Book Festival Archives - 2010 - 2015

Book Festival Archive Post.

2014 Authors

Matthew Batt

Matthew Batt is the author of Sugarhouse, a nonfiction account of renovating a Salt Lake City crack house--and his life along with it. He's the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation.

Mary Bergin

Mary Bergin is a lifelong professional journalist who worked for 20 years at The Capital Times, Madison, as an editor and writer. Her first newspaper job was at the Oshkosh Northwestern.

Since 2002, she has written and syndicated a weekly travel column called "Roads Traveled" that is sold to daily newspapers in Wisconsin and, occasionally, the Chicago Tribune. Her areas of specialty are travel and food writing, especially in the Midwest.

Scott Dominic Carpenter

Raised in the US and the UK, Scott Dominic Carpenter teaches literature and writing at Carleton College (MN) and with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. He is the author of a novel, Theory of Remainders (named to Kirkus Reviews' "Best Books of 2013") and a collection of short stories, This Jealous Earth (called a "Best Book of 2012" by New Podler Review).


Fabu, as Fabu Phillis Carter is professionally known, is a poet, columnist, storyteller, and educator. She was the third Madison Poet Laureate, serving 2008 through 2011. As a literary artist, she creates and shares writing that reflects her life spent in Memphis, Tennessee, Nairobi, Kenya, and Madison, Wisconsin. She explains that she writes and works "to encourage, inspire and remind."

Erin Celello

Erin Celello is the author of two novels, Miracle Beach and, most recently, Learning to Stay. Learing to Stay, told from the wife's point of view, examines the cost of war to veterans and their families even after the soldiers return home. Kirkus Reviews called the book, "Alternately heartbreaking and heartwarming."

Rick Chrustowski

Rick Chrustowski grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana, in a house that was the rowdiest one in his whole neighborhood. With six kids in the family, he is number five. Even though the kids were different ages, they still played together, got into fights, and helped each other out of jams. Name any type of kid, and they probably had it covered: cheerleader, jock, computer geek, social butterfly, trombone player. Chrustowski emerged as the artist of the family, because he drew constantly.

"Tavern League" book cover

Award-winning photographer Carl Corey has exhibited widely in solo and group shows in the United States and abroad. His work has been featured in several of photography’s most prestigious periodicals including Communication Arts, Columbia Journalism Review and Visual Communication Quarterly.

Kambri Crews

Kambri Crews once lived with her deaf parents in a tin shed in Montgomery, Texas. She now owns and operates Ballyhoo Promotions, a PR and production company in New York City specializing in stand up comedy. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Burn Down the Ground (Random House) and a renowned storyteller.

Sean Davis

On September 12, 2001, a year and a half after finishing his military service, Sean Davis strolled into the Oregon National Guard’s recruiting office and re-enlisted. After dropping out of art school and working a dead-end government job, September 11 gave him a new sense of purpose and direction.

Ugly...But Funny book cover

Born July 15, 1940, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Laurence Dunn spent two years in the U.S. Army from August 1959 to August 1961. He graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology. He worked 34 years in business management and sales.

Kathleen Ernst

Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes award-winning mysteries and historical fiction for both adults and young readers. Her interest in history as well as her experiences working at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor ethnic museum, influenced her creation of the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery series.

Ron Faiola

Ron Faiola is an author and filmmaker who has produced and directed numerous critically acclaimed documentaries. His documentary Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old Fashioned Experience aired on PBS and has received high praise. A Chicago Tribune review called the film "compelling [and] delightful" and an "important documentary."

Abby Frucht

Abby Frucht's new collection of stories, The Bell at the End of a Rope, was published a year and a half ago by Narrative Library. She is the author of five novels including SNAP, Licorice, Are You Mine?, Life Before Death, and Polly's Ghost.

Peter Geye

Peter Geye is the award-winning author of the novels Safe From the Sea (2010) and The Lighthouse Road (2012). Geye is known for writing that is detail rich and evokes both time and place.

Bill Gillard

Bill Gillard is a refugee from the high cost of living in his ancestral homeland of New Jersey. He lives in Appleton, Wisconsin, teaches creative writing at University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, and considers Doctor Who in front of a hot fire on a cold night a romantic date.

Henry Golde is an experienced speaker known for using humor to enliven his stories and make them accessible to audiences.

Golde was just 11 years old when German soldiers separated him from his family in Poland. He spent the next five years in 10 different concentration camps, enduring illness, work camps, and death all around him.

Carrie Gruman-Trinkner

Local author Carrie T. Gruman-Trinkner began writing as a child, publishing her first work in 5th grade. She has since published in several major magazines, internationally, and has several books under both her name and her pen name. Gruman-Trinkner currently freelances as a theater critic for the Post-Crescent in Appleton. Her writing has won her the Parent-Patient Leadership Award from the National Cleft-Palate Association, Audience Favorite at the Wega Arts One Act Play Festival for her original play, The Bench, the Silver Pen Award, and various other awards.

Nicholas Hoffman

Nicholas J. Hoffman is Chief Curator at the History Museum at the Castle in Appleton, Wisconsin. He has written articles for the Journal of American History, Voyageur Magazine, and Wisconsin Magazine of History. His lifelong interest in Midwest history inspired him to complete a master's in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jeffrey Johannes

Jeffrey Johannes is a poet and artist. His poetry has been widely published in journals and anthologies, including Modern HaikuNimrodSimul, and English Journal. He was the winner of the 2012 Hal Grutzmacher Poetry Award, and his artwork and poetry have won awards in juried shows and contests.

Lauren Kessler

Lauren Kessler is an award-winning author, (semi) fearless immersion reporter, and self-designated guinea pig journalist who combines lively narrative with deep research to explore everything from the wild, wild west of the anti-aging movement to the stormy seas of the mother-daughter relationship.

Lisa Klarner

Lisa Klarner has bravely taken her experiences with social anxiety and written a book that offers hope and strategies for others living with shyness or social anxiety disorder (SAD). In Releasing the Secret Pain: Moving Beyond Social Anxiety Disorder (2012), Klarner describes her life as the disorder progressed and outlines the steps she took to make her life better.

C. Kubasta

A Wisconsin native, C. Kubasta attended Wells College and received an MFA in poetry from The University of Notre Dame. She likes to think of her poetry as a hybrid of creative and critical work, and makes extensive use of excerpted text, producing metatextual poems that engage the reader in questions of language, gender, and memory.

Torbjörn Lahti is trained as an urban planner, and over the past thirty years has worked locally and globally in sustainable development. Initiator and former coordinator of Sweden’s national association of eco-municipalities (Sekom), he is author of the soon-to-be released book, My Journey with the Ecomunicipalities: How to Change the World through Local Action (Campus REDesign, 2012). Torbjörn also authored the theory booklet “Grounding the vision: The Eco-Municipality Education Guide” and co-authored with Sarah James The Natural Step for Communities - How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices (New Society Publishers, 2004).

Ernesto Livorni

Ernesto Livorni is a poet, translator, editor, and educator. He is Professor of Italian Language and Literature, and Affiliate of Comparative Literature, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His scholarly publications include Avanguardia e tradizione: Ezra Pound e Giuseppe Ungaretti (1998) and T. S. Eliot, Montale e la modernità dantesca (forthcoming).

Bruce Machart

Bruce Machart is the author of the award-winning novel, The Wake of Forgiveness (2010), and the collection of short stories, Men in the Making (2011), both published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Reviewers have called The Wake of Forgiveness mesmerizing, evocative, and a dazzling tale of retribution, redemption, and morality.

Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide. Macomber brings to life the compelling relationships that embrace family, community and enduring friendships, filling her readers with a sense of love and hope.

Marnie Mamminga

Marnie O. Mamminga was born and raised in the Chicago area. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she earned undergraduate and master's degrees in English. Over the years, Mamminga raised three sons, taught junior high and high school English, and worked as a freelance writer and columnist.

Halimah Marcus

Halimah Marcus is the co-editor of Electric Literature, an innovative digital publisher based out of Brooklyn, New York, and its weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading. Recommended Reading is a unique online literary magazine that publishes a piece of fiction chosen by today's top writers and editors.

Barbara Miner

Barbara Miner is the author of Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century of Public Education in an Iconic American City (2013), which looks at Milwaukee's public school system and efforts at desegregation. The book won the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, given annually by New Press to celebrate authors "who share Studs Terkel's commitment to exploring aspects of America that are underrepresented by mainstream media."

Tom Mosgaller

Tom Mosgaller is a long-time community organizer and community development professional who is committed to assisting communities, organizations, and individuals come together to create excellent spaces in which to work and live.

A faculty member of Northwestern University’s Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, Mosgaller promotes concepts discussed in the books Building Communities from the Inside Out and The Abundant Community.

Cristina M. R. Norcross

Cristina M. R. Norcross is the author of Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art (2007), The Red Drum (2008, 2013), Unsung Love Songs (2010) and The Lava Storyteller (2013). Her works appear in North American and international journals, such as The Toronto Quarterly, Red Cedar, Your Daily Poem and The Nervous Breakdown.

Mariette Nowak

Mariette Nowak is the author of the book Birdscaping in the Midwest: A Guide to Gardening with Native Plants to Attract Birds. Nowak is also the past director of the Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County, where she served for 18 years. In addition, she is Founder and President of the Kettle Moraine Chapter of the Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes.

Paddy O'Brien and Erin Hart

Erin Hart and Paddy O'Brien are an accomplished creative duo and have received accolades from around the world for their writing and music.

Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is the author of the novels Red Moon and The Wilding as well as the two short story collections Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His novel Red Moon, hailed as a "literary horror story," has a complex plot and vivid writing. The epic story focuses on werewolf-human interactions, acts of terrorism, and issues of identity and family--among other things.

Gae Polisner is a young adult and women’s fiction writer whose second YA novel The Summer of Letting Go releases March 25, 2014. In 1995, she set out to write a book, not knowing if she actually could; since then Gae has completed at least five full manuscripts.

Hillary Reynolds Band

Appleton, Wisconsin, native Hillary Reynolds leads the award-winning Hillary Reynolds Band, known for its tight vocal harmonies and innovative music. Hillary attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music where she met her future bandmates: Jeff Hale, Trevor Jarvis, Connor Reese, and Chris Mewhinney. The Band has been together since 2009 and has toured across the country, playing at locations such as Chicago's Elbo Room, NYC's The Bitter End, and even on the Fox 11 morning show "Good Day Wisconsin."

David Rhodes

David Rhodes has received national acclaim for all of his novels, the most recent of which is Jewelweed (2013). This story centers on the small town of Word, Wisconsin, and a number of characters who are trying to come to grips with their problems and make their way in the community. A Booklist review described the work as a “many-faceted novel of profound dilemmas, survival, and gratitude.”

Gayle Rosengren

Gayle Rosengren graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, with honors in Philosophy and Creative Writing and went to work in advertising. But she never outgrew her love of children’s books and eventually found her way to a job as a youth services librarian.

Kurtis Scaletta

Kurtis Scaletta is the author of four novels for young readers: Mudville (2009), Mamba Point (2010), The Tanglewood Terror (2011), and The Winter of the Robots (2013), all published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. He is also the author of the Topps League series, illustrated by Eric Wight and Ethen Beavers, and published by Abrams Amulet.

Gavin Schmitt

Gavin Schmitt is a Fox Cities native, having resided in Kaukauna for three decades. His books include Milwaukee Mafia and Kaukauna, both part of the Images of America series. These books explore aspects of Wisconsin history through collections of remarkable historic photographs and essays that shed light on a fascinating past.

Shawn Sheehy

Shawn Sheehy is a pop-up book artist whose work is a unique blending of image, message, and structure. He combines paper engineering with his interest in biology and cultural evolution to produce limited-edition pop-up books. His artist books are inspired by the dynamic ecologies that operate in both wild and cultured environments.

Kathy Stewart

Registered Nurse Kathy Stewart has over 30 years of clinical experience, primarily in university and medical center settings. Her diverse clinical experience in renal, neurology, rehabilitation, oncology and geriatrics, prepared her for tackling the care required for the Assisted Living setting.

Harvey Taylor

Harvey Taylor is a member of the Earth Poets & Musicians performance ensemble, peace activist, music and writing teacher, avid gardener, and part-time crane operator at the port of Milwaukee. Taylor calls himself an obsessive writer of poems and songs, morphing into compulsive music composer, CD and video producer, and photographer.

Dennis Trittin

Dennis Trittin is a native of Kimberly, Wisconsin. He spent 27 years as a senior executive for Russell Investments where he helped to grow the firm’s assets from $1 billion to $220 billion. Now "retired," Trittin devotes his life to charitable causes, specifically to helping young people prepare for success.

Miss Mary and Friends

Mary Vander Sanden--known as Miss Mary--is a local author and Library Assistant at the Kaukauna Public Library. Miss Mary has worked at the library for eight years in the children's department, performing story times and teaching homeschool nature journaling classes.

Moises Villavicencio Barras

Moises Villavicencio Barras is a Mexican poet, translator, fiction writer, and co-founder of Cantera Verde, a magazine that has been one of the most significant literary publications in Mexico for the last twenty years. His first book of poetry May among Voices (Mayo entre Voces) was published in 2001. His poetry has been selected for several Mexican anthologies, magazines, and CDs.

Larry Watson

Larry Watson is the author of Montana 1948, Orchard, American Boy, Let Him Go, and other novels. Let Him Go (Milkweed Editions, 2013) has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. The novel was named one of the "Ten Titles to Pick Up Now" by O: The Oprah Magazine in September 2013.

Wendy Webb

Wendy Webb is the bestselling and award-winning author of three novels of gothic suspense: The Tale of the Halcyon Crane (2010), The Fate of Mercy Alban (2013), and The Vanishing (2014). Her stories normally involve old mansions, long-buried family secrets, and strong heroines.

Mary Wehner

Mary Wehner is a poet and painter who lives on the shores of Lake Winnebago. She is a founding member of The Fond du Lac Arts Council, the Windhover Center for the Arts, and the Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective.

Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap

Wendy Welch and her husband, Scottish folksinger Jack Beck, own and operate Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Books in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Her book The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap is a memoir about creating and running their bookstore business.

Geof White began working when he was 14 years old for $3.35/hour. When he graduated from high school four years later, he was earning $50/hour and paid for his college degree from Michigan State University by working for himself cleaning windows. 

Heather Whittaker

Heather Whittaker began writing simply to challenge herself during a time when her life lacked direction. Unemployed and looking for a creative outlet, she found that writing presented her with the opportunity to learn and grow.

Tall Poppy Writers

The Tall Poppy Writers (TPW) is a community of women writers dedicated to uniting smart readers and smart authors.

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.