2019 Schedule of Events Announced

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Featured Author

LAURIE FRIEDMAN

Is there anything worse than having your little sister loudly announce at your 13th birthday party that you have a huge crush on the new boy next door . . . in front of him?

Maybe. What if your parents then cancel your reservations for summer sleep-away camp, so your whole family can go on a cross-country RV tour for “family bonding” instead?

It’s a moment in a middle-schooler’s life so horrible that the only answer is to hide in your room and write in your journal. And that’s the peppy, engaging beginning of Can You Say Catastrophe? by Laurie Friedman.

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Point of Interest

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

This year’s Festival includes two cooking workshops featuring award-winning cookbook authors.  On Saturday, April 27, Elizabeth Minchilli will show you how to pull together a quick – but very authentic – Venetian cocktail party at the Italian Table workshop. On Sunday, April 28, James Beard Award recipient Dorie Greenspan will make two simple dishes from her new book, Everyday Dorie at the Everyday Dorie workshop. Tickets are $15 for each workshop; seating is limited.

And, don’t forget to join us Friday, April 26, for Author! Author!, the annual fête featuring and celebrating the year’s visiting authors.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door.

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Featured Author

MARY LAURA PHILPOTT

Mary Laura Philpott’s I Miss You When I Blink (Simon & Schuster, April 2019) is a memoir-in-essays prompted by her struggle with an identity crisis in the middle of a seemingly ‘perfect’ life. The author’s wry confessions are sure to bring laughs of recognition from readers.

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News and Announcements

Lit Feast at Lit Fest

The added “A” stands for “appetizing.” From April 18-28, five area restaurants will offer specials inspired by four of the fest authors’ books. The participating restaurants and the dishes they will be preparing are:

Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant + Bar

Barbecued Pork Chops and Ham Slices served with Deviled Eggs,

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Wordsworth Books Is the Official Bookseller of the 2019 Lit Fest


The Arkansas Literary Festival is proud to partner with Wordsworth Books, the official bookseller of the 2019 Lit Fest.

All Festival author/panel discussions will be followed by a book signing. During the Festival, books will be available for purchase at each session and at the Festival book store located on the first floor of the Main Library.

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Lit Fest Sweet 16: Literary Luminaries, Chefs’ Specials, Music and More

 

Notable authors, including Pulitzer Prize and James Beard Award winners, television producers, artists, and one of the Little Rock Nine are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) sixteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 25-28, 2019. Events will be held at CALS Library Square and many other Little Rock venues.

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Blog

Arkansas Literary Festival: Ian S. Port

Rock and Roll Electrifies an Instant Classic, The Birth of Loud

 

The Birth of Loud is an unforgettable journey through the golden age of rock and roll, peopled with working class heroes, rebels, and eccentrics. Author Ian S. Port uses the parallel lives of guitarist Les Paul and music engineer Leo Fender to trace the process of the invention of the “loud” electric guitar.

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Blog

Arkansas Literary Festival: Esmé Wang

The sixteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival will take place April 25-28, 2019.

Esmé Wang: Luminous Writing Through Limitations

Creativity, resilience, and legacy. These are three words at the forefront of Esmé Wang’s mind. Her life story certainly testifies to all three: creativity as a critically-acclaimed author,

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Blog

Arkansas Literary Festival: Andrés Cerpa

The sixteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival will take place April 25-28, 2019.

Poet Andrés Cerpa explores caregiving, mental illness, and loss in powerful debut

Andrés Cerpa’s first full-length book of poetry is Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy (2019) from Alice James Books.

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Blog

Arkansas Literary Festival: Roman Muradov

The sixteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival will take place April 25-28, 2019.

Artist Roman Muradov Finds the Secret of the Creative Process in On Doing Nothing

The title of Roman Muradov’s latest book, On Doing Nothing: Finding Inspiration in Idleness, might suggest that this 96-page book will be a whimsical ode to downtime on the couch,

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Blog

Arkansas Literary Festival: Dorie Greenspan

Award-winning Cookbook Author Creates Community through Cooking

From talking to Dorie Greenspan, you would never know she is one of the most celebrated and awarded cookbook authors in America. Her writing is as good as her recipes, but she is disarmingly down-to earth about her talents.

“I’ve had no formal training as a writer and never expected that I’d ever become one,” Greenspan says.

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Blog

Arkansas Literary Festival: Maurice Carlos Ruffin

The sixteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival will take place April 25-28, 2019.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin brings witty humor to dystopian satire of race relations in his debut novel

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin tells the story of an African-American father who is a successful lawyer in an alternative world that has discovered a surgical method for “demelanization.” For sufficient cash,

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Special Blog
Blog

Arkansas Literary Festival: Elizabeth Eckford

The sixteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival will take place April 25-28, 2019.

Civil Rights Icon Encourages Young People with Her Story

Elizabeth Eckford is a living icon of civil rights history. As one of the Little Rock Nine, her face became world-famous in disturbing photos of the 1957 desegregation riots in Little Rock,

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About Us

In 2019, the Fest has added more music, a makers alley, tracks for ease of digesting the program, a new official bookseller – WordsWorth Books (with a pop-up bookstore the two Saturdays before the Fest), new venues (Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant + Bar, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and UA Little Rock Downtown), a mindfulness panel, a book club panel, a couple other mash-up sessions, the Lit Feast promotion, and additional sponsors.

We’ve scheduled most of the sessions at Library Square to make things more convenient, and provided some new bounce to the children’s events at Main with a read-a-thon, an interactive demonstration, games, book giveaways, and a costume contest. We’ve moved the popular teen poetry competition to Nexus Nook, and added more activities to the programming at the Children’s Library.

Once again, the Fest will feature outstanding authors…at last count they hail from 20 states, one district, and four other countries. Their awards and honors are stellar. In addition to being featured in sessions, panels and workshops, many are making the trek to area schools through the exceptional WITS program. This marks the fourth year for Classic in Context, with One Hundred Years of Solitude as this year’s selection. Please make sure to vote on what you’d like in 2020. Author! Author!, Little Readers Rock (with the Junior League) and the Equinox launch are back, as is the delicious pie contest. And, after last year’s roaring success, we’ve scheduled another gritty, late night concert. Beyond Library Square, you’ll find additional Fest events at some great offsite venues: Christ Episcopal Church, Stickyz, Eggshells, and The Root Café.

The Fest’s sponsors and volunteers truly mean so much to the event. Please thank them for supporting this worthwhile and wonderfully entertaining Fest.

Special Thanks

Jama Best, Bryan Borland, Amy Bradley-Hole, Phyllis Britton, Kevin Brockmeier, Guy Choate, Jeff Condran, Amanda Copley, Anita Davis, Jan Emberton, Kirsten Fruchey, Madelyn Ganos, Lindsey Gray, Garbo Hearne, Phillip Huddleston, Larnie Hughes, Stacy Hurst, Whitney Hu, Betsy Johnson, Dana Kaye, Michelle Bailey Keahey, J.P. Langston, Stephanie Maxwell, Gary Miller, Beth Nelsen, Bob Razer, Marci B. Robertson, Stacy Sells, Kevin Stanbery, Elizabeth Stanley, Laura Stanley, Mia Stark, Ragan Sutterfield, Jessica Szenher, Denise Turlier, Nathan Vandiver, Greg Wagnon, Brittany Wheeler, Jennifer White, Mick Wiggins, Jeff Williams, Mary Remmel Wohlleb, Erin Wood, Melissa Woods

Festival Staff and Volunteers

Brad Mooy – Festival Coordinator

A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival
Jennifer White – WITS chair
Amy Bradley-Hole – moderator chair
Phillip Huddleston, Larnie Campbell, and Grace Lytle – Maker’s Alley & Music chairs
Melissa Woods – festival guides chair
El-Noor Akhter and Betsy Johnson – festival guides vice chairs

Talent committee: Eliza Borne, Amy Bradley-Hole, Kevin Brockmeier, Garbo Hearne, Phillip Huddleston, Janis Kearney, Brad Minnick, Susan Santa Cruz, and Dorian Stuber.

Point of Interest

Book Sales and Signings

The Arkansas Literary Festival is proud to partner with Wordsworth Books, the official bookseller of the 2019 Lit Fest.

All Festival author/panel discussions will be followed by a book signing. During the Festival, books will be available for purchase at each session and at the Festival book store located on the first floor of the Main Library. Prior to the Festival, books may be purchased at Wordsworth Books (5920 R St., Little Rock, AR) or online at https://www.wordsworthbookstore.com/.

Purchase a Festival Book Now