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. The series is celebrating its 30th season in 2021.

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Upcoming Events

Format: 1/19/21

Virtual Event: Kazuo Ishiguro

Sunday, March 7, 5:00 p.m.
In conversation with Jim Shepard
In partnership with Inprint Literary Series of Houston 
Recording available through March 21
Hailed by the New York Times as “an original and remarkable genius” and by the Independent as “a master storyteller,” Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Booker Prize. His novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, both made into acclaimed films, have each sold more than two million copies. At this event, he will discuss his new novel Klara and the Sun, about an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational skills, who closely watches the behavior of the humans she can see from her place in a department store, hoping one day to be chosen by one. Ultimately, this novel explores one of life’s fundamental questions: what does it mean to love?

Virtual Event: Hala Alyan and Patricia Lockwood

Sunday, March 28, 2:00 p.m.

In partnership with SMU Literary Festival  

Join us for a free event in partnership with the SMU Literary Festival featuring two singular, critically acclaimed authors, Hala Alyan and Patricia Lockwood, talking about their latest works.   

Alyan’s novel The Arsonists’ City follows a family teeming with internal tensions over bitter jealousies, shame, and abandoned passions set against the backdrop of Beirut, a city smoldering with the legacy of political and religious conflict. Lockwood’s urgent, genre-defying novel No One Is Talking About This follows a woman lurching from social media stardom into a mysterious, at times absurdist, void full of existential threats she terms “the portal.” Both works offer fresh insights into the power and fragility of human connection in our present moment, befitting the SMU Literary Festival’s 2021 theme: “Turbulence.” 


Rescheduled: David Sedaris

Monday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
Location: McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist University
All purchased tickets have been transferred to the rescheduled date.
In partnership with KERA

One of America’s pre-eminent humor writers, David Sedaris returns to Dallas for the eleventh consecutive year to read new and unpublished material. He is the master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers addressing the human condition. Beloved for his personal essays and short stories, Sedaris is the author of Me Talk Pretty One DayLet’s Explore Diabetes with Owls and Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977-2002), among many others. Calypso, his latest collection of essays, is a New York Times bestseller. Sedaris’s original audio pieces can often be heard on the public radio show This American Life.


Rescheduled: Yotam Ottolenghi

Monday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Eisemann Center, Hill Performance Hall 

In conversation with Chad Houser, Cafe Momentum Founder/CEO/Executive Chef 

For renowned chef and New York Times bestselling cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi, food is about more than what we eat. It is about joy, pleasure, and surprise. It is about a sense of place, home, and community. In his latest cookbook, Flavor, this international culinary influencer reveals how flavor is created and amplified through more than 100 innovative, delicious plant-based recipes; he also oversees the photography himself. His revolutionary approach to vegetable cooking showcases low-effort, high-impact dishes designed for the relaxed cook. Based in London, Ottolenghi spends much of his time creating and testing recipes for his weekly column in the Guardian and his monthly column in the New York Times. Six London restaurants, nine bestselling cookbooks, and millions of devotees of the “Ottolenghi effect” have transformed the Israeli-British chef into the leader of a culinary juggernaut.