“Willie Morris Awards Ceremony” This year’s Oxford Conference for the Book includes the awards ceremonies for the Willie Morris Awards for Southern Writing, which came to the University of Mississippi in 2020 to be administered by the Department of Writing and Rhetoric in honor of Willie Morris, a UM writer in residence and instructor from 1980 to 1991. Awards are given in both fiction and poetry.


“University Press of Mississippi: The Next Fifty Years” In 2020 the University Press of Mississippi celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, but this Oxford Conference for the Book session, “University Press of Mississippi: The Next Fifty Years,” looks to the future.


“The Southern Environment: A Conversation with Catherine Coleman Flowers” In this session, Catarina Passidomo, Southern Foodways Alliance Associate Professor of Southern Studies and associate professor of anthropology, is in conversation with Catherine Coleman Flowers about her book, Waste: One Woman’s Fight against America’s Dirty Secret.


“Friends Old and New: A Poetry Session” Beth Ann Fennelly, poet and UM professor of English, will host the always highly anticipated session with poets Cortney Lamar Charleston, Sandra Beasley, and Teri Ellen Cross Davis.


“A Tribute to Randall Kenan” This year the Oxford Conference for the Book pays tribute to Randall Kenan, who passed away in August 2020, and was a longtime Oxford Conference for the Book participant and John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence in 1997–98.


“Angie Thomas in Conversation with Kiese Laymon” In this session, hosted by Square Books, international phenomenon Angie Thomas talks with author Kiese Laymon about her new book Concrete Rose, which revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give. Thomas’s latest book is a searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.


“Angus Fletcher Discusses Wonderworks with Poet Maggie Smith” In this session, hosted by Square Books, Angus Fletcher talks to poet Maggie Smith about his book Wonderworks, an examination of literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante, that shows how writers have created technical breakthroughs—rivaling any scientific inventions—and engineering enhancements to the human heart and mind.


“Lee Durkee in Conversation with Tin House Publisher Craig Popelars” In this session, hosted by Square Books, Lee Durkee, author of The Last Taxi Driver, talks about writing, driving a cab, UFOs, Bigfoot, and Shakespeare with Tin House publisher Craig Popelars.