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Jo Mcdougall, Kansas Author

Jo McDougall

Poetry and Chapbooks

Under the Arkansas Sky, Book Cover

Satisfied with Havoc, Book Cover

Dirt, Book Cover

From Darkening Porches, Book Cover

Towns Facing Railroads, Book Cover

The Woman in The Next Booth, Book Cover

Women Who Marry Houses, Book Cover


Essays and Monographs

Daddy's Money, Book Cover

Roots and Recognition, Book Cover


Emerson County Shaping Dream



Jo McDougall, the author of five books of poetry, lives in Leawood, Kansas. She received her MFA from the University of Arkansas as well as her her B.S.H.E. (with high honors), and her Associate in Arts from Stephen's College in Columbia, Missouri.

She has taught English and Creative writing at Pittsburg State University. She co-directed the writing program and directed the Distinguished Visitng Writers Series. Additionally, she is a past member of the board of directors for the Writers Place in Kansas City, Missouri and a member of the Advisory Board of the Arkansas Porter Prize Literary Fund.

She has also taught at various additional universities and colleges in Kansas: Louisiana and Arkansas as well as at writer's conferences in Missouri, Maine, Texas, and Oklahoma. She was an Associate Professor Emeritus in English at Pittsburg State University. She and her family now reside in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Published Work  


  • The Undiscovered Room (Tavern Books, 2016)
  • In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems (University of       Arkansas Press, 2015)
  • Under an Arkansas Sky (Tavern Press, 2010, Chapbook)
  • Daddy's Money (University of Arkansas Press, 2011)
  • Satisfied with Havoc (Autumn House Press, 2004)
  • Dirt (Autumn House Press, 2001; 3rd printing, 2006)
  • From Darkening Porches (University of Arkansas Press, 1996)
  • Roots and Recognition: Where Poetry Comes From (Friends of Timmons       Chapel, 1994)
  • Towns Facing Railroads: Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 1991)
  • The Woman in the Next Booth (BkMk Press, 1987; Reprinted 2000)
  • Women Who Marry Houses (Coyote Love Press, 1983; Chapbook)


  • Review by Jo of Put This On: New & Selected Poems by W. Trowbridge
  • Excerpt from Daddy's Money, a memoir. Arkansas Review Spring 2009
  • “In the Land of Onion Sets: A Poet Pays Tribute to the Influence of Flannery       O’Connor.” The Flannery O’Connor Review. Volume 4. Summer 2006
  • “Of Time, Place, and Eternity: Ted Kooser at the Crossroads.” Midwest       Quarterly. Vol. XLVI. No. 4. Summer, 2005
  • “Excerpt from Daddy’s Money, a Memoir.” Salamander. Vol 10. No. 2,       2005.
  • “Letter to a Young Poet.” Midwest Quarterly. Vol. XLIV. No. 4. 2003
  • “A Place Called Talk.” Somewhere Apart . University of Arkansas Press.       May 1997
  • Roots and Recognition: Where Poetry Comes From. Monograph. Pittsburg       State University, 1994       Contact Jo McDougall to Order.


  • The Working Poet: 75 Writing Exercises and a Poetry Anthology. Scott        Minar, ed. Autumn House Press 2009
  • For, From, About James T. Whitehead: Poems, Stories, Photographs, and       Reminiscences. Michael Burns, ed. Moon City Press 2009
  • Wenn ohne Grun die Nacht schon ist. (The Berlin Anthology, international       literature festival berlin). Ulrich Schreiber, ed. Verlag Verwork 8 2009
  • Form III Shorts (Norfolk Academy). Jake Cohen, ed. Copley Custom       Textbooks, XanEdu Custom Publishing 2009
  • The Poets Guide to the Birds. Judith Kitchen and Ted Kooser, editors.       Anhinga Press 2009
  • When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by       American Women. Andrea Hollander Budy, ed. Autumn House Press 2009
  • Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry. Robert Strong,       ed. Autumn House 2007
  • The Sixth Surface: Steven Holl Lights the Nelson Atkins Museum. J.M.       Rees, ed. topo|graphis press 2007
  • Making a Poem: Some Thoughts About Poetry and the People Who Write       It. Miller Williams, ed. Louisiana State University Press 2006
  • Chance of a Ghost. Gloria Vando and Philip Miller, editors. Helicon Nine       Editions 2005
  • Good Poems for Hard Times. Garrison Keillor, ed. Viking 2005
  • The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Sue       Ellen Thompson, ed. Autumn House 2005
  • New Century North American Poets. John Garmon et al, editors. River       King Press. 2002
  • The Made Thing. 2nd edition, Leon Stokesbury, ed. U. of Arkansas Press       1999
  • Somewhere Apart (collection of essays by Arkansas residents). Compiled       by the staff of the Arkansas Times and the staff of the University of       Arkansas Press 1997
  • A New Geography of Poets. Edward Field et al, editors. U. of Ark. Press       1992
  • Patterns of Poetry, An Encyclopedia of Forms. Miller Williams, ed. LSU       1986.

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    Writing Samples  


    It is just as well we do not see,
    in the shadows behind the hasty tent
    of the Allen Brothers Greatest Show,
    Lola the Lion Tamer and the Great Valdini
    in Nikes and jeans
    sharing a tired cigarette
    before she girds her wrists with glistening amulets
    and snaps the tigers into rage,
    before he adjusts the glimmering cummerbund
    and makes from air
    the white and trembling doves, the pair.

    Dirt, Autumn House Press


    She had lost her memory at 35.
    "So what?" her husband always says, and smiles
    when someone remarks. Tonight they've come
    to hear B.B. King in concert, live, in Memphis.
    They saw B.B. last year, but she can't recall.
    Her husband reminds her of that evening now,
    quickly moving them through the smoky crowd
    so she can get a closer look. In perfect
    patience and love, he seats her where she commands
    a clear view of the stage, closing his hand
    and opening it on the smooth back of her chair.
    At the small table, their elbows touch.
    On the stage, B.B. is resplendent in black
    and baby blue. The husband asks his wife
    if she remembers the color of the jacket
    when they saw him last. "Pink," she says.
    It was orange. But he likes the way she touches his arm
    when memory skims the surface of her mind
    like, he imagines, the shadow of a gull
    over sleeping water. His face burns
    with the thought, the hope, that tonight in bed--
    perhaps early, perhaps late--she will turn
    to him and speak against his back, recalling
    the jacket perfectly

    Dirt, Autumn House Press

    Dancing Man

    The music in Mick's Bar tonight
    is three parts smoke and one part hard down blues.
    The man who brought me is drinking bourbon shots and beer.
    The woman in the next booth shouts
    Play something for me Play something slow for me.

    I turn for another drink
    and one of the men on the dance floor
    has on your brown hat,
    three guinea feathers in the hat band.
    Bur you are in Mexico, or Greece.

    I would leave with him,
    let him do whatever he wanted to do
    if he would keep the hat on.

    The Woman in the Next Booth, BkMk Press, U. of Mo-Kansas City

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    • A DeWitt Wallace/Reader’s Digest Award.
    • Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Arkansas Arts Council
    • Teacher of the Year.
    • Pittsburg State University chapter of Sigma Tau Delta
      the Porter Prize for Literature.
    • An Academy of American Poets award, among others.

    She has also been inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame

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