I happened to go to one of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Late Nights events on the spur of the moment a couple of weeks ago. My favorite local band, Brave Combo, was going to be playing in the Atrium that evening, but I needed to kill some time before then. I picked up a Late Nights flyer and saw that an author was going to be talking about her new book and that it was a free event.
Stephanie Kallos gave a great talk on her latest book entitled Sing Them Home. Ms. Kallos lives in Seattle, Washington, and traveled all the way to Dallas for this talk and to promote her latest book. She said she had never been to Dallas before, and I think she was genuinely impressed with how friendly Dallas and its people had been all day leading up to her event.
Sing Them Home is a novel about the aftermath of a devastating tornado for one particular family and town in Nebraska. I haven’t read this book yet, but I did hear Ms. Kallos read the first chapter and was completely drawn in by the characters and can’t wait read it soon. I did buy and get signed her first book entitled Broken for You. This book was a Today Show pick. I didn’t want to buy the new book in hardback and I like to read authors’ works in order, so I bought Broken for You instead of the new one. The book was a great choice, as I read it quickly and enjoyed it immensely. From hearing her speak, you could tell Ms. Kallos was very comfortable in front of an audience. She is first an actor and acting teacher in Seattle.
Ms. Kallos’ free lecture was part of the museum’s Arts and Letters Live program. This program has been around for years, but last year was the first time I took the opportunity to go to some of the events. I had heard Anne Lamott speak at another free event and I saw a presentation of actors reading from the private letters of the Lost Generation, as well as a performance of some Cole Porter music. I am amazed at how many events are staged by Arts and Letters Live from January through June. Later in the month, my Chick Lit friend, Stephanie, and I are going to see Elizabeth Gilbert at the Eisemann Center, I am going to hear Dr. Zahi Hawass speak about King Tut, and another friend and I are going to see David Sedaris at McFarlin Auditorium in April. Last Monday evening, I went to see Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry (of L.A. Law fame) read short stories at the Dallas Theatre Center. Those are just a handful of the things I have chosen to see, but there are many more authors and programs scheduled and most of them are reasonably priced, if not free.