Please Take Our Festival Survey

Thank you to everyone who came out for the 2018 Fort Collins Book Festival! Please take a moment to complete our brief online survey. Your responses and suggestions help us continue to improve the festival and to secure future funding so we can keep the event going for free. All responses are anonymous.

The survey will be open until November 20, 2018.

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 & Self-Publishing Workshops Announced

Participate in writing workshops and self-publishing seminars designed to broaden your writing and encourage creativity. Learn how to develop your character’s voice and dialogue, advance your poetry, write scientific articles, create compelling sci-fi, and more.

Due to the popularity of the FoCo Book Fest, we’ve added an entire day of writing workshops and self-publishing seminars so attendees can participate in writing classes and also enjoy a day of author presentations, panel discussions, and readings.

All workshops take place Friday, October 19 at Old Town Library.

Workshops are free but require registration since space is limited. You must be age 16+ to register. Registration opens on October 1 at 10:00 AM.

Learn more about the workshops and how to register by visiting our Writing Workshops page.

Priority Signing for “An Evening with Andy Weir” Available

Calling all Martians! Old Firehouse Books, the official bookseller of the Fort Collins Book Festival, is offering priority signing at “An Evening with Andy Weir” on Saturday, October 20.

The first 35 people to donate $25 to the Book Festival, via Old Firehouse Books, get Priority Signing! This means you’ll be the first in line to meet Andy and get your books signed. You won’t have to wait in what’s sure to be a long signing line.

“An Evening with Andy Weir” book talk and signing is Saturday, October 20, at CSU Lory Student Center. Doors open at 4:30PM. His presentation gets underway at 5:30PM.

Questions? Contact Old Firehouse Books at 970-484-7898.

Bill Ritter Jr. to Present Opening Keynote at Fort Collins Book Festival

Clean energy expert, author of “Powering Forward,” and former Colorado Governor to discuss the energy transition in America toward decarbonization

(FORT COLLINS, Colo., Sept. 12, 2018) — Poudre River Public Library District today announced that Bill Ritter, Jr., a clean energy expert, author, and former Colorado Governor, will present the opening keynote at the free 2018 Fort Collins Book Festival, The Big Think. His presentation, “The Energy Transition in America,” will focus on why states, local governments, and businesses continue toward decarbonization.

Ritter’s keynote presentation and audience discussion is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. at Block One Events*. A book signing will follow hosted by Old Firehouse Books, the official bookseller of the festival.

Following the morning keynote, Ritter will participate in a discussion on human ingenuity and innovation from 11:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Powerhouse. He will be joined by author Richard Munson (Tesla: Inventor of the Modern), Colorado State University professor Ellen Brinks, local artist-inventor Jennifer Spencer, and others.

“We are very excited to have Bill Ritter opening the book fest this year. His passion for clean energy solutions, from as far back as when he was Colorado’s governor, has made a significant impact on energy innovation and advocacy in our region,” says Anne Macdonald, director of Fort Collins Book Festival and librarian at Poudre River Public Library District.

Bill Ritter, Jr. is the founder and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University. The Center works directly with governors, legislators, regulators, planners, policymakers, and other decision makers. It provides technical assistance to help officials create the policies and practices that will facilitate America’s transition to a clean-energy economy. Ritter authored the 2016 book Powering Forward – What Everyone Should Know About America’s Energy Revolution. He is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation and a senior fellow and member of the board of directors of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. Ritter previously served as Colorado’s 41st governor.

Festival Venues Announced

We’re taking over some of the coolest Old Town Fort Collins venues for the 2018 book fest! We’re excited to partner once again with Downtown Artery, Old Firehouse Books, Old Town Library, and Wolverine Farm Publick House. Each of these organizations has been an important part of the FoCo Book Fest since the inaugural event in 2016.

We also return to Block One Events and New Belgium Brewing for author talks, panel presentations, and other special activities.

With the focus on science and technology this year, we’ve added a few new venues that we think you’ll be excited to visit: Art Lab Fort Collins, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, the CSU Powerhouse, and Lory Student Center on CSU’s main campus.