J. Bradley Minnick

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

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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.

In this episode we speak with comic book creator and illustrator Gustav Carlson. His book series Eve of the Ozarks Girl & Goat follows the adventures of Eve, her Pa, and her best friend-- a silent goat Hieronymus.

Together, they fight the one-horned elk to save the bluff, try to cheer up the sad sap, and stop the thunderbird from making so much noise. Eve's father, Pa Duncan, can do no more than to shake his head, play his fiddle, and ground Eve when warranted. 

They passed her between branches.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with the Miller Brothers--Josh and Miles--and producer Kathryn Tucker and cinematographer Gabe Mayhan.

The team discusses the trials and tribulations of making quality independent films in the mid-south. This includes conversations about script writing, directing, producing and cinematography.

This episode airs on Friday, April 13 at 7 pm CST and on Sunday, April 15 at 9 pm CST on KUAR 89.1. 

Cover of Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas
Arcadia Publishing

Gotta Catch That Train: The History of The Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with reporter, KUAR news director,  photographer, and writer Michael Hibblen about his independent project of chronicling the Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas. We also hear from former Rock Island employees, Joe Rook, L.T. Walker, and Guy Winters, he has interviewed over the years and railroad historian, Bill Pollard. 

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with creative writing professor John Vanderslice. His book The Last Days of Oscar Wilde, published by Burlesque Press, is a glimpse into the notorious life of the writer and the friends who filled his last days.

Vanderslice writes about Wilde's lesser known years: his book is a fictional account of 1898--1900, which takes up after the scandal, after the trial, and after his poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol."

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with memoirist Michelle Kuo.

Reading With Patrick, published by Random House, is about a teacher, a student, and a life-changing friendship.

This episode “The Delta, Full of Stars” chronicles Kuo’s story of moving to Helena, Arkansas for Teach for America to work at an alternative school, Stars Academy School.

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer Stewart O'Nan about his historical novel, West of Sunset

Published by Viking, the novel is a fictional account, beginning in 1937, of the last three years of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's life.

It weaves a tale of his notorious romp through Hollywood; his affair with gossip columnist, Sheilah Graham; his attempts to salvage his writing career; and whatever was left of his marriage to Zelda, locked away in an asylum.

O'Nan writes:

“Dearest Heart,

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer and University of Arizona associate professor Cristina Devereaux Ramírez about her book Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875-1942, published by The University of Arizona Press.

In the book, Ramírez sheds new light on the contributions of Mexican women journalists and activists during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, marked as the zenith of Mexican journalism.

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Scottish writer Brian Conaghan. His novel for young adults, The Bombs That Brought Us Together, published by Bloomsbury, is an all-to-relevant fable about language and loss, regimes and refugees and the forging of a common ground in the midst of real and perceived intractable differences between Old Country and Little Town.

  

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Welcome to Hickory Ditch, Arkansas, 2012

". . . where nothing ever stops or happens but just hangs somewhere in the middle. . . Hickory Ditch, Arkansas--a city full of human-shaped mosquitoes suspended in amber."

 

Carlisle/Fletcher

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer, actor, and folksinger Willi Carlisle and director and designer Joseph Fletcher. Their one-man operetta There Ain't No More! Death of a Folksinger chronicles an aging folksinger's last performance in front of an audience.

Throughout the performance, this raconteur called "Our Hero" delights the audience with off-color jokes and stories from his past. 

Yeah Boy

Nov 5, 2017
LSU Press

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The Dark Lyricism of Arkansas poet Greg Brownderville 

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with poet Greg Alan Brownderville, who discusses his latest collection, A Horse With Holes in It, published by LSU Press. This collection is interwoven with humor, compelling imagery and dark lyricism. 

 

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we speak with artist Robert McCann who talks about his paintings, which interrogate the drama that is entertainment culture and place us smack down between studio wrestling and external ideas of contemporary spaces. 

 

M. E. Kubit

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Hot Springs singer songwriter Ryan Sauders and guitarist Keith West  sat down with J. Bradley Minnick, host of KUAR's Arts & Letters, to discuss a very difficult subject: suicide of loved ones and how it permeates much of Ryan's lyrics and music.

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Trenton Lee Stewart, author of the bestselling The Mysterious Benedict Society series.

Cover of The Boy and The Firefly
L. K. Sukany

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with the husband and wife team, performers, musicians, and writers Lauren and Micah Sukany.

The Boy and the Firefly is their multimedia children's book: a fractured fairytale--a postmodern bedtime story for our modern times, complete with original music and illustrations.

These Jungian dream-tales are filled with fireflies, bicycles, brooms, princes, princesses and damsels in distress.

Connected as dreams, these stories stitch together the waking life with the dream life. . . "for everyone dreams." 

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Nashville-based YA author Jeff Zentner. His book, The Serpent King, is filled with big hearted characters, misfits and miscreants cornered by the crushing weight of destiny, “the ossifying conviction that they are living out some ancient and preordained plan—encoded in blood, built into the architecture of name.”

Almost Blu

Apr 21, 2017

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Arkansas novelist and memoirist Cara Brookins about her book, Little Boy Blu, a novel loosely based on the "blue people" of Hazard County, Kentucky, who suffered from methemoglobinemia. This rare hereditary blood disorder results from excess levels of methemoglobin in the blood. It is passed on as a recessive gene, which turns the skin blue. 

In Little Boy Blu, we explore the hills and hollers, make our way through a copse of trees and into the crook of a valley—the sort of place common in Hazard County.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, University of Central Arkansas writer and professor John Vanderslice talks about his book Days On Fire. The novel explores the tumultuous days of painter Vincent Van Gogh from his early life in Holland to his hospitalization in St. Paul's Asylum in Saint Remy. Along the way, we discuss Van Gogh's many obsessions, including the painter's relationships with religion, women, family and work. 

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