2016 Schedule

To view the schedule for the 2016 Fox Cities Book Festival, click here.


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Fox Cities Reads

Book Festival Archives - 2010 - 2015

Book Festival Archive Post.

2011 Authors

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Will Allen, son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and now farmer, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture.

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Mr. Anderson is a film-maker and animation director who has written hundreds of scripts for clients as varied as Turner Classic Movies, AMFAR, Sears and Budweiser.  He teaches character animation as an adjunct at MIAD, The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and writes a Wisconsin history blog called WISCONSINOLOGY.

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Dr. Anderson wrote Parenting: A Field Guide based on her own experience and wisdom and the wisdom of the best research in the field. Her book became so popular she was asked to host a radio show, Parenting: A Field Guide LIVE!, and then was asked to help agencies and businesses in getting the word out to parents.

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Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 25 books, many of them on rural history and country life. Jerry is a former publications editor for UW-Extension, an acquisitions editor for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, and editor of a national professional journal.

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Margo Hammond, who lives on the East Coast, and Ellen Heltzel, who lives on the West Coast, met in the middle of the country, at a Chicago book festival. Ellen was the book editor at the Oregonian. Margo Hammond was the book editor for the St. Petersburg Times. When they returned home to Portland and St. Petersburg, they continued their lively conversations about reading and publishing by telephone and email.

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Faith Barrett is Associate Professor of English at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin. She teaches courses in American literature and culture and creative writing/poetry. Her chapbook of poems, Invisible Axis, was published in 2001.

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Annie Barrows's collaboration with her late aunt Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, has been a publishing phenomenon, resulting in well over one million copies in print in both hardcover and paperback, and speaking engagements for Barrows all over the country. The first book in her children's series Ivy and Bean was published in 2006 and was an ALA Notable book for 2007.

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Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook's Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy.

Candace Black

Black's poems and essays have appeared in many literary journals, including Third Coast, Rhino, Iowa Woman, Ninth Letter, and War, Literature and the Arts. She received her undergraduate degree from California State University, Chico, and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. Her first poetry collection, The Volunteer, won the Minnesota Voice Poetry Prize in 2000.

Jodee Blanco

Survivor, expert and activist Jodee Blanco is one of the country’s pre-eminent voices on the subject of school bullying. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Please Stop Laughing At Me . . . One Woman’s Inspirational Story. A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement inside the nation’s schools and is swiftly becoming an American classic.

Todd Boss

Todd Boss grew up on an 80-acre cattle farm in Wisconsin's Chippewa Valley. His musical, playful, intimate poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, the London Times, and on NPR. In 2006, he wrote a love poem called "The Hush of the Very Good" that was named one of the greatest love poems ever published by the editors of Poetry magazine, and soon thereafter he'd released his debut collection, Yellowrocket.

William Brehm

William Brehm is the author or co-author of three history books including The Kimberlys: A glimpse at one family’s years in North America (1989),  The Civil War Journal of Samuel Henry Brehm (2005),  and  Furs, Fir and Fourdrinier: A Story of Wisconsin Paper Families (2010) .  He is also the author of My Hard Copy (2010), a book of Canadian photos, and Brehm: The Works of William Brehm – Watercolors and Oils – 1960-2010 (2010) a review of his art career .

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Paul Buhle, Author-Editor of 42 books, including the prize-winning Art of Harvey Kurtzman and two books about Wisconsin: The Tragedy of Empire, Williams Appleman Williams; and History and the New Left, Madison Wisconsin 1950-70. Editor of 9 nonfiction comic art books including The Beats, Students for a Democratic Society, and adaptations of Howard Zinn and Studs Terkel.

Nancy Carlson

Nancy Carlson is a children's book author and illustrator who has published more than 60 books, including I Like Me!, Get Up and Go! and Henry's Amazing Imagination. Ms Carlson believes life should be fun, especially for children, and her stories help children feel good about themselves and others.

Cathryn Cofell

Cathryn Cofell's poems and essays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and she is the author of five poetry chapbooks, most recently Kamikaze Commotion (2008). Her latest project is Lip (2010), a CD of her poetry set to the music of Obvious Dog (Bruce Dethlefsen and Bill Orth).

Sneed B. Collard III

Sneed B. Collard III is an accomplished author of both nonfiction and fiction works. He has written more than 55 books for young people, including Science Warriors (2008), Reign of the Sea Dragons (2008), and The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale (2010). To research and write his nonfiction books, he has traveled to Australia, Costa Rica, Southeast Asia, and the deep-sea floor.

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Poet Anne Coray was born in a log cabin on Qizhjeh Vena (Lake Clark), Alaska, where she lives today with her husband and fellow author Steve Kahn. Her writing is known for its depictions of landscapes--both physical and emotional--as well as its examination of change, loss, and survival.

Elizabeth Cunningham

Elizabeth Cunningham, a direct descendant of nine generations of Episcopal priests, grew up hearing rich biblical and liturgical language and developed an appreciation for words. When she was not in church or school, she read fairytales and fantasy novels or wandered in the enchanted wood of an overgrown, abandoned estate next door to the rectory. Her religious background, the magic of fairytales, and the mystical aspects of nature continue to inform her work.

Timothy Dale

Timothy Dale is an assistant professor of political science in the Department of Social Change and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is interested in the connections between popular culture and politics in a democracy. Dale is particularly intrigued by the way in which our political conversations are shaped by our common popular culture experiences.

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Bruce Dethlefsen has been appointed Wisconsin Poet Laureate for the two-year term of 2011 and 2012. His mission is to promote poets and poetry in Wisconsin, and one of his goals is to help communities across the state establish local poetry reading series at libraries, schools, or coffee houses.

Jean Feraca

Host Jean Feraca is a 27-year veteran of public talk radio in the United States. She brings to her work the unique sensibility of a poet/humanist/journalist, combined with a lively personal style and a sense of adventure, discovery, and delight perfectly suited to creating global on-air community. Jean Feraca is Wisconsin Public Radio's Distinguished Senior Broadcaster and has been host and co-producer of the Ideas Network's award-winning call-in news and cultural affairs program, Conversations with Jean Feraca, from 1990 to 2003. In 2003 she started her new daily program Here On Earth.

Jim Fleming

While Fleming has hosted many classical music programs, he loves combining his interests in the classics with his interest in discussing the arts. His arts interviews were a regular feature of the classical music programs Prelude and Sunday Morning with Jim Fleming. For more than twenty years he has been a reader for Chapter a Day, a program which brings the best of literature to radio.

Joseph J. Foy

Joseph J. Foy is an associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. Foy is the editor of the John G. Cawelti award-winning book Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics through Popular Culture (2008). This work examines the relationship between political ideas and various forms of popular entertainment. Foy is co-editor, with Timothy Dale, of the follow-up book: Homer Simpson Marches on Washington: Dissent through American Popular Culture (2010).

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Andrew D. Gadtke was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. The author of Regular & Decaf, a book on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Gadtke is involved in nonprofit work and gives regular speeches to the public on mental health.

Peter Geniesse

Geniesse worked for many years as a newspaper reporter and editor; he traveled to numerous countries on writing assignments, including Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba. His most recent book, Illegal: NAFTA Refugees Forced to Flee, examines reasons for the migration of large numbers of undocumented Latinos, many from Mexico.

Sarah Gilbert

Sarah Gilbert, host of the monthly poetry reading at Harmony Café, has been writing poetry since childhood but got more serious about it as therapy after her second cancer.  She is currently serving as regional vice president of the WFOP for the Central/Fox Valley area. Her poems have appeared in Fox Cry Review and the WFOP Calendar

Bill Gillard

Bill Gillard lives in Appleton, teaches creative writing and Shakespeare at UW-Fox Valley, and considers Doctor Who in front of a fire on a cold night a romantic date. His poetry and prose has appeared in many publications, including Writer’s Chronicle, The Poetry Journal, Chiron Review, The Literary Review, and Review Americana.

Linda Godfrey

Linda Godfrey is an author and researcher of the strange and uncanny and has been called Wisconsin's leading authority on the paranormal. On her travels throughout Wisconsin and Michigan, Godfrey has investigated anything mysterious or quirky, such as giant roadside statues, unidentified creatures, and local legends and eccentrics.

Gordon Grice

The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators (1998), is a collection of essays about animals Grice had encountered in the countryside where he grew up. Since that time, his work has appeared in many national magazines, such as The New Yorker, Discover, and GQ. His writing has also been published in collections, such as The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2002. His most recent book is Deadly Kingdom: the Book of Dangerous Animals (2010).

Arnold Grummer

After being asked "Can I make my own paper?" by numerous visitors to the Dard Hunter Paper Museum, Grummer wrote his first craft book, Paper by Kids (1980), and founded a company to sell papermaking kits and supplies. His other papermaking books include Tin Can Papermaking (1992), Complete Guide to Easy Papermaking (1999), Complete Guide to Paper Casting (2002), and Trash-to-Treasure Papermaking (2011).

Philip Gulley

Author and Quaker pastor Philip Gulley became known as the voice of small-town American life with his "Porch Talk" series of books and public television shows. Porch Talk: Stories of Decency, Common Sense, and Other Endangered Species (2007) sets the tone for these books with humorous and insightful essays on life, family, neighbors, and home.

Amy Hanten

Amy Hanten is "The Cooking Mom" and host of Fox 11's Living with Amy. Her TV show is a highly rated hour-long cooking and lifestyle show and is one of the few live hour-long cooking shows in the country. With live TV anything can--and does--happen, keeping Amy on her toes. For years, people in Wisconsin have been asking Amy when she was going to write a cookbook, and now she has: The Cooking Mom (2010).

Nicole Hardina-Wilhelm is an Adult Services Librarian at the Neenah Public Library. She will be presenting "Book Lovers’ Online Resources & Tools" with Cheryl Neuwirth. Learn how to keep track of what you read, interact with other readers online, and more. We’ll cover online tools like Novelist, Goodreads and LibraryThing, as well as other sites for book lovers.

Ronnie Hess

Ronnie Hess is an award-winning journalist who has had a long and passionate interest in food, especially French food. She has lived and worked in France as a reporter for CBS News and as an English teacher; her food and travel writing has appeared in national and regional publications.

Alice Honeywell

Alice Honeywell is a retired editor who lives with her husband, Booth, in Madison, Wisconsin. A long-distance bicycle tourist, Honeywell has participated in and led week-long tours for the Sierra Club’s National Outings program and other groups since 1982. In retirement, with the support and encouragement of her family and friends, she was able to live her life-long dream of pedaling across America.

Gregg Hurwitz

Gregg Hurwitz is the best-selling author of numerous books including The Tower (1999), Minutes to Burn (2001), The Kill Clause (2003), Troubleshooter (2005), The Crime Writer (2007), Trust No One (2009), and They're Watching (2010). His upcoming novel You're Next is scheduled for release in summer 2011. His works have been nominated for such awards as CWA's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, shortlisted for best novel of the year by International Thriller Writers, honored as Book Sense Picks, and translated into 18 languages.

Brian Johanson

Brian Johanson explains he became an author as a result of a family tragedy that was followed by a handful of miracles. In August, 2007, Johanson's teenage daughter Kaitlyn was in a severe car accident that resulted in, among other things, a traumatic brain injury (TBI). She was not expected to live.

Hillary Jordan

Hillary Jordan has won wide-spread acclaim with her first novel, Mudbound. It was awarded the Bellwether Prize for Fiction (2006), which goes to an as-yet unpublished literary novel addressing issues of social justice. Published in 2008, the book went on to win a 2009 Alex Award from the American Library Association and was named one of the Ten Best Debut Novels of the Decade by Paste magazine.

Lesley Kagen

Lesley Kagen was born in Milwaukee and spent her early years in a great working class neighborhood, much like the one where Whistling in the Dark is set. Whistling in the Dark received the Honor Book Award from the Midwest Booksellers Association, was a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award, a Midwest Connections Pick and has been on the Book Sense National Bestseller list and The Heartland Bestseller List.

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Steve Kahn is a lifelong Alaskan and former hunting guide who lives a subsistence-based lifestyle on Lake Clark (Qizhjeh Vena) near Port Alsworth, Alaska. He is author of The Hard Way Home: Alaska Stories of Adventure, Friendship, and the Hunt (2010). The essays in this collection offer a view of Alaska that is at once introspective and adventurous.

Bob Kann

Bob Kann is a storyteller/juggler/magician, an author of six children's books, and a professor of education. As an entertainer, he has performed throughout the United States since 1982. He also works as a consultant for universities, social service agencies, corporations, and other organizations on topics related to humor, reading, motivation, diversity, creativity, and team building.

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Wisconsin poet Mike Koehler has the ability to look at everyday experiences and turn them into poetry, a poetry that captures the feel of small town life in the Midwest and the people who live here. Koehler has done poetry readings on Wisconsin Public Television, the Wisconsin Public Radio program Higher Ground with Jonathan Overby, and has had poems published on various websites and in print journals.

Sandra Kring

Sandra Kring lives in Wisconsin. Her debut novel, Carry Me Home, was a BookSense Notable Pick and a 2005 Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award nominee. The Book of Bright Ideas was a 2006 Target Bookmarked™ selection and was named to the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age list in 2007.

Gayla Marty

Gayla Marty, author of Memory of Trees, is a communications director at the University of Minnesota. Memory of Trees is a multigenerational story of Gayla Marty’s family farm near Rush City, Minnesota. Cleared from woodlands by her great-grandfather Jacob in the 1880s, the farm passed to her father, Gordon, and his brother, Gaylon. 

Stephen McCabe

Stephen McCabe is a fiction writer and poet who completed his PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2009.  His short fiction has appeared in Emergency Almanac, The Hiss Quarterly, Eureka Literary Magazine and others, his poetry has appeared in The Small Pond Magazine of Literature, The Wisconsin Review and others, and interviews he conducted with Robert Coover and David Malouf appeared in The Cream City Review.

Dennis McCann

Dennis McCann is a Wisconsin native and longtime explorer of the state's nooks, crannies, and, yes, its burial grounds. In his most recent book, Badger Boneyards: the Eternal Rest of the Story (2010), McCann has collected stories of Wisconsinites that he discovered while exploring graveyards across the state. A University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism graduate, McCann joined the Milwaukee Journal (which later became the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) in 1983 as a farm writer and state rover.

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Laurel Mills is the author of three novels: Taking Flight (2010), Racing Toward Providence (2008), and Undercurrents (2001). Her fiction frequently focuses on women's relationships and their struggles to deal with loss, love, duty, and desire. Mills is also the author of four award-winning books of poems, including I Sing Back (1997).

Bobbi Montgomery

Bobbi Montgomery is an award-winning English teacher who retired just in time to begin pedaling across America. Also a runner and triathlete, Montgomery came to love bicycle touring when she joined Honeywell and others on a Nova Scotia tour in 1987. Cheered on by her partner, Bob, her children, grandchildren, and friends in Ohio, she joined Honeywell in Oregon for their three-month adventure on bicycles.

Cheryl Neuwirth is an Adult Services Librarian at the Neenah Public Library. She will be presenting "Book Lovers’ Online Resources & Tools" with Nicole Hardina-Wilhelm. Learn how to keep track of what you read, interact with other readers online, and more. We’ll cover online tools like Novelist, Goodreads and LibraryThing, as well as other sites for book lovers.

Lisa Paul

Lisa Paul's recently published memoir, Swimming in the Daylight: An American Student, A Soviet-Jewish Dissident, and the Gift of Hope, tells the story of her friendship with Inna Kitrosskaya Meiman, her Russian language teacher. She met Inna in Moscow at a pivotal time in history--the years just before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Paul was raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, and is a proud graduate of Appleton West High School.

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a humorist and author of the bestselling memoirs Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Truck: A Love Story and Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting, as well as the essay collection Off Main Street. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health.

Joan Peterson

Joan Peterson received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from UW-Madison then worked as a scientist in cancer-related research for the UW-Madison Biochemistry Department. In 1999, she retired from this position to devote time to her two other passions: food and travel. As a result, Peterson created the Eat Smart series of culinary travel guidebooks featuring international destinations.

Jill Sisson Quinn

Jill Sisson Quinn is the author of Deranged: Finding a Sense of Place in the Landscape and in the Lifespan. This title links ecological explorations with moments of individual matueration in nineteen essays that braid natural history and memoir.

Sara Rath

Author Sara Rath has the unique ability to write entertaining fiction as well as engaging nonfiction. In addition to her prose work, Rath has published several collections of poetry, including Dancing with a Cowboy (1991). Rath grew up in Manawa, Wisconsin. She received her undergraduate degree from UW-Madison and her MFA in Writing from Vermont College.

Ron Rindo

Ron Rindo lives in Pickett, Wisconsin with his wife and five children and teaches English at the University of Wisconsin--Oshkosh.  He has published three short story collections, most recently Love in An Expanding Universe (New Rivers Press, 2005), and his writing has also appeared in a variety of magazines and journals.  His essay, "Gyromancy," appears in The Best American Essays 2010.

Richard Robbins

Richard Robbins grew up in Southern California and Montana. He earned his undergraduate degree at San Diego State University and went on to study with Richard Hugo and Madeline DeFrees at the University of Montana, where he earned his MFA. He has published five books of poems, most recently Radioactive City (2009) and Other Americas (2010).

Jody Roy

Roy publishes in a wide variety of genres, from traditional scholarly texts to mass-market creative non-fiction. While Roy's publishing outlets and collaborators are diverse, all her work is unified by her driving purpose: to give voice to—and tap the expertise of--the people we too often don't hear and, in doing so, to help prevent violence among today's youth.

Margaret Rozga

Rozga's play about the Milwaukee fair housing marches, March On Milwaukee, has seen three full productions and three concert readings since its debut at UW Waukesha in 2007.  Her book Two Hundred Nights and One Day was awarded a bronze medal in poetry in the 2009 Independent Publishers Book Awards and named an outstanding achievement in poetry for 2009 by the Wisconsin Library Association.  

Paul Salsini

Journalist Paul Salsini’s first work of fiction, The Cielo: A Novel of Wartime Tuscany, was published in 2006 and won First Place in Fiction from both the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. Its sequel, Sparrow’s Revenge: A Novel of Postwar Tuscany, was published in 2008. Dino’s Story: A Novel of 1960s Tuscany, the last of “A Tuscan Trilogy” was published in 2010.

Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer is the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, and the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech. His writings examine a variety of topics, including the power of and reasons for belief systems; the evolution of morality; the development of pseudo-histories and pseudo-sciences; and the study of thought processes. His books include Why People Believe Weird Things (1997), The Science of Good and Evil (2004), Why Darwin Matters (2006), and The Mind of the Market (2008).

Sanvidge Sisters

In Penny Loafers & Bobby Pins, the four Sanvidge sisters, whose birthdates span the Baby Boomer period, present a lively chronicle of growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in a small midwestern town. Each sister writes about the facets of her childhood she remembers best, and their lighthearted stories are illustrated with period photos.

John Toussaint

John Toussaint, MD, is the co-author of On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, which shares the story of how ThedaCare applied lean principles from the manufacturing industry to care delivery.

Michael J. Trinklein

When Michael J. Trinklein moved from Iowa to Idaho, his relatives had a hard time grasping that these were actually different states. He soon learned that many Idahoans wanted to split from their poorly-formed state and create “Lincoln,” America’s 51st state. Fascinated, Trinklein began collecting stories and maps of other statehood hopefuls—the result of his quest is his new book, Lost States.

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has published extensively in all the major genres.

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Albert (AJ) Valente is the author of Rag Paper Manufacturing in the United States, 1801-1900 (2010), which explores the history of the U.S. paper industry. Valente has a long-time interest in paper creation and currently operates a small business dealing in paper restoration.



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.