FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Jennifer Burchett announced in a press release that her new book, “Dear Fort Smith,” which will be a historical retrospective of Fort Smith residents throughout the pandemic, will have its book launch at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 23 at the Bakery District “Bookish” location in Fort Smith, Ark.

The event will feature a Q&A, reading and book signing.

According to the release, the book is largely comprised of narrative photography for key events that took place throughout the pandemic, including protests, masked up residents, struggling business owners and more.

There will be stories from prominent Fort Smith figures, including City Police Chief Danny Baker, Arkansas State Representative Cindy Crawford, and City Council member Andre’ Good and others.

“Resilience is the shared DNA of Fort Smith,” Chief Baker said. “Dear Fort Smith provides a unique and candid glimpse of that DNA in action during one of our most challenging years in recent history. I am humbled to help tell her story and excited for the future of our great city!”

Ideas for the book were conceived at the start of pandemic when Burchett wanted to bring together all different types of people to show that even though they are different, they don’t have to be divided, the release said.

“I believe that storytelling has an amazingly beautiful and inclusive quality, and it is that spirit of unity
that I wanted to harness. After all, ‘diverse’ is simply another word for ‘everybody’,” she said.

It was also announced that “Daisy House Publishing,” started by Burchett, aims to have a similar mission as her book, in publishing literature that “highlights diverse voices while giving back to communities.”

The publishing company is open for submissions and eager to publish local talent’s work.

“Dear Fort Smith” is available for pre-order here and will be available in-person at Bookish on December 23.