If you can believe it, it’s been 10 years since Yours Truly, David Koon, Arkansas Times reporter and definitely not the secret identity of The Plump Shadow, who strikes fear in the hearts of criminals by cover of night, beheaded my wife’s coat rack, stuck a slanted board on top to turn it into a lectern and launched the Times bar reading, Pub or Perish, on the Saturday night of the first Arkansas Literary Festival, which is also celebrating its Tin Anniversary this year. I’m a little grayer and no wiser, but I’m smart enough to know our own 10th year will be a doozy.
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After a sojourn to Sixth Street last year, Pub or Perish is coming back home to the River Market for two hours of poetry, fiction, memoir, drinking and fun in the big room at Stickyz. In addition to the great venue, this year looks to be yet another humdinger from the talent side of things as well, with a crew of excellent lit fest and local writers on the bill, including Kentucky “Affrilachian” poet Frank X. Walker, Amoja “MoMan” Sumler, Justin Booth, Sandy Longhorn, Holland Colclasure, Randi Romo, Deb Moore and others, and there will be drink specials all night long.
Best of all is: It’s free. Pub or Perish is free, I mean. Not the drinks. Gotta pay for those. You can’t win ’em all, my friend.
— David Koon