Saturday, October 13, 2012
10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Progress Center building

As always, we’re proud to introduce Twin Cities readers to a variety of authors from here and around the writing world! Below are some of our feature author presentations. Stay tuned for panels, showcases, children's authors and more!

* Starred events will be ASL interpreted. Click here for the ASL flyer!

author presentations | panels & showcases | Schedule | back to Main Festival Page


photo by Barbara Carellas


Kate Bornstein has been publishing award-winning books in the field of gender studies for nearly twenty years. Her latest book, A Queer and Pleasant Danger (Beacon), is a memoir that relates “the true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today.” Her 2006 book, Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws, garnered praise from civil rights groups around the globe. Bornstein's books include the influential 1994 text Gender Outlaws and have been taught in five languages in more than 200 colleges and universities around the world. She lives in New York City with her girlfriend, three cats, two dogs, and one turtle.
(3:30 pm, Rain Room)

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photo by Emman Montalvan


A graduate of the Yale school of English Literature, Mark Z. Danielewski is widely acclaimed for his inventiveness in utilizing new modes of storytelling. Danielewski earned a devoted following for his thrilling, bestselling novel House of Leaves (2000). Only Revolutions (2006), a second novel presented with two front covers rather than a front and back, could be read in either direction and cemented his reputation as one of literature’s foremost innovators. A previous guest at our Book Festival, Danielewski returns to the Twin Cities to celebrate the release of his novella The Fifty Year Sword, newly published by Pantheon.
(2:30 pm, Rain Room)

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photo by Deborah Feingold


Early in her career, Susan Isaacs worked as an editorial assistant at Seventeen Magazine, writing everything from book reviews to advice to the lovelorn. Since then, she has penned eleven bestselling novels, some of which have been adapted into feature films. A recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award, Isaacs serves on the board of Poets & Writers and is a past president of Mystery Writers of America. Besides writing innumerable book reviews, Isaacs has also written about politics, film and First Amendment issues. She lives on Long Island and comes to the Festival to read from her brand new novel Goldberg Variations (Scribner).
(1:30 pm, Rain Room)

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Sharon Olds is one of contemporary poetry’s leading voices, known for writing intensely personal, emotionally scathing poetry that graphically depicts family life as well as global political events. Her first book, Satan Says, received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award. Her second, The Dead and the Living, was both the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1983 and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Olds teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and helped to found the NYU workshop program for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. She lives in New Hampshire and in New York City, and her latest book is Stag’s Leap (Knopf).
(11:30 am, Rain Room)

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Candace Savage is the author of twenty-nine books in multiple genres, including natural science, cultural history, and children’s books. Her new work, A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape (Greystone Books), examines the history of place, from fossils and wildlife to the stories that haunt us from generation to generation. Born in Alberta, Savage is well known in her home country for contributions to Canadian Geographic Magazine; her many awards include a Nature Book of the Year Award in 2005 for her book Prairie: a Natural History. Savage lives in Saskatchewan and teaches creative writing at St. Peter’s College.
(10:30 am, Rain Room)

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photo by Martin J. Desht


Gerald Stern is among the most accomplished and widely regaled poets working today. He has been given many prestigious awards for his writing, including the 1996 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the 1998 National Book Award for This Time: New and Selected Poems. He was Poet Laureate of New Jersey from 2000 to 2002. Since 2006, Stern has been a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Stern has taught creative writing at Temple University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and New England College, and he is currently the distinguished poet-in-residence at Drew University's low-residency MFA Program in Poetry. His most recent books are the “kind of memoir” Stealing History (Trinity University Press) and the poetry collection In Beauty Bright (Norton), both released this year.
(2:30 pm, Taxi Room)

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Husband-and-wife writing and editing team Jeff and Ann VanderMeer have partnered on such projects as the award-winning Leviathan series, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, and several Steampunk and Best American Fantasy anthologies, among other works. Ann is editor of the venerable horror magazine Weird Tales, and Jeff is the author of the best-selling novel City of Saints and Madmen and other acclaimed works of fiction, for which he has won two World Fantasy Awards. The pair will offer a visual history of their new anthology, The Weird (Tor), which contains memorably macabre musings by Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Michael Chabon, and many other great writers.
(1:30 pm, Taxi Room)

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Chris Ware’s work is widely recognized as among the most important work being done in modern comics. His critically acclaimed series, The Acme Novelty Library, won several comics awards during the 1990s, and provided the source material for Ware’s first graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, which took the publishing world by storm in 2000. His work is often featured in The New Yorker, and he continues to publish The Acme Novelty Library from Chicago, where he lives with his wife Marnie. Ware comes to the Festival to present the inside story of his latest innovative creation, Building Stories, newly published by Pantheon.
(12:30 pm, Taxi Room)

Co-sponsored by The Comic Art Program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

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A smorgasbord of riveting new work by writers from around the globe. Come sample!
(3:30 pm, Taxi Room)

Co-sponsored by Macalester College Department of English.

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Tamara Faith Berger

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Tamara Faith Berger made her living writing pornographic stories before publishing her first book, Lie with Me (Gutter Press, 1999), which was adapted into a feature film in 2006. Maidenhead (Coach House Books, September 2012) is her third book, and has been dubbed “a masterpiece” by Quill and Quire for its “richly layered, complexly rendered, rhythmically written, and brilliantly executed meditation on power, desire, and consciousness,” and an “intellectually smutty” alternative to Fifty Shades of Grey by the CBC. Berger is presently a graduate student at the University of British Columbia.

Eduardo Halfon

photo by Carlos Machado

Born in Guatemala City, Eduardo Halfon studied Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University, returned to Guatemala to teach literature at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, and now lives in Nebraska. In 2011 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue the narrative begun in The Polish Boxer (Bellevue Literary Press, 2012), which relates his Polish grandfather’s experience in the Holocaust; it is the first of his ten Spanish-language novels to be published in English. In 2007 Halfon was named one of the 39 best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá.

James Kilgore

A well-known political activist in the 1970s, James Kilgore spent 27 years as a fugitive living in South Africa. During that time he built a life as an educator, researcher, and author. In 2002 he was arrested for long-ago crimes, and served six years in prisons; while incarcerated, he wrote three books, including We Are All Zimbabweans Now (Ohio University Press, 2011) and Prudence Couldn’t Swim (PM Press, 2012), a funky, funny, racially-charged mystery. Kilgore lives in Illinois with his wife and sons and is currently a Research Scholar in the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois.

Jennifer Miller

photo by Diana Levine

Jennifer Miller holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and graduate degrees in journalism and fiction from Columbia. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Marie Claire, Christian Science Monitor, Salon, and other publications. Miller’s debut novel The Year of the Gadfly (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), which follows a precocious outcast teen who uncovers a secret society, follows her acclaimed nonfiction title Inheriting the Holy Land: An American's Search for Hope in the Middle East (Ballantine, 2006). She is a native of Washington, D.C., and now lives in Brooklyn.


Four exceptional authors of dark fantastic YA novels share their latest works!
(12:30 pm, Rain Room)

Co-sponsored by The Loft Literary Center.

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bree despain

Bree Despain found the inspiration she needed to complete her first novel, 2010’s The Dark Divine, in a car accident that nearly took her life. This year she published the third novel in the series, The Savage Grace (Egmont USA), which brings werewolves to Minnesota. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and two children.

Anne Greenwood Brown

Anne Greenwood Brown graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield and still resides in Minnesota. Her debut YA novel Lies Beneath (Delacorte) is the first in a trilogy about a family of murderous mermaids living in Lake Superior.

photo by Mariah Paaverud

Amanda Hocking

Austin, Minnesota’s Amanda Hocking began self-publishing the novels she’d written in her free time as e-books in 2010; by 2011, she had achieved an unprecedented level of popular and financial success, having sold over a million copies of her books. Her most recent book is Wake (St. Martin’s), the first in a new series of paranormal suspense.

Anna Waggener

Anna Waggener was born in Thailand and currently attends Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Winner of the 2008 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (previous winners include Sylvia Plath and Truman Capote), Waggener has just published her debut YA novel Grim (Scholastic).


Local authors across genre discuss the ups and downs of writing and publishing as an LGBT artist. Moderated by Harvard University professor Stephen Burt!
(11:30 am, Taxi Room)

Co-sponsored by

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Moderator: Stephen Burt

Stephen Burt is a professor of English at Harvard. His books of poetry and criticism include Close Calls With Nonsense (Graywolf Press), The Art Of The Sonnet (with David Mikics) (Harvard University Press), and Why I Am Not A Toddler And Other Poems By Cooper Bennett Burt, Age One (OHM Editions); a new book of poetry, Belmont, will appear in 2013. From 2000 to 2007 he taught at Macalester College in St Paul, MN.

Rachel Gold

Rachel Gold is the author of Being Emily (Bella Books), the first young adult novel written from a transgender girl’s point of view. Gold spent a decade as a reporter in the LGBT community. Her Minnesota ties include a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hamline University.

Raymond Luczak

Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of fifteen books, including Mute (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2009), Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience (Squares & Rebels, 2012), and How to Kill Poetry (forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013). His novel Men with Their Hands (Queer Mojo, 2009) won first place in the Project: QueerLit 2006 Contest. He is the editor of the gay men’s fiction journal Jonathan.

Catherine Lundoff

Catherine Lundoff is the award-winning author of Silver Moon: A Women of Wolf’s Point Novel (Lethe Press, 2012) as well as several short story collections. She is the editor of Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories (Lethe Press, 2008) and a co-editor of the anthology Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic (Lethe Press, 2011). She spends her days as a professional computer geek and an occasional teacher of writing classes at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

John Medeiros

Minneapolis-based writer John Medeiros’s work has appeared in several books and journals, including Sport Literate, Water~Stone Review, and Gulf Coast. He is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board grants and a Jerome Foundation grant; his work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was recognized as a “Notable Essay” in the 2006 Best American Essays. Medeiros recently published a book of poems, couplets for a shrinking world (North Star Press, 2012). He is the curator of “Queer Voices: A GLBT Reading Series,” sponsored by Intermedia Arts and Hamline University.


Industry insiders break down the build-up, dismantle the hype machine, and discuss the inner workings of the publishing industry’s inner marketing motor. Moderated by Steph Opitz of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses!
(10:30 am, Taxi Room)

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Moderator: Steph Opitz

Steph Opitz is the Membership Director of The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and book reviewer for Marie Claire magazine. She is on the Brooklyn Literary Council and co-chairs the Fiction Committee for the Brooklyn Book Festival. In addition, she is an associate editor for NANO fiction and serves on the board of Late Night Library.

Stephanie Curtis

Stephanie Curtis, one of the pioneering producers who launched local radio station 89.3 The Current, is currently the Online Editor for Minnesota Public Radio’s “The Daily Circuit” and has produced events, daily news shows, documentaries, conferences, and call-ins for MPR News.

Jocelyn Hale

Jocelyn Hale is the Executive Director of The Loft Literary Center. Her essays and commentaries have aired on Marketplace Radio and have been published in Outside, Minnesota Monthly, and many other publications. She was a columnist for the Southwest Journal for ten years.

Jerrold R. Jenkins

Jerrold Jenkins founded The Jenkins Group, a premier publishing services firm, in 1988, and co-authored Publish to Win! and Inside the Bestsellers. His latest book is The Independent Publisher: How to Build and Promote Your Best-Selling Book.

Lorna Landvik

Lorna Landvik is the bestselling author of nine novels, including Patty Jane’s House of Curl (Ballantine, 1996), Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons (Ballantine, 2004). Although she is working on two new novels for her New York publishing house, she recently self-published her latest book, Mayor of the Universe (2012).

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