Clinton Presidential Center, photo courtesy of reader Joni Hewitt

Literary Arkansas

Poetry is often the first form of writing to naturally emerge when the emotions of happiness and pain peak. Arkansas, with its peaceful scenic vistas juxtaposed against a history of human conflict, brought forth some of America’s greatest 20th century poets, such as Maya Angelou and Miller Williams. It also gave rise to rural-flavored children’s literature and the first US president to focus on adult and workplace literacy, former US President Bill Clinton. In addition, the married couple of John Gould Fletcher and Charlie May Simon, two one-and-only personalities, left a lasting imprint as Arkansas writers as well.

The Arkansas Author Adventures Trail includes a variety of places revealing grief, growth, and glory, ranging from the railroad tracks of historic segregation to a presidential library.

Click any link below for author and place information.

A. and B. Bill Clinton, Hope and Little Rock
C. John Gould Fletcher, Little Rock
D. Charlie May Simon, Little Rock
E. Maya Angelou, Stamps

In addition to the sites above, works of notable poet and co-founder of the University of Arkansas Press Miller Williams may be found at the University of Arkansas Library in Fayetteville, though it is easy to find biographical information about his life and examples of his literature simply by visiting

The following map outlines the Arkansas Author Adventures Trail, which includes the stops for Miller Williams, Bill Clinton, John Gould Fletcher, Charlie May Simon, and Maya Angelou.

Here is a timeline of the Arkansas historical literary sites: