Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Damien Echols coming to UCA in November

Posted By on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Damien Echols image
Damien Echols, the most outspoken and visible member of the West Memphis Three and the author of two books, will be returning to the state on Nov. 11-12 to give a free public reading and teach a creative writing mini-class for UCA students.

UCA creative writing professor Dr. John Vanderslice said that Echols is coming to Conway as part of the UCA Artist-in-Residence Series, which is administered through the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Vanderslice said that the creative writing department originally wanted to invite Echols to speak at the annual "Arkatext" writing festival, "but we quickly realized wasn't practical," so they invited him as an Artist-in-Residence instead.

Echols was released from prison on Aug. 19, 2011 along with Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin after serving over 18 years on Death Row. You can read the Arkansas Times' coverage of that momentous day here. Since his release, Echols has settled in Salem, Mass., where he runs a holistic healing center. He's the author of two books, "Life After Death," and "Almost Home: My Life Story, Vol. 1."

Lonnie Soury, who helped build the media campaign that helped free the West Memphis Three and who is still friends with Echols and his wife Lorri Davis, said that when he spoke to Davis and Echols a few days ago in Boston, Echols was excited about being invited to UCA to speak and teach, and didn't seem at all apprehensive about coming back to the state that held him on Death Row for 18 years.

"It seemed like he was pleased to come back," Soury said. "I think it's a big deal for him and Lorri to come back, but they were pleased to do it. I know they gave some thought to it, but they seem anxious to speak at the university there."

Soury, who has spoken at events with Echols before, said he may make the trip back to Arkansas to see Echols and others associated with the West Memphis Three cause. "He's an eloquent spokesperson," Soury said. "It's really amazing how thoughtful he is about the issues that impacted him and his life, and the lives of Jessie and Jason."

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Koon

Readers also liked…

  • South on Main to open Aug. 5

    Chef Matthew Bell reports that his Oxford American-tied restaurant South on Main will officially open its doors for lunch on Monday, Aug. 5. Dinner will begin about two weeks later, Bell hopes, depending on how lunch service goes.
    • Jul 29, 2013

Most Shared

  • Michelle Duggar and the Family Council try to torpedo Fayetteville non-discrimination ordinance with lies

    The Arkansas Family Council has enlisted Michelle Duggar to oppose a Fayetteville non-discrimination ordinance with a fear-mongering robocall.
  • Train derailment in Hoxie kills 2; homes evacuated

    Two people were killed with two trains collided near Hwy. 67 early this morning, and State Police are evacuating residents of the southern end of the city while the trains burn. U.S. 67 south of Hoxie and U.S. 63 are closed. The trains were carrying hazardous chemicals.
  • Minimum wage group turns in nearly 70,000 additional signatures

    Give Arkansas a Raise Now, the group seeking to qualify a ballot measure to raise the state minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour by 2017, turned in an additional 69,070 signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State's office today.
  • American Bridge releases report on Koch brothers' environmental impacts and layoffs

    American Bridge, the liberal PAC formed by David Brock, the former Clinton foe now dedicated to round-the-clock Hillary Clinton defender, is out today with a new report on environmental impacts and layoffs from Koch Industries. The report focuses on the business activities of the Koch brothers — more famous for hundreds of millions in political spending aimed at slashing government services, regulation and taxes — in twelve states, including Arkansas. From the report: "The Kochs' extreme, self-serving agenda is bad for working families. And that reality is starkly embodied not only by their political persuasions, but by their business endeavors."
  • And then I ... read about a tour of sculpture installations by Barbara Satterfield

    Ceramicist Barbara Satterfield, one of the Arkansas Times' "Visionaries" in 2013, has announced the creation of a touring, interactive sculpture exhibit that will be installed in public places in Helena, Heber Springs, Dardanelle and Warren before the final exhibition at the Cox Creative Center.

Most Viewed

  • Late Night Dispatches from Midtown, Electric Cowboy and Elevations

    For this week’s cover story, three of us from the Times took a post-2 a.m. tour of Midtown, Electric Cowboy and Elevations to get some pictures and shout questions at strangers over the music. Fortunately, it’s easier to cold-start a conversation with someone when they’ve had 3 or 4 (or 9 or 10) drinks inside them. Unfortunately, although the willingness-to-talk curve goes up relative to the amount of alcohol consumed, the coherence-of-conversation curve moves in the opposite direction. Here are a few outtakes from a mostly sober night of inviting drunks to rant about city politics.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation