Home Madison Wisconsin Book Festival goes virtual, October 15–17

Wisconsin Book Festival goes virtual, October 15–17


Special promotional content provided by Wisconsin Book Festival.

The Wisconsin Book Festival will present a wide variety of free virtual author programs this fall, with the season’s signature celebration taking place Thursday–Saturday, October 15–17. 

Amid the pandemic, the typical fall celebration has been replaced with a slimmed-down live-stream event schedule featuring 16 events over three days. The lineup includes: 

  • Seven-time NAACP Image Award winner Nikki Giovanni, the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, for Make Me Rain (October 15, 7:00pm) 
  • Angie Kim, Edgar Award winner for Best First Novel, and Booker Prize nominee and Kiley Reid for their respective books, Miracle Creek and Such a Fun Age (October 15, 8:30pm) 
  • Jennifer Palmieri, former White House Communications Director for President Barack Obama, for She Proclaims (October 17, 11:30am) 
  • Pulitzer Prize finalist and Hurston/Wright Legacy Award winner Laila Lalami for Conditional Citizens (October 17, 1:00pm) 
  • Paola Ramos, journalist and former deputy director of Hispanic media for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, for Finding Latinx (October 17, 2:30pm) 
  • Brian Greene, Director of Columbia University’s Center for Theoretical Physics,
    and Guggenheim Fellow Janna Levin for their books Until the End of Time and Black Hole Survival Guide (October 17, 7:00pm) 
  • Celebrated conservationist Terry Tempest Williams for Erosion (October 17, 8:30pm) 

When the festival was forced to cancel in-person author programs due to COVID-19 last spring, it shifted future programming online. Since then, the festival has hosted more than 20 live-streamed events, all of which are recorded and archived so they can be conveniently watched anytime at crowdcast.io/wisconsinbookfestival

“Every year, the schedule release is a wonderful moment,” said festival Director Conor Moran. “But this year, after all we’ve gone through, it’s particularly special to be able to focus on this small sense of normalcy. This year’s lineup includes many authors who might not have come to Madison, and conversations that may not have occurred without the flexibility of virtual events. We will, of course, miss the electricity and togetherness that makes the fall celebration the event we’ve all come to love so much. Thank you all for your support this year. We can’t wait to see you soon.”

In addition to the fall celebration, the Wisconsin Book Festival offers author events throughout the year. The festival schedule resumes in mid-September, with events running through December. These include: 

  • Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing, for her new novel, Transcendent Kingdom (September 17) 
  • Paul Begala, political consultant and commentator, for You’re Fired (September 21) 
  • Dick Wagner, scholar and activist, for Coming Out, Moving Forward (September 23) 
  • Katie Hill, former U.S. Representative, for She Will Rise (October 1) 
  • Claudia Rankine, acclaimed poet and playwright, for Just Us (November 16) 
  • Danielle Evans, former UW-Madison professor, for The Office of Historical Corrections (December 2) 
  • Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize Winner, for Perestroika in Paris (December 3) 

The Wisconsin Book Festival is presented by Madison Public Library in partnership
with Madison Public Library Foundation. For program details and the full schedule, go to wisconsinbookfestival.org

Media interested in scheduling advance interviews with scheduled authors or speaking with festival Director Conor Moran about the event lineup should email [email protected].

The festival is made possible with generous support from Signature Sponsor Marvin J. Levy; Presenting Sponsor Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation; Festival Patron Cheryl Rosen Weston; Festival Sponsors National Endowment for the Arts and American Girl’s Fund for Children; Contributing Sponsors The Bass Family, Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co., MG&E Foundation and University Research Park; and Event Supporter A Room of One’s Own. In-Kind Sponsors include Isthmus, the Park Hotel and Wisconsin Public Radio. Learn more about funding and support for the festival at wisconsinbookfestival.org/give. 

About the Wisconsin Book Festival
The Wisconsin Book Festival presents local, national and international author events throughout the year via the virtual platform Crowdcast. Founded by the Wisconsin Humanities Council in 2002, responsibility for the festival was assumed by Madison Public Library in partnership with Madison Public Library Foundation in 2013.  Follow the festival on the web at wisconsinbookfestival.org, on the festival’s Facebook page, @wibookfestival on Twitter, or @wibookfest on Instagram.

About Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 140 years.  Our nine locations throughout the City of Madison currently offer a variety of services, from curbside pickup to digital resources. For more information, visit madisonpubliclibrary.org, the library’s Facebook page, or @madisonlibrary on Twitter and Instagram.

About Madison Public Library Foundation
Madison Public Library Foundation promotes and supports Madison Public Library’s facilities, services and programs. Established in 1993, the foundation provides annual project grants, raises funds for capital projects, and promotes awareness of the library and its programs. Learn how to support Madison’s libraries at mplfoundation.org, on the foundation’s Facebook page, and @mplfoundation on Twitter and  Instagram.