Contact: Allison Matthews
STARKVILLE, Miss.—This weekend’s inaugural Mississippi Book Festival at the state capitol will include a number of prominent authors with close Mississippi State University connections.
Free and open to all, the 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday [Aug. 22] event is being called a celebration of both contemporary authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas and imagination. For complete details, visit www.msbookfestival.com.
English professor Michael Kardos, director of the university’s creative writing program, will moderate a session on short stories to begin at 11:30 a.m. He is the award-winning author of “Before He Finds Her” (Mysterious Press, 2015), among other works.
A 2 p.m. session on history and biography features, among others:
—Former Gov. Haley Barbour, author of the just-released “America’s Great Storm: Leading through Hurricane Katrina (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). He also will be at MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library Monday [the 24th] as a continuation of his national book tour.
—Professor Dennis Mitchell, head of MSU-Meridian’s Division of Arts and Sciences and author of “A New History of Mississippi” (University Press of Mississippi, 2014).
—Professor Minion K.C. Morrison, head of the political science and public administration department and author of the just-released “Aaron Henry of Mississippi: Inside Agitator” (The University of Arkansas Press, 2015).
—Alumnus Don Thompson, a College of Forest Resources graduate whose “Stennis: Plowing a Straight Furrow, The Story of Statesman John C. Stennis” was released earlier this year by Oxford-based Nautilus Publishing.
—A 3 p.m. session titled “What Reading Means for Our Culture: Reading, Writing and Journalism’s Influence in Mississippi” will feature MSU accounting alumnus and international bestselling fiction author John Grisham.
—A 4 p.m. session on the Civil War will involve, among others, Michael Ballard, author of “The Civil War in Mississippi: Major Campaigns and Battles” (University Press of Mississippi, 2011). Ballard is an MSU alumnus now retired as the university’s archivist.
—A separate 4 p.m. session on sports and outdoors will feature Sid Salter, MSU’s chief communications officer and author of “Jack Cristil: Voice of the MSU Bulldogs,” first published in 2011 and now being released in limited quantities as a revised edition by University Press of Mississippi.
Portions of the event will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, coordinators said.
Books will be available for purchase throughout the day courtesy of Lemuria Books and Mississippi’s independent bookstores. Authors will sign copies of their books at a signing tent immediately following their respective panel discussions.
MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.