Authors’ Mark Spencer and John T. Wayne will appear in Polk County Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at Cossatot High School, 6330 Highway 71 South; and Polk County Library, 410 8th Street, Mena. The authors will appear at Cossatot High School as part of Teen Read Week, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and at Polk County Library as part of Everybody Reads Polk County, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The authors’ appearances at Cosstatot High School and Polk County Public Library are made possible with generous support from the Arkansas Humanities Council and Union Bank. The authors will also appear Wednesday, October 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Books and Stuf, 410 Sherwood, Mena.
Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. Held annually in October, Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun while encouraging teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms. For more information, visit www.ala.org/teenread.
Everybody Reads Polk County is a free literary arts program designed to introduce authors to the community and to encourage everyone to enjoy reading. The program will provide the community with authors’ insights on their foray into the literary arts, share their books through discussions and have book signings.
Mark Spencer is the author of 12 books including the nonfiction A Haunted Love Story, The Ghosts of the Allen House (the basis for episodes of five TV shows); the novel, The Weary Motel; the short story collection Trespassers; and his newest novel, An Untimely Frost about a 16 year old who navigates through deaths and unwakenings. His work has received four national awards including the Faulkner Award for Fiction.
He is dean and professor of English, School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He received his BA in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati, his MA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University and his PhD in English from Oklahoma State University. For more information, visit www.authormarkspencer.com.
John T. Wayne is a former Marine turned author. He attended the University of Oregon after seven years in the United States Armed Forces.
His series of books called the Gaslight Boys endeavors to shed light on a subject that is buried in the annals of American history - children who became orphans as a result of the American Civil War. He resurrects their stories of living under gaslights during the Civil War; being abandoned, but unknowingly contributed to the War, including being the first to lead the Pony Express. Wayne’s seven Gaslight Boys series on orphans include: Blood Once Spilled, Captain Grimes, Catfish John, Ol’ Slantface, Peace in the Valley, Showdown at Scatter Creek and The Treasure del Diablo.
Wayne is also promoting True Grit Trail in recognition of the famous novel by Arkansas author Charles Portis and the two movies based on the novel. The designation is on Arkansas Highway 22 between Dardanelle and Ft. Smith. For more information, visit www.johntwayne.com