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In the blur of those swift passing years, some memorable moments stand out: hearing poet Beth Ann Fennelly read in the bar of the Little Rock Peabody Hotel in 2006. Meeting “mom-oir” superstar Kelly Corrigan in 2008, just as my own memoir of family life was beginning to take form. My author debut at the 2011 festival, where I had a ridiculously good time with authors Ellen Brown and Eleanor Brown. Having one of those “we just met, but let’s get down to really talking ” encounters with TED-talking Jennifer Senior at the 2014 author party.
And last year, breaking all my rules about bugging famous people with fan requests by begging novelist Richard Ford to wish my mother in Canada (whose book club he’d recently visited) a happy birthday on my iPhone. Sorry, Richard. It was worth it.
Birthday celebrations have since pre-empted a festival weekend here and there. Last year, I had to go straight from moderating an author panel to managing a Minecraft-themed slumber party. Even if I were to devote all three days to the festival, I’d never get to see all the sessions I’d like, a problem that’s increased proportionately to the offerings on the schedule. More talent means more tough choices. It’s a great problem for a writer and a reader to have.
This year’s program isn’t easing up, either. John Waters, Jamaica Kincaid, Rebecca Wells are just a few of the literary luminaries coming to the festival, plus a wide line-up of our own fantastic Arkansas authors, including Kevin Brockmeier and a phenomenal line up of Arkansas poets, performing together on one stage.
The Arkansas Literary Festival is the premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas. It takes place at The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library campus and other venues in the River Market and Argenta Arts districts. The Festival is a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, opportunities to meet the authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.
You can find the lis tof authors and presenters here.
See you there—in between frosting birthday cupcakes and wrapping presents, that is.
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