Arkansas Literary Festival announces authors | Rock Candy

Arkansas Literary Festival announces authors

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Like last year — and maybe even more so — there aren't really any big names headed to the seventh annual Arkansas Literary Festival, which'll is happening April 8-11 throughout the River Market area.

Still, some good looking authors and programs. After just a quick scan through, here are some that stood out to me:

*Nolan Richardson biographer Rus Bradburd

*Marjorie Rosen, author of “Boom Town: How Wal-Mart Transformed an All-American Town into an International Community,” who had readings cancelled in Bentonville and Rogers libraries last year. David Koon wrote about it then.

*The Oxford American Southern Food Issue panel, which includes New Orleans Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie and restaurant writer Brett Anderson along with Sam Eifling, who's writing about the nature of Arkansas food for the issue.

*Martha Hall Foose, author of the FANTASTIC cookbook "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea," and Katherine Whitworth, talking about food.

*Lauren Hall, a former Little Rocker and a director of the non-profit 826 Valencia, which really needs a branch in Little Rock. We talked about it last year, here.

*And the Stuff White People Like dude, who we blogged about last week.

Full list, with bios after the jump. Brett Anderson—Anderson is the restaurant critic and a feature writer at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. His writing has appeared in Gourmet (RIP), the Oxford American, the Washington Post, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Salon; and anthologized in six editions of Best Food Writing and four editions of Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing. He has won two James Beard Foundation journalism awards and eleven writing awards from the Association of Food Journalists. This author is sponsored by the Oxford American.

Matt Baker—Baker was born in Indiana and grew up in Kansas.  He lives in Little Rock and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas. He is the author of a novel, Drag the Darkness Down.  His work has not been translated into any languages. 

Daniel Omotosho Black—Black teaches at Clark University in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned a Ph.D. in African American studies from Temple University, was awarded the Oxford Modern British Studies scholarship, and studied abroad at Oxford University, Oxford, England. He is the author of They Tell Me of a Home, The Sacred Place, and Perfect Peace. As an associate professor, he now aims to provide an example to young African Americans of the importance of self-knowledge and communal commitment. This author is sponsored by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Brooks Blevins—An Arkansas native and graduate of Lyon College in Batesville, Blevins is the endowed associate professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University. He is the author of Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State, described by the Arkansas Times as “the bible of all things hick.” His other work includes Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and Their Image and Lyon College: The Perseverance and Promise of an Arkansas College and coeditor of John Quincy Wolf’s Life in the Leatherwoods. This author is sponsored by the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Rus Bradburd—Bradburd walked away from the glamorous world of college basketball to be a writer. His newest work is Forty Minutes of Hell: The Extraordinary Life of Nolan Richardson. His short stories have appeared in Southern Review, Colorado Review, Puerto del Sol, and Aethlon. His essays have appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and New York Times. He teaches writing classes at New Mexico State University. His first book was the acclaimed memoir, Paddy on the Hardwood: a Journey in Irish Hoops.

Kevin Brockmeier—Brockmeier has published six books of fiction, including The View from the Seventh Layer and The Brief History of the Dead, translated into fifteen languages. His new novel is forthcoming from Random House in the spring of 2011. He lives in Little Rock and has participated in the Arkansas Literary Festival each year since it was founded.

Dori Hillestad Butler—Butler is the author of 22 picture books, chapter books and middle grade novels for children. The Buddy Files is a chapter book series about a school therapy dog that solves mysteries. She and her dog, Mouse, are a registered pet partners team in Coralville, Iowa.

Georgia Anne Butler—Educator turned author, Butler translates her love for birding into an adventure with The Legend Awakes, book 1 in the young adult trilogy Of the Wing. Book 2, The Ivory-billed Obsession, set in part within the White River in northwest Arkansas, is scheduled for release later this year. Butler lives in Pennsylvania.

Fred Chappell—Author and former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Chappell’s literary awards include the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers, the Bollingen Prize, the Best Foreign Book of the Year by the Academie Française and the T. S. Eliot Prize. His more than twenty books include Dagon, Backsass, Shadow Box: Poems and Look Back All the Green Valley. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. This author is sponsored by the Arkansas Library Association and the Booker Worthen Literary Prize Committee.

Staceyann Chin—Chin is a fulltime artist. A resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, she has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998. From the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one-woman shows Off-Broadway to poetry workshops abroad to co-writing and performing in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin credits the long list of "things she has done" to her grandmother's hard-working history and the pain of her mother's absence. She made her film debut in Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe and is the author of the memoir, The Other Side of Paradise. This author is sponsored by the Stonewall Democrats.

Jordan Christy—Christy, author of How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World, is a publicist for Warner Bros. Records and has worked with dozens of artists and celebrities. She has also written for local and national fashion magazines and music trade publications. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Drew, and their daughter, Paisley.

Brock Clarke—Clarke is the author of two novels, An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England and The Ordinary White Boy, and two short story collections, Carrying the Torch and What We Won’t Do. Arosnist’s, a national bestseller, was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book, a People magazine Critics’ Choice Book, and an American Library Association book of the year, and has appeared in a dozen foreign editions. He has recently been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Fiction, has won the Mary McCarthy Prize and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and has twice been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction. His novel, Exley, will be published in Fall, 2010. This author is sponsored by Hendrix College.

Lucha Corpi—Corpi is a poet, novelist, and children’s book author. She has written four mystery novels featuring Chicana detective Gloria Damasco: Eulogy for A Brown Angel, Cactus Blood, Black Widow’s Wardrobe, and Death at Solstice. Crimson Moon introduces Brown Angel Investigations and detective Dora Saldaña. Corpi’s recent bilingual book for children is The Triple Banana Split Boy/El niño goloso. Corpi was a tenured teacher in the Oakland Public Schools Neighborhood Centers Program for over 30 years.

Rich Davis—Davis, illustrator of nine children’s books, lives in Siloam Springs, Arkansas with his family. He has a beginning reader series about dog named Tiny, including the recently released Tiny on the Farm. His book, Firefighters to the Rescue, was chosen for the Dolly Parton Imagination library literacy program distributed all over the world. He also has a passion to draw with kids and has invented a drawing game called Pick and Draw.

Randy Duncan—Duncan is a communication professor at Henderson State University.  He is co-author of The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture. Dr. Duncan is co-founder of the Comics Arts Conference.  He has served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Comic Art and the Board of Directors of the Institute for Comics Studies.

William R. Eakin—Eakin is best known for his Redgunk Tales. His work has appeared in the biggest genre magazines from F&SF (Fantasy and Science Fiction) and Amazing Stories to Realms of Fantasy. He has been compared to “James Joyce on moonshine” and the “Bhagavad-Gita meets National Enquirer."

Jason Edwards—Author Edwards is a storyteller, teacher, father, coach, athlete, and authority on children’s anxieties.  He is known for his children’s series, The Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency. His talent for illuminating this issue for children and adults alike has been featured in print, radio, TV, and the internet site of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. This is his first Arkansas appearance.

Sam Eifling—Eifling has written and edited for newspapers, magazines and Web sites across the eastern and central United States. His 2004 profile of a South Florida competitive eater won a national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist for a Bert Greene Award from the International Society of Culinary Professionals. He lives and eats in Little Rock. This author is sponsored by the Oxford American.

Lolis Eric Elie—Elie, author of Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbeque Country, produced a television documentary based on his book. His documentary, Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans chronicles the civil rights movement of the 1800s. He is currently writing Of Bondage & Memory, on the slave trade. Elie edited Cornbread Nation 2, and was a producer for the Smithsonian Institute’s Jazz Oral History Project.  He is a metro columnist for The Times-Picayune and has master’s degrees from Columbia School of Journalism and the University of Virginia. Elie is sponsored by the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Alda Ellis—Author, designer, entrepreneur, and television host, Ellis has been working within the retail and wholesale design industry for over 20 years. She founded a company, Alda’s Forever, which specialized in weddings.  As a designer, she worked with celebrities and played host on her own television series of 19 episodes. Gracious tables are her trademark when entertaining, full of Southern charm for 2 or 200 guests. She is the author of over 24 entertaining and lifestyle books including The Gentle Art of Hospitality.  Her new book will be released in 2010.

Ben Farmer—Farmer lives in Maryland, where he was born and raised. He graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in history. Since, he has worked as a teacher, an editor, and in a booking agency for musicians. Evangeline is his first novel.

Anna Fields—Fields is a New York-based television writer, author, comedienne, and confirmed “Rebel Deb.” But just like many little girls with big dreams, she started out a chubby, bookish, cotillion class drop-out growing up in the tiny Southern town of Burlington, North Carolina. After leaving the South, graduating from Brown University, and surviving years of celebrity madness (including hair-raising stints as Diana Ross’ personal assistant and tutor/slave to socialite/“Real” Housewife of New York, Jill Zarin), Anna completed her memoir Confessions of a Rebel Debutante. This author is sponsored by (Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL).

Martha Hall Foose—Foose, of the Mississippi Delta, is a chef and storyteller. Her recent book, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, won a James Beard award. She is a contributor to Cornbread Nation 5.

Robert Ford—Ford is a playwright, novelist, actor, and director. He heads the Arkansas Playwrights' Workshop and is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of TheatreSquared in Fayetteville. His plays have appeared at Playwrights' Playground and the Abingdon Theatre in New York, and regionally at American Stage, Pennsylvania Stage Company, Hyde Park Theatre, Live Oak Theatre and many others. Most recently, TheatreSquared premiered his play My Father's War, about his father-in-law's WWII experiences. His new play, The Fall of the House, premieres at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 2010.

Melissa Francis—Francis is a small town southern girl with big city dreams. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with an English degree, but still uses words like “y’all,” “dunno,” and “gonna” on purpose. Bite Me! is her current release and Love Sucks! hits the shelves in Summer, 2010.

Steve Goreham—Goreham extensively researched climate physics, meteorology, solar physics, oceanography, and energy economics, including discussions with key scientists and experts, and combined this with a study of a wide variety of books and articles on both sides of the global warming debate. He distilled and captured this information in a single book, Climatism!, providing a common-sense discussion on climate change for the world citizen. A white water kayaker, husband, and father of three, Goreham holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Lauren Hall—Hall is the Development Director for 826 National, a network of nonprofits that assist young people with their expository and creative writing skills. 826 offers free writing workshops, tutoring, and publishing opportunities for students. She has coordinated publishing projects and creative writing camps for San Francisco youth through her work at 826, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp.

Kate Harding—Harding is the co-author of Lessons From the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce With Your Body.  She is the founder of Shapely Prose, one of the most popular blogs in the fat-o-sphere. A graduate of the M.F.A. program in writing at Vermont College, she lives in Chicago, and is at work on about seven different book ideas.

Dixon Hearne—Hearne has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and a PEN/Hemingway award. He lives and teaches in southern California, though his writing draws greatly from the rich images in his daily life growing up along the graceful bayous and river traces in West Monroe, Louisiana. He is the author of a new short story collection, Plantatia: High-toned and Lowdown Stories of the South, editor of a new book, Thanksgiving to Christmas: A Patchwork of Stories, and co-editor of two recent anthologies of southern fiction.

Dusty Higgins—Higgins is an award winning illustrator and graphic artist at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the creator and illustrator of the 2009 graphic novel, Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer.


Sy Hoahwah—Originally from Little Rock, Hoahwah is a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. His family descends from the Yappituka and Penatuka Comanche clans. He holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. His poetry has appeared in publications such as Shenandoah, Indiana Review, Yellow Medicine Review, and SAIL: Studies of American Indian Literature, and he received an award from the Academy of American Poets. Velroy and the Madischie Mafia is his first full-length book.

Gwendolyn Hooks—Hooks was the featured author for National Children’s Book Week 2009 at the Rogers Public Library in northwest Arkansas. She has published seven books, and last year sold eight more. The author of both fiction and nonfiction for children, her books have sold more than 200,000 copies. Hooks, whose books include Freshwater Feeders, Can I Have a Pet? and Nice Wheels, lives in Oklahoma.

Manny Howard—Howard is a veteran of the magazine world, having written and/or edited for New York New York Times Magazine, GQ, Esquire, Harper's, Rolling Stone, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Details, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Us Weekly, National Geographic, and Travel & Leisure, among many others. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two children, and a dwindling number of farm animals.  In his new book, My Empire of Dirt, the locavore movement is put to the test in Brooklyn.

Pat C. Hoy II—A Hamburg, Arkansas native, Hoy directs New York University’s expository writing program. Author of numerous textbooks and essays including Reading and Writing Essays: The Imaginative Task, Hoy was awarded the 2003 Cecil Woods, Jr. Prize for Nonfiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He has twice won NYU’s Golden Dozen Award for excellence in teaching.

Pico Iyer—Iyer is the author of two novels and seven works of non-fiction, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk and, most recently, The Open Road, an account of 34 years of talks and travels with the Dalai Lama. He has been a constant contributor to Time, The New York Times, and many other magazines for more than a quarter of a century. This author is sponsored by Christ Church and the Episcopal Diocese.

Stacey Jay—Jay writes young adult paranormal adventures with a healthy dose of the silly and the scary. Her Megan Berry Zombie Settler series began with You Are So Undead to Me and continues with Undead Much? and My So Called Death.

Hannibal B. Johnson—Johnson is an attorney, author, and independent consultant. His books include: Black Wall Street—From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District; Up From the Ashes—A Story About Community; Acres of Aspiration—The All-Black Towns in Oklahoma; Mama Used To Say—Wit & Wisdom From The Heart & Soul; No Place Like Home—A Story About an All-Black, All-American Town; and IncogNegro—Poetic Reflections on Race & Diversity in America. Johnson is a contributing writer to the Encyclopedia of African American History. Johnson, who lives in Tulsa, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and did his undergraduate work at the University of Arkansas.  This author is sponsored by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

RM Johnson—Johnson is the author of nine novels, including bestsellers The Harris Family, The Million Dollar Divorce, The Million Dollar Demise and Why Men Fear Marriage. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Chicago State University and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. This author is sponsored by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Malcolm Jones—Jones is the author of the memoir Little Boy Blues, released in January.  He has written features, reviews, and essays for Newsweek's culture section since 1989. Prior to that, he was a newspaper reporter in North Carolina and Florida. He lives with his family in the Hudson River Valley. 

Brian and Terri Kinder—The Kinders perform rollicking goodtime original music for kids. With six releases of nationally recognized children’s music, including A Kid Like You, which is on American Library Association author Rob Reid’s Must Have Short List for every library. Their concerts prove to be memorable family events.

Christian Lander—Lander is the creator of the website (and the book) Stuff White People Like. He is a Ph.D. dropout who was the 2006 public speaking instructor of the year at Indiana University. He has lived in Toronto, Montreal, Copenhagen, Tucson, Indiana, and now Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, Jess, a photographer who contributed many of the photos in the book. This author is sponsored by ProSmartPrinting.com.


Deborah LeBlanc—Award-winning and bestselling author, LeBlanc is a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and has been an active paranormal investigator for over fifteen years. She is the President of the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter, and the Writers' Guild of Acadiana. Deborah is also the founder of the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual, national campaign designed to encourage more people to read, and Literacy Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to fight illiteracy in America's teens. Her latest novel is Water Witch.

Caroline C. Lewis—Lewis received her M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, and has been published most notably in The Indiana Review, Quarterly West, and the small press publication, Heliotrope. She came to Pulaski Technical College to serve as chair of the English Department after teaching creative writing and literature for five years at PrattMWP, an extension campus of Pratt Institute in New York City. She is currently participating with five other female poets from the northeast in a blog, in which the group has committed to writing 100 poems in 100 days.

Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret—Liffring-Zug Bourret is a photographer, publisher, editor and author. Her photography, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums, has appeared in national magazines and a wide range of books. Liffing-Zug Bourret is in the Iowa Women Hall of Fame.  Her newest book, Women 1957 – 1975, features iconic photos of women in the mid-twentieth-century when hats, gloves and pearls were the norm. This author is sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women.

Dr. David Lipschitz—Lipschitz is a world-renowned geriatrician and executive director of the Longevity Center at St. Vincent Medical Center. He has authored two books, Breaking the Rules of Aging and Dr. David’s First Health Book of More, Not Less, and is widely published in various prestigious medical journals.

Christine Lynxwiler—Christian romance author Lynxwiler has written seventeen novels and novellas including the best-selling Arkansas. Her recent releases include Forever Christmas, Promise Me Always, Along Came a Cowboy, and Alibis in Arkansas, a mystery series. She is the four-time winner of the prestigious American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award and is working on a new six book family series. The Arkansas native lives in the Ozark Mountains.

Angie Macri—Macri received an M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas. Her work appears in journals including Crab Orchard Review, Southern Indiana Review, and Tar River Poetry and was featured in Spoon River Poetry Review. She was awarded an individual artist fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council.

Beth Mahoney—Mahoney is a military child turned military spouse with three elementary school-aged children. She is the Author of the Robby the C-130 military children's book series and president of Kids of America’s Heroes. Mrs. Mahoney attended Hawaii Pacific University and has received numerous awards for her military family services.

Carla Killough McClafferty—McClafferty is the author of nonfiction books including In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry. Her work has been honored by the International Reading Association, American Library Association and Charlie May Simon Reading List. She has presented programs at local, national, and international venues.

Margaret McMullan—McMullan’s latest novel, Sources of Light, is set in Jackson, Mississippi during 1962. Her previous work includes In My Mother's House, How I Found the Strong, When I Crossed No-Bob, and Cashay. A recipient of a 2010 NEA Fellowship, Margaret graduated from the University of Arkansas MFA program in Fayetteville. She is currently an English professor at the University of Evansville.

Patricia Neely-Dorsey—Originally from Tupelo, Mississippi, Neeley-Dorsey received a B.A. in Psychology from Boston University. After living for almost 20 years in Memphis, she returned to her hometown in 2007. Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, her first book of poetry, is “a celebration of the south and all things southern.” This author is sponsored by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Rick D. Niece—Niece grew up in DeGraff, Ohio, a small town of 900 residents. A career educator, Niece is currently the President of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. The Side-Yard Superhero chronicles his childhood friendship with Bernie Jones, a wheelchair-bound boy with severe cerebral palsy.



Jerdine Nolen—Nolen was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi and raised in Chicago. Nolen writes fantasy, tall tales, and family stories.  She is the author of Plantzilla, Plantzilla Goes to Camp, Thunder Rose, Lauren McGill’s Pickle Museum, Max and Jax in Second Grade, Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, Pitching In For Eubie, Big Jabe and In My Momma's Kitchen. Her book, Raising Dragon, won the Christopher Award, and Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm won multiple awards and was named both an ALA Notable Book and an IRA-CBC Children's Choice. Nolen lives near Columbia, Maryland.

Dotty Oliver—Oliver has made life an adventure to be written about. . .from living in a rock'n'roll commune with Black Oak Arkansas in the ‘70s to publishing an alternative newspaper, The Arkansas Free Press, from 1993 until 2008. Mistress of the Misunderstood is her first book.
Laura Parker Castoro—Bestselling author Parker Castoro has published 39 novels.  A speaker and writing coach, her recent releases are Love on the Line and Stormy Weather for Cougar Tales Anthology ’09. A multi-award winning author, Parker Castoro was the 2005 inductee into the AR Writers Hall of Fame.  She is a Pine Bluff native.

Kathy L. Patrick—Patrick owns and operates Beauty and the Book, a hair salon/book store in Jefferson, Texas. It is headquarters of The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs, the largest “meeting and discussing” book club in the world! The clubs’ 265 U.S. chapters and members in nine foreign countries have been featured on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Newsweek, Time, The Los Angeles Times and more. Author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life, Patrick runs two annual book festivals in East Texas, Books Alive and Girlfriend Weekend!

Darcy Pattison—Pattison has been published in eight languages. Her books include 19 Girls and Me, Searching for Oliver K. Woodman, and The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman. She’s the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Awards, Individual Artist Award for her work in children’s literature. 

Janis K. Percefull—Percefull received her B.A. in History from Ouachita Baptist University and an M.A. in Public History from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is the author of Ouachita Springs Region: A Curiosity of Nature and Three Strangers Come To Call. 

Tito Perdue—Perdue was born in Chile to American parents and relocated to the United States in 1941 at the outbreak of war. He was raised in Alabama, attended the University of Texas and Indiana University, earning a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees. He was employed by the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the State University of New York (Binghamton) and Emory University before taking early retirement in 1982 to become a full time writer. His books include Lee – Four Walls Eight Windows and Fields of Asphodel.

Alice Randall—Randall is the author of Rebel Yell, The Wind Done Gone, and Pushkin and the Queen of Spades. She is a Harvard educated African American novelist who lives in Nashville and writes country songs.
Rob Reid—Reid is a senior lecturer for the Foundations of Education Department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. His specialties are children’s literature, literature for adolescents, and storytelling. He is the author of two picture books and ten storytime programming and readaloud resource books for librarians and teachers. His works include Comin’ Down to Storytime, Shake & Shout, and Wave Goodbye.  He has a regular column in Book Links magazine entitled, The Reid-Aloud Alert, and frequently contributes to Library Sparks magazine.

Christopher Rice—Rice is the author of four New York Times bestselling novels. His first novel, A Density of Souls was published when the author was 22 years old. Rice followed up with a second New York Times bestselling thriller, The Snow Garden, which received a Lambda Literary Award. His third New York Times bestseller, Light Before Day, was selected as the first annual summer reading book by Frontiers magazine. The fourth, Blind Fall, was named "Best Book of 2008" by the Insight/Out book club. A native of California, but a Southerner by blood, Rice lives in West Hollywood. His newest book, The Moonlit Earth, will be released in April 2010.

Marjorie Rosen—Rosen is the author of Boom Town: How Wal-Mart Transformed an All-American Town into an International Community and three other books, including Popcorn Venus: Women, Movies & the American Dream. A former editor at the New York Times Magazine and senior writer at People, she is a professor of journalism at Lehman College-CUNY and a fellow at CUNY’s Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. This author is sponsored by (Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL).

Steve Rushin—Rushin is the author of a novel, The Pint Man, and two works of non-fiction: Road Swing and The Caddie Was a Reindeer. A former writer for Sports Illustrated, he lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.

Marcus Sakey—Sakey has been called “one of the hottest young crime writers in the country.” His novels include The Amateurs, The Blade Itself, At the City’s Edge, and Good People.  A Chicago resident, Sakey is the recipient of the Strand Critic’s Award.  His books have been translated into numerous languages.

Adam Schwartzman—Schwartzman was born in Johannesburg and educated at Oxford University. He is the author of three books of poetry and the editor of an anthology of South African poetry. His first novel is entitled Eddie Signwriter. He lives in Istanbul.

Qaisra Shahraz—Born in Pakistan and raised in the UK, Shahraz has been widely acclaimed by critics for producing novels, short stories, and television screenplays that offer particularly human characterizations of life in her native country and of the experiences of Pakistani immigrants in the West. She is also an educator and creative writing instructor, and has led workshops and seminars on these subjects abroad and in the UK. Her debut novel received a Golden Jubilee Award, and she has won several Pakistan Television Awards for her screenwriting. Her books include The Holy Woman and Typhoon. This author is sponsored by the Betty Chamberlain Fund, Central Arkansas Library System.

Eric Shanower—Shanower is the award-winning cartoonist of the graphic novel series Age of Bronze, a retelling of the Trojan War. His past work includes the Oz graphic novel series; many other comic books; and illustrations for television, magazines, and children’s books. He lives in San Diego, California. This presenter is sponsored by Henderson State University.

Peggy Sissel-Phelan—Sissel-Phelan is the founder of BrainChild Press, Inc., a Little Rock publishing company dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life of children and families.  Her 30-year career as advocate, professor, consultant, and nonprofit executive has resulted in nearly 50 publications, including scholarly works, teaching guides, magazine articles, games and children books, including A Visit to the Farmer’s Market.     

Maureen Stack Sappéy—Stack Sappéy is an archival-level researcher and multi-award author of four historical fiction novels. Letters from Vinnie, her award-winning epistolary novel, told through the singular vision of sculptor Vinnie Ream, offers a unique perspective of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln. Letters from Vinnie was optioned by HBO. This author is sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women.

Amanda Stevens—Stevens is the award-winning author of more than forty novels, including The Dollmaker and The Devil’s Footprints.  She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and a very strange cat named Lola.  Her favorite TV program will always be The X-Files, which nourished her passion for crop circles, conspiracy theories, and things that go bump in the night.

Trenton Lee Stewart—Stewart is the author of the best-selling children’s novels The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma, as well as Flood Summer, a novel for adults. He lives in Little Rock with his wife and two sons.

Grif Stockley—Stockley is the author of 10 books. His most recent work is Ruled by Race: Black/White Relations in Arkansas from Slavery to the Present.

David Stricklin—Stricklin is Head of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and an adjunct history professor at UALR. His new biography is Louis Armstrong: The Soundtrack of the American Experience. He is the co-author, with Bill C. Malone, of Southern Music/American Music, and the author of several other books, chapters in books and articles about Southern music and religion.

Norb Vonnegut—Vonnegut is a wealth adviser who writes about Wall Street’s behavior behind the headlines. His first novel, Top Producer, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. He is now editing The Fund, a thriller scheduled to print in the winter of 2010/2011. Vonnegut built an extensive career with Morgan Stanley, Paine Webber and other Wall Street institutions. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1980 and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986.

Steve Weinberg—Weinberg is the author of eight nonfiction books (biographies and investigative reporting), as well as hundreds of magazine feature stories, personal essays, and reviews. He also teaches at the University of Missouri Journalism School in Columbia, Missouri. His recent book Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller chronicles a remarkable journalist, thinker, and trailblazer. This author is sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women.  

Mel White—White is a free-lance writer specializing in travel and natural history. He is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Society publications, having covered destinations including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Borneo, the Amazon River, Madagascar, and the Swiss Alps. His most recent book is the National Geographic Complete National Parks of the United States.

Katherine Whitworth—Little Rock–based writer, editor, and fact-checker, Whitworth thinks the world could do worse than simply to feed itself well. Ever the dilettante, she has recently begun studying fashion design. One of her essays is found in Cornbread Nation 5.

Gina Wilkins—Bestselling and award-winning author Wilkins sold her first novel to Harlequin Temptation in 1986 and has been a full time writer ever since. A four-time winner of the prestigious Maggie Award for Excellence sponsored by the Georgia Romance Writers, she has written over 90 books for Harlequin/Silhouette. Wilkins was born, raised, and still resides in central Arkansas.

Michael Wilson—Wilson is a transdisciplinary artist who has exhibited his work widely, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Ars Electronica, Harvard Divinity School, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf. He holds an M.F.A. from Yale University and is co-founder of the Social Satisfaction media collective. He collaborated with Nancy Zimmerman on the film Silhouette City and the book A Kingdom at Any Cost. This author is sponsored by Hendrix College.

Jan Wolfe—Wolfe become obsessed with puppetry while working on the final for her Arts in Education class—a puppet show. Captivated by bits of felt and foam, she pursued performing with puppets because they "sold" reading so effectively to her students. Her shows promote the fun of literacy and books. She tours Arkansas with Wolfe at the Door puppets. This presenter is sponsored by the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Ron Wolfe—A writer and cartoonist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Wolfe wrote the newspaper's Santa Times comics, illustrated by Dusty Higgins. In a previous life, he wrote Hellraiser comics for Marvel. He is the co-author (with John Wooley) of three horror novels. His novella, Our Friend Electricity, in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, was reprinted in two best-of-the-year anthologies.

Steve Yarbrough—Yarbrough’s newest novel is Safe from the Neighbors. He was born in Indianola, Mississippi, and has lived in Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina, California, and Poland. His work experience includes stints as a stock-boy in a grocery store, a hoe hand in the cotton patch, a dime-store clerk, and a newspaper reporter. Yarbrough is the author of three story collections and four previous novels.  Yarbrough and his family live in Boston and Krakow.

Cindy Young—Young, chief operations officer and co-founder of ACCESS Group Inc., is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in oral motor dysfunction, and feeding disorders, early childhood, apraxia and literacy. A frequent guest speaker, she is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association and The International Dyslexia Association. She co-authored Tools for Literacy and Communication: A Collection of Stories.

Natalie Zimmerman—Zimmerman’s film, photography, sound, and installation work has been exhibited internationally, including the Moscow International Film Festival, La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Galeria Santa Fe in Bogota, Columbia, and San Francisco Camerawork. She collaborated with Michael Wilson on the film Silhouette City and the book A Kingdom at Any Cost. Zimmerman currently lives in Los Angeles, where she and Wilson are working on their next film – an exploration of the nature and possibilities of love and community. This author is sponsored by Hendrix College.


Authors and sessions are subject to change.

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