Friday, August 16, 2013

Fall 2013 Lineup

The Big Rock Reading series has an exciting lineup for Fall 2013. All events are free and open to the public.  For more information email or call 501-812-2302.

 Big Rock Reading Series: Novelist, Garry Craig Powell
Reading, Q & A, and Book Signing
Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 6:00 p.m., RJ Wills Lecture Hall, Campus Center 2nd Floor, Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock

 Garry Craig Powell's debut, the novel-in-stories Stoning the Devil (Skylight Press 2012) has been long-listed for the 2013 Frank O' Connor Short Story Award. Powell, an Englishman, has degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Durham, and Arizona, and has taught in Portugal, Spain, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates, the setting of his book. His stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, McSweeney's, Nimrod and other literary journals. He has been awarded fellowships by the Arkansas Arts Council, the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. Powell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing at UCA.

Big Rock Reading Series: Dr. Adam Long and Dr. Ruth Hawkins
Presentation, Reading, Q & A, and Book Signing
Thursday, October 24, 2013, 6:00 p.m., RJ Wills Lecture Hall, Campus Center 2nd Floor, Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock

Adam Long is the director of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, Arkansas.  Originally from Jonesboro, he has a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and degrees from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Lyon College in Batesville. His academic writings have been published in journals such as Philological Review and The International Journal of the Humanities and in a forthcoming volume by the Center for Faulkner Studies.

Adam Long’s scholarship focuses on the changing South at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.  Though Ernest Hemingway is not from the South, he visited and wrote in Arkansas regularly and the prominent Pfeiffer family of Piggott was one of his greatest influences.  Through this Arkansas connection, Long explores the ways in which the Arkansas Delta (and the South more generally) was connected to a rapidly changing world in the 1920s and 1930s.

Ruth A. Hawkins is executive director of Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University, including the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center at Piggott, the Historic Dyess Colony:  Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, and other preservation and heritage tourism projects throughout the Arkansas Delta.  Her book, Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow, tells the story of the marriage between Ernest Hemingway and Pauline Pfeiffer of Piggott, Arkansas.  Hawkins holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, a Master's degree in Political Science from Arkansas State University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Mississippi. She is a member of the Arkansas History Commission and a state advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.    

Big Rock Reading Series:  Diana Reaves and William Pittam
Reading and Q & A
Friday, November 15, 2013,10:00 a.m., RJ Wills Lecture Hall, Campus Center 2nd Floor, Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock


Diana Reaves grew up in southern Alabama along the muddy banks of the Chattahoochee River, and before she fell for poetry, she wanted to be a tornado chaser. Reaves says, “I think those dreams of tracking storms are still very present in what I’m doing now. I mean, I’m always running after what is both mysterious and real, those momentary strikes or mile-long paths full of debris, some force we can’t predict that leaves us in quiet aftermaths of questions and possible answers, a rotating column of words often violent in some ways but beautiful—poetry.”

Reaves’ poems are about the loss of loved ones, the loss of belief in those we love, and also about the enduring and sometimes fragile connections between family and friends. She lives in Fayetteville, AR, where she is the 2013 Walton Fellow in Poetry and the 2013 Lily Peter Fellow in Poetry at the University of Arkansas. Her poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Boxcar Poetry Review, and The 2River View.

William Pittam is from Staffordshire, England. He took his MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He is currently in the third year of his MFA at the University of Arkansas and a recipient of the Walton and Lily Peter Fellowships for Fiction.

Set in the United Kingdom, from London to the Midlands, William’s short stories take the form of family or marital drama, and yet also explore philosophical themes, such as belief and the rituals that form them. In one story about the 2005 London terror attacks, a woman attempts to understand the concept of martyrdom, the drive for which she views as an unattainable level of belief. This feeling is complicated, however, when she meets and begins to fall for a Bosnian man who fought in the Siege of Sarajevo.