Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies

Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies publishes creative and scholarly works focusing on the seven-state Mississippi Delta. It is assembled and published through the Department of English, Philosophy, and World Languages Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County). Each issue contains articles from several fields of study and offers literary, cultural, historical, geographical, and sociological perspectives on the Delta. It is published three times a year with a circulation of about 500.

The Arkansas Review was originally the Kansas Quarterly (KQ), established in 1966 and published through Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas; but the journal ran out of funding in 1996. Kansas Quarterly originally focused on the culture and writing of the Midwest, but it became an international literary magazine when professor of creative writing and 1995 Porter Prize winner, Dr. Norman Lavers, and Richard McGhee, then Dean of Arts and Sciences at ASU, brought KQ to ASU. Because it was published partly through funding from ASU’s Delta Studies program, in 1996, Kansas Quarterly became the Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review and devoted part of each issue to Delta literature and essays while still publishing poetry and fiction from around the world. With the Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review (later Arkansas Review/Kansas Quarterly), Norman Lavers served as general editor, poet Rick Lott as poetry editor, art professor William Allen as art editor, and Duncan Bush as European editor. The first issue featured fiction by Paul Ruffin, David McLean, and Italian poet Cesare Pavese.

In early 1998, under the direction of folklorist William Clements, the Arkansas Review became the regional studies journal Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies and began to focus on answering the question, “What is the Delta?” While the journal continued to publish creative material, most focused on other areas of the humanities, such as archaeology, art history, geography, history, political science, and sociology.

Most issues contain a variety of topics, but some focus on a theme. In July 1999, the journal devoted an issue to writer Ernest Hemingway and the opening of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott (Clay County). Another themed issue was the August 2001 issue, with guest editor C. Calvin Smith, focusing on the Elaine Massacre of 1919.

Thomas Williams took over the journal in 2004. He began a series of interviews with independent booksellers in the Delta. The most popular was in the April 2005 issue, which featured an interview with Mary Gay Shipley, owner of That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville (Mississippi County). In 2009, Janelle Collins assumed the role of general editor, followed in 2013 by Marcus Tribbett.

Arkansas Review has published several Delta writers, such as Louis E. Bourgeois and Jo McDougall; interviews with Delta writers and figures, such as John Dufresne, Al Bell, and Minnijean Brown Trickey; paintings by artists such as Roger Carlisle and Daniel Coston; and photography by Kemper Dumand and Gay Reynolds.

For additional information:
Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies. (accessed August 3, 2023).

Monica Hooper
Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies


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