New Collection of Essays by English Professor Toni Jensen Released Today

Carry, a memoir-in-essays about gun violence, land and indigenous women's lives by Toni Jensen, a professor of fiction in the Program in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas, has been released today by Ballantine Books.

The publisher writes, "In Carry, Jensen maps her personal experience onto the historical, exploring how history is lived in the body and redefining the language we use to speak about violence in America."

"We're so pleased that Toni's superb essays are receiving the wide readership they deserve. The publication of her powerful and urgent book could not be more timely," said Davis McCombs, director of the Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the university's Department of English.

Described by William Quinn, chair of the Department of English, as "a brilliant and compelling voice," Jensen is the recipient of a 2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Jensen has been awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, and the OMNI Center for World Peace and Justice Faculty Award, created to "promote the study and teaching of peace and nonviolence."

Photo of Toni Jensen sitting on stair steps.In addition to Carry, Toni Jensen is the author of a short story collection, From the Hilltop, and her essays and stories have been published in journals such as OrionCatapult and Ecotone. She teaches in the Program in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas and in the low residency M.F.A. Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Métis.

Hear Toni Jensen read an excerpt from Carry, and then order the collection at

Founded in 1966, the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the 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.

About the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with three schools, 16 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring. 



Jane V. Blunschi, assistant director, Program in Creative Writing and Translation
Department of English


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