2019 Arkansas Literary Festival events on tap for today

Though there have been a few events earlier, today (April 25) offers several events to kick off the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival.

During the day at the Clinton Presidential Center and also the Museum of Discovery is a Day of Science and Reading. Students meet Miami-based author Laurie Friedman, Mallory McDonald, Super Sitter and Can You Say Catastrophe? and Nashville-based illustrator, Higgins Bond, A Place for Turtles and Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away. Both successful presenters are originally from the Natural State. Limited seating is available. 

Tonight at 6pm at the ESSE Purse Museum a program will feature Anita Davis, the museum’s founder.  The author of What’s Inside?: A Century of Women and Handbags, 1900–1999, she is a native Arkansan and lifelong collector who loves outsider art, Gladys Knight, dream work, her two daughters, and learning about the mysteries of life. Her varied life experience includes owning a mail-order catalog called Pure and Simple in the 1980s and co-owning Vagabonds coffee house and vintage store in the 1990s. She has a talent for finding valuables (“They’re valuable to me!”) in unexpected places and has led the revitalization of Little Rock’s SoMa neighborhood, where ESSE Purse Museum & Store is located. What’s Inside? is an extension of her endeavor to explore concepts of art, history, and the feminine at ESSE – the only purse museum in the United States and one of only three in the world.

At 7pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, Elliot Ackerman & Charmaine Craig participate in a discussion entitled, The Human Element of War. Despite the dehumanization that goes hand in hand with war and the media coverage of conflict, moments of deep humanity can be glimpsed even in the most harrowing of circumstances. How do we ensure that those moments are not overlooked, and that our stories – even fictional ones – reflect the nuances of a historical moment? Join 2017 National Book Award Finalist Elliot Ackerman (Dark at the Crossing) and 2017 Longlister Charmaine Craig (Miss Burma) for a discussion on depicting conflict, preserving humanity, and finding truth in fiction. This session is presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards.