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...

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...

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...

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....

Jennifer V.O. Baughn

Jennifer V.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...

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...

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...

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...

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 Bradley

Betsy 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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Jimmy Cajoleas

Jimmy 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 Carr

Tracy Carr

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

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

John T. Edge

John T. Edge

John T Edge, who lives and works in Oxford, has written or edited more than a dozen books including The Potlikker Papers. A history of the modern South, told through food, the book was named to more than a dozen “best book of the year” lists. Edge directs the...

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...

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...

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...

William Ferris

William 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...

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...

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...

Melissa Ginsburg

Melissa Ginsburg

Melissa Ginsburg is the author of the novels The House Uptown and Sunset City, the poetry collection Dear Weather Ghost, and two poetry chapbooks, Arbor and Double Blind. A second poetry collection, Doll Apollo, will be published in 2022 by LSU Press, and the poetry chapbook Apollo...

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 of a...

John Caleb Grenn

John Caleb 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...

Sarah Frances Hardy

Sarah Frances Hardy

Sarah Frances Hardy is the author/illustrator of three children’s picture books: Puzzled by Pink, Paint Me!, and Dress Me!. When she’s not in her Oxford, Mississippi, studio painting and creating, Sarah Frances spends her time volunteering with the Friends...

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...

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.

Derrick Harriell

Derrick Harriell

Derrick Harriell is the author of Stripper in Wonderland (LSU Press, 2017). He is an Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi.

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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.

Ashley M. Jones

Ashley M. 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...

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...

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...

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....

Mitch Landrieu

Mitch 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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Michael Massing

Michael 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...

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...

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.

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...

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,...

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...

Michael Morris

Michael 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...

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...

Scott Naugle

Scott Naugle

Scott Naugle is the co-owner of Pass Christian Books/Cat Island Coffeehouse on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is the President of Consumer Solutions for BXS Insurance, a division of BancorpSouth. Scott is a graduate of Penn State University, Millsaps College, and Tulane University....

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...

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...

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...

Dustin Parsons

Dustin 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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Marshall  Ramsey

Marshall 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...

Meg Reid

Meg 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...

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,...

Lyn Roberts

Lyn 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...

Ellen Hunter Ruffin

Ellen Hunter 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...

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...

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...

Seetha Srinivasan

Seetha 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Wright Thompson

Wright Thompson

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

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. He...

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,...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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.

Jerid P. Woods (Akili Nzuri)

Jerid P. Woods (Akili Nzuri)

Jerid P. Woods, also known as Akili Nzuri, is a writer, educator, PhD Candidate, and literary influencer. He was born and raised in Natchez, MS and survives on an unwavering passion to ignite a love for reading in the youth. He exists as a living testimony to the power of shared...

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