Join the Fort Smith Museum of History in welcoming Joyce Faulkner, author of Garrison Avenue, for a book signing and discussion on Thursday, June 27 at 6:00 pm.
Garrison Avenue is historical fiction about the only lynching in Fort Smith, Arkansas, during the Jim Crow era. Filled with drama, humor and tragedy, it explores where we have been as a city—and welcomes conversation about our ancestors' choices and our own ideas for the future.
Garrison Avenue is a gift to Joyce Faulkner from her hometown, Fort Smith, Arkansas. Many of the locations referenced in the novel are chapters of her own story—St. Anne’s Academy, Immaculate Conception Church, the Goldman Hotel, the First National Bank, the Malco Theater (formerly known as the New Theater)—and Garrison Avenue itself. After graduating from St. Anne’s in 1966, Faulkner studied writing at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She also holds degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and Business Administration from Cleveland State.
This drama began when Faulkner came home for her fiftieth high school reunion in 2016. The historians at Miss Laura’s, the Fort Smith Museum of History, the National Historic Site and the Fort Smith Historical Society wanted to know why there was so little about the area in Faulkner’s many books. The answer was that she had spent the last fifty years in Pittsburgh, PA and Cleveland, OH with short stints in places like Rochester, NY, Monterrey, CA, Tsuruga, Japan, Austin, TX, and Orlando,FL. She and her husband had traveled to Canada, Germany, Poland, Korea and Africa. Every job assignment and every vacation gave her new plots, legends, characters, points of view—and books to write. It was time, her classmates and old and new friends insisted, that she focus on Arkansas. She agreed.
Months later, emerging from a superficial survey of area history, she and her husband planned a four-month research trip. What she found was a city steeped in adventure, intrigue and great characters—enough to feed a writer’s soul for years to come. They moved back permanently in the spring of 2018. Garrison Avenue is the first in a new series of Joyce Faulkner books set in Fort Smith.
Co-author, Dr. Micki Voelkel is an Arkansas native. She is the Associate Dean in the Center for Business and Professional Development at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. She publishes research in the field of adult education and gender justice. She holds a B.S in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, an M.Ed in Adult Education and an Ed.D in Workforce Development Education from University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She has a varied background in writing and performing arts. She has more than 30 years experience in community and professional theatre as an actress and director. She lives in Van Buren, AR with her husband Bob, and a toy poodle named Tokyo. Garrison Avenue is her first novel.
The book signing and discussion are included with museum admission.