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Monday, May 1, 2017

Mississippi Center for the Book Announces Creation of New Mississippi Literary Map

The Mississippi Center for the Book, located at the Mississippi Library Commission, is pleased to announce the creation of a new Mississippi Literary Map, funded by a Bicentennial Grant through the Mississippi Humanities Council. Twenty-one Mississippi authors will be represented on the map by a portrait, created by noted Mississippi artist Ginger Williams Cook, known for her illustrative, whimsical portraits. The map will also include many of Mississippi’s most noted writers represented through text. All authors on the map were chosen by a selection committee, and include many prominent as well as often undervalued Mississippi writers. This map is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all Mississippi authors; rather, it is a representative sample of authors from the state who have achieved national attention and awards, such as Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes. The last literary map was created in the mid-90s.

Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, will unveil the map at the third annual Mississippi Book Festival on August 19, 2017 at the Mississippi State Capitol. “This being Mississippi’s bicentennial makes it the perfect opportunity to look back and celebrate the state’s literary treasures as well as recognize some overlooked authors,” said Tracy Carr, Director of Mississippi Center for the Book. “It is beyond exciting that Dr. Hayden open the Mississippi Book Festival by unveiling the map,” Carr said. Maps will be available free of charge to the general public at the Mississippi Book Festival.

The Mississippi Center for the Book is the state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, a national program that promotes books, libraries, literacy, and reading. The Mississippi Center for the Book, housed at the Mississippi Library Commission since 2000, hosts statewide programs such as Letters About Literature, a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12; creates programming opportunities for public libraries such as the popular Book Club in a Box program; participates in the Mississippi Book Festival and National Book Festival; and creates special projects, such as Bicentennial Bingo.

The Mississippi Library Commission supports innovative programs and initiatives to strengthen and enhance library services for all Mississippians. The agency is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, with additional funding provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services under provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), offering leadership in library services, advocacy, and training for library professionals and paraprofessionals.

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