OVERVIEW: Arkansas Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Activities

Presented by:
Arkansas Humanities Council
Current Initiative: Centennial Campfires National Partner: The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Colleges and Universities, Libraries, Other Subject: History, Journalism, Other, Varies Audience: All

To commemorate the centennial anniversary of the awarding of the Pulitzer Prizes, Arkansas Humanities Council launched four public lectures that included an opportunity for presenters to engage with the audience through a panel discussion, and created a summer teacher institute to help teachers bring the Pulitzers back to their classrooms.  Additionally, the council partnered with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Central Arkansas Library System to develop an entry for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas’ website detailing the 100 years of Pulitzer history, as well as those individuals with connections to the state.


The Arkansas Humanities Council hosted four public lectures featuring Pulitzer Prize winners with a connection to Arkansas.

John Gould Fletcher and the Pulitzer Prize

Arkansas Studies Endowed Professor of History at Southern Arkansas Unviersity, Ben Johnson is a biographer of John Gould Fletcher. Johnson lectured on the influence of Fletcher’s poetry and the work that led to the Pulitzer. Panelists included poetry scholars from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock who discussed Fletcher’s work and its place in history.

Ernest Hemingway and the Pulitzer Prize

Professor of English at Hendrix College, Alex Vernon, who is also a noted author and Hemingway scholar, lectured on Hemingway’s work, his time in Piggott, AR, including controversy surrounding Hemingway not winning for For Whom the Bell Tolls and subsequent winning for The Old Man and the Sea. Panelists who joined the discussion included Hemingway scholars from the Hemingway-Pfeiffer House, Adam Long and Ruth Hawkins.

The Arkansas Gazette and the Pulitzer Prize

Ray Moseley, lead reporter for the Arkansas Gazette’s Little Rock School Integration crisis in 1957 and United Press International foreign correspondent, bureau chief, and then editor for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Moseley gave the lecture at the Ron Robinson Theater in Littler Rock, AR where he reminisced about the coverage of the ’57 crisis, his personal experiences afterward, and the end of the Gazette and the future of newspapers. Former colleagues from the newspaper joined the panel discussion.

Paul Greenberg and the Pulitzer Prize

Paul Greenberg discussed his experiences in Pine Bluff in 1969 and the events that influenced his editorials, particularly the candidacy of George Wallace and ongoing school integration conflicts. Colleagues of Greenberg and other Pine Bluff residents joined him during the panel discussion.


The Arkansas Humanities Council hosted a two-day professional development opportunity entitled, “Words that Matter: Pulitzer Prize Authors with Arkansas Connections,” that focused on the four Pulitzer Prize winners discussed within the council’s public lectures, as well as other winners and nominees with Arkansas connections. The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, in partnership with the council, conducted the workshop and developed materials, relevant documents, lesson plans, teacher guides and resources with cross curricular studies related to literature, journalism, history, and culture which enabled educators to leave the institute with the necessary tools to enhance the classroom experience of their students. Approximately 50 educators attended.


The council partnered with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Central Arkansas and Library System to develop “The Pulitzer Prize and Arkansas” entry in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. The organizations are also developing web content for the History Hub website that includes resources for Arkansas’ teachers such as lesson plans.


  • Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
  • Central Arkansas Library System
  • Arkansas State University


  • John Gould Fletcher, Poetry (1939)
  • Harry Ashmore, Distinguished Editorial Writing – The Arkansas Gazette (1958)
  • Paul Greenberg, Distinguished Editorial Writing (1969)
  • Ernest Hemingway, Fiction (1953)


  • Little Rock, AR
  • Jonesboro, AR

Click the purple button below to view the Pulitzer Prizes Campfires overview page featuring all council activities.