Confession: Billy Collins is the reason I'm a writer. As a community college student, I once met him during a poetry workshop my English 101 professor had organized. It was inspiring. His poetry is straightforward in its language, with beautifully precise revelations. There were no snooty sonnets or obscure, hundred-dollar words. I understood it, and I understood all of the things that writing could be. Last year, he came through town to speak to the Friends of the Public Library fundraiser and I wrote the only listicle for which I've ever felt pride. I could go on forever about why you should start reading his poetry yesterday. Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled to see him on the schedule of speakers for the Dallas Museum of Art's Arts & Letter Live 2015, which was released today. Oh, and he'll be here with the wonderful Aimee Man.
Here's the full list.
Jan. 12: Texas Bound. Hear Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond), Glenn Morshower (24), and Dallas-based actors Chamblee Ferguson, Lydia Mackay, and Sally Nystuen Vahle read stories by David Haynes, Clay Reynolds, Betty Wiesepape, Kevin Sutton and Bret Anthony Johnston.
Jan. 16: Tim Federle, Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock. With accompanying mixology competition.
Jan. 20: Fredrik Logevall, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam
Jan. 21: Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect.
Jan. 28: Roz Chast, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Feb. 2: Texas Bound II: Hear G.W. Bailey (Major Crimes), Constance Gold Parry, Gail Cronauer, and Tina Parker read stories about chili contests, the death of a pet, and Sarah Bird's essay about something that happened at the Texas Book Festival.
Feb. 9: Philipp Meyer(The Son) and singer/songwriter Grace Pettis
Feb. 18: Ina Garten, you know, The Barefoot Contessa
Feb. 20: Lynsey Addario, It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War
Feb. 22: Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming
Feb. 27: Elliot Ackerman,Green on Blue, with Ben Fountain,Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
March 4: Peter Mendelsund, What We See When We Read
March 7: Selected Shorts, with James Naughton, Mary Kay Place and Jane Kaczmarek
March 10: Gail Sheehy, Daring: My Passages
March 15: Peter Lerangis, The Seven Wonders adventure series.
March 17: Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman, with Colm Tóibín, Nora Webster
March 19: Jo Baker, Longbourn
March 27: Marcus Samuelsson, Yes, Chef
March 31: Huan Hsu, The Porcelain Thief
April 7: Dennis Lehane, World Gone By
April 11: Poet Billy Collins and singer-songwriter Aimee Mann
April 15: Candice Bergen, A Fine Romance
April 17: Jacob Rubin, The Poser, and Rebecca Scherm, Unbecoming
April 26: Harry Bliss, Inside this Book, and Barney Saltzberg, Grandma in Blue With Red Hat
April 27: Sue Roe, In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art, and Joshua Wolf Shenk, Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs
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May 16: Destination America: seven Texas storytellers tell their own true tales of their immigration
May 19: Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See, and Jim Shepard, The Book of Aron
June 9: Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton, Women in Clothes
June 15: Rebecca Alexander, Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found