Last week the Mississippi Library Association held their annual conference in Natchez. And at the Mississippi Author Awards Dinner, the MLA recognized two UPM authors for their most recent works. Carolyn Brown was awarded the Juvenile award for her book Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker and John Hailman received the Nonfiction award for his book From Midnight to Guntown: True Crime Stories from a Federal Prosecutor in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Authors Awards seek to recognize and encourage Mississippi authors and promote interest in local authors’ books, whether the books are about Mississippi or another subject.
Song of My Life is the first biography of Margaret Walker -- the much admired author of Jubilee and the poem "For My People." Walker was an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, educator, and activist as well as friend and mentor to many prominent African American writers. Song of My Life reintroduces Walker to readers by telling her story--one that many can relate to as she overcame obstacles related to race, gender, and poverty.
This was Brown’s second Mississippi Author Award in as many years. She also won the 2014 Juvenile prize for her book A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty.
Hailman's From Midnight to Guntown is a collection of his stories form over 30 years as a federal prosecutor. The book contains includes tales of amazing trials and bad guy antics from the darkly humorous to the needlessly tragic. Continuing the success of this book, Hailman has just released a follow up volume -- Return to Guntown: Classic Trials ofthe Outlaws and Rogues of Faulkner Country which is now available from UPM.