Jo McDougall Releases New Book: In the Home of the Famous Dead
Jo McDougall is happy to announce the publication of her new book, In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems<, University of Arkansas Press. It was released on April 1, 2015.

The book is $24,95, paper; $49.95, cloth, limited edition, signed. The book may be ordered from the University of Arkansas Press ( ,, University of Chicago Press distribution, 1-800-621-2736, or anywhere books are sold.

Jo McDougall Reading and Signing Events
I will be making a number of appearances over the next few months. Please check this page for a list of my appearances.

Jo McDougall Receives More Positive Reviews
Jo McDougall has received two additional positive reviews for her work:

Jo McDougall Review: Put This On Please: New and Selected Poems
Jo's review of William Trowbridge's latest book, Put This On Please: New and Selected Poems, is in the Spring 2015 issue of the Georgia Review. You can read it by clicking here.

Videos Posted in Audio/Video Section!
I am proud to announce we have posted several audio and video recordings on my website, and you can view them by visiting my Audio & Video page. I hope you enjoy!

Surprise Is What We Live For....
Life surprises. That’s why I write—to record those surprises, to stop them in time. Poetry offers a deeper look into the absurdities of the world-- the juxtapositions of tragedy and joy, the fantastical and the mundane—than one sees on the surface.

I eavesdrop on people. I want their stories, the ones they tell and the ones they don’t. I like a sense of place. I want to know, in a poem, where I am standing. And I sometimes like a touch of sleaze.

When I write, I want my poems to connect with the reader. When I read, I want writing that asks me to take it home in the palm of my hand.

Jo McDougall

Poem from In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems
The perfect visit. We pay and we go in,
the way we first enter a hospital room
except that we don't have to talk to anyone
and the men if they wear hats keep them on.
We know this is not the house they knew,
not the way they knew it, anyway,
when they were eating and laughing and having colds.
The best furniture has been removed, and the rugs.
What's left, the chintz and brass, is pissy stuff.
Still, there's a whiff of bacon in the kitchen.
We shuffle along besides the velvet ropes,
subdued. A small boy tries to cross under,
not yet afraid of dustless, perfect rooms.

-- from In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems, University of Arkansas Press. Order from the University of Arkansas Press, Amazon, University of Chicago Press book orders (1- 800-621-2736), or from your favorite bookstore.

What I Do

  • Visiting Writer/Writer-in-Residence: Readings, workshops, craft talks tailored to your venue.
  • Mentor, Consultant, Editor: Mentoring and editing services for poets and writers.
  • Contact Jo McDougall for more information!

    Who I Am

  • Published Poet & Writer:
  • Teacher: 30 years experience teaching English and creative writing. Associate Professor Emeritus of English.
  • Mentor: 30 years experience helping writers bring their work to publishable quality
  • Editor: University of Arkansas Press (intern), Midwest Quarterly, Crazyhorse, KRPS public radio, Pittsburg, KS; National Seminars Groups.
  • Poetry Judge: University of Arkansas, Georgia College and State University, New Letters (preliminary).


  • MFA in Creative Writing, University of Arkansas
  • See Biography for other degrees earned.

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    Credit for Photograph -- Wooldridge Photography
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