Meet the Authors
We're very excited to welcome the following authors to the 2018 Chippewa Valley Book Festival. Peruse the authors here and then hop over to the 2018 schedule of events to learn more about where and when you can meet them.
There's a whole separate group of authors visiting the children around the Chippewa Valleys through our Authors in the Schools program. Click here to learn more about these authors.
Nickolas Butler is the internationally best-selling and award-winning author of Shotgun Lovesongs, Beneath the Bonfire, and The Hearts of Men. His fourth book, Little Faith, will be published in early 2019. Little Faith tells the story of a family in western Wisconsin dealing with the troubling magnetism of a fringe church.
Tessa Fontaine is the author of The Electric Woman, a memoir about performing in America’s last traveling sideshow. Other writing has appeared in PANK, Seneca Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and is working on a PhD in creative writing at the University of Utah. She has taught in prisons for five years, and founded a Writers in the Schools program in Salt Lake City. She currently lives in South Carolina.
Caroline Fraser is the editor of the Library of America edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and the author of Rewilding the World and God’s Perfect Child. Her writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, and the London Review of Books, among other publications. Her new biography, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, was the 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Biography. It was also named one of the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2017 and was nominated for both a National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography and a Plutarch Award by the Biographers International Organization.
Peter Geye is the award-winning author of Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, and Wintering. Peter received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his PhD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. He is the author of three acclaimed novels set in a fictionalized northern Minnesota town of Gunflint. The most recent book in the series, Wintering, was awarded the 2017 Minnesota Book Award for Fiction. Geye was born and raised in Minneapolis and continues to live there with his wife and three children.
Miriam Karmel’s stories have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Water~Stone Review, Passages North, Coe Review, Moment Magazine, and more. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including Minnesota Monthly’s Tamarack Award for her short story, The Queen of Love. Her story, The King of Marvin Gardens was anthologized in Milkweed Edition’s Fiction on a Stick (2008). Being Esther (Milkweed Editions), her debut novel, was published in 2013.
Subtle Variations and Other Stories (Holy Cow! Press), was published in October 2017. It was the winning selection in the inaugural First Fiction contest, sponsored by Holy Cow! Press of Duluth, Minnesota and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation.
Jesse Lee Kercheval
Jesse Lee Kercheval’s recent translations include The Invisible Bridge: Selected Poems of Circe Maia and Fable of an Inconsolable Man by Javier Etchevarren. She is the editor of América Invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets and Earth, Sky and Water: A Bilingual Anthology of Environmental Poems. In addition, she has authored fourteen books of poetry and prose including The Alice Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize and the memoir Space, winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association. She is the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Karen Kovacik is the author of the poetry collections Metropolis Burning, Beyond the Velvet Curtain, and Nixon and I. Her work as a poet and translator has received numerous honors, including the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum, a fellowship in literary translation from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Fulbright Research Grant to Poland. In 2013, White Pine Press published her book-length translation of Agnieszka Kuciak’s Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets Who Don’t Exist. She is the editor of the anthology of Polish women poets, Scattering the Dark (White Pine, 2016). Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis, she served as Indiana’s Poet Laureate from 2012-2014.
William Kent Krueger
William Kent Krueger is the author of the New York Times best-selling Cork O’Connor mystery series, set in the great Northwoods of Minnesota. His work has received numerous awards, including the Edgar Award for Best Novel for his 2013 release, Ordinary Grace. He lives in Saint Paul, a city he dearly loves, and does all his creative writing in local, author-friendly coffee shops.
Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB, is an ethologist who has consulted with pet owners for over twenty five years. She taught "The Biology and Philosophy of Human/Animal Relationships” at the UW–Madison for over two decades and speaks around the world about canine behavior and training. Dr. McConnell is the author of thirteen books on animal training and behavior, as well as her newest book, The Education of Will: Healing a Dog, Facing My Fears, Reclaiming My Life, a memoir about healing from trauma in both people and dogs. Patricia and her husband live with their working border collies Willie and Maggie, and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Tootsie, along with a very spoiled flock of sheep.
Mai Neng Moua
Mai Neng Moua is a writer spinning tales of what it means to be Hmong in America. Her memoir, The Bride Price: A Hmong Wedding Story was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in March 2017. She is the founder of Paj Ntaub Voice Hmoob literary journal and editor of the first Hmong American anthology, Bamboo Among the Oaks: Contemporary Writing by Hmong Americans. Her artistic awards include the Bush Artists Fellowship, the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, the Jerome Travel Grant, the Loft Literary Center's Mentor Series, and Kundiman’s Creative Nonfiction Intensive. Mai Neng has taught creative writing to youth through the Jane Addams School for Democracy, COMPAS, and Success Beyond the Classroom. She graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield and attended the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in Minneapolis. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two girls.
Kathy Nimmer is the 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year and a finalist for 2015 National Teacher of the Year. Recently, she received the Dollywood Foundation’s Chasing Rainbows Award and the NFB’s Blind Educator of the Year Award. Through a Lilly Teacher Fellowship, Kathy wrote and published an anthology called Two Plus Four Equals One: Celebrating the Partnership of People with Disabilities and Their Assistance Dogs. This followed a book of poetry called Minutes in the Dark, Eternity in the Light. Kathy teaches writing, mentors new teachers, and speaks at numerous events. She earned her BA in English Education from Trinity Christian College in 1991 and her MA from Purdue University in 1992.
Molly Patterson was born in St. Louis and lived in China for several years. Her work has appeared in several magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and The Iowa Review. She was the 2012-2013 Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, Rebellion, was published by Harper (HarperCollins) in 2017.
Thomas W. Pearson
Thomas W. Pearson is associate professor of anthropology and assistant director of the Honors College at UW–Stout. He is the author of When the Hills Are Gone: Frac Sand Mining and the Struggle for Community, published by the University of Minnesota Press. His writing has also appeared in several academic journals, including American Anthropologist, Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist, and Human Organization. He lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
Patricia Skalka won the Edna Ferber Fiction Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers for Death in Cold Water, the third of her Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries. The series began with Death Stalks Door County, and continued with Death at Gills Rock, and, most recently, Death Rides the Ferry.
A former Reader’s Digest staff writer, Skalka is also the author of several nonfiction books. She is a member of The Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, Wisconsin Writers Association, and Society of Midland Authors. She lives in Chicago and Door County.
Heather Swan's creative nonfiction has appeared in Aeon, ISLE, Resilience, About Place Journal, and Edge Effects. Her poetry has appeared in such places as Poet Lore, Raleigh Review, Phoebe, Basalt, Midwestern Gothic, Cold Mountain Review, The Hopper, and About Place Journal. Her book Where Honeybees Thrive: Stories from the Field (Penn State Press, 2017) received the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award from Northland College. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
David Treuer is Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He is the author of four novels and two books of nonfiction. His work has appeared in Orion, Harpers, The Washington Post, Saveur, and The New York Times among others. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Bush Foundation. His latest novel, Prudence, is available from Riverhead Books. A new major work of nonfiction--Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Indian America from 1890 to the Present--will be published by Riverhead in January 2019. He divides his time between Los Angeles where he is a Professor of English at the University of Southern California, and the Leech Lake Reservation.
Leah Weiss is a best-selling author born in North Carolina and raised near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her debut novel, If the Creek Don’t Rise, released in August of 2017, was selected as an Indie Next, Okra Pick and Library Reads. Her short stories have been published in magazines and online magazines such as The Simple Life, Every Day Fiction, and Deep South Magazine. In 2015, she retired from a her career of twenty four years as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. She lives in Virginia with her husband and enjoys writing, traveling, hiking, and speaking to book clubs.
Kevin Young is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. He is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, several of which have won awards or have been finalists for the National Book Award. His nonfiction book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (Nov 2017, Graywolf Press) has garnered numerous accolades, including a “Best Book of 2017” by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, and Dallas Morning News.
Interested in adding your name to this list next year?
We're currently accepting applications for the 2019 Chippewa Valley Book Festival.