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James Whitehead co-founded the UA Creative Writing program in 1965 and helped bring it to national prominence. He taught literary luminaries Barry Hannah, Ellen Gilchrist and C.D. Wright, among others, and made his own contributions to literature through four books of poetry and a critically acclaimed novel, “Joiner.” He died August 15. Whitehead is pictured here with William Harrison, center, Miller Williams, right, and behind them, the construction of Kimpel Hall.

Image used Courtesy of University of Arkansas Special Collections, Fayetteville, AR.



for our twenty-fifth anniversary and afterwards

Probably if I live I’ll end up down there
On the Singing River in a fishing camp.–
The thought of irresponsibility
So quickens my spirits I think I’ll cry.

The children, having chosen glory or not,
Will write or come around when they want to,
And Gen, who’ll say she’s had enough of me,
Will call to check about my heart and weight.–
She’ll show up driving the Ambassador.

Well, I’ll light up and smile to see her coming.
She always was the best thing that I did,
And the two of us will sit up watching movies,–
And if you think this end is dreams, you’re wrong.

With brains and luck all things are possible.

— James Whitehead
— from “Actual Size,” 1985

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