The Fox Cities Book Festival is happy to welcome Doc Mehl for our Fundraising Event this year. Doc Mehl, the Asphalt Cowboy Poet, will be giving a special show Friday, April 24, at the OuterEdge Stage in Appleton.

What's Doc's work like? With one foot in the past and one in the present, Doc weaves the history and the mystery of the West into his original "westclectic" poetry and music.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Fox Cities Book Festival.

Tickets are $20 per person. Doors will open at 6:45 pm, with Doc Mehl's program to start at 7:30 pm. Cash bar available.

To buy your tickets now, follow this link.

For more about Doc Mehl, visit his Author's Page.

This program is sponsored by the Neenah Literati Book Club.

Award-winning, best-selling author Linda Sue Park will help launch the Fox Cities Book Festival with a pre-festival visit on April 14, 2015.

Park won the 2002 Newbery Medal for her book A Single Shard, which is set in 12th century Korea and focuses on Tree-ear, an orphan boy trying to follow his dream of becoming a master potter. Her book A Long Walk to Water is based on the true story of one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. The book became a New York Times bestseller.

In addition to her historical novels for young people, Park writes contemporary fiction, picture books, and poetry. She has contributed to the popular The 39 Clues series with the books Trust No One and Storm Warning.

Linda Sue Park will be speaking at the Appleton Public Library on April 14 at 6:30 pm. Come for this author visit and get in the mood for the book festival!

Whet your appetite for the book festival by meeting the author — the author of the play, that is!

Join UW-Fox Valley Theatre in welcoming Philip Dawkins, author of Failure: a Love Story, on Friday, April 17. A preshow reception, with cash bar, will start at 6 pm. The play begins at 7 pm. A free talk back immediately follows the show.

Want to see the play that Friday evening at a reduced price? Order tickets by calling the Theatre box office and use the special code "Book Festival Friend" to receive a discount.

Failure: a Love Story is a magical, whimsical fable that traces three sisters' triumphs and defeats, lived out in the rickety two-story building by the Chicago River that was the Fail family home and clock shop. This funny, moving, and profoundly wise play reminds us that in the end, all that remains is love.

The Theatre is located at UW-Fox Valley, 1478 Midway Road, Menasha, Wisconsin.

For all the show dates and other information, visit the Theatre's webpage

This year the Fox Cities Book Festival Poetry Day will take place April 25, 2015, at the Atlas Coffee Mill in Appleton.

The day will feature award-winning poet Jericho Brown, Wisconsin's new Poet Laureate Kimberly Blaeser, and, from Poets Among Us, three of the finest poets in the area: Cathryn Cofell, Bill Gillard, and Megan Gannon.

Jericho Brown won the American Book Award for his first collection Please. His recently published second collection The New Testament has been called an "encounter [with] devastating genius." Will hearing Jericho Brown read poetry change your life? Undoubtedly.

Kimberly Blaeser makes her first appearance in Appleton as Wisconsin Poet Laureate, a leadership position she is ready to take on. She explains, "Those who love poetry — but especially those who read or pen poetry in private — need permission and encouragement to be the shining poetry nerds they may long to be! I am excited to suit up and become our state's 'muse' for the next two years."

Cathryn Cofell is an unflagging advocate for the arts in addition to being a successful poet. Sister Satellite, her first collection, was described by Oliver de la Paz as shimmering "in amplitudes of love ... the poems in this collection dazzle and hum."

Bill Gillard's recent collection Ode to Sandra Hook has been called haunting and moving. Reviewer David Daniel wrote that Gillard takes readers through a "landscape of loss with great elegance, tenderness, and wit, and we end up, at the end of the dreamlike road, astonished by its great, if painful, beauty."

Poet and novelist Megan Gannon's latest collection is entitled White Nightgown: Poems. The collection is marked by a breadth of subjects that she uses to examine how desire is both a creative and a destructive force.

So mark your calendars for Poetry Day, put on your beret, and get ready to hear poems that'll knock your socks off!

Readers with a taste for thrillers will have the chance to meet several mystery and suspense authors at this year's Fox Cities Book Festival. These authors, whose works entice their fans with danger, include April Henry, Mary Kubica, and Patricia Skalka.

If you haven't checked out their mysteries yet, now is the time to get reading! A word of warning, though: You might not want to do your reading late at night, when you're in the house alone, there's a storm raging outside, and the lights are flickering on and off.

However, if you want to learn more about the authors, simply visit their Author Pages any time:

The Mill: a Place for Writers is accepting submissions for its annual literary contests in poetry and short fiction. Entries must be received no later than March 22, 2015. A few points to note:

  • Email submissions as attachments only
  • All work must be original and unpublished
  • Full guidelines, prize information, and submission addresses are available on the Mill: a Place for Writers Facebook page.

Winners will be announced at the Fox Cities Book Festival's Mill Literary Awards event.

So dust off your keyboards, flex your fingers, and get writing!

Good luck to everyone!

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Thank You

Atlas Coffee Mill

Big thanks go to Atlas Coffee Mill for hosting monthly meetings for the Fox Cities Book Festival Board! We appreciate your support of the Festival and just can't thank you enough for providing a welcoming meeting space for us to plan and dream.