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‘Hemingway’ to premiere on Arkansas PBS in April; virtual events, conversations planned leading to premiere

Posted 03 Mar 2021

Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, Division of Arkansas Heritage

among partners for screenings, discussions

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Ernest Hemingway, the iconic literary figure considered one of the greatest American writers and among the first to live and work at the treacherous nexus of art and celebrity, is the subject of an upcoming three-part, six-hour documentary series directed by award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick coming to Arkansas PBS April 5-7.

Hemingway and his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer, whose family lived in Piggott, were prominent residents of Northeast Arkansas during their 13-year marriage. Hemingway penned part of “A Farewell to Arms” while staying at their Arkansas home. Hemingway’s time in Arkansas is mentioned in the first episode in context to he and Pauline moving to Piggott just before their son Patrick was born.

"Many readers are surprised to learn that Ernest Hemingway has an Arkansas connection,” A-State Heritage Sites Director Adam Long said. “The Pfeiffer family, Ernest's in-laws, were a prominent farming family in Clay County.

“Ernest was a regular visitor in Piggott during his most productive writing years. He wrote portions of ‘A Farewell to Arms’ and several short stories in the loft of the Pfeiffers' barn, which the family converted to a studio for him. A visit to Piggott is the perfect supplement for an Arkansan watching this documentary.”

Arkansas State University operates the restored Pfeiffer home and Hemingway Barn-Studio as one of its four Heritage Sites. The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, 1021 West Cherry Street, Piggott, is open Monday-Friday with tours on the hour from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Additionally, Arkansas PBS and the Division of Arkansas Heritage are partnering to share the author’s Arkansas story and will cohost a virtual screening event in March.

“Heritage tourism sites in Arkansas provide a unique way to explore our state’s past,” Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst said. “The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum welcomes guests from around the world who want to see where the Nobel Laureate wrote ‘A Farewell to Arms’ and gleaned characters and situations for his stories.

“But, don’t let your visit stop there. Explore the ‘Air Mail’ mural created with Depression-era funding at the National Register-listed Piggott Post Office, or venture to the nearby Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess. There are many adventures to be enjoyed in our beautiful state.”

Additional educational and local engagement opportunities include a virtual tour of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, archival content and little known anecdotes, and a blog series.

"Hemingway" paints an intimate picture of the writer – who captured on paper the complexities of the human condition in spare and profound prose, and whose work remains deeply influential around the world – while also penetrating the myth of Hemingway the man’s man, to reveal a deeply troubled and ultimately tragic figure. The film also explores Hemingway’s limitations and biases as an artist. Narrated by long-time collaborator Peter Coyote, the series features an all-star cast of actors bringing Hemingway, voiced by Jeff Daniels, his friends and his four wives – voiced by Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson – vividly to life.

Conversations on Hemingway, a series of virtual events with leading writers and scholars in the weeks prior to the broadcast, is open to the public and will take place virtually via Zoom on Tuesday and Thursday nights March 2-18 at 6 p.m. A final event, focused on Hemingway and Women, in partnership with the New York Review of Books, will be held Wednesday, March 24, at 6 p.m. People can register for one or more of the events at

The schedule is as follows:

·        March 2 – Hemingway and the Natural World, in partnership with Idaho Public Television and The Community Library/Hemingway House. Guests include writer Terry Tempest Williams.

·        March 4 – Hemingway and Celebrity, in partnership with PBS SoCal and the Los Angeles Times. Guests include Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison and writer Lesley M.M. Blume.

·        March 9 – Hemingway, the Sea and Cuba, in partnership with South Florida PBS, FIU’s Casa Cuba, and The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Guests include writer Cristina Garcia and author/journalist Brin-Jonathan Butler.

·        March 11 – Hemingway, Gender and Identity, in partnership with The WNET Group and the Center for Fiction. Guests include writers Mary Karr and Marc Dudley and journalist Lisa Kennedy.

·        March 16 – Hemingway the Author, in partnership with GBH, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and the National Archives. Guests include writer Tobias Wolff and writer and physician Abraham Verghese.

·        March 18 – Hemingway and Biography, in partnership with WETA and Georgetown University. Guests include writers Amanda Vaill, Howard Bryant and Paul Elie.

·        March 24 – Hemingway and Women, in partnership with The New York Review of Books. Guests include writers Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose and Edward Mendelson.

PBS Books, a multiplatform initiative celebrating the love of reading, has built a robust, nationwide outreach plan to complement the film and engage communities in partnership with thousands of libraries and their local PBS stations. Activities will include a virtual exhibition showcasing the most beloved articles in the Hemingway collections of libraries and individual readers, a National Book Club conversation with the filmmakers on Thursday, April 8, a variety of Hemingway-themed booklists and more.

“Hemingway” is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, D.C.

Corporate funding for “Hemingway” was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by the Annenberg Foundation, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and by “The Better Angels Society,” and its members John & Leslie McQuown, the Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust, John & Catherine Debs, the Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, the Kissick Family Foundation, Gail M. Elden, Gilchrist & Amy Berg, Robert & Beverly Grappone, Mauree Jane & Mark Perry; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

The Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Office develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. These sites provide educational resources for formal and informal learning, including serving as living laboratories for students in the university’s Heritage Studies Ph.D. program. In addition, they serve as economic catalysts in communities where they are located by attracting heritage tourists from around the country.

The mission of Arkansas Heritage is to identify Arkansas’s heritage and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by the discovery, preservation and presentation of the state’s natural, cultural and historic resources. This is accomplished through the work of its eight divisions: Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum. Arkansas Heritage is a division of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).