The fine folks at WordsWorth Books & Co. have posted pictures of my signing last night on their Facebook page.
Archive for the 'Appearances' Category
The paperback edition of Carry the Rock is out Tuesday, August 30, and I’ll be appearing at WordsWorth Books in Little Rock for a signing from 5 to 7 p.m. Stop by for a drink, snack and chat. Coach Bernie Cox told me he’ll try to be there as well.
My “Tales from the South” appearance aired on KUAR last week, and thanks to Paula Morrell and all the folks at Starving Artist Cafe for the wonderful food and reception. Here’s a link to the audio of the reading, including a Q&A after the reading that wasn’t part of the YouTube clip (and with much better sound!)
On Tuesday, June 14, I’ll be reading a piece as part of the storytelling series and radio broadcast “Tales from the South.” This appearance is part of the Tin Roof Project, where established writers read, followed by a Q&A with host Paula Morrell. Others who’ve participated have been Graham Gordy and Kevin Brockmeier. Because it has become so popular, advance reservations are recommended.
Here’s a picture of me from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette speaking at the Charles Portis panel at the aforementioned Arkansas Literary Festival.
Little Rock was chockful of writers this weekend for the annual literary festival, and as usual, it was an exercise in blissful frustration as there were more great sessions than there was time to attend. Besides moderating a panel on Charles Portis with fellow Portisheads Graham Gordy (screenwriter, playwright and columnist) and Kane Webb (“Voices” page editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), I presented my own book at a session held at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. It was somewhat chilling because from the stage in the second-floor ballroom where I was speaking, I could see the intersection where the body of John Carter was deposited and set aflame after his lynching in 1927, described in the second chapter of my book. I was honored that Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock 9, was in attendance. Her daughter, Spirit Trickey, a playwright herself, introduced me, and the reception I received from everyone at the Mosaic Templars was wonderful. The place was packed for the session which followed me, Isabel Wilkerson discussing her book, The Warmth of Other Suns. She was riveting. Other terrific sessions I sat in on were those with John Brandon (Citrus County) and Eliza Griswold (The Tenth Parallel).
In Sunday’s paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote about the Portis panel; you’ll have to subscribe or purchase the article to see it, because that’s the way they roll (and the way more and more newspapers will have to roll).
The Arkansas Educational Television Network has just announced when the broadcast schedule for the interview I did with journalist Steve Barnes for his popular show “Barnes and…”. It will air Feburary 11 and 17 at 6:30pm, and Febuary 27 at 10:30pm. You can find the full release here.
I was in Fayetteville on Friday night for an appearance at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street, so I missed the Central game, which saw the Tigers go down again to North Little Rock, 42-0, to drop to 1-7. The Tigers will play Catholic High (2-6) at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday in a game that is sure to be fiercely contested, as it marks the first time Central’s coach, Scooter Register, has faced the team he formerly led.
The event at Nightbird, on the eve of the Ole Miss-Arkansas game, was a delight. In attendance was my former Vanderbilt classmate Greg Puckett, who now lives in Bentonville, and about ten other engaged readers. (When he was working for the newspaper in Little Rock as a high school senior, Greg actually wrote the story of my game-winning TD reception against McClellan High.) We sat around a table and discussed not only the book but race relations in general for about two hours, until the store was ready to close. On the way out, I bought a copy of Skippy Dies, the new novel I’ve been wanting to read. Owner Lisa Sharp also sent me on my way with some delicious cookies. Thanks to Lisa and everyone at Nightbird for a lovely evening at what is a Fayetteville treasure.
The past two weeks have been the busiest since publication, with lots of travel and a raft of nice publicity for the book. I’ve been very gratified by the response both in Arkansas and on the road. Highlights follow:
* On October 4, I drove down to Oxford, Mississippi for an appearance at the great Square Books, which is worth a trip to Oxford all by itself. My cousin Ann Jennings Shackelford treked over from Indianola, where she’s interim director of the B.B. King Museum. Just before the event started, Houston Nutt, former Central quarterback and Arkansas Razorback coach and current Ole Miss coach, walked in with another former Central quarterback, Clark Irwin, who is now an assistant coach on his staff. Ann and Houston were classmates at Central High from 1976, and he exclaimed, “That was the smartest girl in the school! You were valedictorian, weren’t you?” Indeed she was. He then graciously agreed to say a few words about Bernie Cox before I spoke. The Square Books blog has an item and picture. Afterward, at dinner, I had the best roast chicken I’ve ever had at John Currence’s Snackbar.
* The following Thursday, I flew to New York for an appearance at Gelf magazine’s Varsity Letters Reading Series, along with Matthew Shepatin, who has written a book about former Jets’ receiver Don Maynard, and Alex Belth, who has collected stories about the old Yankee Stadium. Carl Bialik and the rest of the Gelf crew are smart guys who read the books closely and have a love of sports and literature. They published an interview with me on the Gelf Web site with some interesting links. A long night of drinking at reBar around the corner in Brooklyn ensued.
* To close out that week, I flew from New York to Nashville for an appearance at the Southern Festival of Books, where I was on a panel with my Vanderbilt classmate Alex Heard, whose latest book is The Eyes of Willie McGee. It is the story of a 1940s legal case in Mississippi that earned international attention and resulted in the execution of a black man for the crime of raping of white woman, a “legal lynching” as he terms it. Meticulously researched, it defies easy answers and simple assumptions. I hadn’t been to Nashville in many years, so I strolled around Vanderbilt’s campus on Sunday morning. I also met Central graduate Eliza Borné, who now works for the BookPage in Nashville and has been kind to Carry the Rock. She has written a nice summary of her experience at the festival. The highlight for me, other than the long night of drinking in the Hermitage Hotel bar with Alex and his fellow author and Outside writer Hampton Sides (Hellhound on His Trail), was the session in the Tennessee Senate Chambers with Isabel Wilkerson and her new book about the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns.
I spoke on Thursday night as part of the Clinton School Speakers Series. Here’s a video of the entire talk: