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Chippewa Valley Book Festival
to Feature 21 Writers This Year

RELEASED: Sept. 25, 2006

stack of booksEAU CLAIRE — The Seventh Annual Chippewa Valley Book Festival will take place Sunday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 22, at various locations around Eau Claire.

Wisconsin's oldest book festival, the event has continued to grow and this year will feature presentations and readings by 21 writers of regional, national and international reputation, as well as a variety of other events for all ages and interests, including poetry readings, discussions, workshops, readings for and by kids and teens, and a creative writing competition for young writers. Three of the featured authors write for children and young adults.

All readings and discussions are free and open to the public and will include such topics as optimism in the face of death and disability, themes and images in young adult literature, and sources for stories on international themes and perspectives.

The opening event of the festival will be a reading and book signing by local favorite Mike Perry as he launches his latest work, "Truck: A Love Story." The event, which will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Masonic Temple, 616 Graham, Ave., Eau Claire, will include music by another local favorite, Billy Krause, and by Mike's band, the Long Beds.

Other highlights include a reading by Marge Piercy at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Davies Theatre, followed by a reading by Patricia Hampl at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, in the Breezeway of McIntyre Library at UW-Eau Claire. Piercy is the author of seventeen novels, including the New York Times Bestseller "Gone to Soldiers" and the national bestseller 'The Longings of Women," seventeen volumes of poetry, and a critically acclaimed memoir, "Sleeping with Cats." Hampl is the author of three highly acclaimed memoirs —"A Romantic Education," "Virgin Time," and "I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory" — all three of which were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. She has also published two collections of poetry and her writing has appeared in magazines such as The New Yorker, Paris Review, New York Times Book Review and Ploughshares.

The festival also will be visited by The Minnesota Crime Wave, three popular mystery writers — Carl Brookins, Ellen Hart and William Kent Krueger — known for their compelling costumed presentations at venues around the country. On Saturday, Oct. 21, they will discuss themes and forms in crime fiction at 2:30 p.m. at the Chippewa Valley Museum and read from their work at 7:30 p.m., also at the museum.

Books by featured authors will be available for purchase and signing at many of the events.

There will be two opportunities for participants to interact with festival authors in a relaxed atmosphere over dinner. At 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, a dinner will be held in The Dulany, a restaurant on the campus of UW-Eau Claire. An Italian buffet will be offered at a cost of $17 per person. Reservations must be made by Oct. 17; call 715-836-2787. At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, another dinner with the authors will be held at Houligan's Steak and Seafood Pub in downtown Eau Claire. Cost is $22.50 per person and reservations must be made by Oct. 17; call 715-839-5004.

Coordinated by the Literary Arts Committee of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council in cooperation with the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, the Chippewa Valley Museum, and UW-Eau Claire, the festival is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Additional support is provided by corporate sponsors, funding partners, businesses and individual contributors.

The schedule is as follows:

Sunday, Oct. 15

  • 3 p.m. – Reading – Michael Perry, with music by Billy Krause and the Long Beds, Masonic Temple

Tuesday, Oct. 17

  • 7 p.m. – Reading – Marge Piercy, Davies Theatre, UW-Eau Claire

Wednesday, Oct. 18

  • 7 p.m. – Reading – Patricia Hampl, McIntyre Library Breezeway, UW-Eau Claire

Thursday, Oct. 19

  • 7 p.m. – Poetry Reading – "Six Degrees of Separation: Local Voices Unite." Ian Jacoby, Andrew Patrie, Eric Rasmussen, Patti See, Jason Splichal and Ken Szymanski at the Acoustic Café

Friday, Oct. 20

  • 4:30 p.m. – Reading – Janis Amatuzio and Katherine Schneider, McIntyre Library Breezeway, UW-Eau Claire
  • 6 p.m. – Dinner with Authors – The Dulany, UW-Eau Claire, $17 per person, call 717-836-2787 by Oct. 17 for reservations
  • 7:30 p.m. – Reading – Bill Holm and Cathy Sultan, McIntyre Library Breezeway, UW-Eau Claire

Saturday, Oct. 21

  • 9 a.m. – Discussion: Optimism in the face of death and disability – Janis Amatuzio and Katherine Schneider, Eau Claire Room, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
  • 10:15 a.m. – Reading – Joel Friederich and Karen Loeb, Chippewa Room, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
  • 1 p.m. – Discussion: Themes and images in young adult literature – David LaRochelle and Patrick Jones, Chippewa Room, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
  • 1 p.m. – Discussion: Sources for stories, with emphasis on the international perspective – Joel Friederich, Karen Loeb and Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, Eau Claire Room, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
  • 2:30 p.m. – Themes and forms in crime fiction – The Minnesota Crime Wave: Carl Brookins, Ellen Hart and William Kent Krueger, Chippewa Valley Museum
  • 3:45 p.m. – Discussion: Different approaches to international themes and issues – Bill Holm and Cathy Sultan, Chippewa Valley Museum
  • 5:30 p.m. – Dinner with authors – Houligan's Steak and Seafood Pub, $22.50 per person, call 715-839-5004 by Oct. 17 for reservations
  • 7:30 p.m. – Reading – The Minnesota Crime Wave: Carl Brookins, Ellen Hart and William Kent Krueger, Chippewa Valley Museum

Sunday, Oct. 22

  • 2 p.m. – Reading by kids and teens – Creative Writing Competition Winners, Eau Claire Room, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library

The schedule of events and information on all the authors is available online. For more information, call 715-839-5004.

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