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Arkansas Literary Forum

The Arkansas Literary Forum (ALF) was an internet literary journal published each fall by Henderson State University (HSU) in Arkadelphia (Clark County). ALF publishes short stories, poetry, one-act plays, essays, and artwork exclusively by artists living in, originating from, or with strong ties to Arkansas.

Marck Beggs founded the journal in 1999, with support from HSU, where he serves as dean of the graduate school. Beggs, who had worked as an editor with Denver Quarterly and Crazyhorse magazine, thought the work of Arkansas writers lacked recognition. Though Arkansas had a handful of literary journals, none featured Arkansas writers and artists exclusively. Beggs hoped to bolster the prominence of Arkansas writers and artists by presenting work by nationally recognized artists alongside the work of newcomers. Tricia Thibodeaux, Alana Merritt Mahaffey, and Michael Ray Taylor served as associate editors for the journal. The bulk of the selection process was done by Beggs, who read every manuscript, while the associate editors helped with solicitations. About half of each issue was solicited from established Arkansas authors. The remainder was selected from unsolicited manuscripts. Between twenty and thirty percent of the unsolicited manuscripts received were selected for publication.

The first issue featured such notable Arkansas writers as Jack Butler, Werner Trieschmann, and Andrea Hollander Budy. The journal has also featured writing by such well-known authors as Ellen Gilchrist, Donald Harington, Jo McDougall, Crescent Dragonwagon, and Miller Williams. ALF authors have won National Book Awards and Pushcart Prizes and have been published in prestigious journals; many have published novels or collections.

Beggs brought ALF to an end in 2008 in order to focus more energy on his own work. The journal archives were moved from the HSU website to his personal site.

For additional information:
Arkansas Literary Forum. http://www.marckbeggs.com/ALF/open.html (accessed January 12, 2009).

Beggs, Marck L. “Birthing an On-Line Literary Journal: The Arkansas Literary Forum.” Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies 32 (December 2001): 216–217.

C. L. Bledsoe
Ghoti Magazine

Last Updated 5/4/2015

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