Patricia Neely-Dorsey has written a beautiful book of life in poetry called “Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia”. Patricia relates the following: This is a fascinating book of poetry in a true celebration of the south and things southern. Using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, she offers a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. Patricia states, “There are many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. I want to show a flip side of the coin. There is much to love about this much maligned and misunderstood part of our country.”
I was very interested in reading her poetry, since I am also a Mississippi girl born in Booneville, Prentiss County, Mississippi. Patricia was a graduate of Tupelo High School, which is county next to Booneville; therefore, I instantly felt a connection to her. Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first book of poetry was published in February 2008.
Patricia states that her mother gave her the passionate love for reading and writing, and her father gave her the appreciation for poetry and great literature, especially that of African American origin. Loving family history as I do, this really inspired me to want to read her poetry even more.
My first introduction to Patricia’s work was a result of a blog (Find a poem by a local poet, famous or obscure, from the region one of your ancestors lived in…) I discovered her poem Southern Life and it brought back so many memories. After reading many of her poems online, I requested my own copy of “Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia”.
Her poetry is categorized as Southern Life, Country Living, Childhood Memories, Family History, Getting Personal, Intimacies, and Summing Things Up. Some of my favorite of her works are Southern Man, Shelling Peas, Right to Vote, Tupelo and If’s Mississippi’s In You. I recently took an African American History class and we were discussing the struggles African American’s had in order to vote. It was during this time I read Patricia’s poem, "Right to Vote.” The last verses of this poem really touched and inspired me:
That this was how it was;
But, believe you me, no matter what,
I vote, now, just because.
Whether you have lived in the South, or had ancestors that lived in the South, Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s poetry about the Southern way of life is a wonderful way to reflect on the Mississippi way of life. Her book can be purchased at Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore. You can also learn more about Patricia Neely-Dorsey at the following websites:
Patricia Neely-Dorsey Website
Patricia Neely-Dorsey Blog
She also promotes the following website: Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative