In the early 1990s, before we were married, my wife and I took a two-month road trip, driving through twenty-two U.S. states and making a brief dip into Mexico. Since then, we’ve traveled together in many other areas of the United States (and elsewhere), but as of this writing there remain several states I’ve not yet visited. I’d like to see them all, and this spring I’ll move closer to that goal.
In April, I’ll read from Fighters & Writers at the Arkansas Literary Festival in Little Rock. The schedule for the event is slated for release in mid-March. The website – http://www.arkansasliteraryfestival.org/ – lists other 2011 participants, such as Kevin Brockmeier, Eliza Griswold, Charlaine Harris, David Sedaris and Isabel Wilkerson.
As if going somewhere I’ve never been and being a part of such an august assembly of authors weren’t enough, I also look forward to the festival because Arkansas’s literary and boxing heritage make it an exceptionally suitable setting for a Fighter & Writers reading. Though Maya Angelou was born elsewhere, she spent a good part of her childhood in the state, and in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings she recalls neighbors crowding into her uncle’s store in Stamps to listen to Joe Louis fights on the radio. Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor was born in Little Rock and, I believe, still lives in the area. Perhaps I’ll meet fighters as well as writers when I’m in town.