“Remembering Noel Polk”
I was having lunch with my sisters and their husbands and my brother-in-law, Walter Howell, started talking about reading Noel Polk’s memoir, Outside the Southern Myth. The anecdotes he was telling from the book were hilarious. (I shared that Noel and his family had once belonged to UBC and Marcus had delivered his daughter, Jennifer.)
For twenty-seven years Noel was Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi and the editor of The Southern Quarterly. In the fall of 2004, Noel joined the English Department at Mississippi State University and became the editor of the Mississippi Quarterly. He is best known for his editorial and critical work on William Faulkner and his critical work on Eudora Welty and lectured widely on both in this country, Europe, Japan, Australia, and South America. He was greatly admired by many for being “able“ to understand Faulkner! Noel Polk died at the age of 69 in Jackson, Mississippi, on August 21, 2012, of cancer. His son and daughter survive him. A copy of his book, Outside the Southern Myth, is in our library. Please come by and check it out. Reading this book really lets you know where Noel came from, what he thought and experienced and why and what he did with his life.