March 12, 2009

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will celebrate writer Eudora Welty's 100th birthday with a series of events March 17 and 18.

"Eudora Welty was a great American writer, and a wonderful photographer as well," said Harriet Pollack, professor of English at Bucknell and event convener. "The variety of her work, its comedy, its lyricism, its many voices are stunning contributions to 20th century American women's literature and to modernism generally."

Three events, all free and open to the public, are scheduled in the Smith Library of the Vaughan Literature Building at Bucknell:

• Tuesday, March 17, 11:45 a.m.: A panel discussion about Welty literature, life and criticism with Suzanne Marrs, Millsaps College; Rebecca Mark, Tulane University; and Harriet Pollack, Bucknell.

• Tuesday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.: "Writing Biography: Eudora Welty, The Woman and the Myths," a presentation by Suzanne Marrs. Marrs is the author of Eudora Welty, A Biography, selected as an Editor's Choice by The New York Times Book Review and as  "Best of 2005" by The Chicago Tribune, as well as One Writer's Imagination: The Fiction of Eudora Welty.

• Wednesday, March 18, 4 p.m.: "You Got a Fire on in Here?" Or Deviling Details in "The Demonstrators" and "Where is the Voice Coming From," a discussion by Rebecca Mark of Welty's stories responding to the racial trauma that occurred in Mississippi in the 1960s, including the murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Mark is the author of The Dragon's Blood: Feminist Intertextuality in Eudora Welty's The Golden Apples and the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The South.

l. to r.: Suzanne Marrs, Rebecca Mark, Harriet PollackRelated exhibits, class events
The Bertrand Library at Bucknell is hosting an exhibit of Welty photographs, artifacts and books in the library lobby and in the display area around the central stairwell on the Main Level until March 27.

The Bucknell Bookstore display features Welty's Collected Stories and Marrs' biography.

In addition to the talks and the exhibits, several special class events are also planned. The Centennial celebration is supported by the University Lectureship Committee, the Department of English and the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library.

National celebration
Pollack is directing a national celebration, the Eudora Welty Society Conference and Celebration April 16 to 19 in Welty's homeplace of Jackson, Miss.

This conference will bring more than 30 speakers from universities around the world to present in 10 panel discussions. It co-ordinates with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History that houses Welty manuscripts, correspondence and photographs; The Southern Literary Festival at Millsaps College that is hosting writers including Richard Ford, Ann Patchett and Elizabeth Spenser at the celebration; the Eudora Welty Foundation sponsoring a concert in which women songwriters including Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kate Campbell will perform work inspired by Welty's fictions; New Stage Theatre performing Welty's "The Ponder Heart"; the Mississippi Museum of Art bringing the City Museum of New York photo exhibit, "Eudora Welty in New York", recreating her 1936 gallery show; and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performing music from her fiction and new music responding to her fiction, including James Sclater's Concerto for Orchestra, subtitled "Images from Welty." See the conference program at

Pollack also is co-chairing two Welty at 100 panels at the American Literature Association meeting in Boston May 21-23. For other events, nationwide, see

Contact: Division of Communications


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