There are many familiar names on the list of 2021 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award nominees, including four with connections to Southern Studies.
- Brian Foster, assistant professor of sociology and Southern Studies, for his non-fiction book “I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life“
- Andrea Morales, producer/director for the Southern Documentary Project and current M.F.A. in Documentary Expression student, for her photography “Roll Down Like Water“
- Odie Lindsey, Southern Studies alumni and Mississippi Encyclopedia associate editor, for his fiction work “Some Go Home“
- Tyler Keith, Southern Studies M.A. and M.F.A. alumni, for his latest album “The Last Drag“
Check out their work and stay tuned for the announcement of winners this summer.
Each year the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters honors creative individuals with an award in their specific field. The prestigious awards, first made in 1980, are presented in eight categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Youth Literature, Visual Art, Music Composition (Classical), Music Composition (Contemporary), Photography, and Poetry. The Institute’s juried competition is one of a kind in the state. Supported by Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning and members, MIAL is privately funded, self-perpetuating, and non-profit.
In 1978, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) was dreamed up by former Governor William Winter and Dr. Cora Norman both of Jackson, Dr. Aubrey Lucas and Dr. Noel Polk both of Hattiesburg, and Mrs. Keith Dockery McLean of Cleveland. These founding members knew that among Mississippi’s greatest riches are the artists, writers, and musicians, who must be supported, nurtured, and recognized.