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Released August 2, 2005


Hattiesburg– The Natchez Literary & Cinema Celebration and The Southern Quarterly have announced a publishing partnership between the award-winning annual conference and The University of Southern Mississippi's independent journal of the arts.

Founded in 1990, the Celebration has grown to a five-day literary and cultural event attended by hundreds - sometimes thousands - of people each year. "All of them (Celebration attendees)," said founder and co-chair Carolyn Vance Smith of Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez, "love to read and rejoice over books."

Held annually in February, the Celebration represents an annual theme-based lecture series enhanced by films, field trips, workshops, exhibits, books signing, and discussions. Last year's theme was Between Two Worlds: Free Blacks in the Antebellum South; this year's theme will be Biscuits, Gumbo, Sweet Tea, and Bourbon Balls: Southern Food and Drink in History, Literature, and Film (Feb. 22-26, 2006).

The Celebration has received a number of awards, including an Olympic Award, the Governor's Award, and the Mississippi Tourism Award and has been called Mississippi's most significant annual conference devoted to literature, history and culture.

The Southern Quarterly, founded in 1962, is one of the first scholarly journals devoted to interdisciplinary study of Southern culture. With a new editorial staff, including Dr. Douglas Chambers of the Southern Miss Department of History as editor and Ann Branton of the university's Cook Library as managing editor, The Quarterly will now publish each year's papers from the Natchez Celebration as a special issue.

Chambers will also be joining the Celebration's Advisory Board.

"As editor of a scholarly journal," Chambers said, "I want to build the readership of The Quarterly; as an historian I want to help broaden the reach of the Natchez Celebration; and as a resident of Mississippi I want to showcase important cultural events like this in the state and throughout the region.

"The Celebration consistently attracts top scholars and noted authorities in Southern history, literature and culture, and we are honored to be a part of the annual conference."

The Southern Quarterly will publish the previous year's papers in a special issue (Winter/February), which will be available for individual purchase at the Celebration. The Quarterly also will donate 75 percent of the proceeds of those sales to the Celebration.

For more on The Southern Quarterly and the Natchez Literary & Cinema Celebration, visit their Web sites on the Internet at and http:///



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August 4, 2005 3:38 PM