August 21, 2011 1:19:00 AM
The 23rd annual Eudora Welty Writers'' Symposium will feature author Judith Ortiz Cofer as keynote speaker on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Rent Auditorium of Whitfield Hall on the campus of Mississippi University for Women.
Cofer has published 12 books of essays, fiction, young adult fiction and poetry, including "Reaching for the Mainland," "The Latin Deli," "A Love Story Beginning in Spanish," and this year "Lessons from a Writer''s Life" and "If I Could Fly." She will read from new and published work.
This year''s Symposium theme is "Crossing Cultures in the South: ''into the lovely room full of strangers,''" which is drawn on a quote from Welty''s story "The Bride of Innisfallen." As part of the theme, the symposium celebrates the role of international writers in Southern literature and the influence of other cultures on Southern writers.
The three-day event, which is free and open to the public, will continue on Friday, Oct. 21, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 22, 8:30 a.m. to noon, with readings by 11 other writers, including Sefi Atta, Jean W. Cash, Joy Castro, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Minrose Gwin, Randall Horton, Pauline Kaldas, Michael Kardos, Michael F. Smith, Latha Viswanathan and John Jianqing Zheng.
More information can be found on the symposium website, muw.edu/welty, or by contacting the director, Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg, at 662-329-7386. The Eudora Welty Symposium is also on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter (@WeltySymposium).
Internationally acclaimed author and journalist Sebastian Junger will be the featured speaker at the Welty Gala held Oct. 21 at MUW during the Welty Writers'' Symposium.
The author of "War" and "A Death in Belmont" topped The New York Times best-seller list for more than three years with "The Perfect Storm," which was later made into a major film by Warner Bros.
His reporting in Afghanistan in 2000 became the subject of the National Geographic documentary "Into the Forbidden Zone." He covered the war as a special correspondent for ABC News and Vanity Fair. The native New Englander''s work has been featured in numerous other publications.
Gala tickets are sold at different levels and offer opportunities for attendees to enjoy a private reception with Junger, along with premium seating during dinner.
Proceeds from the Gala benefit the endowment for the Eudora Welty Chair in Humanities. The Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation is a major sponsor of the Welty Series. For more information, call the Office of Development at 662-329-7148.