[percy-l] 2004 Oxford Conference for the Book dedicated to Walker Percy

Henry Mills hpmills3 at austin.rr.com
Sat Mar 6 18:23:10 EST 2004

Dear Percy-L:

For those of you interested, the 2004 Oxford Conference for the Book is
dedicated to Walker Percy and will be held April 1-4 at the University of

I¹ve pasted below the general announcement.  For more details go to:

Looks like a great celebration all around with some interesting talks on

Henry Mills  

Oxford Conference for the Book Announcement
Notable authors, editors, publishers, and others in the trade as well as
educators, literacy advocates, readers, and book lovers will gather for the
11th Oxford Conference for the Book, set for April 1-4, 2004. The program
will begin on Thursday afternoon with two sessions and a special conference
edition of Thacker Mountain Radio and continue through Sunday afternoon with
addresses, panels, and readings.

The 2004 conference will be dedicated to author Walker Percy (1916-1990) in
recognition of his contributions to American letters. Author and editor Paul
Elie will present a lecture on Percy. A panel with the author's daughter
Mary Pratt Percy Lobdell, grandson Robert Livingston Lobdell, William Jay
Smith, and Patricia Sullivan, English professor at the University of
Colorado, will discuss Percy's life and work. Dr. Luke Lampton will give a
presentation about his extensive collection of Percy's writings.

Another special part of the 2004 conference will be the celebration of
Mildred D. Taylor Day in Mississippi. The April 2 program will bring young
readers, teachers, parents, and others together to recognize the
achievements of this outstanding author.

Participating in the annual session celebrating National Poetry Month will
be Jonathan Galassi, author of two poetry volumes Morning Run and North;
William Jay Smith, poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (the
position now known as the U.S. Poet Laureate) and author of ten collections
of poetry; and Graham Lewis, whose poems are collected in Forever Came
Today. Poets Beth Ann Fennelly, Ann Fisher-Wirth, and Tom House will also
read at the conference.

Among the notable fiction writers scheduled to read and talk about their
work are Kaye Gibbons, whose seventh novel, Divining Women, will be
published this spring; Beverly Lowry, author of six novels and two
nonfiction books, Crossed Over and Her Dream of Dreams; and Margaret
McMullan, author of two new books, In My Mother's House and How I Found the
Strong; and Bruce Murkoff, whose first novel, Waterborne, wasa recently
published. Barry Hannah, David Galef, and Tom Franklin, who teach creative
writing at the University, will also be on hand to discuss fiction, as will
Amy Stolls, program officer in the literature division of the National
Endowment for the Arts.

Ole Miss journalism professor Curtis Wilkie will moderate a session on
writing from the world's hot spots with journalists Tom Bissell (Chasing the
Sea), Alan Huffman (Mississippi in Africa), and Sebastian Junger,
best-selling author of The Perfect Storm. Newsweek managing editor Jon
Meacham will discuss his Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an
Epic Friendship, and Gail Collins, editorial page editor of the New York
Times will talk about her new book, American Women: 400 Years of Dolls,
Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. Other nonfiction authors also scheduled
are Roy Blount Jr., one of America's best-known humorists; this year's
Grisham writer, Janisse Ray; Ben McClelland, author of the memoir Soldier's
Son; and two Mississippi natives: University alumnus Ralph Eubanks, author
of Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey into Mississippi's Dark Past; and Julia
Reed, home to celebrate the publication of her first book, Queen of the
Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomenon. This year's Grisham writer,
Janisse Ray, will read from her work and moderate a panel with author Tony
Dunbar and publisher Randall Williams.

The hour-long live Thacker Mountain Radio Show will feature a program of
music by the house band and visiting musicians as well as readings by
visiting authors. Another program of literature and music will be presented
by Reckon Crew, who will perform selections from William Faulkner's As I Lay
Dying, Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies, Connie May Fowler's Remembering
Blue, and other works of fiction they have translated to the musical stage.
Reckon Crew members are Tommy Goldsmith, an editor at the Raleigh News and
Observer; poet and folk singer Tom House, author of a new poetry collection
The World according to Whiskey; and Karren Pell, a country music songwriter,
producer, performer, and author of Alabama Troubadour.

The conference is open to the public without charge. To assure seating
space, those interested in attending should preregister through the Center's
Web site (http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/south). Reservations and advance
payment are required for three optional events honoring conference speakers:
a cocktail buffet at Isom Place ($50), a cocktail party at Off Square Books
($25), and a country dinner at Taylor Catfish ($25).

Conference sponsors include the Center for the Study of Southern Culture,
Department of English, Department of Journalism, John Davis Williams
Library, Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, John and Renée Grisham
Visiting Writers Fund, Barksdale Reading Institute, Sarah Isom Center for
Women, Junior Auxiliary of Oxford, Lafayette County Literacy Council, and
Square Books. The 2004 conference is partially funded by the University of
Mississippi, a contribution from the R&B Feder Foundation for the Beaux
Arts, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tribal State
Compact Fund, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and the Yoknapatawpha Arts

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