This year, the Fox Cities Book Festival welcomes back Nickolas Butler, bestselling author of the internationally acclaimed novel Shotgun Lovesongs. Of course, this isn’t the only thing he’s published. His most recent novel The Hearts of Men, which was just published this year, has already been listed for two prestigious literary awards in France. It garnered a fabulous review in the New York Times. In addition to his short story collection, Beneath the Bonfire, his work has also appeared in places like Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Lumberyard, The Christian Science Monitor, Narrative, Sixth Finch, and other literary publications.

His newest work is based on meat-stained journals from when he worked at an Oscar Mayer plant in Madison. The Meat Diaries: An Interactive Memoir is a book in interactive digital form. Butler has won several awards, including the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award, the 2014 Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, the 2015 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award, the 2015 UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award, and has been listed for many others!

Though born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he was raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and still lives near the area today with his wife and two children. He often says that he is very proud of his Wisconsin roots, and this fact is clearly evidenced in his writing, much of which is set northwestern Wisconsin. In a recent interview, when asked about his future writing projects, Butler replied, “I do have plans to write a book outside of Wisconsin, yes, certainly, though honestly, I don’t know when that will happen – maybe three books down the road. I’m really very proud of being from Wisconsin and so, I’m happy to continue writing about my home. I like the idea of Wisconsin as central locus, or pivot point to my career.”

Many of you may remember him from the 2015 Fox Cities Book Festival, and this year, we have the privilege of welcoming him back for our 10th anniversary. Be sure to visit Nickolas Butler’s website and find him on Facebook and Goodreads. And don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of his latest book. You can purchase it off of his website here.

Or stay tuned to learn more about our upcoming scavenger hunt! You might be able to “find” a free copy of HEARTS OF MEN somewhere in the Fox Cities soon!