In the Spotlight

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It has been said many times that Tupelo, Mississippi, has a story of music, ingenuity, and creativity. Of course, Elvis Presley helped solidify that reputation. But it’s people like Patricia Neely-Dorsey who are ensuring the future of her hometown. Patricia Neely-Dorsey is a 1982 graduate of Tupelo High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Boston University in Boston, MA.

After living in Memphis, TN for almost 20 years, working in the mental health field, Patricia moved back to Tupelo in August 2007.

Her first book of poetry, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia – A Life In Poems, was published in February 2008. Her second book of poetry, My Magnolia Memories and Musings – In Poems, was published in February 2012.

Her third book, Mississippi In Me, was published in January 2017.

Through her poems, the author attempts to give a more positive view of Mississippi and the South, rather than all of the negatives usually portrayed.

One of Patricia’s poems, “Country Living”, is included in a German high school textbook, currently being used in teaching English as a Foreign Language.

In 2015, Patricia received a proclamation in her honor from Governor Phil Bryant declaring her as an Official Goodwill Ambassador for the state. The same year, a resolution was passed by the House of Representatives, commending her work in promoting positive images of Mississippi through her poems.

Her poem, “Meet My Mississippi”, was up for consideration as the official state poem in the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 legislative sessions. The poem is now a children’s book with the same title (published 2018).

Patricia was the host of a talk show – “Meet My Mississippi Authors and Artists” – on the Hill Country Network. Several of her Mississippi poems are included on t-shirts in the Southern Belle T-shirt Company line in her continuing efforts to promote a positive Mississippi.

Patricia is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was awarded the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was also chosen as a 2019 finalist for Mud and Magnolias magazine’s Most Influential Women of North Mississippi.

Patricia and her husband, James, have one son, James Henry, who is a student at the University of Mississippi.

Faulkner’s Sanctuary
Eudora’s home state
Elvis’ birthplace
The bulk of the Trace;
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;
A ride down the mighty river
On the American Queen
And some of the most
Beautiful countryside
That you’ve ever seen
She’s music and melodies
And the mockingbird’s songs,
By valor and arms
And faith ever strong;
She’s magnolias blooming
Around Jackson’s capitol dome
And the sweet scent of honeysuckle
That forever says “home”
She’s My Mississippi
She’s “The Hospitality State”
“Go Mississippi”
You’re a true State of Grace
Patricia Neely-Dorsey @2013

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In the Spotlight

By Jackson Advocate News Service
October 28, 2021