Advertisement

Eudora Welty gets first marker on Mississippi writers trail

|
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 9:38 AM
Gov. Phil Bryant, right, and author Eudora Welty niece Mary Alice Welty White, second from right, admire the inaugural Mississippi Writers Trail marker honoring Welty in Jackson, Miss., Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. The celebrated writer was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor. Welty typically drew upon her native state for the settings of her fiction and photography.
Mary Alice Welty White, a niece of the late author Eudora Welty and former director of the Eudora Welty House, speaks during the ceremony unveiling the inaugural Mississippi Writers Trail marker outside Welty’s house in Jackson, Miss.
A crowd gathers behind the inaugural Mississippi Writers Trail marker honoring author Eudora Welty in Jackson, Miss., Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. The celebrated writer was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor. Welty typically drew upon her native state for the settings of her fiction and photography.
Jon Parrish Peede, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, second from left, joins Gov. Phil Bryant, left, and members of celebrated writer Eudora Welty’s family in unveiling the inaugural Mississippi Writers Trail marker, outside Welty’s house in Jackson, Miss.
Although she preferred manual typewriters, the late celebrated author Eudora Welty, eventually used an electric typewriter, as evidenced by one on her desk in her bedroom office in Jackson, Miss. The inaugural Mississippi Writers Trail marker was unveiled outside Welty’s house in Jackson, Miss.

JACKSON, Miss. – 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.

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

An audience member holds program with a photograph of the late author Eudora Welty, during the ceremony unveiling the inaugural Mississippi Writers Trail marker honoring her, outside Welty’s house in Jackson, Miss.
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

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 recognized 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.”

Jon Parrish Peede, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, speaks about the importance of recognizing influential writers such as Eudora Welty, after the inaugural Mississippi Writers Trail marker is unveiled outside Welty’s house in Jackson, Miss., Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Peede, a Mississippi native, joined Gov. Phil Bryant and Welty family members in the unveiling.
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

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 honoring the literary greats.

Bryant was not listed as a speaker the dedication program 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 after the ceremony that 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.”

Advertisement