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: 12/9/16

Stephen Tobolowsky

Tuesday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.

In My Adventures with God, Stephen Tobolowsky shares a funny, introspective collection of short stories about love, triumph, and catastrophe, all told through the lens of his evolving relationship with the mystery that is God. Filtered through his signature sharp wit, he also provides a structure from which to evaluate our own lives and relationship with a higher power. Tobolowsky has appeared in more than 100 movies and more than 200 television shows, notably Mississippi Burning, Groundhog Day, Glee, The Goldbergs, and Silicon Valley.

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Tom Vanderbilt

Tuesday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.

If you’ve ever wondered how Netflix recommends movies, why we venerate artists who were controversial or ignored during their lifetimes, or why books often see a sudden decline in Amazon ratings after they win a major prize, Tom Vanderbilt has the answers. His newest book dives into the subject of why we like the things we like and what our preferences reveal about us. In You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice, Vanderbilt navigates psychology, marketing, and neuroscience to explore the elusive beast of taste.

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David Sedaris

Friday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.

David Sedaris returns for his eighth consecutive year with Arts & Letters Live to read new and unpublished material. A bestselling author, essayist, and widely popular speaker whose hallmark is his wry wit and distinctive voice, Sedaris relishes the opportunity to share his stories with the audience and experience their reaction. Sedaris’s books include NakedMe Talk Pretty One DayDress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.  

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Eric Litwin at the Dallas Book Festival

Saturday, April 29, 1:30 p.m.

Chant, sing, move creatively, and laugh with guitar strumming #1 New York Times bestselling children’s author Eric Litwin, who will share his new book The Nuts: Keep Rolling! Litwin is the author of the first four Pete the Cat books. His books have sold more than 8.5 million copies, been translated into 13 languages, and won 18 literacy awards, including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award.

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Kristen Radtke at the Dallas Book Festival

Saturday, April 29, 3:00 p.m.

Inspired by her encounters with unexpected loss, Kristen Radtke’s graphic memoir Imagine Wanting Only This takes readers on a journey across forsaken landscapes around the globe. In her search to discover the forgotten, Radtke uncovers much more than physical locations—she uncovers the touching stories of the people who once inhabited these now deserted places. Author Tom Hart describes this book as “riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect. In Kristen Radtke’s hands, nonfiction becomes poetry.” 

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Happy Hour!: A Talk and Performance Inspired by the Art of the Cocktail

Wednesday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.

The DMA’s exhibition Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail packs just the punch required for five acclaimed musicians to create an adventurous concoction of rhythm, music, and text, to be enjoyed responsibly for one night only. Songs will range from Mozart, Offenbach, and Verdi to Cole Porter and Joni Mitchell. This marks the ninth collaboration of Arts & Letters Live with artistic programmer Ryan Taylor, whose creative process combines art, music, and literary excerpts. 

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Scott Westerfeld

Sunday, May 7, 3:00 p.m.

Dallas native and author of the worldwide bestselling Uglies series and the Locus Award–winning Leviathan series, and co-author of the Zeroes trilogy, Scott Westerfeld releases the first volume of an original graphic series novel, The Spill Zone. After a disastrous event destroyed the city of Poughkeepsie, life within its borders was never the same. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. For one intrepid explorer, Addison Merrick, the threat of death was no deterrent in her quest to uncover what happened the night her parents were killed. She ventures illegally into the Spill Zone to photograph it and uncover its dark secrets. 

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Sandra Cisneros

Monday, May 8, 7:30 p.m.

Award-winning author Sandra Cisneros, perhaps best known for her novel The House on Mango Street, will discuss her most recent book, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life, a richly illustrated compilation of true stories and nonfiction pieces that, taken together, form a jigsaw autobiography—an intimate album of a beloved literary legend. It spans three decades, draws inspiration from her hometown of Chicago and current residence in Mexico, and shares her artistic and intellectual influences. Cisneros has received National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2016, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts. 

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Holger Hoock & Nathaniel Philbrick

Monday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.

Holger Hoock’s Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth reveals the less glamorous side of our nation’s inception with accounts of mass murder, disease, and rape. Rather than gloss over the gritty details that disrupt our sense of national pride, Hoock begs his readers to consider what has been written out of history. In Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, Nathaniel Philbrick unfolds the tragic relationship between two key figures in the founding of a nation and exposes the complex conflicts that forced Americans to question the real threat to their liberties.

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Margo Jefferson & Damon Tweedy

Tuesday, May 23, 7:30 p.m.

Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson will discuss her book Negroland: A Memoir, a contemplation of being born into upper-crust black Chicago to a physician father and socialite mother. Negroland was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and a New York Times Notable book. Damon Tweedy’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Black Man in a White Coat, is a powerful, moving, and empathic book examining the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine.

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