NOVEMBER 2-5, 2017

and year round


From the Director

2017 is upon us and with that comes the 15th Anniversary of the Wisconsin Book Festival! Throughout the year we will be celebrating this wonderful milestone with a series of marquee events culminating in another four-day festival in November. Over the years we've hosted hundreds of events, thousands of authors, and, perhaps most importantly, so many of YOU - the dedicated members of Wisconsin's literary community. Your support has made each year of this unique event possible and helped us continue to push the Festival to in new directions.  We already have a wonderful slate of events booked to help us kick off the 15th Anniversary. We hope that you will join us (frequently) to commemorate fifteen years of Wisconsin Book Festival events.  

The 15th Anniversary kicked off on January 17th with Dr. James Hamblin's If Our Bodies Could Talk, an enlightening book about how bodies work—and how to keep them working in a world full of myths and misinformation.  If you haven't seen James before, take a listen to his conversation about the most basic way to get healthy or watch his video about workouts to do at work.

Look for a wide-variety of Festival events in the coming months.  We are getting excited about so many different things right now.  In March we'll be welcoming Madison author, Margaret George, back to the Festival.  Margaret appeared at the first Festival in 2002 and we couldn't be happier to host her this Spring for The Confessions of Young Nero.  Food lovers should mark their calendars for the March 16th visit by Melissa Clark, author of the "A Good Appetite" column in the New York Times as well as multiple cookbooks.  

April promises to be an incredible month of events as well.  Madison Public LIbrary Foundation's annual Lunch for Libraries welcomes the beloved Richard Russo to Madison for his latest novel, Everybody's Fool.  We are working with the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities to present Margaret Atwood and her re-imagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest as part of The Great World Texts program. And our evening with Teju Cole for Known and Strange Things, his incredible collection of essays on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, will be a can't-miss affair.  

And these are just a sampling of the incredible events schedule the 15th Anniversary has to offer.  Check back throughout the Spring for all of the latest updates on the 2017 Wisconsin Book Festival. We look forward to seeing you!


Conor Moran



About the Festival


The Wisconsin Book Festival is Wisconsin's premier literary event.  Every Fall we draw a local and regional audience of 12,000-15,000 people for four days of author events.  Our year-round series of events has drawn more than 20,000 people to an additional 100 events over the past four years.  Madison's proximity to Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Iowa City makes it an easy addition to any tour through the Midwest.  As the State Capitol and home to the University of Wisconsin, Madison boasts an engaged and active literary community who have shown a dedication to supporting great author programming.

During the 2015 festival, more than 10,000 people attended 70 author events at the Central Library and select area venues. Madison Public Library hosts events for 75-250 people in multiple spaces at the Central Branch, including a 250-seat auditorium, a 75-seat presentation room, an art gallery, a reception room, and numerous other event spaces.  The auditorium venue holds 250 people with the ability to host another 250 in the adjacent gallery space with the event broadcast on 80-inch screens.  Madison Public Library is committed to ensuring that all Wisconsin Book Festival events are free and open to the public.
Building on our annual four-day celebration in October, Madison Public Library hosts the Wisconsin Book Festival Event Series throughout the year as a way of generating awareness about the festival and solidifying author programming in the community.  This year-long series of events leading up to and out of the annual festival keeps the public engaged with book programming, and gives authors an incredible venue here in Madison.  The Wisconsin Book Festival Event Series is held in our state-of-the-art auditorium at Central Library.  Since creating the series in 2013, we have hosted more than 100 events for 15,000 audience members, including evenings with Atul Gawande, Ruth Reichl, Lois Lowry, Sarah Vowell, and John Scalzi.

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Madison, WI 53703


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