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Wednesday Table Talk to feature 'goodwill ambassador'


Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Patricia Neely-Dorsey



Special to The Dispatch



The Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library welcomes Tupelo-based Patricia Neely-Dorsey to its April 9 Table Talk presentation. The author, who sees herself as a "goodwill ambassador" for Mississippi and the South, will read from and discuss her two books, "Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia" and "My Magnolia Memories and Musings." 


After graduating from Tupelo High School, Neely-Dorsey ventured north to Boston University where she received her undergraduate degree in psychology. She also received the nicknames "Tupelo" and "Mississippi" from her classmates -- and the distinction of being the one who introduced them to a more positive view of her home state and the South. 


"There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the South in general. I wanted to show the flip side of the coin," related Neely-Dorsey. "There is much to love about this much maligned and misunderstood part of the country." 


Neely-Dorsey spent her professional career in Memphis, Tenn., where she worked in the mental health field for almost 20 years. Then, like many Southerners, she felt the pull of home, returned to the red-clay hills of Tupelo, and began shaping her memories of Mississippi into poetry. Her first book of poems appeared in 2008; her second in 2012. 


"I travel all around my state speaking at schools, churches, libraries and various civic organizations, delivering the message of a positive Mississippi and a positive southern experience," said Neely-Dorsey, an active member of the international service organization Kappa Alpha Kappa Sorority. 


"We hope that you can join us to celebrate the South with Patricia," said Friends member Jo Shumake. "How can you not enjoy works with titles like 'Country Breakfast' or 'Shelling Peas'?"  


Table Talks will be presented on Wednesdays in April at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, 314 Seventh St. N. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for those wishing to bring their lunch and socialize before the program begins at noon. The Friends will serve iced tea.



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