Honoring the influence and impact of longtime Ouachita Baptist University English professors Johnny and Susan Wink, Ouachita’s Department of Language and Literature will host a celebration recognizing the couple on Saturday, April 1. “An Evening with Johnny Wink: Stories and Poems” will be held in the Darragh Center Auditorium of the Little Rock Main Library from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Dr. Johnny Wink, the Betty Burton Peck Professor of English, will tell stories and read selections of his poems. Dr. Wink, now in his 44th year as an English professor at Ouachita, is known for his love of poetry and for his collection of T-shirts that feature sayings such as “Master of the Supine” and “But I Digress.”
The evening will include an auction for various Johnny Wink T-shirts and a copy of his book “Seven Ways to Prune a Grapefruit” as well as a lunch date with Dr. Wink. Though not primarily a fundraising event, all proceeds will go toward the Johnny and Susan Wink Scholarship, which will help deserving English majors.
Organizing the event, Dr. Doug Sonheim, chair of the Department of Language and Literature, said that he hopes that alumni, former students, and anyone who knows Johnny and Susan will feel welcome. “We hope folks will make a day (and night) of it in Little Rock,” Sonheim said. “We’d love for groups of students to plan for mini-reunions.”
Both Johnny and Susan Wink began their teaching careers at Ouachita in the early ’70s. “They made a life here out of graduate school,” said Dr. Amy Sonheim, professor of English. “They were two PhDs in the department, a working duo.”
“Susan especially loved teaching the linguistics courses,” said Dr. Johnny Wink of his wife. “She loved those students.” Dr. Susan Wink, professor emerita of English, took early retirement in 2003.
“Because of Susan’s reclusive nature, she won’t be there, but since the event is for both of us, I will be honoring her,” said Dr. Johnny Wink. “That’s easy for me because I know a lot about her, and I’ve written a lot about her. Susan will be the evening’s leitmotif.”
For more information about An Evening with Johnny Wink, contact Dr. Doug Sonheim at 870-245-5554.
By Kacy Spears
March 17, 2017