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MISSISSIPPI MILKWATER: Found and Lost in the Twentieth State 1940s-1950s
Found and Lost in the Twentieth State 1940s-1950s

From terrifying tales of staying with her primitive grandmother alone in summers when she was only six and seven years old. the book ends with the tragic and horrible story of a lynching in Estess's hometown when she was sixteen years old.All of the perpetrators went free, although the FBI came into the small town and worked for one month on the case, which was never re-opened. The crime touched Sybil's own family in that the perpetrators threatened her father's business when he allowed the FBI men to use his offices in off hours.


I am Sybil Arlene Pittman Estess, born November, 1942, and raised in and around Hattiesburg, then Poplarville, Mississippi. The stories in this book provide pictures of my early life growing up in the American South prior to the Civil Rights Movement. They relate events, in the main, as I remember them.

Much has been written and argued about the differences between fiction and nonfiction. I wrote this manuscript as nonfiction, although most of the names have been changed. In these stories, I am "Samantha" or "Sam."

Available Soon

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Like That: New and Selected Poems

Sybil Pittman Estess has a new book entitled LIKE THAT: New And Selected Poems which was pubilshed in December 2014, published by Alamo Bay Press in Austin, Texas. She includes some 40 new poems in this volume, most already published in journals. Then she has selected what she considers are some of the better poems from her other four books of poetry to complete the volume of 125 pages.

In a Field of Words: A Creative Writing Text

An innovative text for beginning-level creative writing, this volume is designed to help aspiring writers find words for their stories and give them shape. It includes guidelines for writing fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry and features invaluable tips and techniques for getting started, solidifying ideas and finding help in all elements of writing. The text incorporates ample practice exercises.


*In a Field of Words* is a writer's dreams, containing writing activities, suggestions for keeping a private journal, and sample stories, poems, and plays writers can respond to, mimic, and use for developing creativity. I am a teacher and a writer, and I find this book good in both venues.

Elizabeth Bishop and Her Art

As the first book-length collection to focus on Elizabeth Bishop, this book has become an essential resource on this poet -- now recognized as one of America's greatest artists -- whose poetry, as Harold Bloom says in his foreword, stands "at the edge where what is most worth saying is all but impossible to say."

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Seeing the Desert Green

Seeing the Desert Green is Sybil Estess' first book of poetry. The refreshing poems contained in this book reveal a rare concern for others. Her poems are quiet, conversational texts that uncover themselves in the emotions of familial ties -- as grandchild and daughter, as mother and wife, and now as the steady narrator of a dying heritage.


"Enter the labyrinth with Sybil Pittman Estess; at every turn, prepare to be amazed. Why, look, here’s Diane Sawyer! Take a right turn, and you’re in Albuquerque, or is it Galveston, or the Colorado Rockies? Go left, and there’s Heathcliff chasing Catherine. Enter the switchback, and you run into Jesus at the pagoda." —Barbara Crooker, author of Radiance, winner of the Thomas Merton Poetry Prize.

Blue, Candled in January Sun

Sybil Pitttman Estess' Blue, Candled in January Sun is a book for the eye, ear, and heart. Her bracing music and gift for the luminous detail always work to reach the deepest wellsprings of human experience.


The poems contained in this volume are a collection of her works that have been published in many journals over 35 years’ time, some slightly changed from their original form. They capture her discrete sights and insights of various moments in her life that led towards epiphanic seeing, presented in radiant redemptive language in her expression of poems as “sacred songs”.

Maneuvers is available for purchase at Brazos Bookstore and River Oaks Bookstore in Houston.

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