3 Arkansas authors to be featured at SEARK Literary Arts program

Three Arkansas authors will be featured at a SEARK Literary Arts program in March at the Monticello Branch Library.

In observance of March as National Reading Month, the Monticello Branch Library, Alex Foundation and Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative will host a literary arts program featuring Deborah Mathis, Mark Spencer and Tamara Hart Heiner.

The program will be held on March 9 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the library, located at 114 W. Jefferson Street in Monticello. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend.

The authors will share their inspiration for writing and their own individual and personal stories. They will offer insights into their experiences in the literary arts, share their books through discussions and sign copies of their books.

Deborah Mathis
Deborah Mathis

Deborah Mathis began her career in journalism in Little Rock as a reporter with the Arkansas Democrat Newspaper specializing in legal and education reporting. She later worked as general assignment reporter at KTHV-TV in Little Rock; an anchor and reporter for WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. specializing in politics and social issues; an assistant news director for KARK-TV in Little Rock managing 34 news professional news coverage for four daily television broadcast; and as a special assignment reporter and anchor for KATV-TV also in Little Rock.

Mathis has appeared on national and international TV shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC’s Buchanan and Press, CNN’s Inside Politics, CNN’s Capital Gang Sunday, CNN’s Turkey, CNN’s Both Sides with Rev. Jesse Jackson, PBS’ Frontline, PBS’ Evening Exchange, PBS’ Inside Washington, PBS’ This Is America with Dennis Wholly, C-Span’s Journalists’ Roundtable, C-Span’s Washington, ABC’s Good Morning America, America’s Black Forum, Tavis Smiley Show, Ananda Lewis Show and FOX News’ The O’Reily Factor.

Mathis is a best-selling author of Yet A Stranger: Why Black Americans Still Don’t Feel at Home, What God Can Do and Sole Sisters: The Joys and Pains of Single Black Women.

Mark Spencer
Mark Spencer

Spencer is the author of 10 books including the nonfiction A Haunted Love Story, The Ghosts of the Allen House (the basis for episodes of five TV shows); the novel, The Weary Motel and the short story collection Trespassers. His work has received four national awards including the Faulkner Award for Fiction.

The Dean and Professor of English, School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Spencer received his BA in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati, his MA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University and his PhD in English from Oklahoma State University.

Tamara Hart Heiner
Tamara Hart Heiner

Hart Heiner is the author of the young adult suspense series Perilous; Deliverer; Altercation; Cassandra Jones; Inevitable; Lay Me Down; and a nonfiction book about Joplin tornado, Tornado Warning. She received the Crowned Heart Award for Inevitable and Lay Me Down.

Brandy Horne, Monticello Branch Library says that the literary arts, reading and literature are main stays for their branch library. “The literary arts are just one way to ensure we have high quality programming that is accessible to the general public,” she said. “We are just so very pleased to bring this type of free event to the entire community.”

The authors will share their inspiration for writing and their own individual and personal stories. They will offer insights on their foray into the literary arts, share their books through discussions and have book signings.

Deborah Robinson
Deborah Robinson

The moderator for the event will be Deborah Robinson, also an author.

In addition to the literary arts program, the authors will lead a free Authors’ Reading and Writing Workshop for teachers at the Southeast Education Service Cooperative in Monticello on Friday March 10, 2017 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Dr. Lillie Fears of Arkansas State University will also be a workshop presenter. Middle school students, selected by their schools will participate in the reading and writing workshop as part of an Arkansas Young Authors’ (AYA) writing competition. The authors will judge and select the winners of the AYA writing competition.

Funding for the literary arts program and the reading and writing workshop is made possible in part with a grant from the National Park Service, and generous support from Commercial Bank and R.A. Pickens Trust.

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