UA Little Rock poetry professor H.K. Hummel published her first poem when she was just 21 after winning the grand prize in a love poetry contest. She has since published numerous poems, co-founded an online poetry journal, and written a creative writing guide now being used in college classrooms across the country. This weekend, she’s one of the featured authors at the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival.
On Saturday, April 27, Hummel will present a writing workshop based on her book Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology beginning at 11:30 a.m. at The Bookstore at Library Square, 120 River Market Ave., in downtown Little Rock.
The text is an introduction to the art and craft of extremely compressed works of imaginative literature in which Hummel and co-author Stephanie Lenox introduce both traditional and innovative approaches to the short-form and demonstrate how it possesses structure, logic, and coherence while simultaneously resisting expectations. The book covers prose poetry, flash fiction, micro memoir, lyric essay, cross-genre/hybrid writing, and more.
Hummel uses many of the writing prompts in her text to engage her students. Her class recently experimented with flash fiction, a form of writing that can be as short as a page, or a paragraph, or even a sentence.
“They love it because it’s fun, and it’s unintimidating,” she said. “It’s easier to say ‘I’m going to write a paragraph’ than ‘I’m going to write 20 pages. The trick then is to make every word in that paragraph count.’”
In addition to teaching creative writing at UA Little Rock, Hummel, along with Professor Jeffrey Condran, are the faculty advisors for Equinox, a journal of contemporary literature at UA Little Rock. The journal is celebrating its new issue with a launch party on the last day of the literary festival, on Sunday, April 28, from 2-4 p.m. at UA Little Rock Downtown, 333 President Clinton Ave. There will be live music, a student reading, and an awards ceremony.
Hummel has a full-length poetry collection, Lessons in Breathing Underwater, which will be released in November by Sundress Publications. She is currently working on a new collection of poems inspired, in part, by a research trip she took last summer along 1,500 miles of the U.S. Civil Rights trail, thanks to a UA Little Rock faculty research grant.
Hummel earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Davis; a Master of Arts in English literature from Eastern Washington University; and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing (poetry) from University of Southern Maine. She co-founded the online poetry journal Blood Orange Review, which is now housed at Washington State University, and continues to serve on its advisory board. She received a fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council and an Emerging Writer-in-Residence fellowship from the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, and her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.
Events related to UA Little Rock include the following:
Friday, April 26 – Author! Author! event honoring this year’s authors, 7-9 p.m., Main Library, 100 S. Rock St. Books will be available for purchase. Tickets are $25 in advance at cals.org or $40 at the door and include hors d’oeuvres and libations.
Saturday, April 27 – Reading by poet Jericho Brown, 11:30 a.m., Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave. Dr. Laura Barrio-Villar, associate professor in the UA Little Rock English department, will moderate.
Saturday, April 27 – Discussion of “Short-Form Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology” by H.K. Hummel, 11:30 a.m., Bookstore at the Library Square, 120 River Market Ave.
Sunday, April 28 – 2019 Equinox launch, student readings, and music by the band Dazz and Brie, 2-4 p.m., UA Little Rock Downtown, 333 President Clinton Ave.
Flash fiction flash of insight, or flash of a sight For just a moment, you see the world. Imaging it’s nighttime and a lightening bolt light up everythin.g Flash fiction a like aflas of insight or a momentary vision.
UA Little Rock poetry professor H.K. Hummel compares creative writing flashes to harnessing a lightning bolt. She is the author of “Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology” and will be featured at the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival. Photo by Benjamin Krain