I am the founder of the Helen Spence Project and author of Daughter of the White River (History Press, 2013; new edition, 2018). I'm a writer, filmmaker and exhibit curator living in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. My work concerns the lost history of my ancestors: the Delta's houseboat culture of River People (known by outsiders as "River Rats") of Arkansas's Lower White River bottomlands.
My focus is on Helen Spence (1912-1934) a beloved child of the River who met a tragic end. Called an outlaw by dry-landers, Helen Spence remains a heroine to the River People. This nonprofit-affiliated project is underway and raising funds to complete filming and editing. Our goal is to raise $20,000.
I am a fifth-generation Arkansan and attended college on scholarship, earning a B.A. in English from Hendrix College. Since 2008, I have been the lead writer for Hot Springs Life & Home magazine. I am curator of a touring exhibit of Delta photography (Delta: Rediscovered, photographs circa 1880-1924 by Dayton Bowers) that debuted in 2015. My current project is a documentary film adaptation of Daughter of the White River: The story of Helen Spence.