... Patricia Neely Dorsey
1. Tell me about your books and where you got your inspiration?
My books Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings-In Poems are "a celebration of the south and things southern". In my books and through my poems. I attempt to give a more positive glimpse into the southern way of life, than all of the negative images usually portrayed. I get my inspiration for my poems from the great love that I have for the people that I have known and the wonderful place/region that I call home.
2. How do you come up with titles for your books?
It was very easy for me to come up with the titles. Both books are filled with childhood reflections and memories, so I incorporated that in the titles. I love magnolias! The magnolia is the state tree and state flower of Mississippi. Mississippi has a nickname of "The Magnolia State" and women from Mississippi are often referred to as Mississippi Magnolias One of my co-workers at the mental health center where I worked, years ago, always introduced me as that Mississippi Magnolia. I used that in the title of my first book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia and again used the magnolia in my second book My Magnolia Memories and Musings.
3. Why did you want to write this book?
There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the South, in general. I wanted to show a flip side of the coin. Through my poems, I want to show that there is much more to the story. I hope to show that there is much to love about Mississippi and the southern way of life
4. What is your favourite word?
LOVE. And I love to use the word love in my writing! My very first poem was a love poem. It was written on February 14, 2007. I woke up out of my sleep with a poem swirling around in my head. I woke up and scribbled it down. After that the poems just started to flow and flow. The name of the poem is Our Place. The first lines are: “There is a place of enchanted love, Where only you and I do dwell ...”
5. If you had to be named after a city, state or country, what would you want it to be?
I am very proud of my state and love being associated with it. I was very honored when one of my Facebook friends dubbed me Mississippi Maya!
6. Are you still learning who you are?
I think that each new day that we live is a learning and growing process for each of us. For me, it is a grand adventure. We are all very complex beings/ creations. One of the most wonderful things about getting older, for me, is getting to know and understand myself so much better. I think as we get older, we become so much more comfortable in our own skin. I am always encouraging others to just be who they are and love who they are.
WHO I BE?
Who I Be?
I Be Me.
But, there's much more to me,
Than the me you see.
I can be sunlight and laughter
Or storm clouds and rain
I might cry when I'm happy
Or even laugh when in pain
I am sometimes the anchor
And sometimes the sail
I'm often successful,
But, sometimes, I fail.
Sometimes, I'm exactly
What you think, hope , want
Or expect me to be
But most importantly,
I Be Me
2012 Patricia Neely Dorsey
One of my slogans is Be You! Do You! SHINE! I have a poem about that, too!
7. Glass half full or half empty?
With me, I am definitely always focused on the fullness of the glass. I am one who believes in looking at and looking for the positives.
8. Which of the four seasons do you like the most?
My favorite season is definitely summer. I am not a cold weather person at all!!! I don't DO winter! You can enjoy the warmth of the southern, summer sun all year around in my poems, because I write many about the season.
9. What is your best childhood memory?
I have SO many wonderful childhood memories. That is probably one for the reasons that they started to overflow in poems. Most of my poems are about childhood memories/experiences. Growing up in Mississippi, and especially in a country/rural was a marvelous experience! I write about romping around in the clovers, going fishing in the pond, picking wild berries, shelling peas...all of that.
10. If you had the chance for a do over in life, what would you do differently?
I have had such a wonderful life! I have been truly blessed. I would not want to change it, because each part of my life has made me who I am and brought me to where I am. I think the last lines of my poem "Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia" say it best:
"My life has been so wonderful,
I wouldn't change one condition;
As one friend of mine always says.
I should have paid admission."
11. Why did you choose to be a writer?
I really didn't choose to be a writer at all, I think it just chose me.
I rarely sit down to intentionally write a poem. They just come. In the foreword of Reflections, I wrote: I always hesitate to call myself a poet, I feel more like vessel or a conduit through which the poems flow.
12. What does love feel like to you?
Warm and Fuzzy ...Safe
13. What does a perfect day look like to you?
Sunny, warm, green (lots of green). Watching the birds, barefooted, reading.
14. Where is your favourite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?
I am SUCH a homebody! I love to stay around the house ...and READ...or write.
15. If you were forced to open a bakery, what would you name it?
I would call it Patti's Pastries. My Mom has always called me Patti and Patti Cake.
Purchase Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia
Purchase My Magnolia Memories and Musings
Patricia Neely Dorsey is the author of two books of poetry. Through her poems, she hopes to protect, preserve and promote the rich cultural history and heritage of her state and region along with providing more positive images than all of the negative images usually portrayed. Patricia lives in Tupelo with her husband James, their son Henry and a miniature schnauzer, Happy.