CHB Mail - - Tuki Talk -

Mis­sis­sippi has mark­ers not­ing a blues trail, a coun­try mu­sic trail, a civil rights trail and even an In­dian mound trail. Now, with the ded­i­ca­tion of a marker to the late au­thor Eu­dora Welty, the state is start­ing a writ­ers trail.

Gover­nor Phil Bryant and Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Hu­man­i­ties chair­man Jon Par­rish Peede ded­i­cated the first marker this month at Welty’s home in Jack­son. Some of Welty’s rel­a­tives also took part in the cer­e­mony.

A writer of nov­els and short sto­ries, Welty died in 2001 at 92. She pro­duced a body of work heav­ily in­flu­enced by Mis­sis­sippi, in­clud­ing the Pulitzer Prize-win­ning novel, The Op­ti­mist’s Daugh­ter.

Welty was also noted for her pho­tog­ra­phy of ru­ral Mis­sis­sippi dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion.

The writ­ers trail is planned to mark no­table sites re­lated to au­thors across Mis­sis­sippi. The se­cond marker will be for Jes­myn Ward, the two-time Na­tional Book Award win­ner who lives and works in the coastal com­mu­nity of DeLisle.

“Our state has a rich and evolv­ing lit­er­ary legacy, which has long been recog­nised on a na­tional scale,” said Mal­colm White, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mis­sis­sippi Arts Com­mis­sion, in a news re­lease. “The Mis­sis­sippi Writ­ers Trail shines a spot­light on the state’s many con­trib­u­tors to the canon of Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture in a last­ing and in­ter­ac­tive way.”

Peede, a na­tive of Bran­don, Mis­sis­sippi, re­called his in­volve­ment with the Eu­dora Welty House as a stu­dent and be­ing proud of the en­dow­ment’s sup­port for the house. Peede spoke about the im­por­tance of hon­our­ing the lit­er­ary greats.

Bryant was not listed as a speaker the ded­i­ca­tion pro­gramme be­cause of his busy sched­ule, but the gover­nor said he told his staff he was mak­ing time to at­tend such an im­por­tant event. Bryant told re­porters the writ­ers trail and the other mu­sic and civil rights mark­ers help tell the story of Mis­sis­sippi: “This is all about our her­itage, our place and tourism.”

An au­di­ence mem­ber holds a pro­gramme with a pho­to­graph of the late au­thor Eu­dora Welty, dur­ing the cer­e­mony un­veil­ing the inau­gu­ral Mis­sis­sippi Writ­ers Trail.

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