Arkatext literary festival set for Feb. 11-15




January 24, 2013

Contact: Mark Spitzer, (501) 450-3339,


By Paige Turner

College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas’s Department of Writing will host the annual Arkatext literary festival, a week-long celebration, beginning Monday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. in Thompson Hall.

All Arkatext events are free and open to the public.

“Arkatext is a celebration of Arkansas writers in which we bring renowned artists to visit with students and faculty,” Mark Spitzer, associate professor of creative writing, said. “But mostly, it gives the students the opportunity to meet and work with established authorities in their field, which thereby lends to an increased excitement in local literary culture.”

Events will kick off Monday, Feb. 11 with a student reading in the Grand Foyer of Thompson Hall at 1 p.m. Students will read and perform their own prose, poetry and hybrid work. The names of participating students will be announced later. The week continues with a faculty reading on Tuesday, Feb. 12, beginning at 1:40 p.m., also in the Grand Foyer.  Faculty members Robin Becker, Greg Graham, Mark Spitzer and Stephanie Vanderslice will perform their original works.

Arkatext continues Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Grand Foyer with an 11 a.m. craft talk featuring H.K. Stewart, founder and host of the Little Rock Poetry Slam. Stewart will discuss the craft of writing and performing poetry. Following the craft talk, Stewart will read and perform an original piece at 2 p.m. in the Grand Foyer.

Phillip McMath, fiction writer, will hold a craft talk focusing on writing historical fiction in Thompson Hall room 331 on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m. Following that, McMath will read historical fiction in the Grand Foyer at 1:40 p.m. Friday features a craft talk with Bryan Borland, editor in chief of the Assaracus literary journal and founder of Sibling Rivalry Press, at 1 p.m. in Thompson Hall room 331. Borland will discuss publication.

“Guests should expect a diverse array of experiences,” Spitzer said. “There is a package of choices that is available to everyone, and people can choose to attend the programs regarding the areas they’re interested in.”

The week’s events close Friday, Feb. 15 with the third annual Toad Suck Review Launchapalooza at Michelaneglo’s Rooftop at 7 p.m. The Launchapalooza will begin with readings by the editorial staff and segue into a reading by contributors. Copies of Toad Suck Review 3D will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be available.

“This event is just one aspect of the thriving literary culture that we are building here in Central Arkansas,” Spitzer said. “It’s going to be a blast.”

For more information, contact Spitzer at (501) 450-3339 or