I have always been fascinated by the motivational forces and inspirational forces of writers. I had the privilege of chatting with a Mississippi writer who loves the South. Patricia Neely-Dorsey is a Mississippi writer who embraces her heritage and portrays in her poems the love and rich lifestyle of the South. The titles of her books are Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia- A Life In Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings -In Poems. She refers to her books as “a celebration of the south and things southern”. She feel that there are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south, in general, but through her poems, she attempts to give a more positive glimpse into the southern way of life.
With the simple language and relatable themes, the poems can be read, enjoyed and understood by readers of all ages from 8 to 80. There is definitely something for everyone. I personally could relate to all of her poems being a Southern girl. There is a memory that comes to mind as you read each poem. The news from the “Beauty Shop”, the first love portrayed so descriptively in “Tell me Again”, the acceptance of who we are in “Loving Me”- there is something for everyone. Older Southerners will love the books because the poems bring back wonderful childhood memories of growing up in the south in a simpler time. They are reminded of a way of life that is rapidly becoming just a memory.
For the younger readers, Patricia wants to instill in the youth of our state a pride in the rich heritage of the South. She has received wonderful feedback from places as far away as Spain, France, and Germany. The “Magnolia Tree” poem seems to be a fan favorite around the globe. One gentleman from India asked for permission to translate it to post on an Indian site. A blogger from Austria also used the poem on her blog which featured photos of magnolia trees in her neighborhood in Austria. Overall, I think that the books/poems make entertaining (and educational) reading for anyone from the North, East, South or West!
The poems of her books are reflections on beautiful, happy childhood memories, growing up in Mississippi, so the title was decided because the magnolia tree is the state tree of Mississippi and the magnolia flower is the state flower. Also, Mississippi is known as the “Magnolia State”. Women of Mississippi are also often referred to as Mississippi Magnolias. Patricia feels that she is deeply rooted and grounded in Mississippi as the strong, ancient magnolia tree. She describes herself as a beautiful Mississippi magnolia flower. The titles of both of her books incorporates the strong feelings of love for her state.
One thing that caught my eye immediately was graphic art of the magnolia on the cover of both books. They were designed by Rainey Scott, a graphic artist/designer from Vicksburg Mississippi. He worked closely with me to bring about my vision. The magnolia on the first cover is by Marty Kintrell, a photographer from Vicksburg and friend of Rainey Scott. The magnolia on Magnolia Memories is by one of my very favorite photographer friends, Bob Franks from Fulton, Mississippi.
February is the month where I buy eight birthday presents, but not Patricia. February is a special month for her because it plays a special role in the life of her “book babies”.
- First of all, she was born in February.
- She wrote her very first poem February 14, 2007.
“I woke up out of my sleep on Valentine’s Day 2007, with a poem swirling around in my head. I quickly got up and scribbled it down. After that the poems just started to flow and flow.”
- Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia was published in February 2008.
- My Magnolia Memories and Musings was published February 2012.
When asked what her favorite poems are, she said they were all truly like her “babies”.
“I think the signature poems of my writings are “Southern Life” and “If Mississippi’s In You”. I think that they sum up the feel and theme of my all of writings. ‘Southern Man” continues to be a big reader favorite. One of my personal favorites is “Let’s “, because it kind of captures my philosophy in life of enjoying the simple things.”
She plans to publish a third book of poetry in 2015 or early 2016. It will be titled Mississippi In Me- Poems and More. This book will be the last installment of what is essentially a trilogy – Mississippi Magnolia Poems.
If you would like to purchase the books, please click on one of the links below:
If you would like to contact, Patricia please go to these websites:
I would like to thank Patricia for sharing her love of the South and her love of poetry with all of us.
Have a great day, my friends!