University of Arkansas Press

Last updated
University of Arkansas Press
University of Arkansas Press logo.png
Parent company University of Arkansas
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location Fayetteville, Arkansas
Distribution Chicago Distribution Center
Scholarly Book Services (Canada)
Publication types Books
Official website

The University of Arkansas Press is a university press that is part of the University of Arkansas and has been a member of the Association of University Presses since 1984. [1] Its mission is to publish peer-reviewed books and academic journals. It was established in 1980 by Willard B. Gatewood Jr. and Miller Williams and is housed in the McIlroy House in Fayetteville. Notable authors include civil-rights activist Daisy Bates, US president Jimmy Carter, former US poet laureate Billy Collins, and National Book Award–winner Ellen Gilchrist.

University press publisher associated with a university

A university press is an academic publishing house specializing in academic monographs and scholarly journals. Most are nonprofit and an integral component of a large research university. They publish work that has been reviewed by scholars in the field. They produce mainly scholarly works, but also often have "popular" titles, such as books on religion or on regional topics. Because scholarly books are mostly unprofitable, university presses may also publish textbooks and reference works, which tend to have larger audiences and sell more copies. Most university presses operate at a loss and are subsidized by their owners; others are required to break even. Demand has fallen as library budgets are cut and the online sales of used books undercut the new book market. Many presses are experimenting with electronic publishing.

University of Arkansas Public research university in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

The University of Arkansas is a public land-grant, research university in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and the largest, best-known university in the state. Founded as Arkansas Industrial University in 1871, its present name was adopted in 1899 and classes were first held on January 22, 1872. It is noted for its strong architecture, agriculture, business, communication disorders, creative writing, history, law, and Middle Eastern studies programs.

The Association of University Presses e.V. is an international nonprofit association of university presses, its members as well as of regional university press associations. It was founded 2013/2014 in Bochum, Germany following an initiative of the International Convention of University Presses on the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2013.



The McIlroy House at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Mcilroyhouse.jpg
The McIlroy House at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The University of Arkansas Press was established in May 1980 as the publishing arm of the University of Arkansas by the board of trustees of the university. Miller Williams was named the first director of the press, and Willard B. Gatewood Jr. was named the chairman of the first press committee. For the first five years of operation, assistance from the University of Missouri Press was crucial to editorial and production operations. [2]

The University of Missouri Press is a university press operated by the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and London, England; it was founded in 1958 primarily through the efforts of English professor William Peden. Many publications are by, for, and about Missourians. The Press also emphasizes the areas of American and world history; military history; intellectual history; biography; journalism; African American studies; women's studies; American, British, and Latin American literary criticism; political science; regional studies; and creative nonfiction. The Press has published 2,000 books since its founding and currently publishes about 30 mostly academic books a year.

In December 1980 the McIlroy House was formally opened as its home, and in the following year the press published its first three books. Martha Sutherland of the university's School of Architecture designed a stylized version of the McIlroy House that was chosen for the colophon, which appears on the spine of all the publisher's volumes. [3]

In November 1983 a fire severely damaged the McIlroy House. In September 1987, another fire damaged the press's warehouse and destroyed much of its book inventory. [4]

In 1997 University of Arkansas chancellor John A. White closed the press, but it was reopened within months after intense public outcry. In 1998 the press received an endowment from Tyson Foods [5] and the university hired Lawrence Malley as the director. Malley expanded the press's coverage of sports studies, African-American studies, and Middle East studies during his tenure. [6]

John A. White Chancellor of the University of Arkansas

John Austin White Jr, Ph.D., P.E. was the fourth chancellor of the University of Arkansas. He succeeded Daniel Ferritor in 1997 after previously serving as the dean of Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Engineering. As chancellor, Dr. White transformed the University of Arkansas; including the $1 billion "Campaign for the 21st Century" capital campaign, which created the University of Arkansas Honors College, endowed the University of Arkansas Graduate School and UA Libraries, added 132 tenured faculty, 1738 scholarships and fellowships, funded millions of dollars of brick and mortar improvements, and grew the university by almost every academic statistic. Since his departure from the chancellor's office in 2008, White has remained at the university, teaching in the industrial engineering department.

Tyson Foods company

Tyson Foods, Inc. is an American multinational corporation based in Springdale, Arkansas, that operates in the food industry. The company is the world's second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork after JBS S.A. and annually exports the largest percentage of beef out of the United States. Together with its subsidiaries, it operates major food brands, including Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Ball Park, Wright Brand, Aidells, and State Fair. Tyson Foods ranked No. 80 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

African American Studies is an interdisciplinary academic field that is primarily devoted to the study of the history, culture, and politics of Black people from the United States. However, in some cases, the field includes peoples from the rest of the Americas and from other parts of the world. The field has been defined in different ways, but taken broadly, it not only studies slave descendants in the United States but also any community of the African diaspora. The field includes scholars of African American literature, history, politics, and religion as well as those from disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, psychology, education, and many other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. And, increasingly, African-American Studies departments are hiring and partnering with STEM scholars.

In 2013 Mike Bieker was named director. [7] The press continues to publish about twenty-five titles per year, covering poetry and literature, African American studies, food studies, sports studies, and art and architecture.


Miller Williams's initial leadership of the press lead to an early specialization in literature. As both a professor and editor, Williams nurtured hundreds of young poets, most notably former US poet laureate Billy Collins, who cites Williams as a mentor and his "first editorial father." [8] The press published Collins's The Apple That Astonished Paris in 1988. [9]

Enid Shomer was named poetry editor in 2002 and directed the Arkansas Poetry Prize (later named the Miller Williams Poetry Prize). In 2014 Billy Collins returned to the press to serve as editor of the poetry series and as judge for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize, which annually awards publication to two finalists and a cash prize of $5,000 to one winner. [10]

In 2015 the press partnered with CantoMundo to establish the CantoMundo Poetry Prize, which annually awards publication and a cash prize to a Latino poet writing in English. [11] Judged and edited by Deborah Paredez and Carmen Giménez Smith, the series has brought out collections from Jacob Shores-Argüello, Ángel García, and Gina Franco.

In the same year the press also partnered with RAWI to establish the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize (named in honor of Lebanese American poet, essayist, and visual artist Etel Adnan, which annual awards publication and a cash prize to a poet of Arab heritage writing in English. [12] Judged and edited by Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah, the series has brought out collections from Jess Rizkallah, Peter Twal, and Zaina Alsous.

Related Research Articles

Billy Collins American poet

William James Collins, known as Billy Collins, is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. In 2016, Collins retired from his position as a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York after teaching there almost 50 years. Collins is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. Collins was considered as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004 through 2006. As of 2018, he is a teacher in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

The Pitt Poetry Series, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, is one of the largest and best known lists of contemporary American poetry.

Miller Williams American poet, translator, editor

Stanley Miller Williams was an American contemporary poet, as well as a translator and editor. He produced over 25 books and won several awards for his poetry. His accomplishments were chronicled in Arkansas Biography. He is perhaps best known for reading a poem at the second inauguration of Bill Clinton. One of his best-known poems is "The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina."

Kevin D. Prufer is an American poet, academic, editor, and essayist. His most recent books are How He Loved Them ,Churches, In A Beautiful Country and National Anthem.

The Poets' Prize is awarded annually for the best book of verse published by a living American poet two years prior to the award year. The $3000 annual prize is donated by a committee of about 20 American poets, who each nominate two books and who also serve as judges. The Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City hosts the annual awards reception in May, which includes readings by the winner and finalists. The founders of the prize were Robert McDowell, Frederick Morgan, and Louis Simpson. The current co-chairs of the prize committee are Robert Archambeau (poet) and Marc Vincenz.

Etel Adnan Poet, essayist, visual artist

Etel Adnan is a Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and visual artist. In 2003, Adnan was named "arguably the most celebrated and accomplished Arab American author writing today" by the academic journal MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.

Laura M. McCullough is an American poet and writer living in the state of New Jersey. McCullough is the author of seven published collections and is the founding editor of Mead: the Magazine of Literature and Libations. She was a finalist for the 2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize.

Lisa Suhair Majaj is a Palestinian-American poet and scholar. Born in Hawarden, Iowa, Majaj was raised in Jordan. She earned a B.A. in English literature from American University of Beirut and an M.A. in English Literature, an M.A. in American Culture and a PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. In 2001, she moved to Nicosia, Cyprus. Her poetry and essays have been widely published. In 2008, she was awarded the Del Sol Press Annual Poetry Prize for her poetry manuscript Geographies of Light. "In difficult times, poets and writers have always provided lifelines."

Mary O'Malley is an Irish poet whose work has been published in various literary magazines. She has published seven poetry books since 1990 and her poems have been translated into several languages.

Carmen Giménez Smith American poet

Carmen Giménez Smith is an American poet, writer and editor.

Francisco Aragón poet

Francisco Aragón is a Latino poet, editor and writer.

Deborah Paredez American poet

Deborah Paredez is an American poet, scholar, and cultural critic. She is the author of the poetry collection, This Side of Skin, and the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory. She is Co-Founder and Co-Director of CantoMundo, a national organization that supports Latino poets and poetry. She lives in New York City where she is a professor of creative writing and ethnic studies at Columbia University.

Eduardo C. Corral American writer

Eduardo C. Corral is an American poet and MFA Assistant Professor in the Department of English at NC State University. His first collection, Slow Lightning, published by Yale University Press, was the winner of the 2011 Yale Younger Series Poets award, making him the first Latino recipient of this prize.

Natalie Diaz Mojave poet

Natalie Diaz is a Mojave American poet, language activist, and educator. She is enrolled in the Gila River Indian Community.

Laurie Ann Guerrero is an award-winning Chicana poet from San Antonio, Texas. She was the poet laureate of San Antonio from 2014-2016 and the Poet Laureate of Texas from 2016-2017. In the fall semester of 2017, she became the first writer-in-residence at Texas A&M University San Antonio and a "fully immersed faculty member. She will teach a contemporary American woman poets course, host numerous University writing workshops and mentor students while working on her next writing project."

CantoMundo is an American literary organization founded in 2009 to support Latino poets and poetry. It hosts an annual poetry workshop dedicated to the creation, documentation, and critical analysis of Latinx poetry.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, born 1988, is an award-winning poet and activist. He lives in Marysville, California, with his wife and son.

Rosebud Ben-Oni

Rosebud Ben-oni is a Latina-Jewish American poet and writer.

Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author. She is the author of a young adult novel, The Poet X, a New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Finalist.

David Campos (poet) is an American poet, writer, and producer of video poetry from California. His debut collection, Furious Dusk, won the 2014 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize from Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies (ILS).


  1. "Member Presses". Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  2. The First Ten Years. Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press. 1990.
  3. "About". University of Arkansas Press. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  4. "University of Arkansas Press (UA Press)". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  5. "Poultry Icon Loses Battle With Cancer". Arkansas Online. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  6. "Larry Malley, Director Emeritus of the University of Arkansas Press, Dies at 78". University of Arkansas News. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  7. "Interim director Bieker elevated to UA Press exec". Arkansas Online. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  8. "Miller Williams Remembered as Poet, Educator, Co-Founder of University of Arkansas Press". University of Arkansas News. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  9. "The Apple That Astonished Paris". University of Arkansas Press. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  10. "Billy Collins Named Editor of the Miller Williams Poetry Series". University of Arkansas News. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  11. "U of A Press, CantoMundo Establish Poetry Prize". University of Arkansas News. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  12. "U of A Press, Arab American Writers Establish Etel Adnan Poetry Prize". University of Arkansas News. Retrieved 2019-01-25.