University of Arkansas Press Announces New Books for Spring

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Press will publish nine new books in the spring 2021 season in the fields of African American history, Arkansas and regional history, military history, queer studies, poetry, and art. 

Better Living by Their Own Bootstraps: Black Women’s Activism in Rural Arkansas, 1914-1965 by Cherisse Jones-Branch is the first major study to consider Black women’s activism in rural Arkansas. 

Jones-Branch foregrounds activists’ quest to improve Black communities through language and foodways as well as politics and community organizing. In reexamining these efforts, she lifts many important figures out of obscurity, positioning them squarely within Arkansas’ agrarian history. This work will be available in May.

The Ku Klux Klan established a significant foothold in Arkansas in the 1920s, boasting more than 150 state chapters and tens of thousands of members at its zenith. 

Propelled by the prominence of state leaders such as Grand Dragon James Comer and head of Women of the KKK Robbie Gill Comer, the Klan established Little Rock as a seat of power second only to Atlanta. In The Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Arkansas: How Protestant White Nationalism Came to Rule a State, Kenneth C. Barnes traces this explosion of white nationalism and its impact on the state’s development. This book will be available in March.

Shared Secrets: The Queer World of Newbery Medalist Charles J. Finger by Elizabeth Findley Shores relates the untold story of British expatriate Charles Joseph Finger (1867–1941), exploring the secrets that connected the author to an international community of 20th-century queer literati. It will be available in February.

Winner of the 2021 Miller Williams Poetry Prize, Eternal Sentences by Michael McGriff is “a blend of the low-rent sociology of Raymond Carver with the quirky imagination of Richard Brautigan,” writes series editor Billy Collins. “Eternal Sentences will come at its readers as a series of happily endless delights.” Available in March.

Moon News by Craig Blais, and I/O by Madeleine Wattenberg were the finalists for the 2021 Miller Williams Poetry Prize. Collins writes that Moon News is “a dazzling collection of fully American sonnets. To read these poems is to be both enclosed by the sonnet’s chalk lines and released by the wildness of the content.” Wattenberg’s poems, Collins writes, “sparkle with stunningly inventive images. I/O is a book of expansive power and enviable craft.” Both will be available in March.

Published in collaboration with Peabody Essex Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, In American Waters: The Sea in American Painting, edited by Daniel Finamore and Austen Barron Bailly, highlights American art historical and cultural traditions associated with the sea, deepening our understanding of it as a symbol of American ambition, opportunity, and invention. Available in May.

Minuteman: A Technical History of the Missile That Defined American Nuclear Warfare by David K. Stumpf demystifies the intercontinental ballistic missile program that was conceived at the end of the Eisenhower administration as a key component of the U.S. nuclear strategy of massive retaliation. This book is now available.

Published just days before America’s entry into World War II, Ozark Country is Otto Ernest Rayburn’s love letter to his adopted region, one of several chronicles of the Ozarks that garnered national attention during the Depression and war years, when many Americans craved stories about people and places seemingly untouched by the difficulties of the times. Ozark Country is the latest in the Chronicles of the Ozarks Series. Available in April.

About the University of Arkansas Press: The University of Arkansas Press, a division of the University of Arkansas Office of Research and Innovation, advances the mission of the University of Arkansas by publishing peer-reviewed scholarship and literature of enduring value. The Press publishes books by authors of diverse backgrounds writing for specialty as well as general audiences in Arkansas and throughout the world.

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% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A 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.


Charlie Shields, advertising and communications manager
University of Arkansas Press


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