Associate professor of English and screenwriting Chris Offutt featured many University of Mississippi colleagues and writers in the piece he wrote for the national publication TOWN&COUNTRY, “the authority on the meaning of modern society, and why it matters.”
American Atlas: Oxford, Mississippi
The small town where Faulkner created masterpieces has a larger-than-life reputation as the South’s downhome capital of culture. It’s place where mavericks still congregate—and where tailgating is a fine art.
“Currently making their home in Oxford are a suite of sweet poets: Beth Ann Fennelly and Ann Fisher-Wirth, along with newcomers Melissa Ginsburg, Derrick Harriell, Chiyuma Elliott, and Dave Smith. On any given weekend night, you’ll find them at the movies, in the bookstore, at a literary reading, at a band show, or carousing on the Square. Into this mix are thrown fiction writers—[Tom] Franklin, Ace Atkins, Jack Pendarvis, and Lee Durkee—always ready to listen seriously or laugh uproariously. The food writer John T. Edge, who heads up the Southern Foodways Alliance, will not only buy you a drink but tell you its history, the provenance of its ingredients, and the etymology of its name.