Adaptations of Work:


Emerson County Shaping Dream. Co-producers Jo McDougall and Don Maxwell. Don Maxwell, director. Scripted by Jo McDougall's dramatic monologs. Released April 2001. On VHS, 2001; DVD, 2006.

About Emerson County Shaping Dream:
Directed by award-winning independent filmmaker Don Maxwell, Emerson County Shaping Dream draws on Jo McDougall’s poems for its script.

In an unprecedented merging of poetry and film, five sport beting Southern women—an aging farmer’s wife, a conflicted young mother, a rueful waitress, and others—tell their stories, unwittingly revealing their secrets.

Emerson County Shaping Dream is proclaimed as “a real work of cinema and a real work of poetry...thoroughly delightful” by Phil Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and “cinematically gorgeous” by poet Diane Wakoski.

The film won the Ensemble Acting Award, Vancouver Video-Poem Film Festival; Audience Award, Fayetteville (Arkansas) Film Festival; and Special Recognition, Kansas City Film Jubilee.

Although created primarily to entertain, the film—running just sports betting over fifteen minutes-- is ideal for classes in poetry, drama, film, social studies, women’s studies, and others.

Shot in 16 mm, Emerson County Shaping Dream is available on dvd. An instructor’s brochure for classroom use is included.

Contact Jo McDougall to Order

Recommended Link: The Olives of Oblivion: Emerson County Shaping Dream by Jo McDougall ... -- This link offers a short clip of the film!


Towns Facing Railroads, created by Eve Adamson from the poems of Jo McDougall. Directed by Eve Adamson. Produced by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Little Rock. January 20--February 5, 2006.

About Towns Facing Railroads at the Arkansas Rep:
Adapted for the stage by the late Eve Adamson, founder and sport bet tz director of the Jean Cocteau Repertory in New York City, Towns Facing Railroads is created from Jo McDougall’s five books of poetry.

The production provides an intimate, sometimes haunting look at the joys and sorrows of the inhabitants of America’s small towns.

Featuring three characters, Man, Girl, and Woman, Towns Facing Railroads follows the arc of three people who begin as strangers and bond, via shared stories, losses, dreams, and gossip, into a small and cautiously hopeful community.

The production is ideal for a theatre’s second stage.

Contact Jo McDougall

Recommended Link: Jo McDougall’s ‘Towns Facing Railroads’ makes world premiere on Rep’s Second Stage. -- Arkansas Times, January 19, 2006.

Recommended Link Arkansas Repertory Theatre : The Rep : Musicals : Comedy : Drama


A Very Fine House, artist's book . Poems by Jo McDougall, prints by Ann deVere. 1998. Abrons Arts Center, New York City. September, 1999.

About A Very Fine House:
A Very Fine House pairs New York City printmaker Ann deVere’s small, jewel-like prints with Jo McDougall’s poems.

Conceived by deVere, the ensemble depicts icons of home, love, relationships, and loss that resonate with McDougall’s poems.

The collection, which had its premiere showing at the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire, has been widely exhibited in New York City, the Bronx, and Baltimore, Maryland.

Individual pairings of prints and poems from the collection are available in a limited number. A rare piece of Americana and a true collector’s item.

Contact Ann deVere to Order

Recommended link: The MacDowell Colony Newsletter


  • Kansas Town When the Sun Goes Down, composition by Ty Emerson. Response to “Kansas Town When the Sun Goes Down” by Jo McDougall in Dirt, Autumn House Press, 2005.

    Performed by the Peabody Wind Ensemble, Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, Maryland. February 7, 2007.

    Play this here:

    Recommended Link From the Peabody Wind Ensemble

  • as I walk from her grave, song cycle by Steven Ebel. Based on poems by Jo McDougall in Towns Facing Railroads, University of Arkansas Press, 1991. On CD as Burying My Mother, sung by tenor Steven Ebel. 2004, 2005. Performed at London Royal Opera House, Summer 2010.

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    Credit for Photograph -- Wooldridge Photography
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