Delta State University photography professor Kim Rushing’s new book, “Parchman,” will soon be available for purchase.
In 1994, Rushing was given the unique access to photograph and interview inmates in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
The 10-inch by 10-inch book, being published by the University Press of Mississippi, features 125 black and white photos and stories written by the inmates.
According to the book’s forward, Rushing’s visit to Parchman was the first time an outside photographer was allowed to photograph its inmates. For almost four years, he was given access and created images about their lives and prison conditions.
The men featured in his work volunteered to be photographed and permitted Rushing to share their experiences.
“The images I made in Parchman Penitentiary, and the stories the inmates wrote, were completed almost 20 years ago,” said Rushing. “The process of making the book happened only during the past two years. The work at Parchman evolved into what felt like a natural way for me, but making the book was a real education.
“University Press allowed me creative control throughout the process, and they were a pleasure to work with. It’s great to see the book completed, but I’m ready to start the next one.”
Beginning in September, the book will be available here: http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1932.
Rushing will also take part in a panel discussion with four other authors during the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson on Aug. 20. He will talk at 3 p.m. in the Capitol Building, and a limited supply of books will be available for Rushing to sign and sell at the event.
Rushing, has taught photography at Delta State for 23 years. His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and Garden and Gun.
Learn more about photography courses at Delta State and the Department of Art at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art.