UCA alumnus publishes poetry collection

A University of Central Arkansas alumnus has recently released his first collection of poetry.

"The Truth About the Son" Book CoverJamie Cooper, who earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UCA in 2002, has published a chapbook of poems called “The Truth About the Sun.” A chapbook is a short publication usually containing poems, ballads or short stories.

Published by Finishing Line Press, “The Truth About the Sun” includes reflections on ancient mythology, human history and both Renaissance and contemporary art and literature. It also contemplates the power of dreams and their ability to reimagine reality. It was partly inspired by “The Golden Bough,” a comparative study of religion and mythology first published in 1890 by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer.

As an undergraduate, Cooper started UCA as a journalism major and spent time writing for “The Echo” as a student. But after taking a couple of English classes with some of his friends, he realized he had a passion for a different style of writing.Jamie Cooper

“Once I got a taste of that I realized I definitely wanted to study literature,” Cooper said. “That dovetailed with my interest in creative writing. I had been writing my own creative stuff the entire time, but when I had a couple of things published in the Vortex [UCA’s Magazine of Literature and Fine Art], that was a turning point for me.”

Cooper specifically remembers enjoying John Vanderslice’s creative writing class.

“He was truly instrumental in me wanting to take writing seriously,” Cooper added.

Originally from West Memphis, Arkansas, Cooper now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he earned the 2020 Oregon Literary Fellowship. His work has recently been featured in Blue Earth Review, Molotov Cocktail, Tempered Runes Press, Fractured Lit and UPROXX Sports. He is currently working on a second chapbook as well as a full-length manuscript.