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   “Before you understand the world you have to understand a place like Mississippi; William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, birthplace of Elvis Presley, blues and B. B. King. In order of priority it’s God, family and football. Rich in folklore, graces and charm y’all.” This was a posting that I read recently by Patricia Neely-Dorsey. Attached to the poster was a link to “If Mississippi is in You” a poem of hers proclaiming her love of our state, our people and all things positive in Mississippi.

    “I’m Mississippi Born, I’m Mississippi Bred, And When I Die I’ll be Mississippi Dead. My T Shirt reads, ‘American by Birth, and Southern by the Grace of God,’ Patricia Neely-Dorsey” These are couple of excerpts from her poetry that illustrate her love of God, family, and Mississippi. I knew instantly that this was a person with whom I shared a deep kinship, if not by familial relationship, from a common deep rooted love of our state and people.

    Neely-Dorsey is a true Mississippi magnolia raised near Tupelo with roots running deep in the Mississippi soil and radiating to all points outward. Traveling north to Boston University in pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, thus a university student in Boston Massachusetts, Neely-Dorsey quickly gained a greater appreciation of her beloved state and the people she grew up with and around.

           

Nicknames

 

    “It didn’t take me long before I had to start taking up for Mississippi and dispelling some of the unwarranted stereotypes,” said Neely-Dorsey. “They finally nicknamed me Tupelo and Mississippi because when they saw me coming they knew they were going to hear some type of discourse about Mississippi, and the South soon to follow, hoping to clear up their misconceptions and preconceived notions,” Neely-Dorsey said. “Yes we do have shoes in Mississippi, we may not wear them all the time but we do have them!”

    In a span of about six months beginning in February 2007 a flood of poems gushed out from this talented young lady espousing her love of all things Mississippi, which eventually became the wonderful book titled “Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia” which was published in 2008.

    “I never intentionally sat down to write any of the poems, they all just came to me, fully complete and neatly packaged, title and all and I just put them down on paper,” Neely-Dorsey related. “They came to me while sleeping, while shopping in Wal-Mart, or driving down the road and I put them to paper, on receipts, anything I had available at the time.”

    “In the heart of Dixie, perfumed by the sweet, fragrant smell of Magnolias and Serenaded with the Melodious Songs of the Mockingbird Lies a True Queen of the South. Her name is Mississippi.” This magnificent yet poignant quote illustrates yet again the powerful talent and love that runs deep within Patricia Neely-Dorsey. And the statement could have very well been written about Neely-Dorsey herself, as she is a “goodwill ambassador” for all things positive in Mississippi and the South.

           

Country Girl

 

    Neely-Dorsey grew up in the country and outdoors and received an education about her surroundings, people and the outdoors and developed a love which now flows through her and into her books and positive stories during speaking engagements as she travels around the south. Neely Dorsey regales us with stories of life in the country and highlights the best Mississippi has to offer with favorite poems such as “If Mississippi is in You, Southern Man, Mississippi Man, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, and Mississippi Through and Through.”

    “My book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, is a true celebration of the South and things southern. Using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. There are so 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 would really love for you to get to KNOW Mississippi (and the South) in a different light and I want to introduce you. I invite you to meet Mississippi through poetry and prose and the written word.”

    Patricia Neely-Dorsey is a true Mississippi treasure and talent and will surely rise to prominence nationally as she touts her positive message about the South and Mississippi in particular. Growing up in the country in Mississippi in the woods and on the waters and living around salt of the earth people, it’s no wonder Neely-Dorsey’s book of poems resonates with me! Though, I’m not an avid reader of poetry, I am now a big fan of Patricia Neely-Dorsey and can’t wait to read her second recently released book titled “Magnolia Memories and Musings”.

    For more information on this dynamic poet and her latest books, speaking engagements and positive messages, contact Patricia Neely-Dorsey via email at magnoliagirl21@yahoo.com, online at http://patricianeelydorsey.webs.com/ or by telephone at 901-848-6800.

    Contact  Mike Giles at 601-917-3898

or e-mail him at mikegiles18@comcast.net

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