The first issue of The Arkansas International, a new literary magazineproduced by graduate students and faculty member Geoffrey Brock in the University
of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation, will be released today, Oct.
4, featuring creative work, essays, interviews and reviews by authors hailing from
"This is a huge moment for our creative writing program," said Davis McCombs, director
of the Program in Creative Writing and Translation. "We've been producing some of
the nation's best writers for half a century now, but we've never produced a literary
journal that represents the full range and scope of what our program is about. The Arkansas International is a beautiful publication, and I'm grateful to the students who put their time and
effort into creating a magazine that represents us so well."
Anthony Blake, a third-year poetry student and managing editor of the journal, also
noted the long legacy of the M.F.A. program. "Some of the most talented names in writing
today have received their degrees from the University of Arkansas," he said. "It's
an honor to be able to open the literary conversations we've been having for years
within the U of A community to a wider audience through this magazine."
The inaugural issue features poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translation and comics from
notable authors. As a publication, The Arkansas International is committed to featuring writers who are as diverse in their subject matter, style
and form, as they are in their geography. In addition to the United States, writers
from the first issue represent France, Norway, Russia and Argentina. Their honors
include a Guggenheim Award, and numerous Stegner, NEA and Lambda Literary fellowships.
Their work has been reviewed by Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, NPR, The New York Times and Salon, among others.
The international focus was no accident. "Through our degree track in translation,
our creative writing program has long been in conversation with the international
literary community," said Geoffrey Brock, professor of poetry and translation and
editor-in-chief of the journal. "I'm tremendously proud of all the good work our student
editors have put into finding fresh, excellent writing from both the U.S. and abroad.
It's an exciting issue, thanks to them."
Graduate students in the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing and Translation and editor-in-chief
Geoffrey Brock meet to discuss the magazine.
In addition to publishing biannual print issues, The Arkansas International will regularly feature new content on its website. Said web editor Caroline Beimford, a fiction writer in her fourth year of the Program
in Creative Writing and Translation, "We're committed to making the web a true extension
of the magazine. In addition to highlighting work from the print issue, we're excited
to feature original, web-only content including contributor interviews, international
bookstore spotlights, book reviews and more." Those interested in contributing or
subscribing to the literary magazine may also do so through the website.
To celebrate the launch of the magazine, the staff of The Arkansas International has organized a free book fair on Saturday, Oct. 8, to be held at the Fayetteville
Barnes & Noble store. From noon to 4 p.m., the journal staff will host a series of
events celebrating literature in the Fayetteville community, including readings by
local students, creative writing workshops (open to writers of all ages and genres),
and a panel for teachers on the U of A Writers in the School (WITS) program. Community
members of all ages are encouraged to attend.
Founded in 1966, the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences consistently ranks in the
top 40 M.F.A. programs nationwide, according to Poets & Writers magazine. The Atlantic Monthly named the U of A among the "Top Five Most Innovative" M.F.A. programs in the nation.
Noteworthy graduates include Barry Hannah, C.D. Wright, Lucinda Roy and Nic Pizzolatto.
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