Arts & Letters Live

Arts & Letters Live is a literary and performing arts series for all ages that features award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim. The series is recognized for its creative multidisciplinary programming—combining literature with visual arts, music, and film—and for commissioning new work from musicians, dancers, and poets, inspired by works of art in the Museum's collection and special exhibitions.

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Upcoming Events

Format: 1/21/17

Levison Wood

Sunday, January 22, 4:00 p.m.

In 2013, Levison Wood became the first person to walk the entire length of the Nile River. He traversed sandstorms, flash floods, and minefields, and trekked 1,700 miles along the Silk Road, the Line of Control, and the earthquake-ravaged lands of Nepal. Ranulph Fiennes has called his travels “[a]n immense feat of endurance, a magnificent journey and a great adventure.” At this event, he’ll discuss his adventures and his bestselling books, Walking the Nile (2015) and Walking the Himalayas (2016). Wood is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and International Fellow of the Explorers Club. 


Emma Donoghue

Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m.

Emma Donoghue’s international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and a finalist for the Man Booker and Orange prizes; she also wrote the film adaptation in 2015. Now Donoghue returns with another gripping masterpiece about a young Irish girl who is said to have survived without food for months and believes herself to be living on manna from heaven. The Wonder works beautifully on many levels—a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil. Booklist gave it a starred review, calling it “outstanding. . . . Exploring the nature of faith and trust with heartrending intensity.”


Selected Shorts: Shaken & Stirred

Saturday, January 28, 7:30 p.m.

Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose joins Joshua Malina (Scandal, The West Wing) and Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar, Ugly Betty, Modern Family) for an evening of storytelling in celebration of the DMA’s exhibition Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail and the publication of Shaken & Stirred: Intoxicating Stories (Everyman’s Library). Stories featured include ones by authors Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, and Tom Barbash.


Dave Evans

Wednesday, February 1, 7:30 p.m.

Dave Evans, a former tech exec at Apple and Electronic Arts, realized that his real mission in life was to help people find their purpose and passion. Today he teaches Life Design at Stanford University and is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. The book emphasizes that it’s never too late to design a life you love through innovation and creative problem-solving, and that the same principles used to create amazing technology can also be used to build a life filled with purpose and joy. 


Texas Bound I: Fragments of Discovery

Monday, February 6, 7:30 p.m.

Constance Gold Parry, who recently starred as Mrs. Hardcastle in the Shakespeare Dallas production of She Stoops to Conquer, will read stories from Dallas author Fabiana Elisa Martίnez’s new collection 12 Random Words. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Tony Award–winning actor Harriet Harris will read the masterfully suspenseful Pushcart Prize–winning short story “Sh’khol” by Colum McCann. 


Simon Tolkien & Amor Towles

Friday, February 10, 7:30 p.m.

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather J. R. R. Tolkien during World War I, Simon Tolkien delivers a perfectly rendered novel rife with class tension, period detail, and stirring action. No Man’s Land follows Adam Raine through his impoverished childhood, falling in love, and the outbreak of war that threatens to tear everything apart. Also steeped in early 20th-century history, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles features wealthy Count Alexander Rostov, who has been sentenced to house arrest in a Moscow hotel as punishment for writing a poem deemed incendiary by the Bolsheviks. But despite his confinement, the count lives an adventurous life.


Chris Bohjalian & Katie Kitamura

Wednesday, February 15, 7:30 p.m.

New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian returns with a suspenseful story about a family’s lies, loss, and buried desire. In his latest novel, Sleepwalker, wife and mother Annalee vanishes from her bed one night. The mystery surrounding her disappearance becomes increasingly complicated, conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness. Katie Kitamura‘s novel A Separation is a mesmerizing, psychologically taut story about secrecy, intimacy and infidelity, and the gulf that divides a marriage. Kitamura is being hailed as a major talent by Karl Ove Knausgaard and many other acclaimed authors; Rivka Galchen says “Kitamura combines the calm complexity of Joseph Conrad with the pacing and reveal of Patricia Highsmith.”


Jessi Klein

Saturday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.

Jessi Klein is the Emmy and Peabody award–winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series Inside Amy Schumer. Growing up gawkish and a late bloomer, Jessi Klein never identified with the conventional standards of modern femininity. Instead she viewed herself as a tomboy who found her voice through comedy. In her outrageously funny and unapologetically candid breakout book, You’ll Grow Out of It, Klein compiles a perceptive collection of confessional essays that offer readers a relatable glimpse into exactly what it means to be a woman in today’s world. 


Adam Gidwitz

Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m.

Adam Gidwitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy, spent six years, including a year in Europe, researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. Their adventures take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned. They’re taken captive by knights and save the land from a farting dragon, culminating in a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. According to Kirkus Reviews, it is a “masterpiece of storytelling that is addictive and engrossing.”


Texas Bound II: Fish Out of Water

Saturday, March 4, 7:30 p.m.

Octavio Solis, author and playwright whose plays have been produced across the country, will read his own work “The Cotton.” Luke Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket, and HBO TV series Enlightened) returns home to Dallas to read “Fish Story” by critically acclaimed author Rick Bass. Local theater and voice actress Lydia Mackay will read “The Marrying Kind” by Merrill Feitell, and film and TV star G. W. Bailey (Major Crimes, The Closer, M*A*S*H, and Police Academy  films) will read “The Invasion of the Martians,” a story by Robert Coover published recently in the New Yorker