The Natchez Literary & Cinema Celebration 2022: Mississippi, A Tapestry of American Life

The 33rd annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration is set for February 24-26, 2022. The 2022 NLCC theme “Mississippi: A Tapestry of American Life” will showcase a wide variety of presentations, screening events, book signings, and so much more. Most events and presentations are FREE and will be held at the Natchez Convention Center at 211 Main Street.

The NLCC will kick off Thursday, February 24, at 4:30 p.m. with food and libations from Rolling River Reloaded and music provided by Alexis Frenette and Joshua Rooks. The 33rd annual NLCC officially opens at 5:30 p.m. with two screening events, Smoots by Brian Duong and Look Away, Look Away presented by Patrick O’Connor. Discussion and questions with the filmmakers will immediately follow the documentaries.

Friday, Feb. 25, holds a full day of activities beginning at 8:30 a.m. with opening remarks from Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson, Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon Sims, and Natchez Campus Vice President Dr. Sandra Barnes. William Winter Scholars and Vance Fellows will also be recognized during this time. Afterward, a screening event entitled NLCC Tribute to William Winter will be presented by G. Mark LaFrancis. The morning continues with “The Complexities of Early Mississippi” a panel discussion featuring Dr. Christian Pinnen, Dr. Max Grivno, and Mike Bunn. Presentations by Dr. Richard Blackett of Vanderbilt University and Dr. Cory James Young of the University of Nebraska conclude the morning sessions focused on early Mississippi history.

Friday afternoon continues with presenters Sarah Duggan of The Historic New Orleans Collection; Laura Kilcer VanHuss of Oak Alley Foundation; Virginia Postrel of Chapman University; and Micheal Gorra of Smith College. Book signings will take place throughout the day. Friday ends with the opportunity for a visit to the Mississippi School of Folk Arts (209 Franklin Street) for a presentation on indigo dyeing then to watch the Crew of Phoenix Mardi Gras Parade roll by while enjoying jambalaya provided by Lil Italia. Tickets for this event are $30.

Saturday’s sessions begin at 9 a.m. at the Natchez Convention Center with Gender, Movement, and Violence in Natchez 1799-1865 presented by author Dr. Nik Ribianszky of Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. The 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winner for history Caleb McDaniel will next talk about his book The Sweet Taste of Liberty. Following the authors’ book signings, winners of the Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award, Thad Cochran Award of Achievement, and Horton Foote Award will be recognized. The Carriage House Restaurant at Stanton Hall, beginning at 11:30 a.m., will host “Literature at Lunch” featuring Mississippi authors R.J. Lee, Susan Cushman, Josh Foreman, and Ryan Starrett. Tickets for the luncheon are $30.

A busy Saturday afternoon continues at the Natchez Convention Center with award-winning author, Maurice Carlos Ruffin followed by the screening of Talk from the Start: Growing Mississippi Readers! presented by Ben Powell and Corinne Hegwood. Next, four-time National Book Award finalist and bestselling author, Rita Williams-Garcia will discuss her novel A Sitting in St. James. The John D.W. Guice Young Writers Competition winners will be recognized and the final afternoon session features Chris Barton, Tim Tingle, and Margaret McMullan in a panel discussion “Stories for Young Readers” moderated by Corinne Hegwood.

At 5 p.m., the good times roll for “Eats, Drinks, and Music at Smoots” (319 North Broadway Street). Tickets for this event are $50. At 7:00 p.m. The NLCC returns to the Convention Center where it concludes with Brigadier General Ty Seidule discussing his book Robert E. Lee and Me, a Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause followed by questions and book signing.

The NLCC is sponsored by Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Arts Commission, the Natchez National Park Service, the Natchez Convention and Promotion Commission, the City of Natchez, Adams County Board of Supervisors, and the generous donations from throughout the Miss-Lou region and beyond.

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To view the full schedule, purchase tickets, or for more information, visit our website at, call 601.446.1104 or email