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Pub or Perish 2008! 

Fifth installment features poets, essayists, and a Queen.

click to enlarge CALLING ALL POETS: Etc., to PoP!
  • CALLING ALL POETS: Etc., to PoP!

The Arkansas Times' reading series “Pub or Perish” celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2008 with a brand new location and what can only be described as a sterling lineup. PoP version 5.0 will feature readers of prose and poetry who offer a little something for everyone — plus a heaping helping of Mississippi's famous “Sweet Potato Queen,” Jill Conner Browne.

This year, Pub or Perish will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Sticky Fingerz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack, at the corner of Commerce Street and President Clinton Avenue in the River Market District. If turnout in past years has been any measure, you probably need to get there early if you want a good seat.

Our big slate of authors includes both hometown and festival favorites, including Little Rock poet Scott Standridge, author of “The Sonnet Project”; Native American poet S.Y. Hoahwah, a University of Arkansas graduate whose book “Velroy and the Madische Mafia” will be published next year by West End Press; popular Arkansas essayist and novelist Georgia Ashmore; and Kelly Corrigan, whose blackly comic memoir of fighting cancer, “The Middle Place,” won critical acclaim and topped the bestseller lists this year.

Last but not least, the biggest name on tap for PoP 2008 would probably have to be Jackson, Miss., author Jill Conner Browne. Her 1999 book “The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love” spawned an honest-to-god self-empowerment movement, not to mention a rather flamboyant women's organization that counts chapters across the country. Browne followed the success of “Book of Love” with a whole bushel of bestsellers, including “The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men,” “The Sweet Potato Queens' Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner,” “The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit,” “The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide” and others.

As in previous years, there will be a limited number of five-minute open mic slots available on a first-come-first-served basis, so bring a short selection of your writing.

For more information about Pub or Perish 2008, e-mail David Koon at david@arktimes.com or call 375-2985.

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