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Welty Writers’ Symposium

October 22 - October 24

U.S. and Mississippi poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey will be the keynote author at the 32nd Annual Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. The world-renowned poet comes to the symposium with her first memoir, “Memorial Drive,” which recounts her early life with her mother and her abusive stepfather that would ultimately lead to her mother’s murder.

Due to concerns over COVID-19, the Symposium will be virtual this year with an audience in Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook through the Welty Symposium group, where viewers can also post questions. The keynote session, including Natasha Trethewey’s reading, will be Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. so as not to conflict with the third Presidential Debate later that evening.

Other featured authors include S.A. Cosby, Randall Horton, Michael Farris Smith, Juyanne James, Sandra Meek, M.O. Walsh, Catherine Pierce, Eden Wales, Claude Wilkinson, Katy Simpson Smith and Beth Kander.

Since there will be no live Welty Gala this year, the /symposium schedule has also been adjusted to include an evening session on Friday. Sessions will take place Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. ‑ noon, 1:30 ‑ 3:30 p.m., and 7 – 9 p.m., as well as Saturday Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. ‑ noon. All times are listed in Central Daylight Time.

Friday afternoon will begin with readings by five Ephemera Prize winners, selected from among over 60 entries from high school students in Mississippi and nearby Alabama. These talented young writers wrote in response to the Symposium theme and Eudora Welty’s “The Wide Net.”

Please see www.muw.ed/welty for more details on each author and watch the live-streamed events at www.facebook.com/groups/weltysymposium. Donations to the scholarships funded by the Welty Gala can be made to the MUW Foundation at www.muw.edu/welty/gala


October 22
October 24