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A Prized Evening Celebrates Worthen and Porter Literary Prizes

A Prized Evening

Two Arkansas authors, Guy Lancaster and Davis McCombs, will be honored at A Prized Evening, the annual awarding of the Worthen and Porter Literary Prizes, on Thursday, October 1, at 6 p.m. in the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Main Library's Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. A book signing and reception will follow the presentation, which is free and open to the public. Reservations are appreciated, but not required. RSVP to or 501-918-3033.

The Booker Worthen Literary Prize will be awarded to Guy Lancaster, editor of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, for his book Racial Cleansing in Arkansas, 1883-1924: Politics, Land, Labor, and Criminality. Lancaster, a native of Jonesboro, holds a Ph.D. in Heritage Studies from Arkansas State University and currently serves as the creative materials editor of the Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies. He edited Arkansas in Ink: Ghosts, Gunslingers, and Other Graphic Tales (illustrated by Ron Wolfe) and, with Mike Polston, co-edited To Can the Kaiser: Arkansas and the Great War, both published by Butler Center Books.

Davis McCombs, director of Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, will receive the Porter Fund Literary Prize in recognition of his substantial and impressive body of work. McCombs has published two volumes of poetry, which have won numerous awards, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and many other publications.

The Worthen Prize was established by the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) in 1999 in memory of William Booker Worthen, a longtime supporter of the public library and a twenty-two-year member of CALS Board of Trustees. It is presented annually for the best work by an author or editor living in the CALS service area. The Porter Fund was established in 1985 by Jack Butler and Phillip McMath in honor of Dr. Ben Drew Kimpel, who requested the prize be named for his mother, Gladys Crane Kimpel Porter.