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Jo McDougall

Official Site of Literary Mentor, Writer & Poet



Photo credit: Dixie Knight Photography

Jo McDougall is a well-known author, teacher, mentor, and poet with over 40 years experience in the art of poetry.  She was named Poet Laureate of Arkansas by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2018 for a four year term.

"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

As poet laureate, her interests lie in the nurturing, development, and prosperity of poets, old and new.

"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.

- Jo McDougall

Photo Credit: Paul Kreth

Jo with Arkansas Governer
Asa Hutchison
proclaiming her Poet
Lauraete of Arkansas
May 7, 2018

HIGHLIGHTS in 2018-2019


Mar 29

Reading with Jon Tribble,  University of Arkansas -Little Rock.


April 1

Named Poet Laureate of Arkansas by Governor Asa Hutchinson.


April 12

Read with Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington, founding editors of Sibling Rivalry Press, Guillermo’s Coffee Bar, Little Rock.​

April 14

Featured speaker and workshop leader, Spring Poetry Day, Poets Roundtable ofArkansas. Little Rock.

May 7

Commissioned by Governor Hutchinson to write a poem on the hopeful future of Arkansas.

A poem for Asa Hutchinson's Gubernatorial Inauguration, January 15, 2019

The Jo McDougall Poetry Prize established by Equinox, student creative writing journal, University of Arkansas-Little Rock.


Nomination for Pushcart Prize.

March 3

Applied for Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship


April 10-11

Reading, Delta Symposium; poetry workshop; Arkansas State University, Jonesboro.


May 19

Featured in High Profile of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (link below)

June 20

Gala honoring Jo McDougall as recipient of the 2019 Porter Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in Literature, William J. Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

August 31

Featured speaker, poetry; White County Creative Writers Conference; Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas.


Delivered commissioned poem to Governor Hutchinson


November 9

On panel honoring C.D.Wright, the C.D Wright Writers Conference, University of Central Arkansas, Conway.


January 11

On panel to judge poets’ poems and performances for appearance with Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, summer 2019.  Ron Robinson Theater, Little Rock, Arkansas. 

January 15

Read commissioned poem, “Anything We want, Anything We Dream: For the People of Arkansas,” Governor Hutchinson’s inauguration ceremony, Little Rock.

February, March

Poems requested by editors for journals and anthologies. Poems have appeared or will appear in South Florida Poetry Journal;  Women Make Arkansas, Et Alia Press; Arkansas Review: Special Issue on Contemporary Delta Poets and Poetry; Across the Waves: Poems from Ireland and the United States; Salmon Poetry.

Jo honored with Lifetime Achievement Award June 20, 2019 winning the Porter Prize for Literary Arts

News & Events

In the news

Arkansas Democrat Gazette

High Profile, May 19, 2019

No upcoming events at the moment


For any media inquiries, please contact Mrs. McDougall directly at:

Tel: (870) 830-3393 | Email: jomcdougall@sbcglobal.net

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