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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Wisconsin Book Festival announces 22nd annual Fall Celebration author lineup

More than 50 authors to speak between Oct. 19-22
Ava McNarney

Wisconsin Book Festival Director Jane Rotonda announced the authors and selected readings for the 2023 Wisconsin Book Festival Fall Celebration Author Reveal Party at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C in downtown Madison on Thursday.

This year’s author lineup promises the upcoming four-day event will cover a lot of ground.

The 22nd annual Fall Celebration will bring over 50 authors to speak at Central Library and other locations in Madison from Oct. 19-22. Like other speaker spotlights the festival hosts throughout the year, the entire event is free and open to the public.


Each featured author will speak about their latest published works, many being Wisconsin natives. Rotonda said while the entirety of this year’s diverse lineup is strong, there are definitely some highlights.

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To kick off the long weekend, Rotonda advised festival-goers to check out Craig Thompson’s reading from his non-fiction comic “Ginseng Roots” on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m at Central Library. The book explores author Thompson’s early life on a rural ginseng farm in central Wisconsin.

The lineup Oct. 20 offers several STEM-related readings, with tech journalist Rebecca Fannin speaking on her novel “Silicon Heartland” at 4 p.m. and Dan Egan, author of “The Devil’s Element” speaking at 5 p.m. in the Discovery Building.

A remarkable 28 authors will speak Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m at various locations.

“Pack plenty of snacks and wear comfortable shoes!” Rotonda said.

Rotonda guided attendees toward José Olivarez’s reading from “Promises of Gold” on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Central Library. She said Olivarez’s poetry collection is celebrated for its “illuminations of life and love.”

The Fall Celebration will come to a close with seven authors speaking throughout the morning and early afternoon Sunday.

Rotonda said she’s grateful there are so many people in the Madison community helping ensure this year’s event is a success.

“You’re all dedicated and inspired book lovers … who could ask for anything more?” Rotonda said.

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The Wisconsin Book Festival is presented by the Madison Public Library in partnership with the Madison Public Library Foundation, which supports Madison’s libraries and other events like the festival.

Many attendees of the author reveal party have volunteered for the Foundation and spoke highly of their experiences helping out with festival events and working at various Madison libraries.

Foundation volunteer Sarah Day said the Fall Celebration is one of her favorite Madison events.

“It’s one of the highlights of the fall, being able to see different authors from across the country and have intimate conversations with them,” Day said. “It’s a joyful experience that Madison should be really proud of.”

The entire Fall Celebration lineup is available on the Wisconsin Book Festival website.

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