Latest News: Faculty Engagement Corps Journal Day 1: On the road
4th-annual Iowa City Book Festival features new location, laughs, languages
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Book lovers of all ages will find something to love in the fourth-annual Iowa City Book Festival, July 13-15.
The event kicks off Friday, July 13, with the fun and frivolity of a carnival, but this one’s for adults, and the games and guests have literary flair. Tickets for this fundraiser may be purchased in advance or at the door; the event begins at 7 p.m. at the Hotel Vetro.
After that festive kick-off, the rest of the weekend will showcase authors and artisans through readings, panel discussions, interviews, and demonstrations of book arts, all free and open to the public.
Kids’ activities and booksellers will be in a new location this year, on the south side of the Old Capitol. The location change helped forge a partnership with the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums, and organizers believe bringing the festival closer to downtown also will help unite Saturday’s activities with Sunday’s “ Day in the City of Literature” events.
All told, the weekend features more than 40 readings and author events representing a wide range of genres including children’s, humor, memoir, mystery, science, thriller, travel, and young adult.
“We’re excited about the diversity this year,” says Kristi Bontrager, book festival director. “We’ve got some best-selling novelists and science writers, as well as young adult authors. There are local, regional, and national authors. As librarians, our mission with the festival has always been about opening up access to books and reading. With such a wide array of authors represented, everyone can find something of interest.”
Featured authors include best-sellers Laura Moriarity (The Chaperone) and Ridley Pearson (The Risk Agent) as well as West High graduate Zach Wahls (My Two Moms). Many local authors will participate, including, for the first time, a number of writers from the university’s new MFA program in Spanish creative writing, giving this year’s festival a bit of international flair.
Authors and friends Dean Bakopoulos and Patrick Somerville will discuss how literary friendships are created and why they are critical to good writing. Humor writers Rachel Shukert and Michael Schulman will share the absurdity of real life from the Nebraska plains to the lights of Broadway.
The youngest readers will be excited to interact with some of their favorite characters, on parade at 9:30 a.m. July 14, including Froggy, Splat the Cat, Lilly (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) and Pig (You Give a Pig a Pancake.)
By popular demand, the Hunger Games event for teens will return on the afternoon of July 15. Starting at 1 p.m., teens can participate in “training center” activities (camouflage cookie decoration, bean bag toss for accuracy, and first aid training with Johnson County Ambulance) before they enter the Hunger Games arena for a “fight to the death” (Tracker Jacker Tag, water balloons and inflatable glove hand-to-hand combat.)
For full schedule of events see: www.iowacitybookfestival.org/schedule/.