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  • Eudora Welty Foundation
  • Jeanne B. Luckett, Communications Consultant

The Eudora Welty Foundation works collaboratively with many educational, literary, and arts organizations to promote the study of Welty's literary and photographic legacy and to encourage reading and writing. The Foundation presents events and develops resources for students, teachers, scholars, and the general public to further their knowledge and appreciation of Welty. It also assists the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in the preservation of the Welty House and Garden.

Salman Rushdie Presents Inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture to Sold-Out Crowd

World-renowned author Salman Rushdie presented the inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture to an appreciative audience of more than 1,250 at the Washington National Cathedral in October 2016. The endowed lecture is sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation in collaboration with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and has been generously supported by Martha Dowd Dalrymple and the family of Eudora Welty.

Author and Professor of English at George Mason University Susan Richards Shreve, chairwoman of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and member of the Welty Foundation National Advisory Board, welcomed the audience. Natasha Trethewey, 2012–14 US Poet Laureate, introduced Rushdie and also offered a moving tribute to Welty.

Rushdie spoke of the early influences in India and England on his writing career in keeping with the lecture's theme, which was based on Welty's memoir, One Writer's Beginnings, initially delivered as lectures at Harvard University in 1983. The 2017 Welty Lecture will be held in November in Washington, DC; the author/lecturer will be announced soon. Visit for the latest details.

Playwright Beth Henley Delivers Third Annual Bettye Jolly Lecture

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley offered the 2017 Bettye Jolly Lecture in March in the Eudora Welty Garden. Some 170 fans of this [End Page 119] Jackson, Mississippi, native attended the event, sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation.

Prior to the lecture, actors Sydney Blackwell and Michael Kinslow reprised their roles in a scene from the 2015 New Stage Theatre production of Henley's Crimes of the Heart, directed by John Maxwell and produced by Peter Friedrich, which received not only the Pulitzer but also the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play in 1981.

Henley spoke of her admiration and appreciation of Eudora Welty and shared experiences she had with her. She also revealed what she learned about the theater from her late mother, actor Lydy Becker Caldwell. Suzanne Marrs, Welty Foundation Scholar-in-Residence, led Henley in conversation and discussion with the audience.

The endowed lecture series was created to honor the memory of the late Bettye Jolly of Jackson, a long-time docent at the Eudora Welty House and Garden. Contributions may be made to support the lecture on the Foundation website:

Foundation Presents 2017 Scholastic Writing Awards; Author Kiese Laymon Delivers Keynote Address

From a record 781 entries from 566 students, 238 awards were presented in the 2017 Scholastic Writing Awards program at the Welty House and Garden in April. The Mississippi regional awards recognized five American Voices Medal nominees, nine Senior Portfolio winners, 21 Gold Key winners, 85 Silver Key winners, and 118 Honorable Mention winners, with several students receiving multiple awards.

Kiese Laymon, Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi, was the keynote speaker. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Laymon graduated from Oberlin College and earned an MFA in fiction from Indiana University. The author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays entitled How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, Laymon has a memoir entitled Heavy and a novel, And So On, expected in 2017, both from Scribner.

The Scholastic Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers for which the Eudora Welty Foundation is the Mississippi regional affiliate. The program is administered by the Eudora Welty House and Garden and coordinated by Sally Birdsall. A grant from the C Spire Foundation enables the program to be offered statewide to students in grades 7–12 in public, independent, and home school settings. [End Page 120]

McMullan Family Foundation Expands Young Writers Workshop at Millsaps

The 2017 McMullan Young...


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