Still time for schools to sign up for Poetry Out Loud

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Plan now to see Arkansas high school students compete in the Arkansas Poetry Out Loud statewide poetry recitation competition March 14, 2020!

High school students will compete at their individual schools throughout this fall. Winners at the school level will compete at the state competition for a chance to represent Arkansas at the National Poetry Out Loud competition this spring. The National Champion wins $20,000!

Poetry Out Loud is made possible through the partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation and Arkansas Arts Council.

For more information visit www.arkansasarts.org or by contacting Sandrekkia Morning at Drekkia.Morning@arkansas.gov. Teachers who are interested in their high school students participating should contact Morning before Nov. 1.

Artspace Public Survey Launch Party tonight

No photo description available.The Windgate Foundation invited Artspace, a national nonprofit leader in the field of affordable creative space development, to explore the feasibility of creating an affordable live/work community in the Little Rock/North Little Rock metro region, a region organizers are calling “The Rocks”.

Tonight (9/24) from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, there will be a reception and launch party for a public survey which is an important part of the Artspace process.  It will be at the UA Pulaski Tech CHARTS center.

A series of meetings with the community and local leaders occurred in July and August, setting the stage for this next big step, a Creative Space Needs Survey of creative people, especially those interested in affordable space.

Input will help the local stakeholder group and Artspace determine if there is ample need for new space, what type of space to create, what “affordable” really means to you, where to build, and if this idea should be taken to the next step.

*Complimentary shuttle service to and from the event will be provided by Rock Region Metro. The shuttle will pick up at 5:00 from Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (501 W. 9th Street) and return to this location following the event. Shuttle seating is limited so please make your reservation by calling 816.309.1939 or emailing kennedym@hendrix.edu.

For more information go to https://www.artspace.org/ArtspaceRocks

South Words, a new author series, is announced by OXFORD AMERICAN

The Oxford American is pleased to announce South Words, a new author series at Ron Robinson Theater (100 River Market Ave., Little Rock, AR 72201) featuring renowned OA contributors.

The inaugural season features Sarah M. Broom, author of The Yellow House (Tuesday, October 15, 2019); Van Jensen and Nate Powell, author and illustrator of Two Dead (Tuesday, November 19, 2019); Silas House, author of Southernmost (Tuesday, February 25, 2019); and Leesa Cross-Smith, author of So We Can Glow: Stories (Tuesday, March 31, 2020). At each event, the author will read from his or her work, then be interviewed onstage by a moderator. The events, all of which are free and open to the public, begin at 6:30 PM, with the doors opening at 6 PM. Books will be for sale onsite and authors will participate in a signing.

The presenting sponsor for South Words is the College of Fine Arts & Communication at the University of Central Arkansas. The series is presented in partnership with the CALS Six Bridges Book Festival. Additional season partners include the Clinton School of Public Service, Villa Vue at SOMA, the Arkansas Arts Council, and the Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom, who published an essay called “A Yellow House in New Orleans” in the Oxford American’s Spring 2008 issue, is a memoir set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East. The book was published on August 13, 2019, to wide acclaim, including from New York Times critic Dwight Garner, who called it “a major book that I suspect will come to be considered among the essential memoirs” of the decade. In a cover feature in the New York Times Book Review on August 11, Angela Flourney wrote: “[The Yellow House] is an instantly essential text, examining the past, present and possible future . . . of America writ large.” The conversation with Broom will be moderated by KaToya Ellis Fleming, the OA’s 2019-20 Jeff Baskin Fellow.

Little Rock native Nate Powell, the artist of the #1 New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning illustrated trilogy March, has said, “I’m always eager to bring my home state to life through comics, and each book doubles as a love letter to Arkansas in all its contradictory beauty.” His next book, Two Dead, a Little Rock noir set in the 1940s, is a collaboration with author Van Jensen, a former crime reporter at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The South Words event with Powell and Jensen will occur on the book’s November 19 publication date. A 16-page excerpt from Two Dead was published in the Oxford American’s Fall 2019 issue. The conversation with Powell and Jensen will be moderated OA Senior Editor Jay Jennings, author of Carry the Rock.

Silas House is a frequent New York Times contributor and the nationally bestselling author of six novels, including Southernmost, which was published in June 2018 and long-listed for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and named a best book of the year by Booklist, the Advocate, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and Paste. Excerpted on OxfordAmerican.org, Southernmost is the story of evangelical preacher Asher Sharp, who offers shelter to two gay men after a flood in a small Tennessee town. The conversation with House will be moderated by Seth Pennington, editor-in-chief of Sibling Rivalry Press.

Leesa Cross-Smith made her Oxford American debut in 2017 with “Ain’t Half Bad,” her widely read essay about Sturgill Simpson for the Kentucky music issue; in 2018, she was a regular contributor to The By and By, the OA’s online story series. She is the author of Whiskey & Ribbons (longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and listed among Oprah Magazine’s “Top Books of Summer”), Every Kiss a War, and So We Can Glow, a collection of forty-two short stories forthcoming from Grand Central Press on March 10, 2020. The conversation with Cross-Smith will be moderated by OA contributing editor Kevin Brockmeier, who is the author, most recently, of A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade.

For more information about South Words, visit OxfordAmerican.org/events