UAMS Launches New Online Literary Journal

By Spencer Watson

“Our UAMS community is full of artistic and creative individuals and our journal is a venue to share these talents and interests with each other and those in Arkansas and around the globe,” said Erick Messias, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., editor in chief and College of Medicine associate dean for faculty affairs.

The first issue is online at Brenda Burks, assistant director for the UAMS Faculty Center, joined the effort to create a review process and serve as assistant editor.

“The literary journal is important to me because I am an avid consumer of the arts. It is something that can bring humans together on a deeper, more personal level. Art isn’t really something you think of when you think of medicine and hospitals, quite the opposite actually, you usually think of science. So the juxtaposition of the two is beautiful and unique,” said Burks.

The idea for the journal arose from conversations between Messias and Paulette Mehta, M.D., M.P.H., who is a strong advocate for the arts and writing in medicine.

“I’ve had a long-standing interest in writing, reading and in what Rita Charon calls Narrative Medicine,” explained Messias. “Our office has also been working a lot on burnout — understanding its causes and potential solutions — and we thought a creative outlet would help.”

Response to a call for submissions from UAMS faculty, staff and students was “overwhelmingly positive, with folks willing to volunteer to review and creators sending materials,” Messias said.

“I was so pleased to see the different kinds of pieces that came in. Some were thought provoking, some funny, some beautiful. It is such a range of work — and a privilege to be part of it,” Burks said.

“We hope you enjoy reading and sharing these stories, poems, essays, and images. May they inspire you as we work together to improve the health, health care and well-being of Arkansans and of others in the region, nation and the world,” said Messias.

The first issue includes:



“A Room with a View” by Erick Messias, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

“Riding the Waves of Discovery” by Paulette Mehta, M.D., M.P.H.



“Puffy Girl Problems” by Morgan Sweere Treece

“George Macready and the Art of Family Medicine Publications” by Diane Jarrett, Ed.D.

“The Shoes Have Eyes” by Erin Yancey

“The Revolution in Neuroscience” by Edgar Garcia-Rill, Ph.D.

“An Appreciation of Love, Aging and Cholera” by Richard Ault, M.H.S.A.



“Change” by Nick Wary

“Epic Haikus” by Alvin F. Stewart, M.D.

“I, Atlas” by Tyler Estes

“A Mother” by Christopher Fettes

“Musings” by Mark Weatherton

“River” by Laura Stanley



Photography by Sisira Yadala, Lindsey Clark and Jonathan Spradley

Artwork by Marissa Miller

Artwork and essay by Mark Koch

Artwork and poetry by Elizabeth Hanson


Conversations @ UAMS

An interview with Matt Quick by Jace C. Bradshaw and M. Paige Plumley