Arts & Letters

Arts & Letters is a special program hosted by associate professor Brad Minnick of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It highlights the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The program's theme music was composed by The Damsels in Distress.

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with creative writing professor John Vanderslice. His book The Last Days of Oscar Wilde, published by Burlesque Press, is a glimpse into the notorious life of the writer and the friends who filled his last days.

Vanderslice writes about Wilde's lesser known years: his book is a fictional account of 1898--1900, which takes up after the scandal, after the trial, and after his poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol."

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with memoirist Michelle Kuo.

Reading With Patrick, published by Random House, is about a teacher, a student, and a life-changing friendship.

This episode “The Delta, Full of Stars” chronicles Kuo’s story of moving to Helena, Arkansas for Teach for America to work at an alternative school, Stars Academy School.

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer Stewart O'Nan about his historical novel, West of Sunset

Published by Viking, the novel is a fictional account, beginning in 1937, of the last three years of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's life.

It weaves a tale of his notorious romp through Hollywood; his affair with gossip columnist, Sheilah Graham; his attempts to salvage his writing career; and whatever was left of his marriage to Zelda, locked away in an asylum.

O'Nan writes:

“Dearest Heart,

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer and University of Arizona associate professor Cristina Devereaux Ramírez about her book Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875-1942, published by The University of Arizona Press.

In the book, Ramírez sheds new light on the contributions of Mexican women journalists and activists during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, marked as the zenith of Mexican journalism.

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Scottish writer Brian Conaghan. His novel for young adults, The Bombs That Brought Us Together, published by Bloomsbury, is an all-to-relevant fable about language and loss, regimes and refugees and the forging of a common ground in the midst of real and perceived intractable differences between Old Country and Little Town.


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Welcome to Hickory Ditch, Arkansas, 2012

". . . where nothing ever stops or happens but just hangs somewhere in the middle. . . Hickory Ditch, Arkansas--a city full of human-shaped mosquitoes suspended in amber."



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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer, actor, and folksinger Willi Carlisle and director and designer Joseph Fletcher. Their one-man operetta There Ain't No More! Death of a Folksinger chronicles an aging folksinger's last performance in front of an audience.

Throughout the performance, this raconteur called "Our Hero" delights the audience with off-color jokes and stories from his past. 

Yeah Boy

Nov 5, 2017
LSU Press

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The Dark Lyricism of Arkansas poet Greg Brownderville 

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with poet Greg Alan Brownderville, who discusses his latest collection, A Horse With Holes in It, published by LSU Press. This collection is interwoven with humor, compelling imagery and dark lyricism. 


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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we speak with artist Robert McCann who talks about his paintings, which interrogate the drama that is entertainment culture and place us smack down between studio wrestling and external ideas of contemporary spaces. 


M. E. Kubit

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Hot Springs singer songwriter Ryan Sauders and guitarist Keith West  sat down with J. Bradley Minnick, host of KUAR's Arts & Letters, to discuss a very difficult subject: suicide of loved ones and how it permeates much of Ryan's lyrics and music.