Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Mississippi Could Have Its First ‘State Poem’ With Your Help!

According to the Library of Congress, while 42 U.S. states have a poet laureate, only five of them have a state poem. Thanks to proud Tupelo, Mississippi writer and poet Patricia Dorsey, Mississippi could soon be a leader in this category by becoming the sixth. 

Dorsey, who was appointed as a Good Will Ambassador for Mississippi in 2015, wrote the poem “Meet My Mississippi” in 2013, inspired by her genuine love for her home state. People who heard or read the poem encouraged her to see what it would take for it to become the official state poem. You can hear Dorsey reading the poem and telling a little of her story in the video below.

That journey began during the 2015 Mississippi Legislative session. The Tourism Committee met and was positive about it, but it never made it out of the committee. This time, Dorsey is more encouraged. She said that Senator Chad McMahan of Guntown, Mississippi will sponsor the bill in the Senate, and Representative Randy Boyd of Fulton, Mississippi will introduce it in the House. It will then go to the Tourism committee. She is encouraged because the committee has contacted her about coming to read the poem during the first couple of weeks of the session, which begins next week on January 3. This is an indication that the committee is expecting to be receiving the bills. 

That’s where the public comes in. Dorsey says she needs people to email, write or call of members of the Tourism committee below to express their support for the poem. Once the poem (hopefully) makes it out of committee, both houses of the legislature will have to pass it. But Dorsey feels pretty good about the chances of passage.

“I’ve had a lot of representatives and senators say they like it and will vote on it if it makes it out of committee,” Dorsey said. “We just need to make sure it has the support to get out of the committee.”

Dorsey’s poem “My Mississippi”

Of note: the states that currently have a state poem are: Indiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tennessee

Becki Currie (Chair) bcurrie@house.ms.gov
Sara Thomas (Vice Chair) sthomas@house.ms.gov
Lydia Graves Chassaniol lchassaniol@senate.ms.gov
Willie Bailey wbailey@house.ms.gov
Richard Bennett rbennett@house.ms.gov
Lester Carpenter lcarpenter@house.ms.gov
Dana Criswell dcriswell@house.ms.gov
Oscar Denton odenton@house.ms.gov
Casey Eure ceure@house.ms.gov
Jeffery Guice jguice@house.ms.gov
Greg Haney ghaney@house.ms.gov
Ashley Henley ahenley@house.ms.gov
Kabir Karriem kkarriem@house.ms.gov
Steve Massengill smassengill@house.ms.gov
Chuck Middleton amiddleton@house.ms.gov
Tom Miles tmiles@house.ms.gov
Randall Patterson rpatterson@house.ms.gov
Omeria Scott oscott@house.ms.gov
Sonya Williams-Barnes swilliams-barnes@house.ms.gov
Patricia Willis pwillis@house.ms.gov

Lydia Chassaniol (Chair) lchassaniol@senate.ms.gov
Sean Tindall (VC) stindell@senate.ms.gov
Albert Butler abutler@senate.ms.gov
Tommy Gollott tgollott@senate.ms.gov  
Josh Harkins  jharkins@senate.ms.gov
Briggs Hobson III  bllopson@senate.ms.gov
John Horhn  jhortm@senate.ms.gov
David Jordan  djordan@senate.ms.gov
Chris Massey  cmassey@senate.ms.gov
Chad McMahan  cmcmahan@senate.ms.gov
Willie Simmons  wsimmons@senate.ms.gov

HottyToddy.com staff report

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