2017 Schedule of Events

Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners, filmmakers, comedians, and artists are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the 14th annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 27-30, 2017. The Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Main Library campus and many other Little Rock venues are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, book sales, book signings, and opportunities to meet authors. Most events are free and open to the public.

The complete 2017 Arkansas Literary Festival Schedule will be available April 1, 2017. A few highlights of the coming festival are listed below.

Author! Author!

Toast the Festival authors at the fete featuring hors d'oeuvres and libations. Books will be available for purchase during this party geared for adults. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door. Purchase tickets »

Friday, April 28
Main Library, 7 p.m.

Easier, Faster, Fresher

Try another take on the traditional. Robyn Stone, author of Add a Pinch: Easier, Faster, Fresher Southern Classics, will demonstrate her recipe for strawberry shortcakes in this cooking demonstration. Tickets are $15; limited seating is available. Purchase tickets »

Thursday, April 27
300 Third Tower, 300 E. 3rd St., 3 p.m.

The Reluctant Dragon

A dragon is "a scourge and a pest and a baneful monster." So, what's a boy to do when one moves into the hills above his home? Pay the beast a visit, of course. But instead of a monster he finds a civilized, thoughtful, poetry-reading new friend. Everything is fun and games until the ill-informed villagers send for St. George to slay this "reptilian menace." That's when the boy—armed with only a quick wit and a kind, courageous heart—must step up to save the day.

Saturday, April 29
Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library & Learning Center

The Mayor's Day of Science & Reading

"Journey through the incredible word of physics" and learn how "one man's careful decisions and many accomplishments …changed the history of America." Central Arkansas students will meet Vancouver physicist Dominc Walliman, known for his eye-popping Professor Astro Cat series, and Floyd Cooper, an author/illustrator and Coretta Scott King Award winner, whose most recent work includes Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History and The Ring Bearer.

Friday, April 28
Clinton Presidential Center and the Museum of Discovery

So Impolite

What if we applied tell-it-like-it-is honesty to grown-up issues? In Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion, journalist Cora Daniels and cultural anthropologist John L. Jackson Jr, openly discuss five "third-rail" topics – from multiracial identities to celebrity worship to hyper masculinity among black boys – and open the stage for honest discussions about important and timely concern, offering an entertaining and thought-provoking example of how to bridge the gap between honest talk and civil discourse..

Saturday, April 29
Main Library Campus

Classic in Context: Lolita

Go beyond the page with an exploration of the infamous bestseller by Nabokov. Alex Beam of the Boston Globe leads the discussion, which will include references to his book, The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson and the End of A Beautiful Friendship. The session will be followed by a screening of the Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962). This one is recommended for mature audiences.

Thursday, April 27
Ron Robinson Theater

Perfect Duo

The expert work in the new novel by Katie Kitamura and Kevin Wilson has been lauded with superlatives. "Told in exquisite prose, with intoxicating emotional velocity, A Separation tells the story of a marriage's end, the gulf that divides us from the inner lives of others, and the narrative we invent to mask our true selves." Perfect Little World is "written with the same compassion and charm that won over legions of readers with The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson shows us with grace and humor that the best families are the ones we make for ourselves.

Saturday, April 29
Main Library Campus

The Gatekeepers

Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity, whose members have included Rahm Emanuel, Dick Cheney, Leon Panetta, and Donald Rumsfeld…Fillled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details, The Gatekeepers offers an essential portrait of the toughest job in Washington.

Saturday, April 29
Main Library Campus

Oprah's Pick

"Queen Sugar delivers complex characters (and) a hint of bayou magic" in an "irresistible tale of family, community…and personal reinvention." Hear the beguiling Natalie Baszile speak about her novel that inspired the OWN television series.


We couldn't present so many great authors every year, most of them appearing free to the public, without the sustained effort and support of people like you. All forms of support are welcome and truly appreciated.

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Volunteers are necessary to help with pre-festival marketing and planning, as well as festival coordination and operations management. If you'd like to volunteer your time and skill, please contact Angela Delaney, CALS Volunteer Coordinator, by email or by phone at 918-3095.

Mail Your Donation

Contributions are always welcome in any form. If you would like to send a check with your donation, please mail it to:

Arkansas Literary Festival
100 Rock St.
Little Rock, AR 72201

You may also make a secure online donation here (be sure to designate your gift for the Arkansas Literary Festival). This form is hosted on the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) primary website; the Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of CALS.

About Us

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System. The Festival's mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace.

A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival. Committee chairs include Kevin Brockmeier, Talent Committee; Susan Santa Cruz & Dana Downes, Festival Guides; Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators; Katherine Stewart, SWAG; Seth Eli Barlow, Author! Author!; and Jennifer White, WITS.

Festival Coordinator: Brad Mooy

Central Arkansas Library System

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a program of the Central Arkansas Library System
100 Rock St.   Little Rock, AR   72201