Spring 2020 Season at a Glance

Click the links below to reserve your seats!



Erin Morgenstern

Thursday, January 14, 7:30 PM
Erin Morgenstern is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Night Circus, which has sold over three million copies worldwide and is currently in development with Lionsgate as both a feature film and stage play. In Morgenstern’s new novel The Starless Sea, a graduate student travels into a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, and liars—by way of a mysterious book he discovers buried deep in the library stacks that contains a story from his own childhood hidden in its pages.

Mo Rocca

Wednesday, January 22, 7:30 PM
Moody Performance Hall
Promotional Partner: KERA

Beloved humorist and CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca delivers Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Retelling, an entertaining and rigorously researched celebration of the dead people (and things) of the past who have long fascinated him. Inspired by his #1 hit podcast of the same name, the book includes all new essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, political pioneers, founding fathers and more, providing an insightful and unconventional account of the people who made life worth living for the rest of us. 


Roz Chast & Patricia Marx*


Saturday, January 25, 7:30 PM
You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples, by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast and writer Patricia Marx, is an illustrated collection of love and relationship advice that will make you laugh, remind you why your relationship is better than everyone else’s, and solve all your problems. Chast’s illustrated memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? won a National Book Critics Circle Award. Patricia Marx is a former writer for Saturday Night Live whose work has appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times




Selected Shorts


Saturday, February 1, 7:30 PM
Promotional Partner: KERA
As one of the premier reading series in New York City, Selected Shorts comes to the DMA with an evening of O. Henry Prize–winning stories. The prestigious anthology recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and continues to publish short stories by a mix of celebrated names and new, emerging voices. A selection of award-winning stories—“Midrash on Happiness” by Grace Paley, “Nayla” by Youmna Chlala, “A Permanent Member of the Family” by Russell Banks, and “Oh Shenandoah” by Maura Stanton—will be brought to life on stage through readings by acclaimed actors.


The Legacy of Little Women


Monday, February 3, 7:30 PM
In partnership with Dallas Theater Center
Enjoy a sneak peek of performance highlights from Dallas Theater Center’s Little Women before it opens to the public, as well as an in-depth discussion about the play, the iconic novel, its influence, and its legacy. Sarahbeth Grossman (Artistic Producer, DTC) will moderate a conversation with Anne Boyd Rioux (author of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters) and director of the DTC production Sarah Rasmussen, who commissioned the play from award-winning playwright Kate Hamill in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the iconic novel. Hamill will share her insights via a video interview. 


Letters Aloud: Love Me or Leave Me


Monday, February 10, 7:30 PM
Back by popular demand, but with a new themed performance for Dallas audiences, Letters Aloud presents real letters by real people, read by great actors in a two-hour performance. Love Me or Leave Me features letters of loving, longing, and leaving. From awkward courtship to horrible breakups to loves of a lifetime and lifetimes of love, Letters Aloud has it all in missives that range from steamy to sweet from the likes of Mark Twain, Frida Kahlo, Charles Bukowski, George Carlin, Virginia Woolf, Napoleon Bonaparte, and a nice kid who grew up to be Slash. “Reality TV’s got nothing on us!”


Tembi Locke


Tuesday, February 18, 7:30 PM
Tembi Locke is a Hollywood actor, TEDx speaker on resilience, advocate, and New York Times bestselling author of From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, which was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick and is being adapted into a Netflix series, directed by Witherspoon. Author Laila Lalami praises it as “a marvelous memoir about taking chances, finding love, and building a home away from home. In From Scratch, Tembi Locke writes movingly about loss, grief, and the healing miracle of food.” The book includes 16 recipes from Locke’s summers in Sicily. 


Texas Bound


Monday, February 24, 7:30 PM
“Compelling stories and passionate acting, all literally from the heart of Texas.”

Southern Living 

Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Allison Tolman of Fargo and Emergence will read “Museum” by Naomi Shihab Nye and “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane” by Jenny Lawson. Christie Vela, Associate Director of Theatre Three and a Kitchen Dog Theater company member, will read “Puro Amor” by Sandra Cisneros. Ruben Carrazana, acclaimed actor, director, and writer, will read “Art of Translation” by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Directed by Tina Parker, Co-Artistic Director, Kitchen Dog Theater.


A Moveable Feast Book Club: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters  by Anne Boyd Rioux 


Friday, February 28, 11:45 AM–1:00 PM
Join fellow book lovers for lunch in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom as you enjoy the opportunity to delve more deeply into Anne Boyd Rioux’s examination of the enduring legacy of Little Women in her book Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters. The conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Randi Tanglen, Associate Professor of English, Director of the Gender Studies Program, and Director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching at Austin College. Please note that this is a book discussion, not an author event.




Louise Erdrich


Sunday, March 8, 7:00 PM
Based on the extraordinary life of her grandfather, National Book Award–winning author Louise Erdrich’s newest novel, The Night Watchman, explores themes of love and death with gravity, depth of feeling, sly humor, and elegant prose. Thomas Wazhashk is the factory night watchman who carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, DC. Fellow Chippewa and plant worker Pixie Paranteau is saving every penny to support her mother and brother; she makes a fateful trip to Minnesota to search for her sister, Vera, who has disappeared. Erdrich's memorable characters grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. 


Anne Enright


Tuesday, March 10, 7:30 PM
From Man Booker Prize winner Anne Enright comes the brilliant and moving novel Actress, a story of celebrity, sexual power, and a daughter’s search to understand her mother’s hidden truths. Katherine O’Dell is an Irish theater legend. As her daughter Norah retraces her mother’s celebrated career and bohemian life, she delves into long-kept secrets—both her mother’s and her own. When her mother commits a bizarre crime as a result of her slipping grip on reality, Norah comes to understand the destructive love that binds an actress to her audience.


Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt*


Tuesday, March 17, 7:30 PM
Written with grace and understanding and based on more than 20 in-depth interviews and stories, as well as personal reflections from Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt herself, The Gift of Forgiveness is about one of the most difficult challenges in life—learning to forgive. The book features experiences from those well known and unknown, including Elizabeth Smart, who learned to forgive her captors; Sue Klebold, whose son Dylan was one of the Columbine shooters, learning empathy and how to forgive herself; and Schwarzenegger Pratt’s challenges and path to forgiveness in her own life. 


James McBride


Tuesday, March 24, 7:30 PM

In partnership with The Black Academy of Arts & Letters
In September 1969, a church deacon shuffles into the courtyard of a housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project’s drug dealer. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, the first novel from James McBride since his National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird. As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters affected by the shooting—caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York—overlap in unexpected ways.


Erik Larson*


Monday, March 30, 7:30 PM
First United Methodist Church
Erik Larson is a master of crafting narrative nonfiction that will keep you on the edge of your seat. His vividly written, bestselling books have won several awards and been published in nearly 20 countries. In his newest book, The Splendid and the Vile, he delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family. 




Moveable Feast Book Club: The Night Watchman  by Louise Erdrich


Thursday, April 2, 11:45 AM–1:00 PM
Join fellow book lovers for lunch in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom as you enjoy the opportunity to delve more deeply into Louise Erdrich’s new book about Native politics in the 1950s, The Night Watchman. The conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Jaina Sanga, who is the author of three works of fiction and a literary scholar who serves on the Board of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture; she is also a Fellow of the Institute. Please note that this is a book discussion, not an author event.


Richard Blanco


Monday, April 6, 7:30 PM
Selected by President Obama in 2013 as the fifth inaugural poet in US history, Richard Blanco is the youngest and first Latino, immigrant, gay person to serve in the role. Blanco characterizes the negotiation of cultural identity, community, and belonging in his award-winning poetry. His most recent collection, How To Love a Country, interrogates the American narrative and celebrates the still-unkept promise of its ideals. In celebration of National Poetry Month and the DMA’s new exhibition My|gration in the Center for Creative Connections, Blanco will debut an original commissioned poem inspired by a work of art in the collection.


Esther Safran Foer


Tuesday, April 14, 7:30 PM 
Promotional Partner: Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
I Want You to Know We’re Still Here, a poignant memoir by Esther Safran Foer, is her account of growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust, a tragedy that loomed in the backdrop of daily life, felt but never discussed. When Foer learns that her father had a previous wife and daughter, both killed in the Holocaust, she travels to the Ukraine, armed with only a black-and-white photo and hand-drawn map, determined to find the shtetl where her father hid to survive during the war.


Moveable Feast Book Club Apeirogon by Colum McCann


Thursday, April 16, 11:45 AM–1:00 PM
Join fellow book lovers for lunch in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom as you enjoy the opportunity to delve more deeply into Colum McCann’s sweeping tour de force Apeirogon. The conversation will be facilitated by Rabbi David Stern, Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and head of the international rabbinic organization of the Reform Movement. Please note that this is a book discussion, not an author event.


Paulette Jiles 


Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 PM
Paulette Jiles, the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women, returns to Texas in this atmospheric story. Set at the end of the Civil War, Simon the Fiddler chronicles the life of an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart. Told in Jiles’s trademark spare yet lilting style, the book is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart’s yearning.


Colum McCann


Tuesday, April 28, 7:30 PM
National Book Award winner Colum McCann’s most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging. Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their lives. Their worlds shift irreparably after their young daughters are killed—Abir by a rubber bullet and Smadar the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.




Sue Monk Kidd*


Monday, May 4, 7:30 PM
First United Methodist Church  
The Book of Longings, the new novel from Sue Monk Kidd, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees, is an extraordinary story set in the 1st century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny in a time of great despair and great hope. It opens with “I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.” Kidd says, “I wanted to portray Jesus as fully human. Writing from a novelist’s perspective and not a religious one, I was drawn to his humanity, which can often be overlooked. Ana wandered into my imagination and I couldn’t ignore her.” Ana is a seeker with a brilliant mind and daring spirit. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the 18-year-old Jesus, he awakens both her intellect and her heart. 

Monday, May 11, 7:30 PM
McFarlin Auditorium
Promotional Partner: KERA

Hailed as the “rock star of writers” and one of America’s preeminent humorists, beloved satirist David Sedaris returns to Dallas for the eleventh consecutive year to read new and unpublished material full of incisive social critiques and sardonic wit. Among Sedaris’s bestselling books are Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, including Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Sedaris’s two newest books, Calypso and Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977–2002), give darkly hilarious insight into his personal experiences.

Wednesday, May 20, 11:45 AM–1:00 PM
Join fellow book lovers for lunch in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom as you enjoy the opportunity to delve more deeply into Sue Monk Kidd’s The Book of Longings, a meticulously researched yet imaginative new novel set during the life and times of Jesus in 1st-century Nazareth. Kidd focuses on Jesus’s humanity, which is often overlooked, and tells the story of Ana, a seeker with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit; Jesus becomes a floodgate for her intellect and awakens her heart, and she becomes his wife. The conversation will be facilitated by Kathleen Kent, the author of three bestselling and award-winning historical novels, as well as The Dime and The Burn, contemporary crime novels set in Dallas. Please note that this is a book discussion, not an author event.



Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, November 19, for DMA Members and on Thursday, November 21, for the public.

All programs, participants, and venues are subject to change. All programs will take place in the DMA's Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. It is likely that more programs will be added and announced later on the website.

Tickets are nonrefundable.

Ticket prices vary. For tickets visit DMA.org/all or call 214-922-1818.

Several programs have pre-event tours of the DMA’s collection that relate thematically to the book featured. See individual event pages for full information about art-related tours and special dinners before Arts & Letters Live events.

* Denotes a program that requires a book to be purchased with ticket(s).

Arts & Letters Live is supported by Annual Season Supporters, the Kay Cattarulla Endowment for the Literary and Performing Arts, and the McGee Foundation Arts & Letters Live Endowment Fund at the Dallas Museum of Art. Additional major support provided by The Hersh Foundation. The Fairmont Hotel Dallas is the exclusive hotel partner for the 2020 Arts & Letters Live series. Promotional support provided by KERA.