Official Panelists

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Kristen{if parents:author_name_middle}  Arnett

Kristen{if parents:author_name_middle} 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,...

Mateo{if parents:author_name_middle}  Askaripour

Mateo{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 elsewhere. His debut novel Black Buck<...

Cynthia{if parents:author_name_middle}  Barnett

Cynthia{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Journalist in Residence...

Mark{if parents:author_name_middle}  Barr

Mark{if parents:author_name_middle} Barr

Mark Barr's fiction and essays have appeared in Garden & Gun, Wisconsin Review, Poets & Writers, LitHub, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere. His debut novel, Watershed (Hub City, 2019), received favorable reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist, and was awarded the 2019 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction, the 2019 Writers' League...

Quan{if parents:author_name_middle}  Barry

Quan{if parents:author_name_middle} 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....

Jennifer V.O. Baughn

Jennifer V.O. Baughn

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...

Sandra{if parents:author_name_middle}  Beasley

Sandra{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 and cultural history of food...

Johnnie{if parents:author_name_middle}  Bernhard

Johnnie{if parents:author_name_middle} Bernhard

Johnnie Bernhard is the author of four novels and the recipient of the National Press Women 2023 Best Novel and the Association of University Presses 2020 100 Best Books. She served as a TEDx Speaker for the 2020 Fearless Women Series and teaches craft for writing communities across the country.

Kai{if parents:author_name_middle}  Bird

Kai{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 (co-authored with Martin J. Sherwin)....

Richard{if parents:author_name_middle}  Boada

Richard{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Arts and Letters Poetry Award in 2013, 2015, and 2021....

William Boyle

William Boyle

William Boyle is the author of the novels Gravesend, The Lonely Witness, A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself, City of Margins, and Shoot The Moonlight Out (forthcoming November 2021), all available from Pegasus Crime.

Betsy{if parents:author_name_middle}  Bradley

Betsy{if parents:author_name_middle} Bradley

Betsy Bradley has been the director of the Mississippi Museum of Art since 2001. She served previously as the executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission. Bradley received her undergraduate degree in English literature from Millsaps College, and her master's degree with continuing study in English from Vanderbilt University.

Jennifer{if parents:author_name_middle}  Brannock

Jennifer{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 {if parents:author_name_middle}  Brina

Elizabeth Miki {if parents:author_name_middle} 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{if parents:author_name_middle}  Broome

Brian{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Mellon University...

Carolyn J.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Brown

Carolyn J.{if parents:author_name_middle} Brown

Dr. Carolyn J. Brown is a teacher, writer, editor, and independent scholar who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Before moving back to North Carolina last year, she lived in Jackson, Mississippi, for sixteen years. There she wrote five books about Mississippi women with University Press of Mississippi, including award-winning...

Jericho{if parents:author_name_middle}  Brown

Jericho{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Book Award. His second book, ...

Julie K.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Brown

Julie K.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Prize-winning author of Catch...

Mike{if parents:author_name_middle}  Bunn

Mike{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Forgotten Story of the Gulf South...

Tori{if parents:author_name_middle}  Bush

Tori{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 published by University Press of Florida...

Jimmy{if parents:author_name_middle}  Cajoleas

Jimmy{if parents:author_name_middle} Cajoleas

Jimmy Cajoleas was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his MFA from the University of Mississippi and is the author of five novels for children and young adults. He now lives in New York.

Tracy{if parents:author_name_middle}  Carr

Tracy{if parents:author_name_middle} Carr

Tracy Carr is the Mississippi Center for the Book Director and the Library Services Director at the Mississippi Library Commission.

Brian{if parents:author_name_middle}  Castner

Brian{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 the Ways We Kill and Die<...

Adam{if parents:author_name_middle}  Clay

Adam{if parents:author_name_middle} Clay

Adam Clay is the author of To Make Room for the Sea (Milkweed Editions, 2020), Stranger (Milkweed Editions, 2016), A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed Editions, 2012), and The Wash (Parlor Press, 2006). A fifth book of poems, Circle Back,...

M Shelly{if parents:author_name_middle}  Conner

M Shelly{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 intersections. Her debut novel everyman (Blackstone Publishing)...

Karen L.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Cox

Karen L.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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, CNN, TIME, and more. Dr. Cox regularly...

James R.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Crockett

James R.{if parents:author_name_middle} Crockett

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...

Susan{if parents:author_name_middle}  Cushman

Susan{if parents:author_name_middle} Cushman

Susan Cushman is author of five books: two novels, John and Mary Margaret and Cherry Bomb; two memoirs, Pilgrim Interrupted and Tangles and Plaques; A Mother and Daughter Face Alzhimer's; and a short story collection, Friends of the Library<...

Patrick{if parents:author_name_middle}  Dean

Patrick{if parents:author_name_middle} Dean

Patrick Dean lives, works, and plays in and around Monteagle, Tennessee. He has written speeches for Congressional candidates, taught inner-city high-school English, and earned a master's degree in theology.  Since 2012, Patrick has been a free-lance writer, social-media content creator, and website designer. He is also the executive director of...

Roy{if parents:author_name_middle}  DeBerry

Roy{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Alda P.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Dobbs

Alda P.{if parents:author_name_middle} Dobbs

Alda P. Dobbs is the author of the historical novels Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna and its followup, The Other Side of the River (September 2022). Her debut novel received a Pura Belpre Honor and is a Texas Bluebonnet Master List selection. Alda was born in a...

Deborah D.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Douglas

Deborah D.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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, Columbia University, Urgent Action Fund in South Africa...

Lee{if parents:author_name_middle}  Durkee

Lee{if parents:author_name_middle} Durkee

Lee Durkee is the author of Stalking Shakespeare (Scribner), a memoir about his decades long search for an authentic portrait of Will Shakespeare. He has also published the novels The Last Taxi Driver (Tin House) and Rides of the Midway (WW...

John T.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Edge

John T.{if parents:author_name_middle} Edge

John T Edge hosts the television show TrueSouth (SEC Network, ESPN, & Hulu), now in its sixth season, and serves Garden & Gun as a columnist. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South<...

Helen{if parents:author_name_middle}  Ellis

Helen{if parents:author_name_middle} Ellis

Helen Ellis is the author of five books including the New York Times bestselling American Housewife and Southern Lady Code. She writes humor for Garden & Gun and The New Yorker. Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City.

Anjali{if parents:author_name_middle}  Enjeti

Anjali{if parents:author_name_middle} 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, Longreads, The Georgia Review, Guernica, Al Jazeera,...

W. Ralph{if parents:author_name_middle}  Eubanks

W. Ralph{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Beth Ann{if parents:author_name_middle}  Fennelly

Beth Ann{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Brazil. Fennelly...

William R.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Ferris

William R.{if parents:author_name_middle} Ferris

William Ferris is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1997-2001), Ferris has written or edited 16 books and created 15 documentary films. He co-edited with Charles Wilson the Encyclopedia...

Tim{if parents:author_name_middle}  Fielder

Tim{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Gilbert{if parents:author_name_middle}  Ford

Gilbert{if parents:author_name_middle} 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....

Tom{if parents:author_name_middle}  Franklin

Tom{if parents:author_name_middle} Franklin

Tom Franklin is the New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include Poachers, Hell at the Breech, and ...

Monika{if parents:author_name_middle}  Gehlawat

Monika{if parents:author_name_middle} Gehlawat

Monika Gehlawat is Associate Director of the School of Humanities and Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi where she teaches courses on contemporary and world literature, critical theory, and visual art. She is most recent recipient of the Moorman Distinguished Professorship which she will hold from 2023-2025....

Ellen{if parents:author_name_middle}  Gilchrist

Ellen{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 received numerous other awards for her...

Melissa{if parents:author_name_middle}  Ginsburg

Melissa{if parents:author_name_middle} Ginsburg

Melissa Ginsburg is author of the poetry collections Doll Apollo and Dear Weather Ghost, the novels The House Uptown and Sunset City, and three poetry chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Guernica, Image, West Branch, and many other magazines. She teaches...

Phillip {if parents:author_name_middle}  Gordon

Phillip {if parents:author_name_middle} 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 published essays...

Michael{if parents:author_name_middle}  Gorra

Michael{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of...

John Caleb{if parents:author_name_middle}  Grenn

John Caleb{if parents:author_name_middle} Grenn

John Caleb Grenn, a native of Hattiesburg, MS and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, loves books. In early 2020, he started the Instagram-based "Coronavirus Book Club" that has virtually promoted primarily debut authors, connecting them with readers from around the world. He is a physician in Jackson, MS practicing...

Jeff{if parents:author_name_middle}  Guinn

Jeff{if parents:author_name_middle} 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.

Sarah Frances{if parents:author_name_middle}  Hardy

Sarah Frances{if parents:author_name_middle} Hardy

A resident of Oxford, Mississippi, Sarah Frances Hardy is a retired lawyer and (not retired) fine artist who has redirected her creative juices towards writing and illustrating children's books. Her published work includes Puzzled by Pink, Paint Me!, and Dress Me!. She will be debuting...

Kristin{if parents:author_name_middle}  Harmel

Kristin{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 been translated into 29 languages, is also the co-founder and...

Gregg{if parents:author_name_middle}  Harper

Gregg{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 healthcare, energy, transportation, and telecommunications....

Lee{if parents:author_name_middle}  Harper

Lee{if parents:author_name_middle} Harper

Maker of small things in Oxford, MS

Derrick{if parents:author_name_middle}  Harriell

Derrick{if parents:author_name_middle} Harriell

Derrick Harriell is the Ottilie Schillig Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi where he directs the African American Studies program. His previous poetry collections include Stripper in Wonderland, Come Kingdom, Cotton, and Ropes, winner of the 2014 Mississippi Institute of...

Kristy Woodson{if parents:author_name_middle}  Harvey

Kristy Woodson{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 school of journalism, her writing has...

Lauren{if parents:author_name_middle}  Hough

Lauren{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Erika Howard

Erika Howard

Erika Howard leads the direction for impact and public programs for the documentary series. She joined FRONTLINE from POV/American Documentary, where she served as the Senior Director of Station Marketing and Audience Engagement, and created engagement campaigns and partnerships for such titles as Dark Money, Bill Nye: Science Guy,...

Howard{if parents:author_name_middle}  Hunter

Howard{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 is his...

Melissa{if parents:author_name_middle}  Iwai

Melissa{if parents:author_name_middle} 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.

Tiffany D.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Jackson

Tiffany D.{if parents:author_name_middle} Jackson

Tiffany D. Jackson is the NYT Bestselling author of YA novels including the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning Monday’s Not Coming, the NAACP Image Award-nominated Allegedly, Let Me Hear A Rhyme, Grown, and her forthcoming 2021 titles Blackout, White Smoke, and ...

Ashley M.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Jones

Ashley M.{if parents:author_name_middle} Jones

Ashley M. Jones holds an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University, and she is the author of Magic City Gospel and dark / / thing. Her poetry has earned several awards, including the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, the Silver Medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, the Lena-Miles Wever Todd...

Robert{if parents:author_name_middle}  Jones, Jr.

Robert{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Marisa{if parents:author_name_middle}  Kwiatkowski

Marisa{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 and her IndyStar colleagues earned national and state...

Mitch{if parents:author_name_middle}  Landrieu

Mitch{if parents:author_name_middle} Landrieu

Mitch Landrieu is an American Politician, Lawyer, author, speaker, nonprofit leader and CNN political commentator. He served as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans (2010-2018). Landrieu gained national prominence for his powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, which also earned him the prestigious John F....

Anne Geddie{if parents:author_name_middle}  Landrum

Anne Geddie{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 ago they retired and founded...

Mike{if parents:author_name_middle}  Landrum

Mike{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Ariel {if parents:author_name_middle}  Lawhon

Ariel {if parents:author_name_middle} 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 have been...

Robert E.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Luckett, Jr.

Robert E.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Center at Jackson...

John F.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Marszalek III

John F.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Queer Voices of the...

Melissa M.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Martin

Melissa M.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 some of the...

Michael{if parents:author_name_middle}  Massing

Michael{if parents:author_name_middle} Massing

Michael Massing is a former executive editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The American Prospect, Politico, The Guardian, and The...

Elizabeth{if parents:author_name_middle}  McCain

Elizabeth{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 tales are about her Mississippi roots,...

Chris{if parents:author_name_middle}  McLaughlin

Chris{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 {if parents:author_name_middle}  McNair

Lisa {if parents:author_name_middle} 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.

Jerry{if parents:author_name_middle}  Mitchell

Jerry{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 agencies. A winner of a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant and more...

Jennifer{if parents:author_name_middle}  Moffett

Jennifer{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 included Arthur and Disney’s Doug, she received...

Allison{if parents:author_name_middle}  Moorer

Allison{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 been nominated for Academy, Grammy, Americana Music Association, and Academy...

Michael{if parents:author_name_middle}  Morris

Michael{if parents:author_name_middle} Morris

Michael Morris is the director of public engagement at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, where he has worked since 2016. Previously, Morris worked at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute on Citizenship and Democracy and the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University (JSU). He earned his BA in history...

William H.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Morris

William H.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Scott{if parents:author_name_middle}  Naugle

Scott{if parents:author_name_middle} Naugle

In addition to serving on the book festival board of directors since the very beginning, Scott is a member of the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. He is also co-owner of Pass Christian Books/Cat Island Coffeehouse in Pass Christian and Gulfport. Before all...

Aimee{if parents:author_name_middle}  Nezhukumatathil

Aimee{if parents:author_name_middle} Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatahil is the author of the NYT bestselling book of nature essays, World of Wonders, which was named Barnes and Noble's Book of the Year and finalist for the Kirkus Prize-and four books of poetry, most recently, Oceanic. Awards for her writing include Guggenheim and...

Chris  Offutt

Chris Offutt

Chris Offutt is the author of the novels The Killing Hills, Country Dark, and The Good Brother, the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories...

Martin{if parents:author_name_middle}  Padgett

Martin{if parents:author_name_middle} 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{if parents:author_name_middle}  Pakron

Timothy{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Mississippi Vegan, merging...

Dustin{if parents:author_name_middle}  Parsons

Dustin{if parents:author_name_middle} Parsons

Dustin Parsons is the author of Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, With Diagrams. His work appears recently in The Georgia Review, Brevity, Waxwing, and many other magazines. He teaches writing and literature at the University of Mississippi.

Torrey{if parents:author_name_middle}  Peters

Torrey{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Masker. Peters holds...

Ashleigh Bryant{if parents:author_name_middle}  Phillips

Ashleigh Bryant{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 first book.

Gin{if parents:author_name_middle}  Phillips

Gin{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Kingdom, was named one of...

Deesha{if parents:author_name_middle}  Philyaw

Deesha{if parents:author_name_middle} Philyaw

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for...

Charles{if parents:author_name_middle}  Pickering

Charles{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Southern District of Mississippi for 13 years before being appointed to...

Catherine{if parents:author_name_middle}  Pierce

Catherine{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Mississippi Institute...

Ty{if parents:author_name_middle}  Pinkins

Ty{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Sleeping in the...

Christian{if parents:author_name_middle}  Pinnen

Christian{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Mississippi, specifically the Natchez District. His...

Brian A.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Pugh

Brian A.{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Administration, Governor’s Office,...

Marshall {if parents:author_name_middle}  Ramsey

Marshall {if parents:author_name_middle} Ramsey

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...

Meg{if parents:author_name_middle}  Reid

Meg{if parents:author_name_middle} Reid

Meg Reid is the Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A book designer and editor, she also writes extensively about all areas of design. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from University of North Carolina Wilmington and moved to Spartanburg in 2013. She lives in a bungalow...

Nathaniel{if parents:author_name_middle}  Rich

Nathaniel{if parents:author_name_middle} Rich

Nathaniel Rich is the author of Losing Earth, a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and the winner of national awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Institute of Physics. His most recent book, Second Nature, longlisted for the...

Lyn{if parents:author_name_middle}  Roberts

Lyn{if parents:author_name_middle} Roberts

Lyn Roberts has been a bookseller at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi since 1988. Sometime after that she became the general manager of what is now four stores on five floors in three buildings on Oxford's town square in the center of town. She lives in Taylor with her husband Douglas.

Ellen Hunter{if parents:author_name_middle}  Ruffin

Ellen Hunter{if parents:author_name_middle} Ruffin

Ellen Hunter Ruffin, associate professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, has been curator of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection since 2006. She has served on the Newbery Medal Committee, the Children's Literature Legacy Award, and the Schneider Family Book Award. She also serves as an administrator of the Ezra...

Maurice Carlos {if parents:author_name_middle}  Ruffin

Maurice Carlos {if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Gordy{if parents:author_name_middle}  Sauer

Gordy{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Studio Center. A lifelong...

Carrie{if parents:author_name_middle}  Seim

Carrie{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

George{if parents:author_name_middle}  Singleton

George{if parents:author_name_middle} Singleton

George Singleton has published ten collections of stories, two novels, and a book of writing advice. Over 250 of his stories have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Esquire, Story, One Story, Playboy, the Georgia Review, Zoetrope, Southern Review, South Carolina Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He's received...

Katy Simpson{if parents:author_name_middle}  Smith

Katy Simpson{if parents:author_name_middle} Smith

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She is the author of the novels The Story of Land and Sea, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and one of Vogue's Best Books of 2014; Free Men; and ...

Seetha{if parents:author_name_middle}  Srinivasan

Seetha{if parents:author_name_middle} Srinivasan

Seetha Srinivasan is director emerita of the University Press of Mississippi. She joined the press in 1980 as its first acquiring editor and advanced to become director in 1998, from which position she retired in 2008. Srinivasan played a leading role in establishing the excellence of UPM's editorial program with its national reputation...

Deanne Love{if parents:author_name_middle}  Stephens

Deanne Love{if parents:author_name_middle} 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{if parents:author_name_middle}  St. John

Katherine{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Nic{if parents:author_name_middle}  Stone

Nic{if parents:author_name_middle} 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...

Sarah Story

Sarah Story

A forward-thinking arts professional and Jackson native, Sarah Story became executive director of Mississippi Arts Commission in November 2020. She leads the state agency in its mission to be a catalyst for the arts and creativity in Mississippi. Story believes the arts are essential because they bring people from diverse lifestyles...

Danielle Bishop{if parents:author_name_middle}  Stoulig

Danielle Bishop{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Assistant...

Heather Marie{if parents:author_name_middle}  Stur

Heather Marie{if parents:author_name_middle} Stur

Dr. Heather Marie Stur is a professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and a senior fellow in USM’s 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...

Annalyn {if parents:author_name_middle}  Swan

Annalyn {if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Newsweek and a former music...

Don{if parents:author_name_middle}  Tate

Don{if parents:author_name_middle} 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, with book...

Angie{if parents:author_name_middle}  Thomas

Angie{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 degree in Hip Hop....

Sami{if parents:author_name_middle}  Thomason-Fyke

Sami{if parents:author_name_middle} 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

Wright{if parents:author_name_middle}  Thompson

Wright{if parents:author_name_middle} Thompson

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

Eric{if parents:author_name_middle}  Tribunella

Eric{if parents:author_name_middle} 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. He is a Professor of English at the University of Southern...

Heather{if parents:author_name_middle}  Truett

Heather{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 hometown with Loretta Lynn, and...

Vincent J. Venturini

Vincent J. 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 University of Alabama (Ph...

Marisel{if parents:author_name_middle}  Vera

Marisel{if parents:author_name_middle} 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.

Dawnie{if parents:author_name_middle}  Walton

Dawnie{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Weekly, she has received fellowships...

Lawrence{if parents:author_name_middle}  Wells

Lawrence{if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Review. Author of two historical novels, ...

Karen {if parents:author_name_middle}  White

Karen {if parents:author_name_middle} 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 Night the Lights Went Out, and Flight Patterns....

Rebecca Lee Wiggs

Rebecca Lee Wiggs

Rebecca Lee Wiggs is a member of Butler Snow's litigation department and is an experienced trial attorney who now focuses her practice on pharmaceutical product liability litigation. She tried over 40 cases to jury verdicts in state and federal courts in Mississippi. She served on teams defending manufacturers of prescription and...

Curtis{if parents:author_name_middle}  Wilkie

Curtis{if parents:author_name_middle} 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.

Ashley{if parents:author_name_middle}  Woodfolk

Ashley{if parents:author_name_middle} Woodfolk

has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University and worked in children’s book publishing for over a decade. Now a full-time mom and writer, Ashley lives in a sunny Brooklyn apartment with her cute husband, her cuter dog, and the...

Jerid P.{if parents:author_name_middle}  Woods (Akili Nzuri)

Jerid P.{if parents:author_name_middle} Woods (Akili Nzuri)

Jerid P. Woods, also known as Akili Nzuri, is a writer, educator, Ph.D. Candidate, and literary influencer. He was born and raised in Natchez, Ms, and survives on an unwavering commitment to igniting a passion for reading in the youth; he also exists as a living testimony to the...

Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Sun Is Also a Star and Everything, Everything, both of which were turned into major motion pictures. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn and lives in Los Angeles with her husband...