True Lit Featured Speakers


Gene Luen Yang

PUBLIC LECTURE | Wednesday, October 23, 7 p.m.

Location: Walker Community Room, Fayetteville Public Library

Gene Luen Yang is the bestselling writer and artist behind American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, the Avatar: the Last Airbender comics, DC’s New Superman series and many other iconic works. Gene will discuss the importance of narratives that convey a multitude of cultural experiences. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

 Gene Luen Yang will also present to Fayetteville Public School students through the Blair Author and Lecture Series sponsored by the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation.  


jarrett krosoczka

WORKSHOP | Tuesday, October 22, 6 p.m.

Location: Walker Community Room, Fayetteville Public Library

Author and illustrator of dozens of popular picture books and graphic novels including Punk Farm, the Lunch Ladyseries, Platypus Police SquadStar Wars™: Jedi Academy series and Hey Kiddo, Jarrett Krosoczka will lead an illustrator workshop focusing on techniques such as character expression, perspective, shadow and gesture.  

This workshop is intended for illustrators ages 14 and up and registration is required.

A book signing will follow the workshop at 7 p.m.


matt de la peña

STORY TIME | Thursday, October 24, 10:30 a.m.

Location: Walker Community Room, Fayetteville Public Library

Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of six young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and The Living) and four picture books (including Love and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016, he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.

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Melanie Benjamin

PUBLIC LECTURE | Sunday, October 20, 2 p.m.

Location: Walker Community Room, Fayetteville Public Library

Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, The Aviator’s Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and The Girls in the Picture, about two of Hollywood's earliest female legends—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford. She will be discussing her latest novel, Mistress of the Ritz, a tale of suspense wrapped in a love story, exploring the story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.


Alison Hawthorne Deming

PUBLIC LECTURE | Thursday, October 24, 7 p.m.

Location: Walker Community Room, Fayetteville Public Library

Alison Hawthorne Deming is Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in Environment and Social Justice and Regents’ Professor at the University of Arizona. Former Director of the UA Poetry Center, her work has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Walt Whitman Award from the American Academy of Poets, Stegner Fellowship, and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, among other honors. Her most recent books are the poetry collection Stairway to Heaven (Penguin 2016), the essay collection Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed 2014), and Death Valley: Painted Light, a collaboration with photographer Stephen Strom (George F. Thompson 2016). She is the author of three additional nonfiction books and four previous poetry books, with work widely published and anthologized including in The Norton Book of Nature Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing anthologies.

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Bryan Borland

PUBLIC LECTURE | Sunday, October 27, 2 p.m.

Location: Walker Community Room, Fayetteville Public Library

Bryan Borland is the founder and publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press, an independent publishing house based in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry and winner of the 2016 Judith A. Markowitz Emerging Writer Award. He was selected as the inaugural "Best Poet of Arkansas" by the readers of the Arkansas Times in its annual Best-of-Arkansas issue in July 2018. His most recent work is Tourist (2018), a chapbook which chronicles his cross-country tour during the 2016 presidential election.

Join Bryan as he honors poet Karl Tierney by reading from “Have You Seen This Man?: The Castro Poems of Karl Tierney”. Karl Tierney was born in 1956. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Emory University in 1980 and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas in 1983. That same year, he moved to San Francisco where he dedicated himself to poetry. He published more than 50 poems in magazines and anthologies before his death. In December of 1994 he became sick with AIDS and took his own life in October of 1995.