Mississippi Writers Trail

Mississippi’s rich literary history makes the state an the ideal destination for bookworms and aspiring writers from across the United States and around the world. Managed by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Writers Trail offers the opportunity to dive into our state’s past and learn how some of Mississippi’s most famous writers have influenced – and continue to influence –  readers and writers of all ages, from all walks of life.

Literature’s Historical Connection to Mississippi

Our state has always been known for its arts scene and culture, but the literary contributions of our many homegrown writers and authors truly shine the spotlight on our creative culture. That’s why the Mississippi Arts Commission introduced the Mississippi Writers Trail, as the organization’s mission and vision are “to be a catalyst for the arts and creativity in Mississippi” and “to support and celebrate Mississippi’s creative spirit,” respectively. Through the Mississippi Writers Trail, locals and tourists  have opportunities to:

  • Learn about Mississippi’s famous writers and their works
  • Visit unique locations that were special to the writer being honored during their lifetime
  • Understand how these writers’ literary, cultural, historical, and social contributions helped shape Mississippi’s heritage
  • Celebrate the art of writing and support the fields of literature

Stops along the Mississippi Writers Trail

The Mississippi Writers Trail honors writers and authors with book-shaped, cast-aluminum markers, which are placed in locations the individuals found meaningful and influential throughout their lives. These locations may include their gravesite, birthplace, museum, or home, among other places. Some of the most popular stops include the following:

  • Margaret Walker Alexander: Margaret Walker Center, Jackson State University (Jackson, MS)
    • A poet and author of works such as Jubilee and For My People, Alexander was also an English professor at Jackson State University and founder of the Institute for the Study of the History, Life, and Culture of Black People.
  • William Faulkner: Rowan Oak (Oxford, MS)
    • A Nobel Prize winner, Faulkner was a native of Oxford, MS, and went onto publish novels and short stories, beginning with The Sound and the Fury in 1929.
  • Shelby Foote:E. Bass Cultural Arts Center (Greenville, MS)
    • A writer, journalist, and historian, Foote’s best-known publications are arguably his trilogy, The Civil War: A Narrative (1958, 1963, 1974).
  • Anne Moody: Louis Gaulden and Riquita Jackson Family Memorial Park (Centreville, MS)
    • Regarded as one of the most influential civil rights activists of her time, Moody rose to fame by writing autobiographical novels about the struggles of black people living in Mississippi.
  • Walker Percy:E. Bass Cultural Arts Center (Greenville, MS)
    • Authoring The Moviegoer and other popular novels, Percy is known for philosophy and semiotics and is regarded as one of the most prominent 20th-century authors in the U.S.
  • Elizabeth Spencer: Merrill Museum (Carrollton, MS)
    • After publishing her first novel, Fire in the Morning, in 1948, Spencer would go on to have an impressive literary career that included hits such as The Light in the Piazza and many more.
  • Ida B. Wells: Rust College (Holly Springs, MS)
    • A journalist and activist, Wells is known for her literary talents and ability to educate readers on the living conditions in the South for African Americans. She’s also remembered for leading an anti-lynching crusade in the 1890s.
  • Eudora Welty: Eudora Welty House and Garden (Jackson, MS)
    • Among many accomplishments throughout her career, Welty, a short-story writer and novelist, won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for The Optimist’s Daughter, as well as awards including the Order of the South and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • Tennessee Williams: Cutrer Mansion (Clarksdale, MS)
    • Williams made a name for himself as a playwright and screenwriter in the drama genre, winning Pulitzer Prize awards for A Street Car Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
  • Richard Wright: George W. Armstrong Library (Natchez, MS)
    • After publishing his first work at age 16, Wright went onto become a respected novelist, poet, and essayist and is remembered as one of the greatest black writers in U.S. history.

For more information about the Mississippi Writers Trail, contact Visit Mississippi, or visit the official site here.

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