NEW ALBANY, Miss. -- The second combined Tallahatchie Riverfest and
William Faulkner Birthday Celebration will be held on the grounds
of the County Courthouse here Sept. 25 and 26.
The first Tallahatchie Riverfest took place in 1993, and the
celebration honoring New Albany's favorite son originated last year
on the occasion of the Nobel Prize-winning author's 100th birthday.
Plans are to continue linking the birthday celebration with the
annual festival, according to Glenn Duckworth, executive director
of the Union County Development Association, sponsor of the
Among the two-day riverfest activities are a 5K run, art
exhibits, an arts and crafts show and an evening dinner. Although
this year's Faulknerfest will not rival last year's centennial
celebration, planners promise the event still will have a heavy
concentration of Faulknerania.
Speakers will include Robert Hamblin, director of the Center for
Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University, and Lisa
C. Hickman, a professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. Also on
the agenda is "Viewing Faulkner's South," a collection of slides
that have been shown to audiences at New York University, Stanford
University and the University of Massachusetts.
Faulkner's literary town of Jefferson is said to resemble New
Albany as well as the nearby towns of Oxford, Ripley and Holly
Springs. New Albany and Holly Springs were included on the tour
agenda for the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference held at the
University of Mississippi in Oxford July 26 to 31.
Although Faulkner was born here, one could say it was the
railroad that brought him to New Albany. One also could say he rode
out on a rail. His great-grandfather had built the railroad that
ran from Jackson, Tenn., to the Mississippi towns of Ripley, New
Albany and Pontotec. According to Duckworth, Old Colonel Faulkner
was killed in a gunfight on the square in the late 1880s or early
1890s. Control of the railroad fell to the author's grandfather,
who subsequently sent his son, Murry, to run the operation in New
William Faulkner was born here to Maude and Murry Faulkner in
1897. Murry Faulkner was shot and seriously wounded in a New Albany
drug store following an argument with his druggist and neighbor,
Will Bratton, Duckworth said. Maude insisted that the family move
to Ripley, where they lived a couple of years before settling in
Oxford, he said. Faulkner was raised in Oxford, and it was there,
at his home in Rowan Oak, where he wrote his finest works.
Admission to the Tallahatchie Riverfest and Faulkner Birthday
Celebration is free, but there is a $12 entry fee for the run.
Union County Development Association, Phone: (601) 534-4354