Letters & Spirits


Letters & Spirits features original prose works read by the authors themselves.


Dr. Sanderia Faye is an Assistant Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Dallas Literary Festival at Southern Methodist University (SMU). She is also a professional speaker at American Program Bureau, and sommelier, where she pairs wine with books. Her novel, Mourner’s Bench, a coming-of-age story set in the Arkansas Delta during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, is the winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit for fiction, and Arkansas Library Association, Arkansiana Award. She is the co-leader of Pen America/DFW, co-founder of Kimbilio Center for Fiction and the founder of LitNight Reading Series. 

Faye’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, D Magazine, Southwest Review, and other literary journals. Her story in Texas Highways, Time Travel Through Texas: The Green Book, received a 2021 Gold IRMA International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) award.

Sanderia lives in Dallas, Texas where she is at work on her new novel Eleven.

Dates & Times: 6:00-8:00 PM

February 16 –  The Mourner’s Bench by Sanderia Faye 

Set in the summer of 1964 in Maeby, Arkansas, Mourner’s Bench is the story of a young girl coming to terms with religion, racism, and feminism while also navigating the terrain of early adolescence and trying to settle into her place in her family and community.


Cost: $25 ($15 for Members — discount code available for members)


The Dallas Institute’s Nancy Cain Marcus Conference Center


Space is limited. Sign up now to reserve your spot!