Those who attended the many exhibits that accompanied the "Life Interrupted" project in Little Rock in 2004 will recall the tremendous art generated by the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in camps at Rohwer and Jerome in Arkansas during World War II. Among the exhibits was a show titled "Lasting Beauty: Miss Jamison and the Student Muralists," at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies announced last week that it has received "Miss Jamison's" collection of art and hundreds of documents generated at Rohwer, a gift of former McGehee mayor Rosalie Gould. Gould and Rohwer art teacher Mabel Jamison Vogel made it their cause to preserve the memory of Rohwer, which was dismantled, and Jamison Vogel left Gould the collection in her will.
The collection has been described as "truly unmatched among objects in public collections," a press release from the Butler Center says. Besides art, documents and photographs, the collection includes a set of 185 handwritten autobiographies of internees dating from 1942.
Butler Center director David Stricklin said the collection will be exhibited in the future.
The natural state of Twitter
After Rep. David Sanders (R-Little Rock) introduced a bill last week that calls for Arkansas to change its motto from "The Natural State" back to "The Land of Opportunity," the Arkansas Twitterverse latched onto the motto meme with other nominations at #rejectedarkansasnicknames and #rejectedarkansasmottos.
Here are some of the best:
Arkansas — Surprisingly difficult to draw. (@angryczech)
If Ted Danson Can Stomach Us, So Can You (@amybhole)
Where Retired Northerners Come To Complain About Taxes (@robybrock)
Arkansas: You can't marry within the same sex, but you can within the same family (@sethpurcell5)
So Nice, T.I. Has Been Twice (@JeremyDewey)
Arkansas — Where Progress Comes To Nap (@SmackOfHamBlog)
While Arkansas will probably never catch up to storied Mississippi in terms of our literary reputation, several young authors in the state are making a heck of a dent. The latest is Alexander poet Bryan Borland, whose book of poems, "My Life as Adam" (Sibling Rivalry Press), was recently selected for The American Library Association's "Over the Rainbow" list of the best gay and lesbian books of 2010.
Borland, whose poetry has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize three times, said that the inclusion of "My Life as Adam" on the ALA list is an honor for a uniquely Arkansan book.
"I grew up in Monticello, at a time when being an out, gay man was an impossibility," Borland said. " 'My Life as Adam' takes the reader through the path toward self-acceptance, a path that cut right through Arkansas."
In addition to being a poet, Borland is also the editor and publisher of the poetry journal Assaracus, which he said is the only quarterly journal dedicated exclusively to the work of gay male poets. The journal's first issue came out in January. It's clear it was needed, he said, because submissions for upcoming issues have been pouring in.
For more information about the author, "My Life as Adam," or Assaracus, visit Borland's website at www.bryanborland.com.