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 columnist and writer, Jay Grelen, whose book Sweet Tea Times Volume 1, Edition 1, collects his popular Sweet Tea newspaper columns, published by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette from 2004-2011, and we debut a brand new Sweet Tea column, never before seen or heard: "The Case of Bozo's Missing Hand."

What The Hellbender Salamander!

Jan 20, 2017

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we take a dive into the streams and rivers of the Ozarks in Arkansas and Missouri to learn the saga of North America’s largest amphibian, the hellbender salamander.

Our guide is author, activist, professor and eco-poet Mark Spitzer, whose avant-garde epic poem, GLURK! A Hellbender Odyssey, serves as the basis for our journey.

The Holly Jolly Trolley: A Ride Through Arkansas History

Dec 21, 2016
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

On this special holiday episode of Arts & Letters, we uncover true tales of Arkansas's past while touring the streets of Little Rock and North Little Rock inside the Rock Region Metro Streetcar—our “Holly Jolly Trolley.”

 

Along the streetcar rails we enounter a cast of characters, who tell of the cities' history bound up in the brick and mortar of the buildings—filled with ghosts and song.

 

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Nov 18, 2016

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer and teacher Ed Tarkington. His first novel Only Love Can Break Your Heart, published by Algonquin Books in 2016, "happens in moments."

The book "explores the city limits of fictional Spencerville, its grassy fields and horse farms, Georgian style homes and stately colonial manses and its inhabitants filled up with guilty ghosts from the past."

A&L Short: Gallows Bound

Nov 14, 2016
Gallows Bound

The Virginia-based band Gallows Bound’s music tells of the legend of the Appalachian Blood Witch, whose gnarled finger beckons and portends disaster to all who follow.

 

J. Bradley Minnick of Arts & Letters sat down with the band and filed this musical feature.

A&L Short: Brian Nahlen

Nov 14, 2016
Mary Ellen Kubit

Little Rock singer-songwriter Brian Nahlen in his song “Cicada Moon” explores the idea that humans got their sense of rhythm and synchronization from the world of insect sounds that have surrounded our species over the millions of years we’ve evolved.

He sat down with J. Bradley Minnick of KUAR’s Arts & Letters to talk about his musical inspiration. 

The Old Gray Lady: Part Two

Oct 28, 2016

The story of the Arkansas Gazette ended on October 18, 1991, with paper's sale to its rival, the Arkansas Democrat. The story shows a typical transformation of an American newspaper from independent, local ownership to remote corporate control that illustrates what happened to many American newspapers in the generation following World War II. 

Wounded by the fiercest newspaper war in the United States, former publisher J. N. Heiskell's heirs sold the Gazette to the Gannett Corporation in 1986, the country's largest newspaper chain. 

History of the Arkansas Gazette: Part One

Oct 21, 2016
Courtesy of the Center for Arkansas History and Culture

Today on Arts & Letters, we talk with journalist, researcher, and professor Donna Lampkin Stephens. Her book, If It Ain't Broke, Break It: How Corporate Journalism Killed the Arkansas Gazette, published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2015 "offers a firsthand account of how and why the Arkansas Gazette, then the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River, died after perhaps the country’s last great newspaper war."

A&L Short: Tim Anthony

Oct 6, 2016

Arkansas musician Tim Anthony follows a rich musical heritage started by his father, Lee, who opened Little Rock's first black-owned record store.

J. Bradley Minnick of KUAR's Arts & Letters spoke with the younger Anthony about soul and funk music and its impact on his life growing up in Little Rock in the early '70s.

All Wars Are Civil Wars

Sep 23, 2016

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we explore the historical fiction of Andrew Malan Milward's collection,  I Was A Revolutionary, interrogates historical Kansas from the Civil War to the present through literary fiction and artifacts, including Wikipedia entries, photographs, maps and satirical cartoons.

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