Arkansas Literary Festival

Ben Fry
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Toys of Desperation, a posthumously-released novel, written by longtime KUAR Station Manager Ben Fry is being featured as part of the Arkansas Literary Festival this weekend.

The book, published by Et. Alia Press, is about Billy Williams, who lives in the fictional town of Weir Arkansas. He traverses the town on his bike crossing the railroad tracks, while the 1973 Watergate hearings are being televised. Billy Williams hears the voice of his father and sets out to find what it is that his father is telling him.

Tony Alamo
KATV, Channel 7 News

The author of a new book about apocalyptic evangelist Tony Alamo is speaking Saturday at the Arkansas Literary Festival. Alamo, who operated compounds in Arkansas, died in federal prison in 2017 at the age of 82. He was convicted in 2009 of sexually abusing girls he considered his wives, one as young as nine.

Debby Schriver's book Whispering in the Daylight: The Children of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and Their Journey to Freedom was released earlier this month. She spoke with KUAR about Alamo, which you can listen to above.

The 2018 Arkansas Literary Festival is taking place this weekend in Little Rock. More than 70 authors, performers and filmmakers are participating, including Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners.

Events got underway Thursday with a performance by “queen of rockabilly” Wanda Jackson at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater. Speaking Saturday night is bestselling author Sebastian Junger. You can find a full listening of events here.

David Xiang at KUAR talking about his poem "Duet."
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

An Arkansas high school student recently earned a poetry accolade from the White House. David Xiang of Little Rock Central High School is one of five teens nationwide selected earlier this month to the 2015 class of National Student Poets. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talks poetry with Xiang.

Duet

They sit, arranged honeycomb style,

six to a side, every day at five sharp, on humid firefly-flecked Fridays.

The silence is palatable, the voices mute enough to discern

American Library Association / American Library Association

Libraries in Arkansas and across the nation are marking Banned Books Week. The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and Pulaski Technical College have events planned.

CALS is hosting a free screening of The Color Purple at the Ron Robinson Theater on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the screening a dramatic reenactment of an interview with author Alice Walker is scheduled.

The Arkansas Literary Festival, now in its 12th year, will draw thousands of people for a broad range of events at nearly two dozen venues around Little Rock. Beginning Thursday evening, it runs through Sunday, with the primary draw being  discussions with authors. A full rundown of events can be found here.

Arkansas Literary Festival 2014

Apr 23, 2014
arkansasliteraryfestival.org

Upwards of 10,000 people are expected to enjoy this year’s Arkansas Literary Festival, which begins Thursday in downtown Little Rock. The event has expanded significantly since the Central Arkansas Library System took it over six years ago, said Susan Gelé.  

Gelé believes this year continues the Literary Festival’s tradition of hosting a mix of Arkansas and out-of-state authors and presenters, as well as an eclectic range of genres.