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Wisconsin Book Festival celebrates courage October 7 to 11, 2009

Wisconsin Book Festival
Explore courage at 2009 Wisconsin Book Festival

The 8th annual Wisconsin Book Festival will explore “bold, artistic, cultural, and poetic” books with the theme of “courage.”

The festival will include five days of readings, talks, panels, and book signings throughout downtown Madison. The keynote author will be Wendell Berry, the popular novelist, poet, and essayist.

Wednesday’s focus will be on art and poetry, with Barbara Manger and Janine Smith discussing Wisconsin “outsider artist” Mary Nohl. Katie Krueger shares lessons learned from Senegal, West Africa. And poets Andrea Sorby and Mark Kraushaar will offer readings.

Thursday’s lineup includes Progressive editor Matt Rothschild, Green Bay Packers chronicler Phil Hanrahan, and Wisconsin authors Lorrie Moore and Michael Perry.

Friday’s festivities will showcase the Wisconsin People & Ideas/ Wisconsin Book Festival Writing Contest, as well as representatives from eight Latin America countries who will unveil the Book of Akademia Cartonera: a Primer of Latin American Cartonera Publishers. The International Teen Slam Champion of Hawaii, Marty McConnell, will join First Wave and the Midwest Youth Slam All-Stars.

Saturday will feature Lynda Barry, Paul Buhle, and James Danky who will riff on comic books. Also Wisconsin authors Jane Hamilton and David Rhodes will share readings from their latest books.

Sunday’s keynote speaker is Wendell Berry. Advanced tickets are gone, but some may be available at the door. Food historians Terese Allen and Robert Wolf, authors Kim Nielsen, Michael Rosen, Agate Nesaule, Dwight Allen, and Debra Spark will all be on tap. A special treat for Sunday will be the Children’s Book Illustration event featuring Wisconsin’s own Kevin Henkes, Lois Ehlert, and Nancy Ekholm Burkert.

Information about each day’s events and author sessions can be found on the official Wisconsin Book Festival website.

Note: Volunteers are needed. This is an opportunity to have fun, hang out with like-minded bookophiles, provide a public service, and earn a t-shirt.