The most recent issue of The Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies celebrates the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum. The special issue features both scholars and creative writers who have been influenced by the museum. The scholars expand on the current understanding of the Hemingways and Pfeiffers by drawing on information found in the museum’s archives. The creative writers are participants and mentors of the semiannual Hemingway-Pfeiffer Writers’ Retreats, and their submissions were either written in Piggott or inspired by their time at the retreats. To learn more about this special issue, read Elaine Fowler Palencia’s review by clicking here.
In the News
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum & Educational Center recently held its Fall Writers’ Retreat. Thirteen talented writers from five states came together to hone their skills and to form a community in Northeast Arkansas at the site where Ernest Hemingway penned much of his iconic novel A Farewell to Arms.
Pat Carr of Fayetteville, Arkansas, served as mentor for the retreat. She has a B.A. and M.A. from Rice, a Ph.D. from Tulane and has taught writing and literature in universities and workshops across the country. She’s published sixteen books, including The Women in the Mirror, winner of the prestigious Iowa Fiction Award, and Death of a Confederate Colonel, winner of both the PEN Southwest Fiction Award and John Estes Cooke Civil War Fiction Award, and she has over a hundred short stories published in such places as The Southern Review and Best American Short Stories. Her most recent books are a memoir, One Page at a Time (2010), a how-to text, Writing Fiction with Pat Carr (2010), and a novella, The Radiance of Fossils (2012).
Writers began each day with group activities designed to inspire and encourage creative thought followed by a time to write. They enjoyed lunch together at the Educational Center and ended the afternoon with a group meeting to reflect, share, and discuss the products and processes used by each writer. The format allowed writers time to focus on their own creative interests, to receive feedback on their work, and to form relationships with other writers.
Writers’ Retreats are held twice annually at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott. The next retreat is scheduled for June 1-5, 2015, with Garry Craig Powell of Conway serving as mentor.
On the evening of October 24, the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott held a benefit dinner at the Fowler Center in Jonesboro. The event was called “The Hemingways’ Paris” and featured a Parisian dinner and winetasting, with Bruce Cochran of Jonesboro serving as sommelier.
Continuing with the Paris theme, the museum will lead a trip to the Hemingways’ Paris from March 22-30. On the Left Bank, they will walk in the footsteps of the artists of the Lost Generation: Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Pablo Picasso, and of course Ernest Hemingway. On the Right Bank, they will explore the world of Parisian fashion that Pauline Pfeiffer covered for Vogue magazine. They will see the world of Coco Chenal and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. In addition, they will visit other major Paris sites, as well as Versailles, Giverny, and Normandy, where Ernest covered the 1944 Invasion as a journalist.
The trip is open to the public, but space is limited and expected to fill up fast. The cost is $3198/person (land package, double-occupancy). To register for the trip, or to get information, contact the museum.
This is the second educational trip offered by the museum. Last May, 34 travelers explored Hemingway’s Cuba. Friday’s dinner featured an art exhibition by one of those travelers, Prof. James Richards of Fort Worth. His watercolors of Cuba can be seen on the third floor of the Ellis Library on the campus of ASU until Nov. 14. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
From October 27-November 14, an exhibition by James Richards, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington, will be on display on the third floor of Dean B. Ellis Library in Jonesboro. Here’s Prof. Richard’s description of his work:
“Hemingway’s writing an life have long beckoned the adventurous in spirit. Likewise, Cuba is a place of fascination for intrepid travelers, in part because Hemingway’s spirit remains a palpable presence there. In May 2014, the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center’s tour Hemingway’s Cuba provided both access to and excellent interpretation of this fascinating place and its connections to one of the giants of American literature.
As an artist and an academic, I’m interested in the intersection of place and creativity: the cities, towns, landscapes and experiences that inspire ideas and great works. Hemingway purposefully sought out places conducive to his writing–Paris and Key West, among others–but he lived and worked in Cuba longer than in any other setting. Drawing offered a fascinating way to deeply see and experience these locales, and to document a personal response to the places and people we encountered. These watercolor sketches offer a rare, authentic look at today’s Cuba, where past and present intertwine, and at many of the largely unchanged settings that fueled Hemingway’s imagination and some of his best writing.”
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum announced the winners of its 1st Annual Short Fiction Contest. Emily Hill won first place. Hill is an Arkansas native and sophomore at Hendrix College, where she plans to major in Psychology and minor in English. The contest’s judge believed that her story “A Fossilized Union,” “is an exceptionally inventive short-story that both magnifies the significance of our own histories and shrinks these stories in the grander narratives of the cosmos, geology, and time.”
Spencer Campbell of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was runner-up for the prize. Joining Campbell and Hill on the shortlist are Haley Albery (Lyon College), Kristen Elia (Lyon College), Jared Malone (Lyon College), Heather Neeley (University of the Ozarks), and Kelby Newcomb (Lyon College).
The contest was judged by Naomi Wood, author of the forthcoming novel Mrs. Hemingway. Wood lives in London, England, and teaches Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University. She has spent time as a fully-funded resident scholar at the Library of Congress and was the British Library’s 2012 Eccles Centre Writer in Residence.
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Short Fiction Contest is open to undergraduate students at public and private institutions in the state of Arkansas. This year, forty-four entries were submitted from eleven institutions across the state.
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center has passed the American Alliance of Museums’ Core Document Verification, an important milestone in its ongoing efforts to demonstrate excellence and meet standards and best practices.
Earning Core Documents Verification means the national professional organization for the museum industry has verified–through a thorough expert review–that the museum has an educational mission and ethics, planning, emergency, and collections stewardship policies in place that reflect standard practices of professional museums. These elements were evaluated because they are deemed essential for every institution that identifies itself as a professional member of the museum field.
One reason we undertook this outside review was to show our public that the museum has in place the policies and plans that are essential to good museum management and which provide our staff and governing authority the structure, ethical grounding, and accountability needed to make informed and consistent decisions for the good of our public and in support of our mission and sustainability.
In the trucktrend.com travel article, Arkansas’ Mississippi River Delta, the Truck Trend staff write about their Mississippi River Delta tourism excursion, taken via a Chevy Silverado, which included stops at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, the boyhood home of Johnny Cash, the Rohwer Relocation Center, and the Lakeport Plantation, among others. The travel article is accompanied by an extensive Travel Photo Gallery which contains photos of all the sites they visited. To view the article, please click here.
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