Join us for Live Jazz in the Welty Garden at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, at the Eudora Welty House & Garden. This event will feature free, live music from the Mississippi College Jazz Band in the beautiful garden that inspired many of Welty's Pulitzer Prize-winning stories. The grounds open at 5 p.m., and music starts at 5:30 p.m. Blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. Games and a children’s station will be set up in the yard. Free lemonade and popcorn will be available. Additionally, guests can purchase food and drinks from Urban Foxes.
Readers are invited to tune in with Suzanne Marrs, Eudora Welty's friend and biographer, and for an online discussion of works inspired by Medgar Evers. This series will continue weekly discussions on Mondays, September 18, 25, and October 2, 9, 16, and 23. For more information, visit https://welty.mdah.ms.gov/events, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On June 1, 2023, the Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) will unveil a new permanent exhibit honoring slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers in response to the sixtieth anniversary of his assassination on June 12, 1963, outside his Jackson, Mississippi, home.
Immediately after the news broke in Jackson, renowned Mississippi author Eudora Welty wrote “Where Is the Voice Coming From?”, a short story about the attack, which The New Yorker published on July 6, 1963—just 25 days after the crime. The new EWHG exhibit, titled Out of Outrage: Processing the Murder of Medgar Evers, follows the making of Welty’s piece.
Through this work of fiction, written before the crime was solved, Welty painted a startlingly accurate picture of Evers’s assassin, his motives, and his movements. In fact, before The New Yorker would publish the story, Welty said, “The fiction’s outward details had to be changed where, by chance, they had resembled those of actuality, for the story must not be found prejudicial to the case of a person who might be on trial for his life.”
This exhibit compares Welty’s original draft with the final version, highlighting changes. Story quotes pair with actual crime scene photographs, seemingly as captions, though Welty’s words predate the images. A photograph of Evers at work as Mississippi’s first field secretary for the NAACP opens the exhibit, along with an overview of his accomplishments.
“In Jackson, Mississippi, the legacy of Medgar Evers is felt strongly to this day,” said Eudora Welty House & Garden director Jessica Russell. “This small but impactful exhibit shares his story with our visitors and illustrates how some of the most powerful tools we will ever have—whether processing personal grief or fighting publicly for justice—are imagination, creativity, and the written word.”
The Eudora Welty Collection, housed in the William F. Winter building of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), consists principally of drafts (including “Where is the Voice Coming From?”), revised copies, and printer's versions of Welty's works, including stories, books, essays, reviews, lectures, speeches, and drama. The collection also contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of Welty, negatives and photographs taken by Welty and her father, and memorabilia.
In addition to the exhibit at EWHG, MDAH holds in its collections the Medgar Wiley Evers and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers, including papers of Medgar Evers as Mississippi field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and records relating to the case, State of Mississippi v. Byron de la Beckwith.
About the Eudora Welty House & Garden
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty donated her manuscripts, letters, and home of 76 years at 1119 Pinehurst Street in Jackson to MDAH. The National Historic Landmark is open to the public for tours. For more information, visit eudoraweltyhouse.com.
Support programming for this exhibit begins in July, the month of Evers’ birthday, with a free #WeltyatHome Virtual Book Club discussion of the short story, led by Welty’s friend and biographer, Dr. Suzanne Marrs. To register for the Zoom link, email email@example.com.
Out of Outrage: Processing the Murder of Medgar Evers will be on permanent view at the Eudora Welty House & Garden Visitor Center, 1109 Pinehurst Street, Jackson, Mississippi. The Visitor Center is free and open to the public Tuesday–Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, from 12:30 to 4 p.m.
Join us for Storytime on the Side Porch at the Eudora Welty House & Garden. The Eudora Welty House & Garden will present free summer book readings and activities for children in partnership with the Mississippi Library Commission. This series will continue weekly on Thursdays June 8, 15, 22, and 29. For more information, visit https://welty.mdah.ms.gov/events, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us for a reading and book signing with Katy Simpson Smith in conversation with Kathryn Savage at the Eudora Welty House & Garden at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, courtesy of Lemuria Books. Smith will read from her new book, The Weeds, to be released April 18, 2023, from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Bring your mats for Yoga in the Welty Garden Tuesdays in May from 7–7:30 a.m. These free, adult classes are led by certified yoga instructor Alexia P. Hammonds.
Tune in with Suzanne Marrs, Welty's friend and biographer, and Suzann Harrison, Eckerd College professor of rhetoric, for an online discussion of Virginia Woolf's novel, To the Lighthouse. For more information, visit welty.mdah.ms.gov/events, or call 601-353-7762.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is pleased to announce the opening of the Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) Potting Shed. The Garden Club of Jackson awarded a grant to the Eudora Welty Foundation to renovate the interior of the Welty family garage, which was originally built along with the family home in 1925 and has been converted into a much-needed potting shed and workshop.
“For the first time, this potting shed allows our garden volunteers, Cereus Weeders, a proper, dedicated space with the right equipment they need to do the weekly, hands-on work of preserving the Welty garden,” said Jessica Russell, EWHG director. “It also provides the EWHG a special opportunity to serve our local community.
Both Eudora Welty’s prose and personal correspondence are rich with imagery from the natural world. Eudora Welty once said, “I wish I had a sign to tell me what I had better do that day, write or work in the garden.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author mentioned in her published works more than 150 types of plants and flowers, many of which grow around her home to this day.
For Eudora Welty, gardening was not a distraction from her writing; it was an inspiration for it. Her biographer, Dr. Suzanne Marrs, observed that for Welty, “the garden and writing were linked at some profound level.”
The design team, Arkansas-based company Natural State Design, LLC (NSD), hand-selected aged materials, board by board, to blend with the building’s historic period. NSD worked closely with Welty staff and retired garden consultant Susan Haltom to meet a wide variety of needs and purposes.
Today, the Welty garden is largely maintained by the dedicated “Cereus Weeders,” a volunteer organization named after Eudora Welty’s Night-Blooming Cereus Club, a group of friends who frequently entertained themselves by attending Night-Blooming Cereus flower-watching parties in Jackson in the 1930s.
For more information call 601-576-6934 or email email@example.com.