Literary scholar Noel Polk, whose work focused on the writings of William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and other Southern authors, has died at the age of 69. Polk, a professor of English at Mississippi State University and editor of “The Mississippi Quarterly,” taught at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1977 to 2004. He had given lectures throughout the world on Mississippi writers. In 2006, Polk won the Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award for his body of work.
Born in Picayune in 1943, Polk earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi College before earning his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.