Sybil Estess, a Ph.D. from Syracuse University and author of the book ‘Mississippi Milkwater: Found and Lost in the Twentieth State-1940s-1950s.’ Sybil has lived in Houston for nearly 30 years. She has served as a literature panelist for both the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and the Adult Education Council of Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral. Sybil Pittman Estess was a founding organizer of the Houston Poetry Fest.
Sybil taught for “Imprint,” the Adult Education courses, non-credit for Univ of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. She has been nominated for Poet Laureate of the State of Texas for 2015 and was the first runner up for Poet Laureate in 2009.
From terrifying tales of staying with her primitive grandmother alone in summers when she was only six and seven years old, the book ended 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.
Dr. Estess is known for her artistic contributions as a poet and her harshly beautiful and gripping depictions of the American South. She was also nominated for Poet Laureate of the State of Texas for 2015 and was one of the eight finalists for Poet Laureate in 2009.