Stark Young 3/26/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marker will honor famed Como author

    Como’s native son, Stark Young, will be honored with a Literary Landmarks Register marker to be presented at the town’s public library Thursday at noon.

    Young, who was born in Como in 1881, was  a well-known drama critic, novelist, playwright and poet of the twentieth century.

    In a tribute to Young, the Emily J. Pointer Library will host a performance at 12 p.m. by the North Mississippi Storytellers Guild, led by storyteller/actor Rebecca Jernigan from Water Valley.

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    “A Visit from Stark Young” features Ken Wooten as Stark Young and Anne Gilstrap as his stepmother, Lydia Walton Young. Dr. Don Kartigainer, retired Faulkner scholar, joins the banter  between the spirits of Young and his stepmother and shares a song from the Civil War era.

    Afterward, Karen Wilson, executive director of the Son Edna Foundation in Charleston, will talk about literacy in small-town rural Mississippi and Igor Bosin of Memphis will read selections from Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard in Russian and Stark’s English translation.

   A book signing by Lauren Lavergne’s Como Elementary School first grade class will round out the tribute’s events immediately prior to the marker reveal on south lawn of the library.

    “Stark Young was a brilliant … complex Southern original who achieved much in the arts, education and literature. It’s time for his books, life’s work and achievements to be re-examined and enjoyed,” explained event organizer William Tag Marshall.

    Other event organizers are Martha Frances Garrison and Alice Pierotti.

    “I’m extremely pleased the Como community can come together to get this tribute accomplished,” said First Regional Library Director Catherine Nathan. “The cultural and community leaders in Como are taking a new direction and moving creatively in the 21st century and I’m thrilled the library can be a part of the next chapter in Como’s history.”

     A Fond Memory
    “Stark wrote a letter to me once and said, I can’t wait to get back to Como so I can have a big bowl of turnip greens,” remembered longtime Como resident Rebekah Lipscomb. “Como loved Stark and he loved us back. As a young boy, my late husband Buddy used to carry Stark’s suitcases from the train. I’m delighted Como is honoring Stark with this tribute.”

    Young died in 1963 and was buried in Friendship Cemetery in Como.

    Creating The Next Stark Young

    In order to provide tools for what library branch manager Alice Pierotti describes as “our community doing what we can to create the next Stark Young,” Como Elementary School and the Emily J. Pointer Public Library are partnering to hold a series of writing and illustration workshops for Lavergne’s first graders.

    Parent volunteers are teaming with First Regional Library employees and a host of retired Panola county longtime educators plus other Como volunteers to offer the first graders guidance in writing their stories.