Wordplay Sunday Schedule 2019

Sunday, May 12

Silver Linings Without A Playbook

Time 10–11 a.m.
Stage Guthrie: McGuire Proscenium Stage
Featuring Nora McInerny—No Happy Endings  | Mary Laura Philpott—I Miss You When I Blink | Lori Gottlieb—Maybe You Should Talk To Someone | Mira Jacob—Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation | Anika Fajardo—Magical Realism for Non-Believers
Genre Nonfiction
Presented by

Motherhood is such a serene, beautiful experience. LOL, yeah right. Nora McInerny (No Happy Endings) shares how in the wake of loss, we learn how to hold space for the unhappy times in life instead of racing for the finish line. In her collection of essays, Mary Laura Philpott (I Miss You When I Blink) discovers how sometimes doing it wrong is exactly the right way to go. Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk To Someone) is a therapist who found that in going to therapy for herself, she had more to unpack in life than she thought. Mira Jacob’s graphic memoir Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation showcases a mother’s honest responses to her biracial son’s questions on race, politics, and family. Anika Fajardo (Magical Realism for Non-Believers) finds insight into her relationship with her mother after meeting her father for the first time in Columbia. Join Nora and friends for a morning of stories about real-life motherhood. Swearing will happen, sorry.

Spectacular Women, Speculative Fiction

Time noon–1 p.m.
Stage Guthrie: McGuire Proscenium Stage
Featuring Arkady Martine—A Memory Called Empire | Charlie Jane Anders—The City in the Middle of the Night
Moderator A. Rafael Johnson
Genre Fiction

Charlie Jane Anders (The City in the Middle of the Night) follows up her best-selling novel with a tale of a young girl who is forced to survive among anthropologic creatures, forging an unusual and life-changing friendship. The debut novel of Arkady Martine (A Memory Called Empire) is an epic space opera where a young woman must establish an independent identity and fight back against a powerful political empire. Join in as these two authors, both heralded as inventive writers in their genre, discuss building worlds around powerful women characters in a male-dominated niche.

Against Genre Snobbery: Marlon James and Daniel José Older In Conversation on a Live Taping of the Fiction/Non/Fiction Podcast

Time 2–3 p.m.
Stage Guthrie: McGuire Proscenium Stage
Featuring Marlon James—Black Leopard, Red Wolf | Daniel José Older—Dactyl Hill Squad: Freedom Fire
Moderator Fiction/Non/ Fiction podcast ft. V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell
Genre Fiction

The latest novel from Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James (Black Leopard, Red Wolf) is an epic Afrofuturist fantasy, the first book in his projected Dark Star Trilogy. Shape-shifting mercenary Leopard and his keen-smelling ally Tracker have been tasked with finding a strange young boy who’s been missing for years in a mythical African continent. Daniel José Older (Dactyl Hill Squad: Freedom Fire) inspires and educates young readers with his energetic fantasy where dino-riding kids resist racism and risk their lives to save their kidnapped friends in this high-stakes book. Fans of both authors, whose books cross not only genres but also social themes and speculative worlds, will not want to miss their discussion on the silliness of genre snobbery.

We Tell Stories In Order To Live

Time 4–5 p.m.
Stage Guthrie: McGuire Proscenium Stage
Featuring Abdi Nor Iftin—Call Me American
Moderator Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Genre Nonfiction

In this harrowing account, Abdi Nor Iftin (Call Me American) grew up in Mogadishu but dreamed of coming to the US. When al-Shabaab rose to power, making Somalia too dangerous, Abdi spread the word via the internet and MPR, before finally drawing the blind-luck of a green card winner en route to America. Join Abdi for a difficult conversation about what it means to flee the place you called home.

The Girl’s Got It….or Does She?

Time 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Stage Guthrie: Dowling Studio
Featuring Marcie Rendon—Girl Gone Missing: A Cash Blackbear Mystery | Hank Phillippi Ryan—Trust Me
Moderator Erin Kate Ryan
Genre Fiction

Hardships have thrown the lives of two mystery-solving protagonists in complete chaos. In Girl Gone Missing, Marcie Rendon’s sequel in the Cash Blackbear series, Cash is now a young college student at Moorhead State College, and finds herself tangled in a chilling mystery when several women begin to go missing from campus. Horrific crime also interrupts the life of Mercer Henessy, a journalist charged with covering a murder trial while in the midst of her own with family tragedy in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s first stand-alone novel, Trust Me. Rendon and Ryan dish about smart women characters who keep finding themselves drawn to suspenseful cat-and-mouse games.

The Justice League

Time 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Stage Guthrie: Dowling Studio
Featuring Mitchell S. Jackson—Survival Math | Lacy M. Johnson—The Reckonings
Moderator Jennifer Bowen Hicks
Genre Nonfiction

Mitchell S. Jackson (Survival Math) follows up his award-winning debut novel with a memoir about drug addiction, guns, father figures, and the burdens of Reaganomic-era policies placed on Black families in America. Lacy M. Johnson (The Reckonings) follows up her award-winning debut memoir with a collection of essays that tackle topics like environmental justice, white privilege, and police brutality. With more Americans now currently engaged in conversations and organized mediums on social justice reform, these two writers explore what it means to search for personal retribution, acknowledging loss, and how we can all learn to use different platforms for change.

The Ground Beneath: Place Making on the Page

Time 2–3 p.m.
Stage Guthrie: Dowling Studio
Featuring Will McGrath—Everything Lost Is Found Again | Anders Carlson Wee—The Low Passions
Moderator Britt Udesen
Genre Multigenre

Award-winning travel writer and essayist Will McGrath (Everything Lost Is Found Again) crafts compassionate essays and vignettes from his multi-seasonal time in Lesotho. McGrath, who moved there with his cultural anthropologist wife for her fieldwork, shares his deep affection for the tiny country and its people that left an indelible imprint on his heart. NEA Fellow Anders Carlson Wee (The Low Passions) also pens a humane and observational adventure log of sorts. Digging for tangible forms of faith, the speaker in his debut collection dumpster dives, hops trains, and stays in the homes of total strangers in rural Minnesota and the Dakotas. Join Will and Anders in a cross-genre conversation about place making, about inviting strangers into your life, and vice versa, and on putting the everyday into their art.

On Being Live: Ross Gay in Conversation with Krista Tippett

Time 3:45–4:45 p.m.
Stage Guthrie: Dowling Studio
Featuring Ross Gay—The Book of Delights: Essays
Moderator Krista Tippett
Genre Nonfiction

After his 42nd birthday, renowned poet Ross Gay (The Book of Delights: Essays) promised to write a mini essay everyday for one year to capture anything delightful. This beautiful collection of essayettes covers a wide range of topics, all of which start with a simple moment and blossom into bigger conversation topics like politics, his mother, racism, or gardening. In this special Wordplay event, the author will engage in a conversation with Krista Tippett, host of the Peabody Award-winning podcast about the immensity of human experiences, On Being.

Conversation Among Friends

Time 10:15–11:15 a.m.
Stage Open Book Stage (2nd Floor, part of Street Fest access)
Featuring Dobby Gibson—Little Glass Planet: Poems | Fernando A. Flores—Tears of the Trufflepig
Genre Multigenre

Dobby Gibson (Little Glass Planet: Poems) maps the strange and the mundane in this candid and subliminal collection of poems. Widower Esteban Bellacosa is just trying to pick up the pieces of his life when he wanders into an alternative universe in what is best described as a genre-bending, philosophical surrealist thriller from debut novelist Fernando A. Flores (Tears of the Trufflepig). These two authors and friends will each read, followed by a casual conversation on friendship and work.

Writer on Film

Time 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Stage Open Book Stage (2nd Floor, part of Street Fest access)
Featuring Geoff Dyer—Broadsword Calling Danny Boy
Moderator Angela Pelster-Wiebe
Genre Nonfiction

Acclaimed writer and critic Geoff Dyer (Broadsword Calling Danny Boy) is back with another funny yet loving critique, this time picking apart the 1968 WWII action film Where Eagles Dare starring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton. Dyer analyzes the film’s principle players scene-by-scene, with wry one-liners like, “Squinting is pretty much the limit of Eastwood’s facial range”; and reminding us of the booze-filled, ‘Dick Loves Liz’ days of Richard Burton’s career. This microbook does sing the merits of the film and how it compares to other war dramas of its time; Dyer shares that he watches the film whenever it’s on TV and is clearly a fan of it.

Art & The Body

Time 2–3 p.m.
Stage Open Book Stage (2nd Floor, part of Street Fest access)
Featuring T Fleischmann—Time Is The Thing a Body Moves Through  | Jericho Brown—The Tradition
Moderator Lisa Marie Brimmer
Genre Multigenre

In a very personal and frank essay, T Fleischmann (Time Is The Thing A Body Moves Through) spills out stories of love, loss, and violence like a bottle of pearls, pills and candy. As an examination of the bodily experience of simply living, Fleischmann’s prose is generous in honesty, at once compassionate and scalding. Jericho Brown (The Tradition) challenges our complacency in the face of everyday violence. His invention of the duplex poem takes root in the garden of the body, where evils from mass shootings, rape and racial violence can settle and wither roots, until we find some way to survive. In their poignant and deeply personal work, Fleischmann and Brown examine the intersectionality of the past and the present, and the limits to freedom our bodies express.

From Now to Eternity

Time 4–5 p.m.
Stage Open Book Stage (2nd Floor, part of Street Fest access)
Featuring Mark Conway—rivers of the driftless region | Ed Bok Lee—Mitochondrial Night
Moderator Elizabeth Tannen
Genre Multigenre

Local author Mark Conway’s latest collection of imagistic poetry (rivers of the driftless region) delves into the associations of eternity—or the ever-present now, from his explorations of a lesser-known territory in Minnesota. Surging outward from the eternal present, Ed Bok Lee’s newest collection reaches through history and considers the human existence down to its most atomic level. Lee’s third book of poetry is an imagistic exploration of familial and national lineage, imbuing intimate moments with traces to historical legacies of global and cosmic scale. This discussion on eternity, history, and spiritual growth will expand our conscious boundaries and challenge us to ask how the past exists in the present.

Inherited Trauma Across Time and Gender

Time 10–11 a.m.
Stage Street: MPR Stage
Featuring Linda LeGarde Grover—In the Night of Memory | LeAnne Howe—Savage Conversations
Moderator Heid Erdrich
Genre Fiction

Minnesotan author Linda LeGarde Grover (In The Night of Memory) crafts together an emotionally-evocative story of how the mass disappearance of Native American women imparts inherited trauma on generations of women. In her stunning and thoroughly researched novel, LeAnne Howe (Savage Conversations) reimagines how Mary Todd Lincoln’s rapidly deteriorating mental health was exacerbated by her husband’s 1862 mass lynching of 38 Dakota people, and her conversations in a mental institution with a Dakota character who mutilates her body and a rope that taunts her. Both authors examine the narrative time of Native American trauma as told through women characters. Moderated by Heid Erdrich.

Bodies of Knowledge

Time 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Stage Street: MPR Stage
Featuring Morgan Parker—Magical Negro | Chaya Bhuvaneswar—White Dancing Elephants
Moderator Danez Smith
Genre Multigenre

No two experiences are identical, and yet there is commonality in the human experience. Star poet Morgan Parker’s third collection of poetry (Magical Negro) is a heartening depiction of Black womanhood and the politicalization of Black women’s bodies. 17 fictional stories from women around the world explore thematic elements of grief, adultery, queerness, and interracial love, in the stunning debut from award-winning author Chaya Bhuvaneswar (White Dancing Elephants). Join these two authors in a conversation highlighting the very racialized politics of women’s bodies and holding in question the universality of women’s experiences.

Family Mosaics: On Adoption and Motherhood

Time 12:30–1:30 p.m.
Stage Street: MPR Stage
Featuring Anika Fajardo—Magical Realism for Non-Believers | Vanessa McGrady—Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption
Moderator Sun Mee Chomet
Genre Nonfiction

When she is twenty-one years old Anika Fajardo (Magical Realism for Non-Believers) flies to rural Colombia to meet her father for the first time. Meeting him sheds light on her relationship with her mother and gives new meaning to the idea of a home. From a parent’s perspective of the adoption process, Vanessa McGrady (Rock Needs River: A Memoir About A Very Open Adoption) navigates her life before and after motherhood. The imperfect and at times traumatic relationships between both sets of parents and their daughter unearth what family ties are made of. Together in discussion, Anika and Vanessa will examine motherhood and family connections created and broken.

Alter Egos

Time 1:45–2:45 p.m.
Stage Street: MPR Stage
Featuring Caleb Roehrig—Death Prefers Blondes | Kristen Simmons—The Deceivers
Moderator Tracy Mumford
Genre Young Adult

Margo Manning is one wild teen: paparazzi-avoiding socialite by day, and secret cat burglar by night. But when one heist goes horribly wrong and puts her crew in danger, Margo’s night-prowling skills are really put to the test. Caleb Roehrig (Death Prefers Blondes) is a master of suspense in this high-stakes novel. High school student/side-hustling con artist Brynn Hilder doesn’t ask questions when she’s invited to attend Vale Hall, an elite prep school that secretly trains its students to become spies. She’s just happy to be there. When her morals are tested more than her brain, will Brynn be able to keep her head above water? Kristen Simmons (The Deceivers) will keep her readers on edge with this clever book loosely based on Norse mythology. Teens with alter egos? Roehrig and Simmons join us to prove that teens can do anything—even living double lives!

Man Up: The History and Present of Masculinity

Time 3–4 p.m.
Stage Street: MPR Stage
Featuring Gregory Pardlo—Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition & Manhood in America | Jared Yates Sexton—The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making
Moderator Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre
Genre Nonfiction

Stereotypes can make or break collective identities unless we actively engage in refuting them. Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gregory Pardlo (Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America) grew up watching his father struggle to navigate Reagan-era America as a Black man. Based on a popular New York Times op-ed, Jared Yates Sexton (The Man They Wanted Me To Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Upbringing) explores his working-class upbringing and the identity of white manhood that was expected of him. Both authors contemplate race, class, and how stereotypes of masculinity in America have shaped their worldviews that patriarchy survives through white male privilege. These expositions are profound, timely, and question the outdated stereotypes of how we teach boys to become men.

Reading: Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology

Time 4:15–5 p.m.
Stage Street: MPR Stage
Featuring Frank Bures—Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology
Genre Nonfiction

Come to the official launch and reading of Belt Publishing’s newest City Series book, Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology. This collection, curated by Frank Bures, features the best new essays and poetry from and about the city, covering everything from Prince to parenthood to party buses. Under Purple Skies includes work from Kelly Barnhill, Marlon James, Kao Kalia Yang, Kevin Kling, Shannon Gibney, Michael Perry, Danez Smith, and many more.

So You Think You Can Date a Princess?

Time 10–11 a.m.
Stage Street: Western Bank Stage
Featuring Rachel Hawkins—Her Royal Highness
Moderator Sara Biren
Genre Young Adult

Nobody said dating was easy or boring. But secretly dating the snobby teenaged Scottish princess at your private school when you thought you were just going to learn about geology? Now that’s a story! Join bestselling author Rachel Hawkins (Her Royal Highness) as she talks about her recent witty and awkward take on a royal romance story.

Laugh So You Don’t Cry: Social Satire as a Survival Mechanism

Time 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Stage Street: Western Bank Stage
Featuring Ryan Chapman—Riots I Have Known | Mark Doten—Trump Sky Alpha
Moderator Matt Burgess
Genre Fiction

We live in a time that sometimes seems fraught with political strife, environmental crises, and terrorism on all fronts. What can ordinary people do to survive? Stay stricken in disbelief or... imagine the worst possible outcome and laugh about it! Ryan Chapman (Riots I Have Known) balances a laugh-out-loud prison riot with the seriousness of mass incarceration in his debut novel. Mark Doten (Trump Sky Alpha) imagines a modern-day reality of a nuclear war, a destroyed planet, and a cult leader addicted to social media. These two writers will discuss how social satire puts levity into their subjects.

Location! Location! Location!

Time 12:45–1:45 p.m.
Stage Street: Western Bank Stage
Featuring Kristen Arnett—Mostly Dead Things | Sarah Stonich—Laurentian Divide
Moderator Chelsey Johnson
Genre Fiction

Exploring the character of setting can liven a story. It can make us laugh and lament stereotypes, give a story’s characters a stronger collective identity, and even reconstruct our ideas around family, work, and friendship. With their wry sense of voice, Floridian writer Kristen Arnett (Mostly Dead Things) and Minnesotan writer Sarah Stonich (Laurentian Divide) both craft their respective regions as second-tier characters; taking an opportunity to amplify tension and encourage characters to reveal their true colors.

Rules To Live By

Time 2:15–3:15 p.m.
Stage Street: Western Bank Stage
Featuring Lorna Landvik—Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) | Helen Ellis—Southern Lady Code
Moderator Gretchen Anthony
Genre Multigenre

Southerners and Midwesterners alike pride themselves on their modern sensibilities with biting undertones. Essays by Helen Ellis in Southern Lady Code examine the hilarious ways in which a Southerner navigates her way through big city life. Lorna Landvik uses her wit in Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) to tell the story of local legend Haze Evans after having a stroke. Both of these comedians examine culture and poke fun at two American cultures with strange peculiarities. Both of these authors provide insights into the ways in which, despite our differences, we can look at ourselves and laugh.

What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About

Time 3:45–4:45 p.m.
Stage Street: Western Bank Stage
Featuring Michele Filgate—What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About | Brandon Taylor—What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About
Moderator Joanna Scutts
Genre Nonfiction

It took Michele Filgate (What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About) 14 years to write an essay about the abuse she suffered from her stepfather. While exploring that period of her life, she discovered a much more complicated truth: she needed to write about her fraught relationship with her mother. This anthology of collected essays from 15 authors explores a myriad of maternal relationships, both loving and fractured. Brandon Taylor (What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About) depicts the childhood abuse he suffered from his mother with a raw tenderness. In a more mature conversation, Filgate and Taylor will talk about their process for writing the unspeakable.

Story Time! Better Than The Best

Time 10–10:30 a.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Mike Wohnoutka—Croc & Turtle
Genre Picture Book

Croc is proud to be the strongest… until Elephant proves Croc wrong. And then Croc is proud to be the most agile, but Rabbit jumps higher! Mike Wohnoutka (Croc & Turtle) wonders if Croc will ever be the best at anything… Croc is sad. But then Croc realizes that he’s the best at being friends with Turtle, and that being the best isn’t always better alone.

Story Time! When You Are Brave

Time 10:30–11 a.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Eliza Wheeler—When You Are Brave
Genre Picture Book

Sometimes, the world seems too big and dark to deal with. In this book illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (When You Are Brave), a little girl feels small and alone. But a hidden spark of courage inside of her grows when she cares for it. If she looks inside herself for small, good things, her light begins to grow. Eliza Wheeler will hold a read-along with live illustrations!

Naughty Kittens & Nervous Magicians

Time 11 a.m.–noon
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Pseudonymous Bosch—The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers | Nick Bruel—Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble
Moderator Lisa Von Drasek
Genre Middle Grade
Presented by

Pseudonymous Bosch (The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers) tells us the story of eight-year-old Oliver and his magician dreams, despite petrifying stage fright. With a stroke of luck, Oliver comes across a wisecracking rabbit from a magic emporium—and is just about to realize his dreams—when he’s accused of theft! Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble) also tells a tale of mischief. A selfish Kitty is upset when his owner welcomes new kittens into his home. With time, Kitty comes around and realizes these newcomers may be pretty great after all. Come solve a magic mystery and learn how to see the benefits of strangers in these fun and imaginative tales!

Story Time! Our Celebración

Time noon–12:30 p.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Ana Aranda—Our Celebración
Genre Picture Book

Ana Aranda (Our Celebración) celebrates a colorful summer parade with música, street dancers, and whimsical illustrations of the city crowds. Not even a little rain can dampen the mood on such a special day. This fun, rhythmic story is a great way to learn a little Spanish and enjoy the sweetness of a summer day!

What Makes You Special

Time 12:30–1:30 p.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Kimberly Willis Holt—The Lost Boy’s Gift | Lynne Kelly—Song for a Whale
Moderator Jacob Frey
Genre Middle Grade

Sometimes we all need a little reminder that what makes us different, actually makes us special. Struggling with his parent’s divorce, young Daniel feels hopeless and lonely until he meets a special friend who teaches him to talk to animals in this heartwarming book from Kimberly Willis Holt (The Lost Boy’s Gift). Lynne Kelly’s Song for a Whale follows hearing-impaired tech-wiz Iris, who sets out on a mission to help a vocally-challenged whale be heard by his friends in the ocean. These two authors will talk about the challenges of accepting the things that make us all wonderfully unique.

Story Time! When Everything Was Everything

Time 1:30–2:00 p.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay—When Everything Was Everything
Genre Picture Book

What does it mean to grow up in a Southeast Asian refugee family? For the young girl in When Everything Was Everything, it means bowl cuts and food stamps. It means having to move, over and over again. It means whispers of the ghosts of ancestors, haunting playgrounds, and sing-alongs on cassette tapes. Saymoukda Vongsay show us the most human details of a childhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Story Time! There’s Something in the Bakery

Time 2–2:30 p.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Julia Sarcone-Roach—There Are No Bears in This Bakery
Genre Picture Book

Time for a story with Muffin—whiskers of the neighborhood and four-legged detective. Every night, Muffin stays awake, keeping a sharp ear out for anything that scratches, squeaks, or flutters. One night, there’s a mysterious new sound coming from Little Bear Bakery… What did Muffin find? Stick around to find out with author Julia Sarcone-Roach!

Apple in the Middle

Time 2:30–3:30 p.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage
Featuring Dawn Quigley—Apple in the Middle
Moderator Junauda Petrus
Genre Middle Grade

Fifteen-year-old Apple’s name is a quip of love from her parents. As an outsider in a wealthy white suburb, it is also used as a spiteful reminder of her biracial roots. When Apple is sent to spend a summer with her deceased mother’s relatives on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, she faces the challenges and wonders of learning about her family history, and connecting with her Native heritage. Dawn Quigley’s debut novel is a tender coming-of-age story. At its heart, Apple in the Middle portrays an adolescent quest for home between two worlds. Come along for the ride as Dawn reads from her book and talks about the importance of being true to yourself.

Drag Story Hour

Time 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Stage Street: Children's Minnesota Stage

Hear stories, delight in kid-friendly drag numbers and let yourself feel fabulous with Drag Story Artists Old Man Zimmer and DJ Sid Sity. Come for the glitter beards, stay for the fun!

Minnesota Book Awards: Voices in Poetry

Time 10–11 a.m.
Stage Street: Target Stage
Featuring Mary Moore Easter, David Mura, Claire Wahmanholm, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Chaun Webster
Genre Poetry

Join 2019 Kay Sexton Award Honoree and author David Mura (A Stranger’s Journey) for a conversation and reading with a range of poetic voices from this year’s Minnesota Book Award finalists, including Mary Moore Easter (The Body in the World), Claire Wahmanholm (Wilder), Hieu Minh Nguyen (Not Here) and Chaun Webster (GeNtry!fication: or the scene of the crime).

Is the End Near? Probably

Time noon–1 p.m.
Stage Street: Target Stage
Featuring Bill McKibben—Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
Moderator Elizabeth Dunbar
Genre Nonfiction

Presented by

In his latest book on climate change, environmental scholar and writer Bill McKibben (Falter: Has The Human Game Begun To Play Itself Out?) dishes out another round of sobering truth about the impact of global warming, this time with a terrifying new addition: Artificial intelligence and robotics now pose a serious threat to the existence of the human experience. While the prospects are bleak, McKibben considers two components that might help in the fight: investing in solar panels, and a nonviolent, collective citizen movement across the globe (that is, if humans can prevail against corporate interests and selfish political agendas). Falter is an impactful message for a massive call to arms before it’s too late.

An Afternoon with the National Book Awards

Time 1–2 p.m.
Stage Street: Target Stage
Featuring Bryan Bliss—We’ll Fly Away | Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah—Friday Black: Stories | Daniel Gumbiner—The Boatbuilder | Diana Khoi Nguyen Ghost Of
Moderator Steph Opitz
Genre Multigenre

Join the National Book Foundation at Wordplay for an exciting reading featuring a taste of the magic that took place at the 2018 National Book Awards Week! The reading will include writers honored in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People's Literature and 5 Under 35 and will highlight some of the best contemporary literature in America.

Speculative Fiction

Time 2–3 p.m.
Stage Street: Target Stage
Featuring Michael Merriam & Catherine Lundoff
Genre Speculative Fiction

Outlaws. Lovers. Heroes. Villains. Join Michael Merriam and Catherine Lundoff for an author reading from Queen of Swords Press’s fantastical pirate anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). Think pirates are all about the rum and the pieces of eight? Let these fifteen tales draw you into the adventures of a new kind of pirate.

Mysterious Minnesota

Time 3–4 p.m.
Stage Street: Target Stage
Featuring Allen Eskens, David Housewright, Mindy Mejia, C.M. Surrisi
Moderator Heather Ash
Genre Mystery

Minnesota-nice meets murder and crime as award-winning authors Allen Eskens, David Housewright, Mindy Mejia, and C.M. Surrisi reveal the influence of the Land of 10,000 Lakes on their writing (hint: lots of places to put a body.) Moderated by Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter president Heather E. Ash

Motionpoems

Time 4–5 p.m.
Stage Street: Target Stage

Motionpoems presents HOTHOUSE: a pilot 48-hour film challenge wherein four local filmmakers matched with award-winning poets celebrate the initial spark of inspiration by making four new motionpoems poetry films in just two days. A public screening.

Wordplay Author Speed Networking

Time noon–1 p.m.
Location Open Book: Room 303

Reading Group Choices is happy to partner with Wordplay for a literary extravaganza to celebrate our readers. In our fast-paced world, reading groups offer us the time to slow down, catch up with friends, and talk about wonderful books.

We want to celebrate you the readers with a free session of fun giveaways, delicious snacks, and rounds of author speed-networking with these terrific authors: Linda LeGarde Grover, Kristen Arnett, Jennifer Dubois, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, and Abdi Nor Iftin! You can read about the authors and their books below.

What’s “author speed-networking”? Readers will be in small groups. The authors will speed meet with each group, but instead of telling readers about themselves, they’ll be telling readers about their new books! It’s a fun way to hear about books straight from the authors who wrote them!

All readers are welcome! You do not have to be in a book group to attend! But after attending, you may want to start a group with your friends, or you may even meet a group to join at the event!

Building Empathy and Empowerment Through Storytelling

Time 2–3 p.m.
Location Open Book: Room 303

It is more important than ever to confront individual bias and build empathy so that all people can contribute to our communities and thrive. First-person storytelling facilitates understanding and empathy more effectively than mere fact propagation alone. In this session, you’ll learn about the innovative and unconventional storytelling work of Green Card Voices (GCV), a nonprofit that records and shares the stories of immigrants. You will learn how effective storytelling educates and empowers both the teller and the audience, and you’ll leave with resources and ideas to incorporate storytelling into your own work. The session will offer the chance to engage in group discussions and play the newly released "Story Stitch" card game!