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MISSISSIPPI'S TRAILFEST 2013 EVENTS
 

 
The Southern Literary Trail is supported by the Mississippi Development Authority's Division of Tourism and the Mississippi Humanities Council now celebrating its 40th year.
 
 

Click on a town below for Trailfest event information in that area.  

Natchez     Clarksdale,  Greenville and the Mississippi Delta     Oxford     Columbus     Jackson     New Albany     Como

 

 

Natchez:

February 21-24, 2013
THE NATCHEZ LITERARY AND CINEMA CELEBRATION

Stanton HallRichard WrightThe Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration (NLCC) officially begins Trailfest 2013 in Mississippi with its theme, "Fiction, Fact and Film: The Civil War's Imprint on Southern Culture." Every year since its inception in 1990, the NLCC builds its remarkable menu of films, lectures, discussions, tours, concerts and book signings upon a theme from Southern history. This year, NLCC focuses on the impact and imprints of the Civil War. A complete agenda of NLCC events in one of the South's most historic and picturesque cities awaits its visitors at the Celebration's website, www.colin.edu/nlcc.

Annually two important awards are presented at NLCC. The Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award honors the Natchez-born writer and recognizes writers for a body of literary work. Past recipients include Trail writers Eudora Welty and Margaret Walker Alexander. The Horton Foote Award of the NLCC honors achievements in screenwriting and its recipients include Billy Bob Thornton and Robert Duvall.

Place: Copiah-Lincoln Community College and various Natchez sites
Admission and Registration: Info available at www.colin.edu/nlcc
Phone Info: Call 601.446.1289

 
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Clarksdale, Greenville and the Mississippi Delta:

Sunday, March 17 through Wednesday, March 20, 2013
THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA CULTURAL TOUR

Angel Statue, Tennessee Williams ParkBlues Alley and Delta Ave. street signsEach year literary travelers from across the nation gather for this unique Tour to explore the Delta's writers, books, food and lore. Organized by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture in Oxford, the tour introduces its participants to legendary blues music and unforgettable culinary experiences. The Tour is based in Greenwood with day trips to Southern Literary Trail cities Greenville and Clarksdale. Other Delta stops include Indianola, Leland, Winterville, and Benoit.

Spiced by the region's distinctive food and music, literary discussions will include "William Faulkner's Delta" conducted by Phillip Gordon of the University of Mississippi. The Tour route features a stop at historic Burrus House on Hollywood Plantation in Benoit where Tennessee Williams's screenplay "Baby Doll" was filmed with Carroll Baker in 1956. Marion Barnwell will speak about Walker Percy at the William Alexander Percy Memorial Library in Greenville. Dining experiences include the famed Doe's Eat Place. Group hotel accommodations are available at Greenwood's Alluvian.

Information and Reservations: Call Tour organizer Jimmy Thomas at 662.915.3374
Website: http://southernstudies.olemiss.edu/2012/09/05/ms-delta-literary-tour/ 

Daily
THE WILLIAM ALEXANDER PERCY MEMORIAL LIBRARY AND WRITERS' EXHIBIT

Walker PercyThe William Alexander Percy Memorial Library has organized a permanent exhibit that studies and salutes the famous writers from Greenville including Walker Percy and Shelby Foote. After tragedies took Walker Percy's parents from him, his older cousin William ("Uncle Will") adopted him and his brothers and gave them a home in Greenville. William Alexander Percy wrote "Lanterns on the Levee, Recollections of a Planter's Son."

Place: The William Alexander Percy Memorial Library in Greenville, Ms. at 341 Main Street
Hours: Weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and closed on Sunday
Info: Call 662.335.2331

Thursday, April 18 to Sunday, April 21, 2013
"FENCES" BY AUGUST WILSON AT DELTA CENTER STAGE IN GREENVILLE

August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning play tells the story of Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro Baseball League, who works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. Excluded as a black player from the major leagues, Troy harbors a bitterness that affects his relationships with his wife and son, who wants his own chance to play ball.

Place: Delta Center Stage in Greenville
Time: Performance times vary. Check the theatre's website at www.deltastage.com.
Ticket Prices: Visit the Delta Center Stage website or call 662.378.9849

 
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Oxford:

Thursday, March 21, to Saturday, March 23, 2013
THE OXFORD CONFERENCE FOR THE BOOK

Courthouse SquareThe Oxford Conference for the Book celebrates its 20th year in March 2013 with three days of programs designed to please every anniversary visitor to Faulkner's hometown: readers, writers, journalists, poets, publishers, students, teachers, food lovers and literary enthusiasts. The guest authors include John T Edge ("Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing"), Tom Franklin ("Hell at the Breech"), Ron Rash ("The Cove"), Curtis Wilkie ("The Fall of the House of Zeus") and Vladimir Alexandrov ("The Black Russian").

The opening address will be delivered on Thursday, March 21, 2013, by W. Ralph Eubanks of the Library of Congress. The evening reception (requiring advance registration) will be hosted at the Barksdale-Isom Place in Oxford. For complete information including registration, visit www.oxfordconferenceforthebook.com.

Place: Oxford, Mississippi, and The University of Mississippi
Time: Visit website for schedules
Info: Call 662.915.3376

Through April 6, 2013
INDEPENDENT EXPRESSION: SELF-TAUGHT ART OF THE LATE 20TH CENTURY

Independent Expression: Self-Taught Art of the Late 20th Century ExhibitThe University of Mississippi Museum presents a preview of major artworks donated by noted Los Angeles art collector Gordon W. Bailey, a staunch advocate of Southern vernacular artists. The exhibition was organized by curator James G. Thomas, Jr., one of the State Directors of the Southern Literary Trail and Associate Director for Publications at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Though the artists in the collection were self-taught, Thomas urges that their "creations have a rightful place within the canon of American art." The Southern vernacular art on display weaves a visual literature for the Museum's visitors.

Place: The University of Mississippi Museum at Oxford
Time: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: $5 for general public, $4 for seniors and $3 for children
Info: Call 662.915.7073

Rowan Oak, home of William FaulknerDaily Tours, except Mondays
WILLIAM FAULKNER'S ROWAN OAK

William Faulkner's home Rowan Oak was originally built in 1844 and stands on more than 29 acres of land just south of the Square in Oxford, Mississippi. The property is owned and operated by The University of Mississippi and provides the public a look into the life of one of America's most beloved writers.

Place: Rowan Oak in Oxford, Ms.
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays
Info: Call 662.234.3284 or visit www.rowanoak.com

 
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Columbus:

The First Home of Tennessee Williams and Welcome CenterDaily
THE TENNESSEE WILLIAMS HOME AND WELCOME CENTER

American playwright Tennessee Williams was born in Columbus, Mississippi, in 1911, and spent his early years in an old Victorian home that was a rectory for St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Williams's grandfather, Reverend Walter Dakin, served as the minister for the church. The playwright's first home is now a restored literary landmark that serves as the Welcome Center for the birthplace of the creator of "The Glass Menagerie" and "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Place: The Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center at 300 Main Street, Columbus, Ms.
Time: Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call 662.328.0222

March 31 through April 13, 2013
Antebellum Home in Columbus, MsTHE COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI, SPRING PILGRIMAGE

The Columbus Spring Pilgrimage is an award winning event that has earned its reputation as one of the most authentic home tours in the South. For thirteen days in the early spring, carriage rides and double decker buses transport visitors to the ante-bellum and Victorian Era South. Tours may also be self-guided, beginning at the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center. A complete brochure for the Pilgrimage is available at www.columbus-ms.org.

Place: The Spring Pilgrimage of Columbus, Mississippi
Time: Varies daily from March 31, 2013, through April 13, 2013
Admission: For pricing, see the brochure at www.columbus-ms.org
Info: Call the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center at 662.328.0222

Tennessee WilliamsApril 1 through 13, 2013
"KINGDOM OF EARTH," A PLAY BY TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

A seldom-seen play by Tennessee Williams will be presented in Columbus as a showcase feature of the city's annual pilgrimage of homes. "Kingdom of Earth" was the original title for "The Seven Descents of Myrtle." Legendary Broadway impresario David Merrick produced the first staging of the play in 1968 with Estelle Parsons, who received a Tony nomination. The play was made into the movie "Last of the Mobile Hot Shots" with Lynn Redgrave and James Coburn. It will be performed nightly during the pilgrimage in the old storefront of historic Alford Drug Store at 425 Main Street in Columbus.

Place: 425 Main Street in Columbus
Time: Evenings at 7:30 p.m. except Sunday, April 7, at 2:30 p.m.
Admission: $10 for advance tickets and $15 at the door
Info and Ticket Purchases: Call the Columbus Arts Council at 662.328.2787 or visit www.columbus-arts.org

Wednesday, April 3 to Friday, April 12, 2013
TALES FROM THE CRYPT AT FRIENDSHIP CEMETERY

The Weeping Angel Marker, Friendship Cemetery, Columbus"Tales from the Crypt" during the Columbus Pilgrimage re-creates the lives of noted personalities buried at historic Friendship Cemetery, site of the Confederate Decoration Day that inspired the poem "The Blue and The Gray." Dramatic vignettes at the Cemetery depict prominent local citizens who contributed to the history of Columbus and Mississippi. The event has won the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and was named a national finalist for the Save Our History Classroom Award.

Place: Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, Ms., at 4th Street South and 15th Avenue South
Dates: April 3, 5, 8, 10 and 12
Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults and $3 for students (K-12)
Info: Call the Welcome Center at 662.328.0222

 
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Jackson:

Tuesdays through Fridays
Eudora WeltyTHE EUDORA WELTY HOUSE AND GARDEN

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, author Eudora Welty lived in the Tudor Revival style house at 1119 Pinehurst from 1925 until her death in 2001. It is the home where the author of "Delta Wedding" wrote almost all her fiction and essays. The house and its contents have been carefully preserved as Welty left them. Above all else, among the collections of paintings, photographs, objects d'art and record albums, Welty's thousands of books remain in their original places.

Place: The Welty House and Gardens at 1119 Pinehurst
Time: Tours at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday
Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for students (6 to 18) and free for children under 6
Info: Visit www.eudorawelty.org or call 601.353.7762

Daily, Monday through Friday
The Margaret Walker Alexander National Research Center is located in historic Ayer Hall on the campus of Jackson State UniversityTHE MARGARET WALKER ALEXANDER NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER

Open to the public, the Center was founded as the Institute for the Study of History, Life and Culture of Black People by Margaret Walker ("Jubilee") in 1968. The Center honors the writer's academic and artistic legacy through its archival collections, exhibits and public programs. The collections include her papers and a large oral history department that includes nearly 2000 interviews.

Place: The Margaret Walker Alexander Center at Ayer Hall, Jackson State University
Time: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call 601.979.3935

Friday, April 12, 2013
EUDORA WELTY'S ANNUAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

On the grounds, Welty House GardensThe Tudor-style Eudora Welty HouseThe Eudora Welty House celebrates the writer's birthday with a plant sale (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) that features the half-dozen heirloom camellia varieties represented in her garden. The sale also includes summer heirloom annuals from a Jackson nursery. The 6th grade Honor Choir from the First Presbyterian Day School in the Bellhaven neighborhood kicks off the birthday celebration at 10:00 a.m. with a musical performance. Tours of the House throughout the entire day are free and open to the public. Visitors will be treated to a slice of cake and lemonade on the side porch of the House.

Place: The Eudora Welty House at 1119 Pinehurst St.
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call the House at 601.353.7762

Friday and Saturday, April 12 -13, 2013
Margaret Walker AlexanderTHE 7TH ANNUAL CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL AT JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY PRESENTED BY THE MARGARET WALKER ALEXANDER NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER

The Center's annual Creative Arts Festival at Jackson State University features student performances, panel presentations, and art displays. Poetry and the performing arts are traditional cornerstones of the Festival. This year's theme will be the Legacy of Medgar Evers, whose assassination occurred 50 years ago in 1963.

Place: Jackson State University and the Margaret Walker Alexander Center at Ayer Hall
Time: Varying times on April 12 and 13
Info: Visit the Center's website at www.jsums.edu/margaretwalker or call 601.979.3935.
View schedule of events. View poster.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 to Friday, December 13, 2013
Eudora WeltyTHE MURDER OF MEDGAR EVERS AND "WHERE IS THE VOICE COMING FROM?"
AN EXHIBIT DURING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MEDGAR EVERS ASSASSINATION

2013 is the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Medgar Evers, a shocking murder that stunned Eudora Welty into immediate action. She wrote the haunting "Where is this Voice Coming From?" on the night of June 12, 1963, after hearing of Evers's death. The story captures the hatred and divisive atmosphere in which the tragedy could occur. "Voice" was published in the July 6, 1963, issue of "The New Yorker" magazine. This exhibit in the Eudora Welty Education and Visitors Center adjoining the Eudora Welty House examines the event with haunting correspondences written by Welty about the tragedy.

Place: The Eudora Welty Education and Visitors Center, 1119 Pinehurst St.
For all info: Call the Center at 601.353.7762

 
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New Albany:

Salvia and Bench at The Faulkner Literary GardenDaily, Tuesday through Saturday
THE UNION COUNTY HERITAGE MUSEUM

Mississippi's newest member in the Southern Literary Trail, the Union County Heritage Museum in New Albany honors the town's connections to William Faulkner and Borden Deal with exhibits and a literary garden that features the plants in Faulkner's novels. The Museum and Faulkner Literary Garden are located only one block from Faulkner's birth site. New Albany is considered the town that inspired "The Hamlet" and "The Reivers." A visit to the Museum conjures visions of Yoknapatawpha County.

Place: The Union County Heritage Museum in New Albany, Ms.
Time: Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission: A donation of your choice
Info: Call 662.538.0014

 
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Como:

Como Historical MarkerPress photo of Stark Young, 1948Thursday, March 28, 2013
A TRIBUTE TO STARK YOUNG WITH A LITERARY LANDMARKS MARKER DEDICATION

Born in Como, Stark Young graduated to the ranks of the nation's most cosmopolitan and accomplished literary talents of the 20th Century. He was a poet, playwright and author whose best-selling novel "So Red the Rose" depicts with fiction the Civil War struggles of his own family. With a vast knowledge of theater, Young wrote drama criticism for "The New Republic" and became renowned for his reviews that included critical essays of Tennessee Williams's "The Glass Menagerie" and Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh."

Well versed in numerous languages, Young translated acclaimed English versions of Chekhov's "The Three Sisters," "The Cherry Orchard," and "Uncle Vanya." Endless artistic talents enabled Young to paint landscapes and flowers during a latter chapter of his life. New York exhibits of the writer's artwork received enthusiastic responses from Manhattan's demanding art critics in 1945. Young died in 1963 and was buried in Como's Friendship Cemetery.

Stark Young's gravesite in Friendship Cemetery, ComoThe Southern Literary Trail salutes Como, Mississippi, and its Emily J. Pointer Public Library for a Tribute to Stark Young that will occur on the grounds of the Library on Thursday, March 28, 2013, beginning at noon. At 12:45 p.m., a Literary Landmarks marker will be dedicated on the south lawn. The Tribute program will include "A Visit from Stark Young" with actor Ken Wooten as Young. Karen Wilson, executive director of the Son Edna Foundation in Charleston, Ms., will give the keynote address about literacy in small-town Mississippi. Other presentations include selections from "The Cherry Orchard" in the original Russian and in Young's English translation.

Place: The Emily J. Pointer Public Library in Como, Mississippi
Time: 12 noon on March 28, 2013
Admission: Free
Info: Call 662.526.5283 or visit the Library on Facebook

 
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