J. Bradley Minnick

A Brief Pause

Mar 23, 2020
Elixir Press

Meet American prize-winning short story author: Amina Gautier.

Today on Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with award-winning writer Amina Gautier.  Her third short story collection, The Loss of All Lost Things, published by Elixir Press is about reconstituting lives after imaginable and unimaginable losses. In this episode, we'll be examining her story "A Brief Pause." 

The Loss of All Lost Things won the Elixir Press Award in Fiction and the 2018 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. 

Life Was Golden

Mar 19, 2020
M. E. Kubit

A Guided Tour of the Historic Cane Hill Museum

Walk with us as we explore the Historic Cane Hill Museum.

This show is our second in a series of two episodes. The first episode, "Still On Cane Hill," explored the musical project "Cane Hill" written by folk duo Kelly and Donna Mulhullan of Still On The Hill.

Settle in on your front porch rocking chairs and listen to musical tales of Doc Bean, Cousin Annie's Apple Pie, the Trail of Tears, and JD Wilbur's Pottery—all from the historic Northwest Arkansas town, Cane Hill.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with musicians Kelly and Donna Mulhollan of the musical group Still On The Hill about their musical project Cane Hill -- a historical town with its Main Street, college, fountain on the square, and town doctor. 

The Life of Legendary Story Chaser, Tim Samaras.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with participant journalist Brantley Hargrove about his book The Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras.

Tsutsui family photos

Unearth the reasons why so many of us love Godzilla, with Professor Tsutsui as our guide.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with William Tsutsui, former President of Hendrix College and a self-admitted aficionado of "all-things Godzilla." 

Tsutsui's book Godzilla On My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters. published by Saint Martin's Griffin, recovers Godzilla from b-movie status and celebrates the King of the Monsters.

Imagine what James Baldwin might say if he were alive today.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with writer Vincent Tolliver about his one-man play, James Baldwin: Striking a Match to America, An Address at Columbia University, which has been performed in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

The play imagines James Baldwin alive today talking to the American people about writing, race, and reparations. 

 

An excerpt from the play:

The Tradition

Dec 8, 2019
Copper Canyon Press

Explore American Poetry.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with poet Jericho Brown about his national book award finalist poetry collection The Tradition, published by Copper Canyon Press.

This collection focuses on multiple mythic traditions and confronts injury, loss, and love.

“Dark”

I am sick of your sadness,

Jericho Brown, your blackness,

Your books. Sick of you

Laying me down

... I’m sick

Michael Weintrob

On this fun-filled episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with musicians Rob Schwimmer and Mark Stewart of Polygraph Lounge about various ways of thinking about and rethinking conceptions of music. 

Based on two shows Schwimmer and Stewart created for Carnegie Hall Presents, we feature music and discussions about the exploration of sound. 

The Colony

Oct 19, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Immerse yourself in the haunting experiences of patients institutionalized in a Southern state-run facility that sterilized patients without their consent until the mid-twentieth century.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with poet Molly McCully Brown about her poetry collection The Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, published by Persea Books, which imagines the voices of patients and staff of the Colony.

Whatever it is--

home or hospital,

graveyard or asylum,

government facility or great

Image Courtesy of Tyson Foods

Explore the life and nonfiction of Donald Harington, known as "the Chaucer of the Ozarks" for his artistic and literary portrayal of the traditions and culture of the tri-state region of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with editor Brian Walter about the collected non-fiction of novelist Donald Harington.

Photo from cover of Thought We Were Writing the Blues: But They Called It Rock 'n' Roll

Explore the Music of This Rock & Roll Pioneer

In Part II, Arts & Letters continues speaking with biographer Arlene Corsano about the music and career of Arkansan songwriter and singer Rose Marie McCoy and Corsano's book Thought We Were Writing The Blues But They Called It Rock 'n' Roll.

Catch up and listen to Part I before this episode!

Discover one of America's most prolific songwriters.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we speak with biographer Arlene Corsano about the life and music of Arkansan songwriter and singer Rose Marie McCoy. 

Through personal stories and rare interview recordings with McCoy, Corsona tells the in-depth and behind-the-scenes story of a complicated singer and songwriter who broke barrier after barrier as a black woman in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s in the music business. 

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we celebrate the music from Season Five.

Hosted by producer Mary Ellen Kubit this episode shares favorite and memorable music from the various episodes this year. 

Our Executive Producer and Host J. Bradley Minnick is busy in the studio recording for Season Six, but he'll break away for a few minutes for a behind the scenes discussion about how music is selected and placed in various episodes.           

Photo courtesy of Eugene Lawson

The True Tale of "Arkansas Gun Girl," Helen Spence

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we continue our discussion with Denise Parkinson about the mysterious and infamous life of 1930s "outlaw" Helen Ruth Spence.

Parkinson's book, Daughter of the White River: Depression-Era Treachery & Vengeance in the Arkansas Delta is a true-life tale about a depression-era tragedy.

The True Tale of "Arkansas Gun Girl," Helen Spence

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with writer Denise White Parkinson. Her book is titled Daughter of the White River: Depression-Era Treachery & Vengeance in the Arkansas Delta and is published by The History Press.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with hospice educator and pastor Dr. Kathleen J. Rusnak about what the dying learn about living at the end of life and how this knowledge is their gift to us in the midst of life.

Her book Because You've Never Died Before, published by Brick Wall 2, offers a framework for giving meaning to the experiences of those who are dying as well as an opportunity to gain from the wisdom and insight of the dying for your own life now.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we speak with writer Joe Meno.  Published by Akashic Books, his novel,  Marvel and a Wonder, is set in the summer of 1995.

Jim Falls, a grandfather and Korean War veteran, sets out alone to raise his grandson Quentin. 

Marvel and a Wonder is firmly ensconced in place and reveals the wonderment of possibility, which is looming just beyond the next hill. And then the next. . . 

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler about his many books informed by theories on desire, life's chance meetings and conscious decisions that inform sometimes unconscious occurrences in the world.

A life in letters, the varied novels, the wildly inventive short stories, the radical pedagogy, please join us for a retrospective on his work thus far--Robert Olen Butler in his own words.

SAGE Publications

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with Dr. Avinash Thombre, a communication professor in the Department of Applied Communication, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Ramesh N. Rao, professor of communications at Columbus State University in Georgia.

Their book Intercultural Communication The Indian Context, published by Sage Publications, introduces us to the challenges of, and opportunities for, communicating across a myriad verbal and non-verbal differences in India. 

On this special episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be featuring a The River Whispers Her Name: A Christmas Tale, penned and performed by Jay Grelen, based on the book by the same name.

Four-year-old Rebekah Freeman wanders away from her house, her mother, father and brother, Four Door, in search of an elusive Christmas package.

The River Whispers Her Name chronicles Rebekah's misadventures beginning on the eve of Christmas Eve in the marshes of Alabama.  

Fierce Solitude

Nov 4, 2018
Center for Arkansas History and Culture, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be featuring biographer Ben Johnson. His biography,  Fierce Solitude,  published by the University of Arkansas Press, remembers to tumultuous life of Arkansas  Pulitzer Prize winning poet, John Gould Fletcher.

Though not widely know today, Fletcher was very influential in mid-twentieth centery literary circles--one of the shock troops for free-verse imagist lyric; a fervent Agrarian and a paradox--a man filled with contradictions that have baffled scholars and deepened his obscurity.   

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be featuring writer Phillippe Diederich. His novel for young adults Playing For The Devil's Fire is a portrait of friendship, corruption, and playing for keeps in the small town of Izayoc, Mexico--a pueblo in a tiny valley, only a few hours west of Mexico City, where the state of Mexico meets the states of Michoacan and Guerrerro.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be featuring writer Adam Ehrlich Sachs, whose book Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables & Problems is a series of one hundred and seventeen fictional pieces.

The book chronicles the sometimes competitive and often dyspeptic relationships between fathers and sons--the imprint each leaves upon each--the idea of outrunning each other's shadow.

Ig Press

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be featuring writer Steve Yarbrough, who talks about his relationship with Larry McMurtry's seminal novel The Last Picture Show-- a work of literature that left a powerful impression on Yarbrough when he was growing up in the Mississippi Delta.

The Ig Publishing Bookmarked series is a collection of personal narratives about books that have profoundly influenced a renowned writer’s life.   

E. Cappell

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be talking with Dr. Ezra Cappell, Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of English at the College of Charleston about the letters his grandfather sent to his family & his fiancé, Isa, from Fort Breendonk prison camp in Brussels. 

"Letters from Breendonk"  helps to complete the picture— filling in the fissures and gaps in the story of the thousands of Jewish victims of Fort Breendonk.

Atelier26 Books

Listen to the Episode

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be featuring a short story entitled "Preferred Signals, 1985" from Arkansas writer Woody Skinner's short story collection: A Thousand Distant Radios, published by Atelier 26 Books.

On this episode Arts & Letters, we journey into the world of dreams and psychoanalysis with professor Elissa Marder. An expert in Freud and his Interpretation of Dreams, Marder serves as Chair of the Department of French and Italian and Interim Director of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program at Emory University.  

“…the dream, which separates things and breaks them down, creates the new.” Charles Baudelaire

 

In this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with musicians and authors, Kelly and Donna Mulhollan about Kelly's book, True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley.

Kelly Mulhollan has collected a number of hand-crafted instruments and documented Ed Stilley’s life and work in the book, giving us a glimpse into a singular life of austere devotion. 

Born in the 1930, Ed Stilley is a farmer in Hogscald Hollow, Arkansas. In 1979, while plowing his field, Stilley was overcome with what felt like a heart attack.

 

 

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with novelist Luis Urrea The House of Broken Angels, published by Little Brown, is a meditation on life and death. Two brothers, Big Angel and Little Angel grapple with "the duties of those who grow old together and share the same grave had not been fulfilled" (from poet Issa).

Urrea says, "Big Angel was late to his own mother's funeral.  What kind of Mexican did that?"

This episode will air Friday May 11 at 7 pm (CST) and Sunday May 13 at 9 pm (CST)  on KUAR 89.1. 

Ben Fry
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Toys of Desperation, a posthumously-released novel, written by longtime KUAR Station Manager Ben Fry is being featured as part of the Arkansas Literary Festival this weekend.

The book, published by Et. Alia Press, is about Billy Williams, who lives in the fictional town of Weir Arkansas. He traverses the town on his bike crossing the railroad tracks, while the 1973 Watergate hearings are being televised. Billy Williams hears the voice of his father and sets out to find what it is that his father is telling him.

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