2018 Fort Collins Book Fest Lineup Announced

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.

Writing Workshops Pre-Registration Open

What’s a book festival without the opportunity to learn the craft of writing from authors themselves? We have three exciting writing workshops scheduled at Old Town Library during the festival on Saturday, October 21.

Participants in the workshops must register in advance since space is limited.

  • Register online: Poudre River Public Library District’s Calendar of Events
  • Register by phone: 970-221-6740


Learn more about each of the writing workshops:

Finding the Story You Need to Write: Nonfiction Writing Workshop with John Calderazzo

From Flat to Round to Lumpy: How to Weird Up Your Short Story Characters with Susan Ring deRosset

Opening the Poem: A Workshop for Readers and Writers with Sasha Steensen

PLUS: One-on-One Publishing Consulting with Teresa Funke (registration by phone only, 970-221-6740)


Author Lineup Sneak Peek Continues

Okay, quick recap of where we are with the 2017 FoCo Book Fest author lineup.

Exciting featured authors Kim Gordon, G. Brown, Steve Knopper, Craig Werner, and Khadijah Queen.


Amazing Colorado poets including Chloe Leisure, Aby Kaupang, Bill Tremblay, and Lisa Zimmerman.


Now, we’re excited to announce more great authors joining us at #FoCoBookFest Writings and Riffs. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Mark Pedelty is an author, professor, and Fellow at the Institute on the Environment. His most recent book is A Song to Save the Salish Sea: Musical Performance as Environmental Activism.

Journalist Stephen Witt is the author of How Music Got Free: the End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy, the definitive history of digital music piracy.

Rick Beyer is a best-selling author, award-winning documentary producer, and long-time history enthusiast. His most recent book is Rivals Unto Death: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. He’s also the author of The Greatest Music Stories Never Told.

Professor Kip Lornell is an award-winning author of 14 books focused on various topics in American vernacular music, with books about Texas Blues and D.C. Bluegrass slated for publication in 2018. He’s a Grammy winner for program notes for Anthology of American Folk Music and is the co-editor of The Music of Multicultural America along with our next author, Anne Rasmussen.

Anne Rasmussen is a professor of music and ethnomusicology and the director of the Middle Eastern Music Ensemble at the College of William and Mary. She recently authored Women, the Recited Qur’an and Islamic Music in Indonesia.

Colorado musician, singer-songwriter, and author Rick Roberts has written two recent books: Lame Brain: My Journey Back to Myself and a collection of stories from his musical career, Song Stories and Other Left-Handed Recollections.

More information about each of these authors and presenters can be found on our Speakers page.

Stay tuned for more additions to the festival!

More Featured Authors Announced

Last week, we announced the headlining author at this year’s FoCo Book Fest: author-musician-artist, Kim Gordon!

This week, we want to tease out a few more featured presenters who’ve joined our lineup. We’re excited to have them participate in Writings and Riffs and can’t wait until October 21!

Drum roll please….

G. Brown is a Colorado guy who’s not only an author but is the founding director of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. His most recent book is Red Rocks: The Concert Years. G is going to talk about the Colorado music scene, share stories, & discuss his favorite books.

Steve Knopper might be best known as a contributing editor to Rolling Stone Magazine, but he also has some serious book cred including MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson and Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age. Look for Steve throughout the book festival talking about the King of Pop, favorite books, & other fascinating topics.

Khadijah Queen is our featured poet who also happens to be a playwright, novelist, and faculty member for the new Mile-High MFA in Creative Writing at Regis University. Her most recent novel is I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On. Khadijah will be joining a few different panel discussions during the festival & reading her poetry.

Craig Werner returns to Fort Collins to talk about his forthcoming book, a history of the 1960s told through music. If you had the chance to see him present on the music of the Vietnam War a few years ago, then you know how engaging and interesting Craig is. He also serves on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee.

And more…

We’re not done yet — there’s still a list of local and national authors we’re working with to round out the FoCo Book Festival. We’ll continue to announce more participants and roll-out the day-long festival schedule, so stay tuned.

Be sure to follow us on social and use #FoCoBookFest to grab our attention!

Kim Gordon’s Coming! #FoCoBookFest

Sonic Youth Musician, Visual Artist, and Author Joins Writings and Riffs

We’re excited to share that Kim Gordon, rocker, writer, artist, and all around bada$! is headlining the 2nd Annual Fort Collins Book Fest on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

Kim Gordon is the first of a wide selection of authors and presenters to be announced. She’ll discuss her New York Times bestselling memoir, Girl in a Band, and participate in panel discussions. Book purchases and signings will follow hosted by Old Firehouse Books.

The day-long event is FREE, open to the public, and will include awesome presentations, panel discussions, writing workshops, author readings, book signings, & much more.

Stay tuned for more announcements about festival presenters, classes & workshops, lead-up activities, and more!

“We’re thrilled with the success of last year’s Fort Collins Book Festival and programs, and we’re looking forward to another exciting festival this year. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience from their favorite authors how books and music are flip sides of the same artistic coin,” says Anne Macdonald, festival co-founder and librarian at Poudre River Public Library District.

#FoCoBookFest #FoCoBooks