In 1923, Arkansas established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Jo McDougall, who was appointed to a four-year term in 2018. McDougall is the author of several poetry collections, including The Undiscovered Room (Tavern Books, 2016). She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

recent & featured listings

typesort ascending name state
Festival Arkansas Literary Festival Arkansas
Colony The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow Arkansas
Writing Program Arkansas Tech University Arkansas
Writing Program University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Arkansas
Literary Magazine Exquisite Corpse Arkansas
Literary Magazine Oxford American Arkansas
Literary Magazine Nebo: A Literary Journal Arkansas
Literary Magazine The Oxford American Arkansas
Literary Magazine Slant Arkansas
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Nightbird Books Arkansas



after Robert Francis’s “Silent Poem”


rain storm   rock pore   flow path   earth crust
thrust fault   drip slope   trough dam   blue ooze

tile floor   stained glass   sitz bath   rust stain
sun porch   deck chair   sky light   gas lamp

foot bridge   leaf twitch   dirt


All that is left
unaccounted for:
elegance married
to rust. On the roof, rain
dwelling in the corrugations.
Some slats vanished
altogether, a blankness
giving way to sky. But the eaves
hold in perfect vertices,
refuse to abandon
their beauty, hard-earned.

Some nights I sleep with my dress on. My teeth
are small and even. I don't get headaches.
Since 1971 or before, I have hunted a bench
where I could eat my pimento cheese in peace.
If this were Tennessee and across that river, Arkansas,
I'd meet you in West Memphis tonight. We could
have a big time. Danger,