Oxford lost one of its best-known writers Monday afternoon. Barry Hannah died just days before this year’s Oxford Conference for the Book, set to be dedicated to him and his work. He would have been 68 years old next month. Hannah was the author of eight novels and several collections of short stories, and was the director of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Mississippi.
The family will have a private funeral and graveside service. A public memorial service is planned for Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Fulton Chapel on the University of Mississippi campus. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
The 17th Oxford Conference for the Book, set for March 4–6, will be dedicated to the late Barry Hannah, one of Mississippi’s most distinguished contemporary writers. The author of nine novels and four collections of short stories, and the recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Institute of Arts and Letters, Hannah was writer in residence and director of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Mississippi. Conference sessions on Saturday will discuss his life and work. Confirmed speakers are William Dunlap and Noel Polk on a panel of “Survivors of Geronimo Rex”; fiction writers Tom Franklin and Amy Hempel; Daniel E. Williams, who taught the first course on Hannah’s work; and his former students Anne Rapp and Cynthia Shearer. (February 25, 2010)