Eudora Welty gets first marker on Mississippi writers trail
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Mississippi has a lot of markers. They note a blues trail. They note a country music trail. They note a civil rights trail. It even has a marker for an Indian mound trail.
Now the state is starting a writers trail. This comes with the dedication of a new marker. It is for the late author Eudora Welty.
Gov. Phil Bryant and National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jon Parrish Peede dedicated the first marker. They did this last Monday. The marker is at Welty's home. It is in Jackson. Some of Welty's relatives also took part in the ceremony.
Welty died in 2001. She was 92. She was a writer. She wrote novels. She also wrote short stories. She produced a body of work heavily influenced by Mississippi. This included a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. That novel is "The Optimist's Daughter."
Welty was also noted for her photography. It was of rural Mississippi. The photos were taken during the Great Depression.
The writers trail is planned to mark notable sites. These are related to authors. They are found across Mississippi. The second marker will be for Jesmyn Ward. She is a two-time National Book Award winner. She lives and works in DeLisle. It is a coastal community.
"Our state has a rich and evolving literary legacy. It has long been recognized on a national scale." That's according to Malcolm White. He is executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission.
"The Mississippi Writers Trail shines a spotlight on the state's many contributors to the canon of American literature. It does so in a lasting and interactive way."
Peede is a native of Brandon, Mississippi. He recalled his involvement with the Eudora Welty House. He was a student. He said he was 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 for the dedication program. That was 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."