UA professor’s poem featured in The New Yorker

Davis McCombs / Courtesy photo

A poem written by a University of Arkansas professor is receiving national attention this week.

The poem, entitled “Dumpster Honey,” was written by Davis McCombs, associate professor of English at the University of Arkansas, and was featured in the Aug. 3 issue of The New Yorker.

McCombs, a member of the creative writing program in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, said he got the idea for the poem after a colony of bees set up a hive on an outer wall of the building where his office is located in Fayetteville.

“Some of us noticed that the bees were quite territorial about the dumpster by the loading dock at Kimpel Hall and would fly at you if you walked past,” McCombs said. “My colleague John DuVal said, ‘I’ve heard of apple blossom honey, but never of dumpster honey.’ Well, I loved that phrase, and over the next couple of weeks, I wrote the poem with that title.”

McCombs said another creative writing colleague, Michael Heffernan, suggested he submit the poem to The New Yorker.

Dorothy Stephens, chair of the Department of English, said she’s proud to have one of the department’s own appear in such a prominent and prestigious publication.

“We welcome this opportunity to enhance the reputation of the University of Arkansas in this venue,” Stephens said in a news release.

The Aug. 3 issue was released July 27 in newsstands and online at It will remain available until Aug. 9, while supplies last. The online issue includes a recording of McCombs reading the poem.

» Read “Dumpster Honey” at