Photo of US President Bill Clinton and the Honorable John Corcoran contributed by the John Corcoran Foundation

“Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit, bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.”
Miller Williams

Miller Williams in Arkansas

Miller Williams (1930-2015) was an author, poet, and founder of the University of Arkansas Press. He founded the University of Arkansas Press in the mid-size college town of Fayetteville in 1980 and became its first director. He was selected by President Bill Clinton (pictured above) to read an original poem at the 1997 US Presidential Inauguration. The poem, Of History and Hope, can be found on the website at

Another example of a Miller Williams poem is Going Deaf, which can be found through

Williams was the author of more than 30 books and nearly half were volumes of poetry. Read more about the life and works of Miller Williams at

Univesity of Arkansas Press

The mission of today’s University of Arkansas Press is stated as such on “The University of Arkansas Press advances the mission of the University of Arkansas by publishing peer-reviewed scholarship and literature of enduring value. We curate a list of books by authors of diverse backgrounds writing for specialty as well as general audiences in Arkansas and throughout the world.”

University of Arkansas Library

The University of Arkansas Press is not open to the public but check the University of Arkansas Library Special Collections Exhibit (Fayetteville) at 365 N. McIlroy Avenue for the works and any special exhibits concerning the legacy of Miller Williams.

Due to limited open hours, scheduling appointments in advance with the Special Collections Department is highly recommended.

The Library is the first stop on the Arkansas Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart