For Friends of Tarleton State University’s Dick Smith Library, fall means one thing: Dinner in the Stacks.

Dr. Craig Clifford features his book, Pickers & Poets: The Ruthlessly Poetic Singer-Songwriters of Texas (Texas A&M University Press, 2016), at the annual event, set for Saturday, Sept. 30, in the library. Author of several books, Clifford is executive director of Tarleton’s Honor College and professor of philosophy and social sciences.

Appetizers are served at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 and the evening’s program. Copies of Pickers & Poetswill be available for sale and signing.

“I’ll talk a little about the origin of the book and about the term ‘ruthlessly poetic,’” Clifford said, “and I’ll play songs discussed in the book, as well as a few of my own. 

“I’ll definitely play songs by Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, David Rodriguez and Steve Earle, as well as a couple from John Moreland and Jason Isbell, young songwriters from out of state who are challenging Texans for the ‘ruthlessly poetic mantle.’”

Janice Horak, assistant vice president of development, said Clifford’s latest book maintains a standard of excellence similar to that found in Tarleton’s Southwestern Studies in the Humanities series.

“Although Pickers and Poets is not included in the Tarleton series, it reflects the same high quality writing and research one expects from all Texas A&M University Press publications,” she said.

Tickets for Dinner in the Stacks are available online at or at the Dick Smith Library. Deadline to purchase tickets is Thursday, Sept. 28. Cost for Friends of the Library is $20, while non-members pay $25. Parking will be available in Lots P11 and P12, both near the Dick Smith Library.