The Eudora Welty Foundation continues to be intent on its mission of supporting the public and educational programming of Eudora Welty House and the scholarly use of the Welty Collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History—encouraging the value and pleasure to be derived from reading in general and from reading Welty’s works in particular. The Foundation’s fundraising efforts and resources are directed to such initiatives.
“Welty and the Craft of Writing” Media Resource Kit
With a generous grant from the Feild Co-Operative Association, Inc., the Foundation has duplicated an additional 1,000 copies of “Welty and the Craft of Writing,” the popular media resource kit for teachers. The National Endowment for the Arts/Comcast Foundation-funded resource kit was distributed to 500 teachers in 38 states and three countries during 2011.
The kit will be sent at no charge to teachers who request it. Teachers are asked to fill out an order form for the kit and to complete a short evaluation after using the materials. An order form may be downloaded from the Foundation’s website: www.eudorawelty.org.
The kit contains a DVD of rare films of Welty reading “Why I Live at the P. O.,” “A Worn Path,” and “Petrified Man” as well as interviews with Welty by Richard O. Moore, the producer of the films. The kit also includes a companion interactive CD-Rom with manuscripts, correspondence, and photographs related to each story. A teacher’s guide and bibliography are included on the CD as well as on the Welty Foundation website.
Eudora Welty Playwriting Workshop
Five talented dramatists who were selected by a panel of judges in a nationwide competition participated in the first Eudora Welty Playwriting Workshop, which was conducted by award-winning playwright/director Alfred Uhry in June 2011 at Millsaps College in Jackson. [End Page 167]
Workshop participants included Joshua Harmon, Atlanta, Georgia; Jake Jeppson, New Haven, Connecticut; Andrew Kozma, Houston, Texas; Hana Mironoff, Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Barbara St. Clair, Safety Harbour, Florida.
Working with Uhry over three days, the writers each began adapting a Welty work of his or her choice for the stage. They refined their work during the summer and fall, and three have submitted completed adaptations. Plays based on “Livvie,” “The Wide Net,” and “The Hitch-Hikers” are being reviewed by theater directors with the possibility that one or more will be presented in a staged reading in May 2012.
Uhry, who received a Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award, and an Academy Award for Driving Miss Daisy, adapted Welty’s The Robber Bridegroom for Broadway. He is a member of the National Advisory Board (NAB) of the Welty Foundation, which sponsored the workshop. NAB and Foundation board members generously funded the workshop.
Welty Research Fellowship
Elizabeth Crews, a PhD candidate at Georgia State University in Atlanta and an instructor at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, has completed the first graduate student research fellowship in the Eudora Welty Collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). Sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation, the fellowship opportunity will be offered again in 2012.
Crews’s dissertation is on the concept of home and what it meant to Welty, as evidenced in Delta Wedding and The Optimist’s Daughter. During her internship she studied the earlier manuscripts of these works and the Welty correspondence, especially with Welty’s friend John Robinson and agent Diarmuid Russell. Crews also reviewed some of Welty’s unpublished stories.
A native of New Albany, Mississippi, Crews received her BA and MA in English at Mississippi College. Crews volunteered as a docent at the Welty House in the summers of 2007 and 2008, helping set up the Welty boys’ room and working on the Teachers’ Guide for the “Welty and the Craft of Writing” media resource kit. Read Crews’s report on her Welty Research Fellowship elsewhere in this issue of EWR.
Launch Party for One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place
More than 200 people attended the October 2011 garden party launch of Susan Haltom and Jane Roy Brown’s beautiful book on the Welty garden, [End Page 168] with photographs...