Arkansas Author: Jo McDougall
Meet Jo Dougall. Jo was born and raised in Arkansas but lives in Kansas now. You might be wondering why she’s being featured as an “Arkansas Author” if she lives in a different state. Well, considering she was raised in Arkansas and her latest book is about Arkansas, we made an exception. We don’t think you’ll regret it. Check out the info on Jo McDougall and her latest book, Daddy’s Money: a Memoir of Farm and Family.
Name: Jo McDougall
Current location: Leawood, Kan., a part of the Kansas City metropolitan area
Where did you grow up? On a rice farm near DeWitt, Ark.
Book title: Daddy’s Money: a Memoir of Farm and Family
Book publisher: University of Arkansas Press
The book is about growing up on a rice farm in the Arkansas Delta and coming of age during and right after World War II. It’s about my family-trying to discover who my parents and other ancestors really were, trying to discover the ways in which they shaped me. It’s also about the ways that world steered me toward becoming a poet and writer.
Why did you choose this subject?
I believe no one has yet published an account of growing up on a rice farm in the United States. Most people don’t realize that rice is grown in the United States, and they may not know that Arkansas is the largest rice-producing state in the country. I grew up with the romance of rice growing, in a fascinating part of Arkansas, with a compelling and quirky cast of characters–my kin. I wanted to put this segment of my life–from the time I was four or five until I was about 15–down in writing, or that way of life, that time and place, those amazing people would be lost.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by good writing in any genre–sports columns, biographies, short stories, poetry. Observing people, eavesdropping now and then, and being open to the world’s surprises often lead me to write, or attempt to write, a poem or an essay. My inspiration comes from being in the world–listening between the lines, looking behind the obvious facades. As a friend and poet once said, “The world is winking at you all the time.” It’s my business to notice when it does.
Experienced reporter who is now an entrepreneur. Jamie's Notebook offers writing services including press releases, corporate blogging and feature writing.