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Program of the 31st Annual

Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium 

October 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2019

The theme for this year's symposium is “'But Here I am, and Here I’ll Stay': Claiming Our Place in the South." It is inspired by Eudora Welty's story “Why I Live at the P.O.”

The names below are the list of authors for this year, including when available, links to author websites where you can learn a little more about this year's line-up. Don't forget that we will be selling books during the symposium.

Times listed are approximate start times of each reading—sessions begin at the following times: Thursday 7:30 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. & 1:30 p.m., and Saturday 9:30 a.m.

author of Heavy: An American Memoir

Keynote: October 10, 7:30 p.m.


heavy sm

Kiese Laymon returns to the symposium as the keynote author to read from Heavy: An American Memoir about his life growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, in which he confronts racism, sexism, sexual abuse, child abuse, and many other forms of violence. Heavy is the winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, LA Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and Audible’s Audiobook of the Year. It has also received accolades from the The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Southern Living, and Entertainment Weekly among others. Laymon is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. His two previous books are the novel Long Division and the memoir How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America