CALS ONE OF 78 ORGANIZATIONS NATIONWIDE TO RECEIVE AN NEA BIG READ GRANT

Image result for nea big readThe Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is a recipient of a $14,900 grant to host the NEA Big Read: CALS. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

CALS is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading. The NEA Big Read: CALS events will take place between March 16 and April 26, 2020.

“We are very excited to host Tim O’Brien and to explore his classic The Things They Carried throughout the library system and beyond,” said Mark Christ, CALS adult programming coordinator. “As an institution, we strive to improve literacy and encourage the exchange of ideas, social engagement, and cultural expression. We hope that additional partners will join with us before the NEA Big Read begins next March.”

The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.

“It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “We always look forward to the unique ways cities, towns, and organizations, like Central Arkansas Library System, explore these stories and encourage community participation in a wide variety of events.”

Planned events for the NEA Big Read: CALS include a lecture by Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried; book clubs, readings and exhibits at CALS branch libraries; an Operation Song event at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock; a film and documentary series, panel discussions and dramatic readings at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater; readings and discussions of The Things They Carried by private book clubs in the area; Vietnam veteran oral history recordings by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies staff in the CALS Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art; performances by the Writeous Poets from Little Rock Central High School; special displays and discussions during the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, and other events.

Partners include the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, Arkansas State Library, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Little Rock Central High School, public radio station KUAR, the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, Central Arkansas Literacy Council, professors from Hendrix College, Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and others.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $20 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past twelve years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

For more information about NEA Big Read: CALS, contact Mark Christ at (501) 918-3069 or mchrist@cals.org.

Busy Saturday at the Arkansas Literary Festival

AR Lit Fest 2014Today is the busiest day of the 11th annual Arkansas Literary Festival. Unless otherwise specified the events are free.

Highlights for today are:

10:00 am

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Other People’s Secrets” – Mona Simpson (Casebook) and Curtis Sittenfeld (Sisterland) with moderator Eliza Borné.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Love or Hate a Cowboy” – Joe Nick Patoski (The Dallas Cowboys) with moderator Tim Jackson
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Workshop – “Get the Reference”
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Ecotone” – Kevin Brockmeier (A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip), Cary Holladay (Horse People) and Rebecca Makkai (Astoria to Zion) with moderator Kyran Pittman.
  • Cox Creative Center: “Fantasy & Fangs” – Colleen Doran (Vampire Diaries series, A Distant Soil) with moderator Randy Duncan
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Eat, Prey, Love” – Cindy Grisham (A Savory History of Arkansas Delta Food) and Kat Robinson (Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley) with moderator Rex Nelson
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Peace” – Lisa Leitz (Fighting for Peace) with moderator Alex Vernon
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “A Piece of the Extraordinary” – Alan Lightman (The Accidental Universe) with moderator Lance Turner

11:30 am

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Canal Voyage” – Mary Roach (Gulp) with moderator T. Glenn Pait.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Modern Parenthood” – Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun) with moderator Amy Bradley-Hole
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Workshop – “Literacy Action”
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: Workshop – “Wonder-Filled Work” with Jeff VanderMeer (Wonderbook)
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Fever & Fatherhood” – Mary Beth Keane (Fever) and Wiley Cash (The Dark Road to Mercy) with moderator Susan Moneyhon.
  •  Cox Creative Center: “Dream Navigators” – Dylan Tuccillo (A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming) with moderator Michael Hibblen
  •  Historic Arkansas Museum: “Hattie!” – Nancy Hendricks (Senator Hattie Caraway) with moderator Tricia Spione
  •  MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Veterans Write Their Lives” – with moderator Sherry F. Clements
  •  Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Dino-Might” – Brian Switek (My Beloved Brontosaurus) with moderator Kevin Delaney

 

1:00 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “The Fine Art of Suspense” – Catherine Coulter (The Final Cut) with moderator Susan Fleming.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Class and Character” – Doug Wilson (Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson) with moderator Rod Lorenzen.
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: “Tongues & Virginia” – Cary Holladay (Horse People) and David Jauss (Glossolalia) with moderator Karen Martin
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Poetry I” – Megan Volpert (Only Ride) and Tess Taylor (The Forage House) with moderator Bryan Borland-Pennington
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Stellar Debuts” – Kelly Luce (Three Scenarios in which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail), Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower) and Mario Alberto Zambrano (Loteria) with moderator Angelle Gremillion
  • Cox Creative Center: “Evangelical Adoption Movement” – Kathryn Joyce (The Child Catchers) with moderator Judith Faust
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Southern Journeys” – Mark Nichols (From Azaleas to Zydeco) and Akasha Hull (Neicy) with moderator Paula Morrell
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Western Mythmaking” – Glenn Frankel (The Searchers) with moderator Alex Vernon
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Area X” – Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation) with moderator Ben Fry

 

2:30 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Vanguard” – Doug Dorst (S.) and Victor LaVelle (The Devil in Silver) with moderator Phillip Huddleston
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Real Girlz” – ReShonda Tate Billingsly (Fortune and Fame; Real As It Gets) with moderator Angela Thomas
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Poetry II” – John Bensko (Visitations), Sandy Longhorn (Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths) and Ash Bowen (The Even Years of Marriage) with moderator Hope Coulter.
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Great TV” – Brett Martin (Difficult Men)with moderator Philip Martin
  • Cox Creative Center: “Measuring the World” – Ethan Hauser (The Measures Between Us) and Michael Parker (All I Have in This World) with moderator Jay Jennings
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Storytellers” – Suzanne Hudson (All the Way to Memphis, The Shoe Burnin’) and Joe Formichella (Waffle House Rules, The Shoe Burnin’) with moderator Shari Smith
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Preludes and Memorials” – David Sesser (The Little Rock Arsenal Crisis) and W. Stuart Towns (Arkansas Civil War Heritage) with moderator Mark Christ
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Puma Tale” – Darcy Pattison (Abayomi: The Brazilian Puma) with moderator Mary Ruth Marotte
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: “Mysterious Duo” – Attica Locke (The Cutting Season) and Qiu Xiaolong (Enigma of China) with moderator Sharon Lee

 

4:00 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Wonka Times 2” – Rick & Michael Mast (Mast Brothers Chocolate) with moderator Kevin Shalin
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “7th Grade in Little Rock” – Kevin Brockmeier (A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip) with moderator Nickole Brown
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Poetry Competition
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Make or Break” – Carla Killough McClafferty (Fourth Down and Inches) with moderator Rhonda Thornton.
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Terrifically Tiny” – Dee Williams (The Big Tiny)with moderator Lyndsey Lewis-Pardue
  • Cox Creative Center: “Badass Presidents” – Daniel O’Brien (How to Fight Presidents) with moderator Joel DiPippa
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Spa City Gangsters” – Orval Albritton (The Mob at the Spa) and Robert K. Raines (Hot Springs: From Capone to Costello) with moderator Liz Robbins
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Photographic History” – Carl Moneyhon (Portraits of Conflict series) with moderator Bobby Roberts
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Go Indie!” – with Darcy Pattison
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: “Illustration” – Kadir Nelson (Baby Bear), Colleen Doran (Vampire Diaries series) and Nate Powell (March: Book One) with moderator Paul A. Crutcher

 

5:00 pm

  • Christ Episcopal Church: “Nourishment” – Fred Bahnson (Soil and Sacrement)

 

7:00 pm

  • Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack: “Pub or Perish”

 

The Cox Creative Center will be having a used book sale on Saturday from 9am to 5pm. In addition there will be a used book sale in the CALS basement from 10am to 4pm.

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).

 

 

Mark Christ to receive Booker Worthen Literary Prize

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. The Worthen Prize will be presented to Christ at CALS’s annual event, “A Prized Evening,” which also features presentation of the Porter Prize. “A Prized Evening” will be held in October 2013; an exact date will be announced later this year.