The trail they blazed: Mississippi authors to be honored with writer’s trail

The trail they blazed: Mississippi authors to be honored with writer’s trail

William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Margaret Walker Alexander, Tennessee Williams and Richard Wright. These names should sound familiar to most Mississippians.

Now, with the assistance of a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, these literary heroes and many others will be celebrated for their works with the Mississippi Writer’s Trail.

Mississippi is the first state to receive the grant.

The trail is set to feature historical markers at significant sites throughout the Magnolia State that chronicle the stories of its greatest authors.

The project is an undertaking of the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Arts Commission and Visit Mississippi. They aren’t the only ones responsible for making this trail possible, though. According to MagnoliaStateLive, the Community Foundation for Mississippi, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Book Festival, Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Library Commission are also aiding in the project.

This group is also assembling a team of scholars to determine which writers will be on the trail and the stories that will be told on each marker.

NEH announced on March 30 its intentions to award special “statehood grants” to celebrate state history.

“Our states are the keepers of the flame of the nation’s history,” NEH Senior Deputy Chairman Jon Parrish Peede said. “By supporting projects that remind us of the history and ideals that made us ‘One out of Many,’ these grants are a down payment toward the commemoration of our 250th anniversary as a nation in 2026.”

The first markers are scheduled to be unveiled in Jackson in August. Over 20 more are planned for other sites across the state, including Oxford, in the coming years.

“Mississippi’s bicentennial continues to be an opportunity to highlight our state’s rich heritage. I encourage organizations in Mississippi and other states to apply for these statehood grants to help preserve and enhance our history,” former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran said in a news release.