The Book Fest Is Here!

By John Paluta

 The 18th Annual Chippewa Valley Book Festival is nearly here! Running from October 16 – 26, Book Fest has a myriad of programs for readers and writers alike. Over the course of the ten days, there’s sure to be something that’ll strike your fancy.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the attendance of Pulitzer Prize winner Matthew Desmond. On October 19th he will be reading from his winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond has taken his experience of poverty and the extensive research he completed, and turned it all into a very readable story. You’re not going to want to miss this!

Several new events are taking part in Book Fest this year as well. One of which is ecWIT, a reader’s theater comprised of six women. They will be taking texts from various festival writers and interpreting them. Another first for Book Fest is the partnership with the Chippewa Valley Technical College. Two events will be held at the college, one of which is Jillian Weise presenting her talk titled Permission and Provocation. The other presentation will be by Jim Walsh (Also at the Technical College) about Prince and Bar Yarns: Music from Minneapolis and Beyond. One of the focuses of the talk will be the artist Prince.

Perhaps you fancy yourself a writer and the thought of workshops piques your interest! Two workshops are being offered for adult writers, the first of which being Writing Your “Wisconsin Life”. Author Patti See is an award winning writer and a frequent contributor to ‘Wisconsin Life’ on Wisconsin Public Radio. Prepare to write about your own Wisconsin story! The second workshop focuses on poetry, the name of the workshop being Narrative Poetry: Storytelling in Verse. UW-Eau Claire creative writing teacher Katie Vagnino will lead the workshop and explore narrative poems to understand how they work. Participants will have time to draft and revise their own poems!

And if you want to get the most out of Book Fest, you’re not going to want to miss Saturday, October 21st. Five events are taking place throughout the day. Four of which are at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. ecWIT is one of these events, but other presentations include Charles Baxter’s Starting a Novel , Hilma Wolitzer’s The Late Bloomer and Judith Claire Mitchell’s A Reunion of Ghosts: When Historical Truth Meets Literary Truth and last but not least, a program titled Prodigal Poets Back in Town featuring Memorial High School graduates Graham Foust, Nick Gulig and Betsy Wheeler. 

Finally, don’t forget the book release for Barstow & Grand’s inaugural issue on October 26 at 7PM at The Local Store.  Come support the many regional writers who brought this dream to fruition!

Mark your calendars! Book Festival goes from October 16 – 26. You won’t want to miss any of these events.