- ROBIN BECKER
With the Arkansas Literary Festival rolling around again, it's time once more for the Arkansas Times' Pub or Perish, our annual salute to literature and libation, featuring poetry, fiction and non-fiction, plus our famous semi-open mic.
This year we'll be in the back room at Big Whiskey's American Bar and Grill from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 9.
It's been eight years since we started Pub or Perish with a borrowed sound system and a homemade lectern, and the intervening years have seen PoP feature some of the best writers to ever grace the Arkansas Literary Festival. It's always a draw with a packed house, so get there early. Given the caliber of this year's lineup, PoP 2011 should be no different. On the bill this year: UCA professor Robin Becker, author of the HarperCollins novel "Brains: A Zombie Memoir"; Bryan Borland, whose transcendent book of poetry "My Life as Adam" was recently included in the American Library Association's "Over the Rainbow" list of the best gay and lesbian literature of 2010; Little Rock poet and activist Randi Romo; Tanner Critz, owner of Little Rock's Unity Martial Arts and the author of the memoir "End to Ending" about his 2,000-mile-plus hike on the Appalachian Trail; Poets in the Streets founder and Little Rock slam poetry legend Amoja "Mo-Man" Sumler, and other great local and festival authors.
In addition, as has been our custom and privilege from the start, Pub or Perish will feature two- to three-minute slots at our semi-open mic for three or four people. The slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis; to be one of the lucky few, send an e-mail titled "Pub or Perish 2011" at 9 a.m. sharp on Friday, April 8, to: david@arktimes. All e-mails sent before 9 a.m. will be deleted. Move quick. Slots go fast.
In short, come one, come all. Now's your chance to be a part of a Little Rock literary semi-institution, not to mention a dang good time.