Butler Center Honors Mark Christ, Pat Carr at A PRIZED EVENING

Tonight at 6:30, the Central Arkansas Library System Butler Center for Arkansas Studies will host the annual “A Prized Evening.”  The 2013 Booker Worthen Prize will be presented to Mark Christ and the 2013 Porter Fund prize will be given to Pat Carr.

christ_markAs one of the most fertile regions in the South, the Arkansas River Valley was highly contested territory during the Civil War. While the Siege on Vicksburg raged, equally important battles were fought here in Arkansas. This struggle is the topic of Mark Christ’s nonfiction work, Civil War Arkansas 1863, which has been selected to receive the 2013 Booker Worthen Literary Prize, awarded by the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS).

Christ, community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, has edited a number of books and articles about Civil War events in Arkansas. He is a member of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Arkansas Humanities Council, and is a member of the board of trustees of the Arkansas Historical Association. Christ recently received the 2013 State Preservation Leadership Award from the Civil War Trust, the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.

The Worthen Prize is awarded each year to an author living in the CALS’s service area whose work is highly regarded. It is named for Booker Worthen, who served twenty-two years on CALS’s board of trustees.


Pat CarrThe 2013 Porter Fund Literary Prize will be given to Pat Carr. The Porter Fund presents the award annually to an Arkansas writer who has accomplished a substantial and impressive body of work that merits enhanced recognition


She has a B.A.(Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.A. from Rice, a Ph.D. from Tulane, and she’s taught literature and writing in colleges all across the South. She’s published sixteen books, including the Iowa Fiction Prize winner, The Women in the Mirror, and the PEN Book Award finalist, If We Must Die, and she’s had over a hundred short stories appear in such places as The Southern Review, Yale Review, and Best American Short Stories.


Her latest short story collection, The Death of a Confederate Colonel, a nominee for the Faulkner Award, won the PEN Southwest Fiction Award, the John Estes Cooke Fiction Award, and was voted one of the top ten books from university presses for 2007 by Foreword Magazine.


Carr has won numerous other awards, including a Library of Congress Marc IV, an NEH, the Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Award, an Al Smith Literary Fellowship, and a Fondation Ledig-Rowohlt Writing Fellowship in Lausanne, Switzerland.


A writing text, Writing Fiction with Pat Carr appeared from High Hill Press in June, 2010, and her autobiography, One Page at a Time: On a Writing Life was published by Texas Tech University Press in December, 2010. Pat Carr’s new novella, The Radiance of Fossils, came out in July 2012 with Main Street Rag Press. Her latest published work, Lincoln, Booth, and Me: A Graphic Novel of the Assassination by Horatio, the Cat as told by Par Carr was published in May 2013 by El Amarna Publishing.

Past honorees of the Booker Worthen prize are: 2012-The Thousand-Year Flood: The Ohio-Mississippi Disaster of 1937, David Welky; 2011-The Broken Vase, Phillip H. McMath and Emily Matson Lewis; 2010-Ruled by Race: Black/White Relations in Arkansas from Slavery to the Present, Grif Stockley; 2009-The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart; 2008-Turn away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis that Shocked the Nation, Elizabeth Jacoway; 2007-A Brief History of the Dead, Kevin Brockmeier; 2006-Promises Kept, Sidney S. McMath (posthumous); 2005-Communities of Kinship: Antebellum Families and the Settlement of the Cotton Frontier, Carolyn Earle Billingsley; 2004-The Truth about Celia, Kevin Brockmeier; 2003-Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, Mara Leveritt; 2002-Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Race Massacres of 1919, Grif Stockley; 2000-The Boys on the Tracks, Mara Leveritt; 2001-The Rumble of a Distant Drum: The Quapaws and Old World Newcomers, 1673–1804., Morris S. Arnold; 1999-Arkansas, 1800–1860: Remote and Restless, S. Charles Bolton.

Previous recipients of the Porter Fund prize are: 2012-Margaret Jones Bolsterli (Non-Fiction); 2011-Bill Harrison  (Fiction); 2010-Bob Ford  (Playwriting); 2009-Roy Reed  (Non-Fiction); 2008-Trenton Lee Stewart  (Fiction); 2007-Greg Brownderville  (Poetry); 2006-Donald “Skip” Hays  (Fiction); 2005-Shirley Abbott (Non-Fiction); 2005-Constance Merritt  (Poetry); 2004-Michael Burns  (Poetry); 2003-Kevin Brockmeier  (Fiction); 2002-Ralph Burns  (Poetry); 2001-Morris Arnold  (Non-Fiction); 2001-Fleda Brown  (Poetry); 2000-Jo McDougall  (Poetry); 1999-Grif Stockley  (Fiction); 1998-Michael Heffernan  (Poetry); 1997-Dennis Vannatta  (Fiction); 1996-David Jauss  (Fiction); 1995-Norman Lavers  (Fiction); 1994-Werner Trieschmann  (Playwriting); 1993-No Prize was awarded; 1992-Andrea Hollander Budy  (Poetry); 1991-Crescent Dragonwagon  (Fiction); 1990-James Twiggs  (Fiction); 1989-Hope Norman Coulter  (Fiction); 1988-Paul Lake  (Poetry); 1987-Donald Harington  (Fiction); 1986-Buddy Nordan  (Fiction); 1985-Leon Stokesbury  (Poetry).




Arkansas Literary Festival This Weekend!

litfestlogoThe Arkansas Literary Festival, the premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas, has expanded to include over 90 authors in many locations on both sides of the river from April 18-21, 2013.

The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library campus, other venues in the River Markets and Argenta Arts districts are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, opportunities to meet the authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.

Festival authors include:

Salma Abdelnour, David Abrams, Mary Stewart Atwell, Beth Ayer, Jenni B. Baker, Jan Barry, Carolyn Briggs, Kevin Brockmeier, Sam Calvin Brown, Oliver Burkeman, Mary Bucci Bush, Drew Cameron, Raquel Cepeda, Da Chen, Joseph Crespino, James Daily, Lela Davidson, Edmond Davis, Sylvia Day, James W. Erwin, Richard Ford, Ben Fountain, Tim Gallagher, Tim Gallagher, Paula J. Giddings, Kay Collett Goss, Jessica B. Harris, Ruth Hawkins, Roger D. Hodge, Ty Jaeger, Jay Jennings, Ben Katchor, Janis F. Kearney, Jeannette Keith, Brian and Terri Kinder, Steve Kistulentz, Christi Shannon Kline, Jon Krampner, Travis Langley, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Dorothy R. Leavell, Domingo Martinez, Ayana Mathis, Carla Killough McClafferty, Rosetta Miller-Perry, Lydia Millet, Pat Mora, Linda Murphy, Sara Nesson, Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, Harry Ostrer, Darcy Pattison, Lori Perkins, Leonard Pitts Jr., Garry Craig Powell, Padgett Powell, Joe Queenan, Karen Russell, Eric Rutkow, Courtney Miller Santo, Rosie Schaap, Martha Silano, Heather Sutherlin, Steve Teske, Chuck Thompson, Charles Todd, Caroline Todd, Duncan Tonatiuh, GB Tran, Dennis Vannatta, Frank X Walker, John Corey Whaley, Steve Wiegenstein, David Wesley Williams, Johnathon Williams, Rita Williams-Garcia, Christian Wiman, Jan Wolfe, Ron Wolfe, C.D. Wright, Steve Yates

This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, James Beard Foundation Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Newbery Honor, National Book Critics Circle Award, a Coretta Scott King Honor, PEN/O.Henry Prize; Pushcart Prize; Barnes and Noble Discover Prize for Fiction, Roger Ebert’s Film Festival Thumbs Up Award, Pure Belpré Award, International Griffin Prize for Poetry, International Documentary Association Best Documentary Short, Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and several National Book Award Finalists. Many of the presenters’ works have been translated into multiple languages and made into films.

Special events for adults during the Festival include a cocktail reception with the authors, food, wine, and spirits workshops, films, a play, and Spoken Word LIVE!, a city-wide poetry competition. Panels and workshops will feature topics such as fiction, memoir, screenwriting, super hero psychology & law, Warrior Writers Project, erotica, and more.

Children’s special events include a storytime on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, a book fiesta, the artmobile, plays, outdoor activities, and Super Hero Activity Afternoon. Festival sessions for children will take place at both the new Children’s Library, 4800 10th Street, and the Youth Services Department at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street.

At Level 4, the Main Library’s teen center, teens can meet authors and illustrators, participate in ComiCALS, activities and panels such as a cosplay contest, video game tournament, a writing workshop, and zombie survival activities.

Through the Writers In The Schools (WITS) initiative, the Festival will provide presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle, and senior high schools and area colleges.

Support for the Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including Central Arkansas Library System; Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL); Department of Arkansas Heritage; Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation; Arkansas Democrat Gazette; Mosaic Templars Cultural Center; Regions; ProSmartPrinting; MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History; Historic Arkansas Museum; Clinton Presidential Center; Hendrix-Murphy Foundation; Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Arkansas Times; Christ Church, Little Rock’s Downtown Episcopal Church; Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center; Arkansas Library Association; Henderson State University; University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service; Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre; Arkansas Governor’s Mansion; Hendrix College Creative Writing and the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature & Language; Hendrix College Project Pericles Program; Hendrix College; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, English Department; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Department of Rhetoric and Writing; Pulaski Technical College; Jewish Federation of Arkansas; Arkansas Arts Center; Power 92 Jams; Central High School National Historic Site; National Park Service; Literacy Action of Central Arkansas; Capital Hotel; Little Rock Film Festival; and LuLav. The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Author! Author!, a cocktail reception with the authors, will be Friday, April 19 at 8pm on the fifth floor of the CALS main library building.  Tickets are available at the door.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System. The Festival’s mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace. A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival. Jay Jennings is the 2013 Festival Chair. Other committee chairs include Katherine Whitworth, Talent Committee; Lisa Donovan, Youth Programs; and Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators.