Calendar of Events

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Arkansas Literary Festival

Arkansas Literary Festival

2018 Arkansas Literary Festival

Thursday & Sunday, April 26-29

Notable authors, including Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners, filmmakers, singers, and artists are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) fifteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 26-29, 2018. Events will be held at Library Square, the Central Arkansas Library System's downtown Little Rock campus, and several other venues. Most events are free and open to the public.

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The Queen of Rockabilly

Thursday, April 26 • 7:00 p.m.

General Admission: $20

All you hard headed women and cowboy yodelers gussy up and scoot down to the Ron Robinson Theater for an Arkansas Sounds concert by legendary singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist Wanda Jackson.

Buy tickets now »

I Literature and Language

Saturday, April 28 • 10:00 a.m.

FREE and open to the public

Critics have called these books "a love letter to literature and its power to transcend social barriers." and "a smart, sparkling and often hilarious valentine to the content and keepers of dictionaries." Paris-based teacher Michelle Kuo's Reading with Patrick and Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper's Word by Word will steal your heart.

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Poetic Justice

Saturday, April 28 • 11:30 a.m.

FREE and open to the public

Does writing have the power to change someone's life, even someone in prison? See a short film and meet Ellen Stackable and Hanna Al-Jibouri, two of the ladies behind the Oklahoma-based nonprofit that teaches incarcerated women the joys of poetry.

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Race & Religion

Saturday, April 28 • 1:00 p.m.

FREE and open to the public

Ijeoma Oluo, a self-professed internet yeller, "uses anecdotes, facts, and a little humor" in her visceral "user-friendly examination of race" that provides "tools to help create personal and societal transformations." Daisy Khan is "the voice of a modern Muslim woman who broke all barriers to become a leader in a faith community that is often considered oppressive to women." So You Want to Talk About Race and Born with Wings make a dynamic duo, indeed.

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Devilish Family Crimes

Saturday, April 28 • 2:30 p.m.

FREE and open to the public

Playwright/producer/professor Dorothy Marcic "embarked on a two-year mission to uncover the truth about the brutal murder of her uncle, a police detective in rural Wisconsin. With One Shot proves "the trail of secrets and lies that began with his death did not end with his widow's conviction." Former Los Angeles politician Charlotte Laws learned about "the murders, bombings, and devil worship" when she visited her ancestors' hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia. Devil in the Basement also tells of her "great grandmother (who) set up a criminal enterprise in the back barn", and a great aunt who "was hauled off to an insane asylum before becoming the mistress of a Detroit Mobster."

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Sun Kings

Saturday, April 28 • 4:00 p.m.

FREE and open to the public

Beneath a Ruthless Sun, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King's newest work, is a gripping story of sex, race, class, corruption, and the arc of justice twisted and bent straight again in the Florida Citrus groves. The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family's Search for the American Dream by bestselling author Bryan Mealer is a multigenerational saga of a family weathering boom and bust gushing with "love, lust, heartache, and Jesus" and the "profound capriciousness of life."

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An Evening with Sebastian Junger

Saturday, April 28 • 7:00 p.m.

General Admission: FREE, reservations requested

Renowned author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker Sebastian Junger (Tribe, War, The Perfect Storm, Restrepo, Korengal) dives deep into his coverage of multiple wars along with his literary and film work, as he gives the CALS J. N. Heiskell Distinguished Lecture for journalism. Reservations are requested and are available at arlitfest-sebastian-junger.eventbrite.com.

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Classic in Context: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Sunday, April 28 • 5:30 p.m.

General Admission: FREE, reservations requested

Go beyond the page as Cherisse Jones-Branch provides insight to help readers further enjoy Maya Angelou's well-known memoir, which was chosen by 2017 Fest audiences. Be sure to vote for the 2019 classic, as well. Admission is free; reservations requested at arlitfest-maya-angelou.eventbrite.com.

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Classic in Context: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Sunday, April 28 • 6:30 p.m.

General Admission: FREE, reservations requested

After the talk, enjoy a screening of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise which "weaves her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and video…from her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton…The acclaimed film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and "has won 9 awards on 3 continents." Admission is free; reservations requested at arlitfest-maya-angelou.eventbrite.com.

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Music

Wanda Jackson

The Queen of Rockabilly

Thursday, April 26 • 7:00 p.m.

General Admission: $20

All you hard headed women and cowboy yodelers gussy up and scoot down to the Ron Robinson Theater for an Arkansas Sounds concert by legendary singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist Wanda Jackson. This event is part of the 2018 Arkansas Literary Festival, April 26-29, taking place on the main campus of the Central Arkansas Library System.

Buy tickets now »

Every Night is Saturday Night

Every Night is Saturday Night

Friday, April 27 • Time TBA

FREE and open to the public

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson will give an intimate talk about her life and her autobiography, Every Night Is Saturday Night: A Country Girl's Journey to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This event is part of the 2018 Arkansas Literary Festival, April 26-29, taking place on the main campus of the Central Arkansas Library System.

Sonny Burgess & the Legendary Pacers

Sonny Burgess Tribute Featuring the Legendary Pacers

Friday, May 18 • 7:00 p.m.

General Admission: $10

A tribute to the late great Sonny Burgess will begin with a screening of the Arkansas Wildman documentary followed by live performance by The Legendary Pacers.

Reserve tickets now »

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About Ron Robinson Theater

The Ron Robinson Theater is a 315-seat multi-purpose event venue. Part of the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Main Library campus, it is designed to provide programs for all ages including films, music performances, plays, readings, lectures, speakers, and children's activities. The theater is equipped with a state-of-the-art DCI-compliant Barco digital cinema projection system and 32' wide retractable screen; and, a versatile sound system capable of Dolby 7.1 surround audio for movies, with a CL3 digital mixing console with ample inputs for traditional music concerts.

As with other CALS meeting space, the theater may be used by the public, based on availability.

Little Rock voters approved a bond issue in 2012 that provided funding for the Arcade Building. Through a public-private partnership between CALS, Clinton-Commerce LLC (which includes Moses Tucker Real Estate), Monroe Cache, retail stores, offices, and a restaurant are housed in the Arcade Building, a three-story, 60,000 square foot structure.

Contact Us

100 River Market Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201
Theater info: 501-320-5715
Book events: 501-320-5709

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