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Southern Gal Amylou Wilson to read May 30 at Nightbird

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By Richard Massey

Amylou Wilson

Amylou Wilson

Amylou Wilson will be the featured reader at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, at Ozark Poets and Writers Collective’s monthly show at Nightbird Books. The Fayetteville resident will read from stories published in Little Miss Cornbread: Our Journey to Southern-Style Vegan and Gluten-Free Cuisine & Sort-of-True Short Stories, what she refers to as a “hybrid” book written by herself and her sister Susie Jane Wilson of San Francisco.

“Susie was working on recipes while I was working on short stories,” Wilson said. “This went on for several years. Then, after I founded Turtle Lake Press, we decided we should just publish our own book and create a mash-up, if you will. It was fun to do, but I don’t think I’ll be publishing any more books.”

There will be a short open mic before then after Wilson reads. The bookshop is at 205 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville.

Wilson is the daughter of a bookkeeper and a brick mason/construction foreman. She was born in Ferriday, Louisiana, the fourth of five children (three boys followed by two girls, all in eight years). The setting for many of her sort-of-true short stories is her hometown, the birthplace of notable folks such as Jerry Lee Lewis, his cousins Jimmy Swaggart and Mickey Gilley, broadcaster Howard K. Smith, and Claire Chennault, commander of the Flying Tigers that defended Burma and China in the opening months of the Pacific War in December 1941.

Wilson’s love is reading and writing fiction, as well as animals, particularly dogs.

She said her memories include sitting under a shade tree in the hot, humid summer with her butt in a washtub of water surrounded by dogs and cats while reading her favorite book of the moment. Always an avid reader and daydreamer, she began writing her own poetry and stories as a pre-teen. While an undergrad studying English at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, she had a few poems published and received a small poetry prize. She continued in school, receiving a master’s in English at UA in 1983. Later, one of her short stories, featured in Little Miss Cornbread, found a home in the now defunct Arkansas Literary Forum (the journal is archived online).

In the past, she has worked as a dishwasher, a caregiver, a waitress, a graduate teaching assistant, a newspaper writer and editor, and a freelance writer/communications consultant. These days, she works in public affairs with a regional water utility.

“A gal’s got to make a living,” she said.

Expect Amylou to bust out her Southern drawl and entertain you. Little Miss Cornbread will be for sale for those who want them.

UA’s Spring 2017 Readings

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The Program in Creative Writing & Translation of the University of Arkansas Department of English has announced the season’s literary events. While several events already have occurred, the entire announcement follows, with a few annotations.

This spring offers up a number of terrific readings and literary events featuring students, faculty, and visiting writers of the Program in Creative Writing & Translation. We hope to see you at a future event!

  • March 7, 7 p.m., Human Environmental Sciences building auditorium — Reading by Clare Cavanagh, Walton Visiting Writer in Translation
  • March 10, 6 p.m., Nightbird Books — Book launch for MFA alum Jane Blunschi
  • March 14, 7 p.m., The Nines — Open Mouth presents The Conversation Lit Festival’s Black Mecca reading
  • March 15, 6 p.m., Fayetteville Public Library — Reading by professor of poetry Michael Heffernan
  • March 16, 6 p.m., Nightbird Books — Reading by author Beverly Lowry
  • March 30, 6 p.m., Nightbird Books — Alum Erika Carter reads from her debut novel Lucky YouCalled “a marvel of a book” on NPR, this novel has been featured in Elle and Marie Claire, and was an official selection of the Book of the Month Club.
  • March 30, 8 p.m., Stage 18 — The Arkansas International issue 2 fundraiser: live music, signature drinks, great literature!
  • April 6, 6 p.m., Fayetteville Public Library — Reading by Ralph Adamo, MFA alumnus & poet
  • April 7, 7 p.m., Giffels Auditorium, Old Main  — Fourth-year MFA Reading: Brody Craig, Michelle Myers, Molly Rector
  • April 14, 7 p.m., Giffels Auditorium, Old Main — Fourth-year MFA Reading: Jesse Irwin, Emily Lerner, Larissa Lewis
  • April 27, 7:30 p.m., Nightbird Books — Alum Steve Yates reads from his new novel The Legend of the Albino Farm
  • April 28, 7 p.m., Giffels Auditorium, Old Main — Fourth-year MFA Reading: Caroline Beimford, Megan Downey
  • May 4, 6:30 p.m., Fayetteville Public Library — Arkansas International Readings & Launch Celebration

LR’s Phil Martin Reads Sept. 27 for OPWC

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Philip Martin

Philip Martin

Philip Martin — the Little Rock-based columnist, critic and all-round wordsmith — is the feature for the Sept. 27 program of the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective. The program is at Nightbird Books and begins at 7 p.m.

“Martin has won more than 40 regional and national awards for his columns at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has authored three books, co-authored a fourth, and has even recorded three albums,” writes Richard Massey in a profile of Martin in the Sept. 22, 2016, edition of the Fayetteville Free Weekly. The article includes a number of details about Martin’s life and artistic career.

OPWC’s monthly programs are free but donations are welcome. Audience members are invited to participate in our open mic sessions, which precede and follow the featured writer. All ages are welcome to this public event, but the Collective does not censor and any speaker may well address mature subjects using raw language.

OPWC Presents Fiction Writer Kody Ford Aug. 30

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Kody Ford

Kody Ford

Kody Ford, publisher of regional arts and literature journal The Idle Class, is the featured reader at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, at Nightbird Books.

An open mic will take place before and after him. Nightbird is at 205 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville. The Ozark Poets and Writers Collective event is free to the public, but donations are welcome.

Ford’s medium is fiction, and he will read some of his short stories Tuesday.

The El Dorado, Arkansas, native moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2005. Ford holds a degree in communications and writing from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s in communication from the University of Arkansas.

This information is taken from an article by Richard Massey. The full version of Massey’s profile “Magazine Publisher Kody Ford Stoked for Nightbird Reading” was published in the August 25, 2016, edition of the Fayetteville Free Weekly.

Kelly Mulhollan Featured July 26, Reading from his New Book

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Songwriter and author Kelly Mulhollan

Songwriter and author Kelly Mulhollan
Photo courtesy http://www.stillonthehill.com

Known far and wide for his work with prolific folk music duo Still on the Hill, Kelly Mulhollan will celebrate a different talent, that of author, when he takes the podium Tuesday evening, July 26, 2016, at Nightbird Books, writes Richard Massey for the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective.

Mulhollan will read from True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley. Published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2015, Mulhollan’s text and associated photographs tell the amazing story of primitive Ozarks musician and guitar maker Ed Stilley.

True Faith, True Light   Kelly Mulhollan Photography by Kirk Lanier Introduction by Robert CochranThe rest of the article can be read at “Folk Musician Kelly Mulhollan Headlines Monthly Nightbird Event” in the Fayetteville Free Weekly.

[Update, July 26, 2016] The UA Press page on True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley notes that the many photographs are by Kirk Lanier and opens with an introduction by Robert Cochran, a UA English professor, chair of American studies and director of its Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies.

The publisher’s link above is to encourage book buyers to find this volume at their local independent bookseller. In Fayetteville, that’s Nightbird Books.

Kelly has posted a number of video and audio clips on Ed’s instruments and how they sound.

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