Sunday, February 22, 2015

Promoting Mississippi

The first time I met Patricia Neely-Dorsey, she gave me advice. I was attending my first event as an author -- an open house at our local library. I had copies of my brand new book, a pen for signing, and a terrible case of nerves. She sat at a nearby table looking every bit the professional. Calm as a cucumber.

I've gotten to know Patricia better during the three years since that first meeting. If you asked me to sum Patricia Neely-Dorsey up in one word, that word would be positive.

 Patricia has dedicated herself to promoting a positive image of Mississippi to her fellow Mississippians and to the rest of the world. Let's face it, our state doesn't always get the greatest reviews. If you listen to outside sources, you might think Mississippi has nothing to offer. If you listen to Patricia, you'll be reminded that Mississippi gave the world William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Elvis Presley. In her poem, Meet My Mississippi, she describes: 

Sprawling beaches

Along the Gulf Coast shore
One blues man's crossroads
And inspiration for more;
An abundance of history
Tradition and folklore
Warm front porch welcomes
With a wide open door;

In January 2015, Patricia was recognized as a Goodwill Ambassador for the State of Mississippi by Governor Phil Bryant. The proclamation reads:

KNOW YE, that the Governor of the State of Mississippi in the name and by the authority of the people of said state as vested in him by the Constitution and Laws of the State of Mississippi reposing special recognition for distinguished accomplishments , does hereby recognize:
Patricia Neely-Dorsey Mississippi Author and Poet as a GOODWILL AMBASSADOR for the State of Mississippi in appreciation for the poems Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems" that she describes as a "celebration of the south and things southern" and "My Magnolia Memories and Musings- In Poems " in which her writings continue her celebration of the south and promote a positive Mississippi.
In addition, she was recognized with an official resolution by the state's House of Representatives.

OFFICIAL RESOLUTION-STATE OF MISSISSIPPIAdopted January 19, 2015A resolution commending and Congratulating Talented Poet and Native Mississippian , Patricia Neely-Dorsey for her many achievements as a writer and extend best wishes for many more years of successWHEREAS Patricia Neely-Dorsey is not only a talented poet, who is loved by many , she is also a native daughter of Mississippi and WHEREAS she is a 1982 graduate of Tupelo High School in Tupelo , Mississippi , and she received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Boston University in Boston , Massachusetts and WHEREAS , after living for almost 20 years in Memphis, Tennessee working in the mental health field , she returned to her hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi in August 2007, andWHEREAS, Mrs. Neely-Dorsey published her first book of poetry Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems in February 2008 and her second book My Magnolia Memroies and Musings -In Poems , was published in February 2012 and WHEREAS. , she continues to live in Tupelo with her husband James, and son Henry and miniature Schnauzer Happy , and she is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, an avid reader andpassionate writer and WHEREAS, Mrs, Neely-Dorsey has always considered herself a "Goodwill Ambasador" for Mississippi and the South , and she believes that we can bridge many gaps of misunderstanding across regional , racial , cultural , generational and economic lines by simply sharing our stories andWHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to commend the success of talented , humble, hardworking , Mississippians, such as Mrs. Neely-Dorsey , who have earned positive recognition and who claim their Mississippi heritage proudly with a badge of honor throughout this great nation :NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI , That we do hereby commend and congratulate Mrs. Neely-Dorsey for her many accomplishments and extend best wishes to our native daughter for many more years of tremendous success .BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That copies of this resolution be furnished to Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey and the members of the the Capitol Press Corps.

Being a Goodwill Ambassador is more than recognition to Patricia Neely-Dorsey. To her it is an opportunity to do what she does so well -- promote the state she holds dear. Our state has a state bird, a state tree, a state flower and a state song. What it does not have is a state poem. Join me in helping Patricia rectify that omission by signing a petition to have her poem, MEET MY MISSISSIPPI, officially declared state poem by our legislature.

When I asked Patricia why having her poem adopted as the state poem is so important to her, she said:

"I want to use my poem "Meet My Mississippi " to help teach the children of our state ( and people of all ages ) some important things about Mississippi in a way that can be easily remembered/recalled.
The state song, the state motto, the state tree, the state bird, and the state capitol are all included in the poem ... along with other famous landmarks and people of Mississippi."
How can you help? First, sign the petition. Second, contact your state representative and ask him or her to vote to adopt Meet My Mississippi as the state poem when it comes up for consideration. Third, share this with your friends, family, and acquaintances. Lastly, you can contact Patricia Neely-Dorsey on Facebook, Twitter, or her blog and let her know you support her efforts.

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