The Fox Cities Book Festival will devote a full day to Poetry & on Sunday, April 13.
Many artists are creatively gifted in more than one discipline. Featured writers this year are exceptional poets, but they also bring the depth of experience and success in another field to their poetry. The Poetry & day is an exciting opportunity to explore the craft of Poetry &, that is, poetry with a twist – of art, of music, of translation. Join us to explore how this duality informs and deepens the writers' work while making the work more meaningful and enjoyable for us.
Poetry & Translation (10-11 a.m.)
Translation is as much as act of creation as the original work of poetry. Moises Villavicencio Barras and Ernesto Livorni are Wisconsin artists who are equally gifted at both forms. They will speak on the nature of translation of poetry and how it directs their writing. Moises will share work in English and Spanish, and Ernesto in Italian and English, with time for conversation with the audience.
Poetry & Music (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Poetry seems most akin to music, with both art forms dependent on rhythm, sound, and word choice. In this session, two poets will share their work on the page and stage and speak of the interdependent web of each to each. Fabu will read from her latest book, which tells life story of jazz artist Mary Lou Williams. Fabu will be joined by musician-turned poet-turned musician Harvey Taylor who has put poems to music and music to his poetry in wickedly splendid ways. Expect music, poetry, and lively conversation.
Poetry & Art (1:30-3 p.m.)
During this session, featured poets – Mary Wehner, Jeffrey Johannes, and Cristina Norcross – will share poetry that is informed by their art and will talk about how their artwork is informed by poetry. Artwork will be on display and books available for sale, with time for the audience to view the art and have an open dialog with the presenters about the blending of these two forms.
The Mill organizers announced today that the deadline for submissions to the Mill Fiction Contest will be extended to March 15 due to an error in the original contest guidelines.
March 10 remains the submission deadline for the Mill Poetry Contest.
Good luck to all entrants!
As you can see the planning for this year’s book festival is coming along nicely and we still have some more authors to share with you; but we also want to take some time to thank the people who make this special event possible. An undertaking like this is only possible with the support of our community. That support takes many shapes; it can be staff time, volunteers, materials, marketing support and let us not forget the elephant in the room – money. Nobody likes to talk about it but money is what allows us bring our community this great event and we want to thank those that have generously supported us this year.
We want to thank the Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region for their continued support of the book festival. We also want to thank the Jane & Tad Shepard Family Foundation for their strong support. Without our local universities and public libraries and their support we wouldn’t be able to bring you the depth you are accustomed to. In addition we want to thank our media partners Post Crescent Media and the Scene Newspapers. Finally we want to thank all of our individual sponsors who give from their own pockets because they believe in this event and what it does to strengthen our great community!
Thank you all!
This year the Fox Cities Book Festival will devote an evening to the discussion and understanding of autism at the event The Reason I Jump: Autism & Our Community. The celebrated bestseller The Reason I Jump: the Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida will be the starting point for this evening’s discussion.
The book offers an intimate look at life from an autistic boy’s perspective. Talk will not be limited to the book, however. The organizers intend for the event to bring together people from across the community for a far-ranging discussion about autism in the Fox Cities area.
A distinguished panel of professional caregivers from organizations such as Catalpa Health, Beyond Boundaries of Autism, Fox Valley Sibling Support Network, and Autism Society of the Fox Valley will lead the discussion. The panel will also include several parents of autistic children, adding to the depth and variety of expert participants. Julie Gilkay, of the Post Crescent, will serve as moderator. Questions and comments from the audience will be an integral part of the event.
Anyone wanting to learn more about autism and life in the Fox Cities is welcome to attend The Reason I Jump: Autism & Our Community on Monday, April 7, at the Neenah Public Library. This event is sponsored by The King’s Daughters Service Circle Neenah-Menasha.
We are pleased to announce Larry Watson, called "one of the finest writers working today,"* will be at the Fox Cities Book Festival on Saturday, April 12. Let Him Go, his newest book, has received starred reviews, drawn critical acclaim, and landed on several “Pick” lists since its publication in 2013.
Watson gained national attention with his novel Montana 1948; his other novels include Justice; Orchard; Sundown, Yellow Moon; and American Boy. He is known for stories that skillfully evoke past times and places but resonant with the timeless themes of family, love, and endurance.
Watson was born and raised in North Dakota and the American West is the setting for many of his stories. He is a long-time Wisconsin resident, and we are honored to have this gifted writer in the festival's lineup. For more information about him, go to Larry Watson's Author Page.
*Peter Geye, Star Tribune (Sept. 1, 2013)
Pop-up book artist and engineer Shawn Sheehy will take part in this year’s Fox Cities Book Festival. If the term “pop-up” makes you think of computer windows or birthday cards, be prepared to have your worldview expanded in a major way. Sheehy’s work is complex, powerful, and engaging. His artist books combine intricate movable parts, handmade materials, and text that visually and thematically unifies pieces to create unusual and delightful art. Sheehy will be discussing his artist books during his April 10 presentation at Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center. Get ready for amazement!
Photo of a spread from Sheehy's book Beyond the 6th Extinction.
We are pleased to announce that nationally known author Benjamin Percy will take part in this year's Fox Cities Book Festival. Percy has received much attention for his latest novel, Red Moon. Called a "literary horror story," this novel focuses on werewolf-human interactions, acts of terrorism, alternate histories, and issues of identity. An L.A. Times review noted, "Percy's characters are engaging, and his underlying themes--beware the warmongers, the absolutists, the anti-intellectuals in our midst--are stunningly current." One of his current projects is to work on adapting Red Moon for a FOX TV series.
Percy is also the author of The Wilding, another novel, as well as two short story collections: Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. He has received numerous prizes for his work, including two Pushcart Prizes and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
We look forward to Benjamin Percy's Book Festival events, which are scheduled for April 10 and April 11. For more information about him, visit Benjamin Percy's Author Page.
Photo: © 2014 Jennifer Percy
Halimah Marcus, who has made a name for herself in both the digital publishing and literary magazine worlds, will be at the Fox Cities Book Festival, Saturday, April 12. Marcus is the co-editor of Recommended Reading a new type of online literary magazine that launched in 2012.
She is also co-editor of Electric Literature, a digital publisher with the mission of embracing new technologies, collaborating with other publishers, and engaging the literary community wherever it is.
Marcus is committed to exploring how digital publishing can be used in innovative and effective ways to promote literature. The Fox Cities Book Festival is pleased to host this leader in the digital publishing field. For more information about her, visit Halimah Marcus's Author page.
Bestselling writer Lauren Kessler will be a featured author at this year’s Fox Cities Book Festival. Kessler is known for her engaging and well-researched nonfiction. In her most recent book, Counterclockwise, she takes an in-depth look at our country's anti-aging industry. Bravely using herself as a guinea pig for experimentation, Kessler tries out treatments and protocols in an effort to discover what — if anything — helps turn back the hands of time. Most importantly, she then lets readers know the results in clear — and often humorous — terms.
Her book Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's is another example of her immersion journalism. In this work she blends her experiences working at an Alzheimer's facility with memories of her mother who died from the disease. Kessler shares her insights about quality of life and is able, surprisingly, to convey a sense of hope in this book.
She has written five other works of nonfiction, had Washington Post and Los Angeles Times bestsellers, and received the Pacific Northwest Book Award. Her journalism has appeared in numerous national publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, and Prevention.
Kessler is scheduled for four book festival events, April 8 and April 9.
Kathleen Ernst, one of our favorite Wisconsin authors, will be visiting the Fox Cities Book Festival this April. She has recently published her fourth mystery in the Chloe Ellefson series, called Heritage of Darkness. This is the first story in the series to be set outside of Wisconsin. But don't worry Chloe fans -- Chloe is still finding mystery, mayhem, and historical echoes wherever she goes.
Ernst is scheduled for two appearances in the area. At one presentation she will discuss the Chloe Ellefson mystery series, including a look at the real places that have inspired Old World Murder, The Heirloom Murders, The Light Keeper’s Legacy and Heritage of Darkness.
In her other program she will talk about her American Girl books, creating her American Girl character Caroline Abbott, and give tips for young writers. Door prizes -- including a Caroline doll -- will be awarded at this program!
Kathleen Ernst will be at the festival on April 7. For more information about her, visit her Author Page.