Alumni News

Simpson Smith Named Eudora Welty Chair at Millsaps College

Bennington Writing Seminars alum Katy Simpson Smith MFA '13 has been appointed Eudora Welty Chair for Southern Literature at Millsaps College.

Katy Simpson Smith

"Millsaps College named novelist and historian Katy Simpson Smith to the newly endowed post of Eudora Welty chair for southern literature on July 19.

The college established the new position this year after it received two donations of $500,000 each—one from Millsaps alumnus Joe Sanderson and wife Kathy Sanderson, and one from the Phil Hardin Foundation, a nonprofit that supports educational programs in Mississippi.

Smith is the daughter of Millsaps philosophy and religious studies professor Steven Smith and art history professor Elise Smith. As part of her new position on the Millsaps faculty, the younger Smith will teach a course this fall called "The Art of the South: Literature, Film and Music."

Smith earned her bachelor's degree in history and film studies from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., a master's degree in creative writing from Bennington College in Vermont, and a doctorate in United States history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has written two award-winning novels, The Story of Land and Sea and Free Men, as well as her historical nonfiction book, We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. HarperCollins Publishers will release her third novel in 2020.

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