Twin Cities Book Festival
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Progress Center, Minnesota State Fairgrounds
2012 Twin Cities Book Festival
The 12th-annual Twin Cities Book Festival is in the books! On Saturday, October 13, 2012, more than 5,200 book aficionados came to the Progress Center at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to experience a day of readings, discussions, and literary community. With a new, bigger location, the Book Festival expanded its programming, but the mainstays were the same: a bustling exhibit floor, a lively Children’s Pavilion, as well as featured presentations from some of the world’s finest writers. Read about it below!
The heart of the Book Festival is always the exhibit floor, where exhibitors display and sell their wares and chat with attendees. This year saw a record number of publishers, literary organizations, and magazines with specials, giveaways, and drawings for prizes—120 exhibitors in all. Dozens of local authors signed copies of their books at publisher tables, some new faces joined our used bookseller area, and our exhibiting author portion of the book fair featured award-winning poets, novelists, essayists, and comics artists.
Featured Authors, Showcases, and Panel Discussions
Graphic novelist Chris Ware presents his new work Building Stories
This year’s featured programming was among the finest in TCBF history. Poet heavyweights Sharon Olds and Gerald Stern, comics guru Chris Ware, experimental novelist Mark Z. Danielewski, best-selling author Susan Isaacs, collectors of “the weird” Jeff and Ann Vandermeer, scholar and activist Kate Bornstein, and Canadian naturalist Candace Savage all graced our stages!
In addition, this year the Festival added two Fiction Showcases: the YA Fiction Showcase co-sponsored by the Loft Literary Center and featuring Bree Despain, Amanda Hocking, Anne Greenwood Brown, and Anna Waggener, as well as the World Fiction Showcase, co-sponsored by Macalester College Department of English, and featuring Jennifer Miller, James Kilgore, Eduardo Halfon, and Tamara Faith Berger.
The Twin Cities Book Festival tradition of informative and engaging panel discussion continued in 2012 with Steph Opitz of CLMP moderating the Book Publicity: Basics and Beyond panel, featuring Stephanie Curtis, Jocelyn Hale, Jerrold Jenkins, and Lorna Landvik, and Harvard Professor Stephen Burt moderating the Queer Minnesota: The State of LGBT Writing panel, co-sponsored by mnartists.org, which included Raymond Luczak, John Medeiros, Catherine Lundoff, and Rachel Gold.
Books for featured events were sold by our good friends at Magers and Quinn Booksellers!
photo by Kelly Everding
David LaRochelle reads from It's a tiger!
With more authors than ever before, the Children’s Pavilion was hopping with happy kids! Sponsored by MELSA—An Alliance of Metro Public Libraries, the Pavilion programming included children’s authors Molly Beth Griffin, Will Alexander, David LaRochelle, Nancy Carlson, Sarah Warren, Ryan Jacobson, Sid Farrar, Tim Kehoe, Samuel Hiti, Kevin Kling and Chris Monroe, Barbara DaCosta, and Mick Carlon. Musical entertainers the Splatter Sisters, Filibert Binkleby and the Travelers, and Steve Faison kept the kids buzzing between readings, and a whole slew of crafts and activities from MCBA, Minnesota Children’s Museum, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, the Como Zoo, the Children’s Theater Company, and MacPhail Center for Music made the Children’s Pavilion a highlight for younger readers.
Books for the Children’s Pavilion were sold by our good friends at Red Balloon Bookshop!
In the Local Lit Lounge, attendees had a chance to catch up with favorite local authors who had books released within the past year: Julie Schumacher, Greta Oglesby, Martin Kihn, Matt Batt, Doug Mack, Margi Preus, William Souder, John Brandon, Ann Bauer, Kathleen Jesme, Lara Avery, Jeffrey Pilcher, Mary Losure, and Robert Grunst. Toward the end of the day, visiting authors Cheryl Strayed and Richard and Kate Russo came by to sit for a spell and sign books as well! Books for authors in our Local Lit Lounge were sold by our good friends at Common Good Books.
Attendees were also invited to swing by the Coffee House Press-sponsored Read This! booth, where “The Bookseller was IN” all day long. Booksellers from across the Twin Cities took a shift at the desk, providing recommendations to eager readers. And nearby, inspired writers could drop off their writings in the first-ever Firecracker Mailbox, where work will be considered for a literary magazine composed entirely of the day’s submissions!
As always, Rain Taxi’s Used Book Sale and CLMP’s Literary Magazine Fair sent hundreds of buyers home with great deals. Got books to donate for next year’s sale? Contact us at bookfest[at]raintaxi.com!
photo by Pamela Klinger-Horn
Candace Savage, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Tamara Faith Berger
Not content with one kick-off, we had two! On Thursday night, in collaboration with our good friends at the Walker Art Center, we presented Social/Brief, an evening of brevity and levity: nearly 100 local writers showed up to read short poems open mic style over beverages and snacks. And on Friday, the Festival’s Opening Night Party was held at the book-friendly offices of Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, where local supporters of Rain Taxi got a chance to hobnob with visiting authors. Thanks to the Walker and to Consortium for their support!
As always, we couldn’t put on the Festival without a lot of support—see our list of sponsors HERE. If YOU want to become a Local Supporter of Rain Taxi and help us get next year’s Twin Cities Book Festival off the ground, please donate now!