One of President Bill Clinton’s diarists will speak at Arkansas State University on April 12. Janis Kearney, a former publisher of the Arkansas State Press newspaper, spent five years serving as President Bill Clinton’s personal diarist, according to ASU.
In 2004, she founded Writing Our World Press, and recently relocated to Little Rock. She has completed fellowships and guest lectureships at Chicago City Colleges, DePaul University and ASU. She is the author of non-fiction and fiction works including “Once Upon a Time There Was a Girl: A Murder at Mobile Bay.” Her latest book is “Jake Mosby: A Man for All Seasons,” a memoir on the life and memories of a World War II veteran.
She and poet Terry Minchow-Proffitt will speak as part of the Delta Symposium XXIV: Discovering the Region’s Voices series.
Minchow-Proffitt, a retired pastor who lives in St. Louis, is originally from the Arkansas Delta. He often uses memories and imagery from his upbringing in West Helena and Dyess. His poetry and essays have been published in a variety of literary magazines, and his recent compilation of poetry is in the collection “Chicken Train: Poems from the Arkansas Delta.”
Earlier that day, Kearney will give Delta Symposium’s keynote presentation at 1:15 p.m. in the Mockingbird Room of the Carl R. Reng Student Union. She will present “Still I Rise: A Blueprint for the Celebrate! Maya Project of Arkansas.” The project commemorates Maya Angelou’s important artistic, musical and literary contributions. The organization was formed in 2014 to educate Arkansans about the literary icon who spent much of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas.
Members of the project include a small, diverse group of artists, writers, educators, historians, nonprofit administrators and others from around the state.