Their names are synonymous with classic American literature. Faulkner. Welty. Williams. Morris. What else do these icons in the world of the written word have in common? Their imaginations were all ignited in their home state of Mississippi.
Launched last year, the new Mississippi Writers Trail honors these literary giants and a host of other authors by setting visitors on a path to their homes and other haunts.
The trail’s first marker—unveiled in August 2018 in conjunction with the Mississippi Book Festival—honors Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty. Welty’s Jackson home is now a museum offering a glimpse into her writing life. Dozens more markers will be placed around the state during the first phase of the trail project, which is supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The complete roster of honorees is still under wraps, but likely names on the list will include Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner, playwright Tennessee Williams, authors Willie Morris and Richard Wright, and poet Margaret Walker Alexander.
The Mississippi Writers Trail has already attracted the attention of media outlets from around the country, including CSPAN and The New York Times. “Mississippi has a big presence in the birth of American culture,” said Mississippi Arts Commission Executive Director Malcolm White to the Times. “The biggest asset is our cultural story, and literature and writing is part of that.”