Fort Collins Book Festival Announces 2018 Lineup Featuring More than 40 Authors, Scientists, and Storytellers
Lineup Presents Andy Weir, Bill Ritter Jr., Kimiko Hahn, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, and More
Poudre River Public Library District is excited to announce the 2018 Fort Collins Book Festival author and presenter lineup. This year’s festival, The Big Think, features more than 40 renowned writers, scientists, and storytellers including Kimiko Hahn, Fort Collins Poet Laureate Natalie Giarratano, Eric Magrane, Michael McLane, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Todd Mitchell, and more. The 2018 Book Fest takes place Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20 at venues throughout downtown Fort Collins.
Award-winning poet Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine collections of poetry including Brain Fever and Toxic Flora, both of which were prompted by fields of science. Hahn currently serves as President of the Board for The Poetry Society of America and is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, The City University of New York.
Fort Collins Poet Laureate Natalie Giarratano will present selections from her most recent work, Big Thicket Blues and her award-winning debut, Leaving Clean. Giarratano will be joined by Colorado poets Bill Tremblay and Abigail Chabitnoy and by Texas Poet Laureate Jenny Browne.
Eric Magrane won the 2015 Southwest Book of the Year Award and a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide. He is a poet, cultural geographer, and founding editor of Spiral Orb, an experiment in permaculture poetics. Magrane will participate in a panel discussion on Earth’s sustainability and will lead the “Walking and Writing Place” field trip with Michael McLane that focuses on walking as a means of thinking and writing. McLane is the author of the book Trace Elements and is an editor with Sugar Hosue Review and saltfront: studies in human habit(at). He also serves as director of the both the Utah Center for the Book at Utah Humanities and the annual Utah Humanities Book Festival.
Multimedia artist, composer, and author Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky will present The Imaginary App, a sweeping work that explores the cultural and technological shifts that have accompanied the emergence of the mobile app. Miller is the 2017-2018 recipient of The Hewlett 50 Arts Commission Award which supports the creation of “Sonic Web,” a multimedia performance and an installation based on the history and evolution of the internet.
Colorado Book Award winner Todd Mitchell will host a writing workshop aimed at science fiction and fantasy writers and participate in a panel discussion with fellow writers and scientists that examines the role and impact of science fiction stories and topics in driving scientific advancement. Mitchell’s book The Last Panther won a 2018 Colorado Book Award and a Colorado Author’s League Book Award, and was named 2018 Green Earth Honor Book.
The Big Think features a diverse array of topics, genres, and writers including poets and bestselling authors of fiction and nonfiction. The two-day event includes previously announced authors Andy Weir, Bill Ritter Jr., Dr. Sheila Rowan, Dr. Adam Becker, Michael Benson, Dr. Amanda Hendrix, Richard Munson, Carolyn Collins Petersen, and Sam Kean.
“We’re honored to welcome so many amazing authors, scientists, and big thinkers to Fort Collins,” says Anne Macdonald, Fort Collins Book Festival Director and librarian at Poudre River Public Library District. “The diverse topics presented at this year’s book fest are among the most exciting and distinctive ones we’ve offer yet. There’s sure to be something of interest to everyone.”
The Fort Collins Book Festival kicks off on Friday with six writing workshops at Old Town Library taught by experienced authors like John Calderazzo, Teresa Funke, April Moore, Jenny Browne and Todd Mitchell. Writing workshops are free but require registration. That evening, the special All-Star Poets reading at Downtown Artery will feature award-winning poets David Axelrod and Kimiko Hahn.
Saturday is the main day of the festival and includes more than 40 authors and presenters participating in 30 panel discussions, book talks, readings, presentations, and more.
Local author SueEllen Campbell will present her book The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture and will participate in a panel discussion about the communication challenges and opportunities for engaging the public in the fields of science.
Writers Matthew Cooperman and Aby Kaupang will present their newly-published book, NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified), and share their experiences following their daughter’s diagnosis of autism and their journey of affection, affliction, love, and protection. The authors will also join Colorado writers Jeffery Pethybridge and Carolina Ebeid in a discussion of how trauma has affected their mind, body, and writing craft in therapeutic and subversive ways.
Popular local author Sasha Steensen partners with WILLA Award finalist Jodi Varon, author of Drawing to an Inside Straight: The Legacy of an Absent Father, and poet David Axelrod to explore how writers shape the energy and argument of their work from an intimacy shared with all lifeforms.
The authors, scientists, and storytellers participating in The Big Think also include up-and-coming Colorado writers, enabling the festival to connect attendees to their favorite writers and introduce them to new ones.
The Fort Collins Book Festival is produced by Poudre River Public Library District in partnership with CSU Morgan Library. The event is offered free to the community through the support and generosity of the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, the City of Fort Collins Office of Economic Health, Colorado Creative Industries, CSU Office of External Affairs, Associate Students of Colorado State University, Bohemian Foundation, Poudre River Friends of the Library, Downtown Development Authority, KUNC, The Colorado Sound, Front Range Community College, Poudre River Library Trust, Rocky Mountain Student Media (including KCSU 90.5FM, Rocky Mountain Collegian and CTV Channel 11), Downtown Fort Collins Creative District, Liggett Johnson & Goodman, First National Bank, Northern Colorado Writers, Woodward Inc., Happy Lucky’s Teahouse, and other local businesses and creative arts organizations.