Zion: The Struggle for Liberation in Attala County, 1865–1915
  • Ilyon Woo – Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom
Vimeo PICS

Building Characters & Building Worlds

Presented by Millsaps College

Nature versus nurture isn’t just a question for scientists in this workshop. Explore the ways character and setting are interconnected and how to use those connections as tools to build characters that leap off the page and define settings to showcase them. Appropriate for all ages.

  • Liz Egan

Literary Thriller

Presented by Bethany & Lucien Smith; Pass Christian Books

Readers are implored to consider the true cost of keeping secrets as authors explore themes of psychological trauma and dynamics of power in these suspense-filled thrillers.

  • Matthew Guinn (moderator) – The Scribe
  • Kevin Powers – A Line in the Sand
  • Clémence Michallon – The Quiet Tenant
  • Brendan Slocumb – Symphony of Secrets
Vimeo PICS

America at War

Presented by University of Southern Mississippi Dale Center for the Study of War & Society; University of Southern Mississippi Charles W. Moorman Endowment
Coverage provided by C-SPAN
Room by BarbourHurst

Historians discuss the most pivotal conflicts in American history, examining how war reshapes citizens, leaders, landscapes, and the nation itself.

  • Andrew Wiest (moderator) – The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam
  • E. R. Lutken – A Thousand Places Left Behind: One Soldier’s Account of Jungle Warfare in WWII Burma
  • Heather Marie Stur – 21 Days to Baghdad: General Buford Blount and the 3rd Infantry Division in the Iraq War
  • Peter Cozzens – A Brutal Reckoning: Andrew Jackson, the Creek Indians, and the Epic War for the American South
  • Chris Wimmer – The Summer of 1876: Outlaws, Lawmen, and Legends in the Season that Defined the American West

Wonder & Joy

Presented by Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP; University of Mississippi Office of the Provost

Friends, collaborators, and fellow gardeners talk about their longtime friendship and the importance of connection – to both the wider world and each other.

  • Aimee Nezhukumatathil – World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
  • Ross Gay – Inciting Joy: Essays
Vimeo PICS

In Short

Presented by University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture; Natchez Literary & Cinema Celebration

In these compact narratives, Southern writers underscore the potency of short storytelling through the exploration of everyday characters whose rich inner lives and complex relationships make them anything but ordinary.

  • Tracy Carr (moderator)
  • Andrew Porter – The Disappeared: Stories
  • George Singleton – The Curious Lives of Nonprofit Martyrs: Stories
  • Deesha Philyaw – The Secret Lives of Church Ladies: Stories
Vimeo PICS

Mississippi Culture

Presented by Mississippi State University Department of Communications; Hon. David Neil McCarty

Join a vibrant discussion with authors whose works unveil the hidden history of the Delta, high school football stadiums from around the state, the unique storytelling of Mississippi signs, and the fascinating evolution of professional wrestling in Mississippi.

  • Marshall Ramsey (moderator) – Drawing the Line
  • Josh Foreman – Hidden History of the Mississippi Delta
  • Nash Nunnery – Magnolia Gridiron Cathedrals
  • Steven Manheim – Mississippi Signs
  • Jeffrey Martin – Professional Wrestling in Mississippi: A History
Vimeo PICS