Author Talks Archives

July 8, 2013

5 Questions for Author Reyna Grande

1-Reyna-Grande.jpgAuthor Reyna Grande is visiting Central Library this Saturday for a special reading from her memoir, The Distance Between Us. To get to know her better, we asked Reyna 5 questions. A big thank you to Reyna for answering our questions!

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

Stories have always been a way for me to understand the world around me. When I was a little girl in Mexico, we didn't have a television, but we had a radio, and in the evenings I would listen to story time. Usually, the stories were fairy tales, and I remember how much those fairy tales helped me to make sense of what was going on around me. For example, while I was in Mexico as a little girl, my parents were in the U.S. working, trying to make enough money to build us a brick house in Mexico. For a long time I didn't understand why my parents were 2,000 miles away from me just because they wanted to build us a brick house. But then I heard the story of the Three Little Pigs in the radio one day, and I remember how much it impacted me. You see, the first two pigs that got eaten by the big, bad wolf were the ones that lived in shacks made of sticks, like the one I lived in. But the pig that survived the big, bad wolf was the one that lived in a brick house. It was then when I understood my parents' dream, and what that house actually meant for them.

I started writing when I was 13 years old, and I have never stopped writing since. Writing has been my salvation. Writing has been my way of expressing the way I feel about issues that are important to me, such as immigration. Through the stories I tell, I want to help others understand the world around them.

2. Can you tell us about your writing process? How do you approach writing a novel?

I am the kind of writer that doesn't have a routine. I write when I want to, whenever I want to, wherever I want to. Because I travel so much, I have learned to write just about anywhere at any time. I write at airports, airplanes, hotel rooms. I write when my kids are at school. I write when my kids are asleep. As a mother, it is hard to juggle my career with my family life but I do the best I can. The way I approach my novels is this: If I have an interesting character with an interesting premise, I start writing. I don't need to know how it's going to end. I don't need to know what the middle section is going to be. I just need to know what the basic idea is and I throw myself into the writing. I discover my characters as I go. And most of the time the idea I start out with isn't the final idea I end up writing about. I discover the story as I go along. Sometimes my character wants to go in another direction and I follow her. Because I am a perfectionist, I do many, many drafts of my book before I'm satisfied.

Even once the book is going through the publication process, I will still make changes, rewrite, cut and delete sentences, paragraphs, scenes, etc... When I write I give 100 percent of myself to my story. Which means that a lot of times I don't know what's going on in the "real" world because I am so immersed in the world that I am creating it's hard for me to pull out of it. That can be a good thing and a bad thing!

3. Who are some of your favorite authors? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

I like all kinds of books. but I especially love books with beautiful lyrical writing, such as The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, Caspian Rain by Gina B. Nahai, Mother Tongue by Demetria Martinez, The Autobiography of my Mother by Jamaica Kincaid, A Country Called Home by Kim Barnes, among others.

4. Your first two books were works of fiction, but your most recent, The Distance Between Us, is a memoir. When and why did you decide to write The Distance Between Us? What was it like to write about your past?

My fiction is very autobiographical, but because it is fiction, it is easier to write. I write about very painful stuff, and in fiction I get to create a character to stand in for me, so when the writing gets tough, I tell myself, "this is happening to my character, not to me," and that helps me to break through that wall of pain. When I wrote the memoir, I obviously couldn't do that. I was writing about myself, and every time I sat down to write it was the equivalent of cutting my wrists opened and bleeding all over my computer. There were many times when I almost gave up on the memoir. But when I finished I felt so free, so liberated from all the emotional baggage I had been carrying inside me for years and years.

I decided to write The Distance Between Us because I wanted people who don't know much about immigration to see how complex immigration is and how it affects the entire family unit, not just the immigrants who come here but the family that stays behind. My story puts a human face on an issue that most of the time people see it only as political.

5. What's next for you?

I am writing a young adult novel and I'm a fourth of the way into a novel for adults. They both deal with the immigrant experience in a way, though that isn't the focus of the story. I would love to say what the books are about, but because my stories tend to change as I write them I won't know what they are really going to be about until I finish them!

July 1, 2013

Award Winning Author Reyna Grande Visits Central Library!

4-Reyna-Grande.jpgAward winning author and memoirist Reyna Grande will visit Central Library on Saturday, July 13th at 2:00 p.m. for a special reading from her recent memoir, The Distance Between Us, an inspirational coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life.

Reyna's first novel, Across a Hundred Mountains, (Atria, 2006), received a 2010 Latino Books Into Movies Award, a 2007 American Book Award, and the 2006 El Premio Aztlán Literary Award. Her second novel, Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009) was critically acclaimed and was the recipient of a 2010 International Latino Book Awards. The Distance Between Us (Atria, 2012) is a National Book Circle Critics Award finalist.

You can see Reyna in the Mozart's Grove area (see the highlighted portion of the library floor plan below) of Central Library, Saturday, July 13th at 2 p.m.


April 12, 2013

Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses

Historic_Milwaukee_Public_Schoolhouses.jpgJoin local author Robert Tanzilo as he discusses his new book Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses.

Date: Sunday, April 21
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Central Library, Meeting Room 1, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

It's no surprise we feel a connection to our schools, where we learn to read, write and forge social bonds of all kinds. They are potentially the scenes of our first crushes (and the second and third). They are where we learn to create ourselves. For more than a century, Milwaukee has taken its schoolhouses seriously, and it has a matchless variety of gorgeous landmarks to prove it.

Robert Tanzilo pays homage to some long-lost schools, salutes veteran survivors, and examines the roles they play in their neighborhoods. Learn a little about some remarkable Milwaukee architects and see what the future may hold for some of the city's most beloved old buildings.

Sponsored by Milwaukee Public Library and Boswell Book Company.

Street parking is free on Sundays at Central Library.

April 24, 2013

UFOs and Government at the Central Library

The phenomenon of UFOs isn't just the subject of Milwaukee Public Library's extensive science fiction collection. We here at the library would like to invite you for a special presentation by local author Richard Thieme on his co-authored book UFOs and Government: An Historical Inquiry. Richard will be presenting all about the real government reaction to UFO sightings and incidents on Saturday, April 27th at 1:00 pm. Seating is limited, so please reserve a seat by either calling the library at 286-3011 or by registering online.

Location: Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room, Central Library
Date: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Time: 1:00 pm. Presentation Will Last Approximately 1 Hour, followed by Q&A.

September 11, 2012

Come Meet Zane @ Centennial Hall This Wednesday!

index_zane.gifZane, bestselling author, editor and publisher of urban fiction, will talk about her latest book, Z-Rated: Chocolate Flava 3, the third installment in Zane's New York Times bestselling series. Zane is the author and editor of dozens of titles and is the publisher of Strebor Books. Her television series, Zane's Sex Chronicles, is broadcast on Cinemax and her bestselling novel, Addicted, has been adapted for a major motion picture. She lives in the Washington, DC, area with her family. Her popular website is

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Book sales and signing will follow the program. Parking meters are free after 6 p.m. Sponsored by Boswell Book Company. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Time: 6:30 P.M. to 8 P.M.
Location: Centennial Hall of the Milwaukee Public Library

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June 8, 2012

Vanderbilt Cup Grand Auto Races of 1912


Are you an auto racing enthusiast? 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the historic Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prix races in Milwaukee. "Milwaukee's Speed Carnival" was an international road race run on country roads just northwest of Milwaukee's city limits.

Come celebrate this historic event with John Haydon, auto and racing enthusiast and author of Historic Road Racing in Milwaukee: The 1912 Vanderbilt Cup, Grand Prize and Related Road Races. The event will be held on Tuesday, June 12 from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the Krug Rare Books Room in the Central Public Library.

Seating is limited, please call 414.286.3011 to register.

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April 20, 2012

Spring Literary Lucheon Featuring Chad Harbach

artofielding.jpgThe Friends of Milwaukee Public Library welcomes Chad Harbach, best-selling author of The Art of Fielding, to the 2012 Spring Literary Luncheon. The Art of Fielding was listed as one of the best ten books of 2011 by The New York Times.

The lucheon will be held on May 4 at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Book sales, book signing and a raffle will begin at 11 a.m. followed by lunch and program at noon. Proceeds benefit the Milwaukee Public Library.

Registration ends April 25. To register, or for more information, call (414)286-3784. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library with book sales by Boswell Book Company.

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February 28, 2012

Come Hear a Reading of Soul of a Port: The History and Evolution of the Port of Milwaukee

Soul of a Port.gifMeet Leah Dobkin and hear about the people and history of Milwaukee's Port. Settle in for an entertaining passage that includes a longshoreman's poetry, the Milwaukee Clipper's recipe for prime rib, a tugboat ghost story and much more with this fascinating look into the history of the Port of Milwaukee. The book will be available for purchase; a book signing follows the event.

Location: Central Library Meeting Room 1
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

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October 28, 2011

Author and Illustrator Lois Ehlert @ MPL

Come to the Central Library on Wednesday, November 9, to see Lois Ehlert discuss her work as an author and illustrator and share how her art became an iconic part of the Central Library. Ehlert, the creator of such famous children's books as Nuts to you!, Color Zoo, and my personal favorite, Top Cat, designed the animal shapes inlaid into the floor in the Betty Brinn Children's room.

This program is open to the public and part of the MPL docents' ongoing enrichment program. A book signing follows the event.

For more information, please call (414)286-8720.

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July 21, 2011

Author Rick Melcher at Center Street Library

Explore your potential with Rich Melcher as he leads participants on a journey from learning from mistakes to personal motivation and self-discovery. Melcher will speak on the experience of writing fiction and non-fiction. He will also examine the art of journal writing and poetry as forms of self-expression while helping participants create their own writing.

Center Street Library
2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave. 53210
Saturday, July 23, 1-2:30pm

The author will sell and sign copies of his book, A Work in Progress: Adventures in Pursuing the Code to Self-Discovery and answer questions from the audience about his writing. Center Street Library is funded by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, Community Development Grants Administration (CDGA), City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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July 11, 2011

Come Meet Wisconsin Author, Ed Janus!

Creating Dairyland Jacket.jpgMeet Ed Janus, author of Creating Dairyland: How Caring for Cows Saved Our Soil, Created Our Landscape, Inspired Our Conservation Ethic, and Still Shapes Our Way of Life in Wisconsin. In Creating Dairyland, journalist, oral historian, and former dairyman Ed Janus opens the pages of the fascinating story of Wisconsin dairy farming. He explores the profound idea that led to the remarkable "big bang" of dairying here a century and a half ago. He helps us understand why there are cows in Wisconsin, how farmers became responsible stewards of our resources, and how cows have paid them back for their efforts. Books provided by Boswell Book Company will be available for purchase after the discussion.

Location: Central Library Rare Books Room
Date: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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May 6, 2011

Remembering Bronzeville

Join Paul Geenen and special guest Rueben Harpole on May 16 at the Martin Luther King Library as they explore the rich history of Milwaukee's Bronzeville, a neighborhood situated in what is now the Harambee and North Division neighborhoods. Step back in time to the jazz era and enjoy a Bronzeville photo presentation while enjoying refreshments and reminiscing with other guests. Signed copies of Geenen's book, Milwaukee's Bronzeville, 1900-1950, will be available for purchase.

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March 25, 2011

William Powell Jones @ MPL

William_P_Jones.jpgOn Tuesday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall, William Powell Jones will be the featured speaker for the fourth Frank P. Zeidler Memorial Lecture. Jones is the author of the award winning book The tribe of Black Ulysses : African American lumber workers in the Jim Crow south, and professor at UW-Madison in the history department. He will discuss the building of the labor movement among workers in the public and private sectors, the current struggle, and its role in defending the existence of a middle class in the United States. Professor Jones has participated in the movement to protect the labor rights of tens of thousands of public employees in Wisconsin. The doors will open at 6:30 for this event. For more information, call (414)286-3011.

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November 30, 2010

Earning Our Daily Bread: Poets & Their Day Jobs

Hand writing.jpgJoin MPL's Poet Laureate Brenda Cardenas for an afternoon discussion of poetry and poets on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2:00 p.m. in the Krug Rare Books Room of Central Library.

The program will feature a panel discussion with Frank Lima (New York poet & master chef), Nina Corwin (poet & psychotherapist), William Fuller (poet & trust officer), Sue Blaustein (poet & food safety inspector & union officer), and moderator Karl Gartung (poet & truck driver & Woodland Pattern co-founder).

These poets will discuss the relationship between a poet's day job and his/her poetry, writing career, and writing process. How might these elements affect one another? How might these poets' work lives enrich their poetry or detract from their inspiration?

This event is linked to a poetry reading by Frank Lima at Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E. Locust St., on Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m.

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October 12, 2010

Ian Frazier @ MPL

Another spectacular author is coming to MPL this month!
Travels in Siberia
Join us on Sunday, October 24 at 2:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall when author Ian Frazier will be speaking about his dazzling Russian travelogue, Travels in Siberia.

In his latest work, he trains his eye for unforgettable detail on Siberia, that vast expanse of Asiatic Russia. He explores many aspects of this storied, often grim region, which takes up one-seventh of the land on earth. He writes about the geography, the resources, the native peoples, the history, the forty-below midwinter afternoons, the bugs.

The program will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library, in partnership with Boswell Book Company.

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October 11, 2010

Come join us for an evening with Nancy Pearl

Book Lust to Go.jpg
Invite your book club to an evening with Nancy Pearl and start a new list of must-reads. Pearl will be discussing her new book Book Lust to Go, highlighting books to read before you reach your travel destination. Free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Library: Centennial Hall of the Milwaukee Public Library
Date: 10/21/2010
Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Time: 9:00 PM

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August 31, 2010

March on Milwaukee Remembered

March on MilwaukeeOn Thursday, September 16th at 7:00p.m. in Central Library's Centennial Hall, join MPL and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the UWM Libraries' Archives Department 9th Annual Revisiting Our Past Local History Lecture.

Jack Dougherty, prize winning author of More than One Struggle: The Evolution of Black School Reform in Milwaukee, will present "When Milwaukee's Civil Rights History Meets the Digital Era." Local civil rights activists Peggy Rozga and Vel Phillips will share remarks as well.

This event is also the launch of UWM's March on Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project.

This event is free and open to the public. Street parking is free after 6 p.m. For more information or to arrange for special needs, please call (414) 286-3021.

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July 6, 2010

Author Elizabeth Wright @ MPL

Dear Bob Dear Betty.jpgJoin the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library in welcoming author Elizabeth Wright to Centennial Hall on Thursday, July 15, at 7:00 p.m. Wright, the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, will speak about her book Dear Bob, Dear Betty --the love story of her parents which developed by correspondence during the Great Depression.

In 1932, Llewellyn Wright (Bob), Frank Lloyd Wright's youngest child, whose adolescence was marked by the public scandals surrounding his father's private life, is struggling to begin a private law practice in Chicago. Elizabeth Kehler (Betty), daughter of a Chicago artist, is working as an intake counselor at the Milwaukee Vocational School. Their fervent correspondence over a 10-month courtship is witty, sassy and poignant, as they grapple with their passionate feelings and try to create a financially stable marriage.

For more information, please call (414) 286-8720, or email

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June 7, 2010

Jellyfish to Giraffes, Bullfrogs to Butterflies to Bears

On June 21, the poet-in-residence for the Language of Conservation program, Pattiann Rogers, will read poems highlighting the earth and its wide variety of life in meadowlands and grasslands, deserts, seas, marshes, jungles and forests. A reception including light refreshments will begin at at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7:30 p.m. Both will take place in the Krug Rare Books Room at the Central Library on the second floor. The Language of Conservation is an initiative of Poets House in partnership with the Milwaukee County Zoo and Milwaukee Public Library, made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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April 15, 2010

Spring Literary Luncheon Featuring Sue Miller

The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library will hold this year's Spring Literary Luncheon Wednesday, April 28 at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave. Sue Miller, best-selling author of The Lake Shore Limited, will be featured at the luncheon. Book Sales, a book signing and a raffle will be held at 11:00a.m. Lunch will be held from 12:00p.m., followed by the program and the Friends of the Library meeting. All of the proceeds from the luncheon benefit the Milwaukee Public Library. For ticket information, you can either call 414-286-8720 or email

Reservations must be made by April 19. Seating is limited, so sign up soon!

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April 9, 2010

Ralph Nader comes to Centennial Hall

Ralph Nader, three-time presidential candidate and best-selling author, will give a short talk followed immediately by a book signing at the Central Library's Centennial Hall, Sunday, April 25th.
Ralph Nader, speaking at BYU's Alternate Commencement
His newest book, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! is a vivid fictional account that asks "What if several of America's wealthiest individuals decided it was time to work for the collective good?"
>Poster for Ralph Nader's April 25 Author Talk

Ralph Nader was named by the Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history.

Date: Sunday. April 25th 2010
Start Time: 1:30 p.m.
End Time: 2:30 p.m.
Library: Centennial Hall of the Milwaukee Public Library

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library and the Boswell Book Company.

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March 19, 2010

The Persistence of Place: The art and Milwaukee memories of Thomas Rose

Image from Thomas Rose's book 1018 West Scott StreetIn the latest Rare Books Room Educational Series, visual artist Thomas Rose presents on his limited edition books that are owned by MPL.

In this presentation, he discusses his unique creative process and the technical challenges that went into the creation of the book Time Frames. The book uses a unique combination of a hinged metal bindings and pages that are turned alternately.

The artist will also discuss his book 1018 West Scott Street, which explores the effect of his childhood home in Milwaukee upon his emotional and psychological development.

Thomas Rose's multi-media works, books, architectural collaborations, and projects for public and private spaces are found worldwide.

Seating is limited and registration is required. Contact the Art, Music, & Recreation Department at (414) 286-3071.

Date: April 4th, 2010
Start Time: 1:30 p.m.
End Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Krug Rare Books Room

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March 9, 2010

Author John Nichols @ MPL

On Tuesday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall, the Milwaukee Public Library will offer the latest program in the Frank P. Zeidler Memorial Lecture Series.

The Death and Life of American Journalism.jpg
The featured speaker is John Nichols, co-author of The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again.

Nichols is a political writer for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He contributes to The Progressive and In These Times and is the associate editor of Madison's daily paper, the Capital Times. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers.

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January 12, 2010

Niffenegger Visit and Book Signing At Central Library

Thursday, Audrey Niffenegger will visit MPL to talk about her new book entitled Her Fearful Symmetry. (Her debut book was The Time Travelers Wife.) Niffenegger's visit is sponsored by Boswell Book Company and the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library.
audrey.jpgBoswell will be offering a special price on Her Fearful Symmetry - $13.50 each - and Ms. Niffenegger will sign copies of them. Other books will be available for purchase.

The event is free and open to the public:

Thursday, January 14 - 7:00 p.m.
Centennial Hall, 733 N. 8th St.

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October 27, 2009

Author talk with Jeffrey Krames

The Unforced Error: Why Some Managers Get Promoted While Others Get EliminatedThe Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library present: Jeffrey A. Krames, the author of The Unforced Error: Why Some Managers Get Promoted While Others Get Eliminated, Inside Drucker's Brain and more.

As former publisher of a major business book company, Krames has personally edited and published more than 275 business books, including many award-winning, best-selling titles that include such business luminaries as Jack Welch, Michael Ovitz, Ross Perot, Bill Gates and more.

The event takes place November 3, 2009, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. in the Business and Periodicals room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Coffee, juice and rolls will be served.

Boswell Book Company will be there to sell books.

Admission is $10. Please contact John Menzel for reservations at 414-908-0557 or by October 28th.

This event is sponsored by: The Business Journal

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May 26, 2009

Author talk with Lea E. Williams

Author Lea E. Williams will be at the Capitol Library on Saturday, June 13th to discuss her book Servants of the People: The 1960s Legacy of African American Leadership.
Servants of the People

The book profiles six civil rights leaders and discusses their impact a generation later. The people profiled are A. Philip Randolph, Frederick D. Patterson, Thurgood Marshall, Whitney M. Young, Adam Clayton Powell, and Fannie Lou Hamer.

The author will discuss the book and her experiences in getting it published. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and she will be on hand after the discussion to sign copies of the book.

This event is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Black Librarians’ Network and the Milwaukee Public Library.

Saturday, June 13, 2009
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Capitol Library

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April 14, 2009

Walleye Warriors author talk

Each spring, when the ice clears, the Anishinabe harvest fish from the lakes of Wisconsin and Minnesota, a tradition protected by treaties and reinforced by Federal Court rulings. However, for a number of years the spear fishermen were confronted with violence and racial epithets from local sports fishermen, resort owners and other white neighbors.

Join Walleye Warriors author Rick Whaley, and Dave Denomie of the Bad River Chippewa and Milwaukee spokesperson for Witness for Non-Violence, as they explain how a multi-race and class alliance of Anishinabe, local residents, and activists defused these confrontations by witnessing and documenting them.

This program is offered in conjunction with the PBS Native American history series We Shall Remain to be broadcast in April and May. This May 9 program will take place before the final installment Wounded Knee, which describes the takeover of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation and the beginning of the reassertion of political rights by the Indian nations.

Walleye Warriors
Saturday, May 9, 2009
2:00 p.m.
Central Library

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April 6, 2009

Poetry under the dome

Meet local poets Rebecca Dunham, Judith Harway, Derrick Harriell, Angela Sorby, and Milwaukee's Poet Laureate Susan Firer at the Central Library. The poets will be reading selections from their works under Central's beautiful rotunda on Thursday, April 23rd at 6:00 p.m.
A view of the dome from the floor at the Central Library's rotunda.

These local poets have all received honors and accolades for their poetry. In addition to Susan Firer being Milwaukee's Poet Laureate, Rebecca Dunham received the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize and is the author of The Miniature Room. Derrick Harriell has had poetry has published in the Cream City Review. Judith Harway's poems have earned her fellowships with the Wisconsin Arts Board and she is a faculty member of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Angela Sorby is the author of Bird Skin Coat and is also a recipient of the Brittingham Prize.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Please call (414) 286-8720 or send an email to the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library to register for this event.

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March 20, 2009

John Gurda @ Centennial Hall

Public Enterprise: How the Socialists Saved Milwaukee, a presentation from local author and historian John Gurda, will be held Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. in Central Library's Centennial Hall.

City Hall Square

At the turn of the 20th Century, Milwaukee, like most large American cities, was a civic cesspool of corruption, inefficiency, and inequality. Bending their lofty ideology to the common-sense concerns of the working class, the Socialists took charge of local government. They were highly effective champions of public enterprise for 50 years and the expectations they created still carry weight today. John Gurda will shed light on a critical period and some critically important figures in the life of the modern city.

*This program is sponsored by the Frank P. Zeidler Memorial Lecture Series and the Argosy Foundation, the International Institute of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Public Library and Milwaukee Public Television.*

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March 16, 2009

Jane Austen lecture and tea

Come to a special presentation of "Tea with Jane Austen" at the Rare Books Room of the Central Library. Not only will tea be served, but costumed performers from the Milwaukee Rep's production of Pride and Prejudice will be on hand to model the fashions of the era.
Jane Austen
In addition to that, Marsha Huff (president of the Jane Austen Society of North America) will discuss Jane Austen's writing of Pride and Prejudice. Kim Wilson, the author of Tea with Jane Austen and In the Garden with Jane Austen, will discuss tea in the novel and the play.

Admission to the event is free. However, seating is limited and reservations are required, so call (414) 286-8720 to reserve your spot.

Saturday, March 21, 2009
1:30 PM
Central Library

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January 23, 2009

Milwaukee Television History @ MPL

As the new digital age of television approaches, join MPL as we reminisce about the early days of television in Milwaukee.
Retro TV
Dick Golembiewski, local author of Milwaukee Television History: the analog years, will be speaking at Central Library on February 14, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. about his research on the history of Milwaukee television. Mr. Golembiewski began researching Milwaukee broadcasting history in 1996, and in 2002 launched a Website dedicated to the city’s old TV horror hosts and shows. He will sign his books, which will be available for purchase, following his presentation. Light refreshments will be served.

September 29, 2008

Author talk with Dale Van Atta

Dale Van Atta will be at the Central Library's Centennial Hall to discuss his book With Honor: Melvin Laird in War, Peace, and Politics.

From left to right: Melvin Laird, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dale Van Atta in 2001.

The first book ever to focus on Laird's legacy, this authorized biography reveals his central and often unrecognized role in managing the crisis of national identity sparked by the Vietnam War -and challenges, ethical and political, that confronted him along the way.

Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Located in the Loos Room.

This is part of the Get Political @ your Milwaukee Public Library series. No registration is necessary.

Central Library-Centennial Hall
Tuesday, October 14, 7:00 p.m.

September 26, 2008

Milwaukee Book Festival, Oct. 5-14

This year, the Third Annual Milwaukee Book Festival runs from October 5th through the 14th. With events happening every day at many different locations there is something for everyone who loves the literary arts.

Milwaukee Book Festival

The Milwaukee Public Library is participating with a talk by Jim Schley about the poetry of Robert Frost. The program takes place Thursday, October 9th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Central Library's Centennial Hall.

Many other programs will be happening at UW-Milwaukee, Marquette University, and more. Check out the entire list of events. All the programs are free, though some may require registration.

September 15, 2008

Author talk by Robert Booth Fowler

Robert Booth Fowler, the author of Wisconsin Votes: An Electoral History will be in the Central Library to discuss his book as well as the 2000, 2004, and the upcoming elections.
Wisconsin Votes cover
Mr. Fowler is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His book looks at the entire history of voting in Wisconsin from 1848 to present day. In his book, he explores various historic and current trends in the voting of ethnic and religious groups in Wisconsin. He also discusses the triumphs and failures of the two major parties as well as Wisconsin's third parties, such as the Socialists, the Progressives and others.

If you are interested in the electoral history of Wisconsin, come to this program at the Central Library on Wednesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m.

September 5, 2008

John Gurda @ Central Library


Join us for the final presentation in MPL's program series on the Menomonee River Valley!

Milwaukee author and historian John Gurda will be speaking at Central Library on Wednesday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the first floor meeting room. His topic will be the Menomonee River Valley's rich past, in a presentation entitled, In the Beginning was the Valley: The History of Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley. This program is sponsored by the Map Society of Wisconsin.

(Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Neighborhoods Digital Collection, UWM Libraries)

September 2, 2008

Author Visit & Book Signing - Author Robert Schlesinger

Mr. Schlesinger will discuss and read an excerpt from his book followed by a Q&A and book signing. Books will be sold by Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Located in the Loos Room.

2:00 PM - Centennial Hall
Saturday, September 13, 2008

"In White House Ghosts, veteran Washington reporter Robert Schlesinger opens a fresh and revealing window on the modern presidency from FDR to George W. Bush. This is the first book to examine a crucial and often hidden role played by the men and women who help presidents find the words they hope will define their places in history."


August 15, 2008

Author Visit - Eddee Daniel

On Wednesday, August 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Central Library, author Eddee Daniel will be speaking and signing copies of his latest book, Urban Wilderness.
In this work, Daniel guides readers down the waterways of the Menomonee River watershed and reveals how preserving urban rivers is key to modern-day city life. Urban Wilderness charts the exemplary preservation efforts to rescue the river from pollution and neglect, ultimately showing how parks and nature preserves are crucial to the quality of life and economic success of a thriving city such as Milwaukee.

Mr. Daniel will discuss and show slides from his book, and copies will be available for purchase. While you are here, don't forget to check out the Menomonee River exhibit on the second floor of the library!

June 10, 2008

Author Visit at East Library

Meet new author Professor E. Adekunlewilson, Ed. S. who will discuss her first book Celebrating Black Men: Because You Said I Couldn’t SERIES (Book I). Celebrating Black Men paints a picture for the kind of personal character, routines and priorities that enabled Black Americans to endure, persevere and progress as a people. Readers are provided with a behind-the-achievement glimpse into the mindsets of faith, determination and creativity. She will be signing copies as well.

East Library
Tuesday, June 24th
6:30 PM

May 2, 2008

Spring Literary Luncheon With Louise Erdrich


The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library will hold their annual Spring Literary Luncheon on Monday, May 19 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Club, located at 900 W. Wisconsin Ave. This year's event will feature award-winning author Louise Erdrich. She is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Medicine, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. On May 19, she will be signing copies and reading from her latest book, The Plague of Doves.

Reservations are required for this event. Each reservation includes an autographed hardcover copy of The Plague of Doves or a Schwartz Bookshops gift card of equal value. Please call 286-8720 for more information.

April 4, 2008

Meet New Poet Laureate Susan Firer


On Sunday, April 6 at 1:30 p.m. in Central Library's Centennial Hall, native Milwaukeean Susan Firer will be inducted as the city's Poet Laureate for 2008-09. Firer will read from her latest poetry collection, Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People, which includes new and selected poems from 1979 to 2007. Her other collections include The Laugh We Make When We Fall (2002), The Underground Communion Rail (1992), My Life With the Tsar and Other Poems (1979), and The Lives of Saints and Everything (1993), which won that year's Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize. Firer is an assistant professor in the English Department of UWM, where she teaches courses in creative writing and women's studies.

April 1, 2008

Author Visit and Book Signing


Milwaukee resident Frank D. Alioto, a Lieutenant with the Milwaukee Fire Department and local historian will present his new book, Milwaukee's Brady Street Neighborhood, along with a slide presentation including pictures from his book.

The author will sign copies of his book along with copies being sold at the discussion.

Saturday, April 12
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

East Library
1910 E. North Ave
(414) 286-3058

February 18, 2008

Milwaukee's Bronzeville during the Harlem Renaissance


This Saturday, February 23 from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., the author of Milwaukee's Bronzeville 1900-1950 will be giving a talk at the Villard Library. Paul H. Geenen will share a slide presentation that discusses the history and stories of Bronzeville, and explores the cultural achievements of African Americans of that time.

Bronzeville was an area that centered around Walnut Street, with the heart of the area between 3rd and 12th streets. In the time period between 1900 and 1950 the area was predominantly African-American. In the 1950s, the neighborhood disappeared after a majority of the buildings were razed to make way for the I-43 north-south freeway.

This program is part of the Milwaukee Public Library's Big Read celebration which features Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

February 15, 2008

American Presidency Exhibit @ Central Library


Central Library will host The American Presidency Traveling Exhibit from Saturday, February 16 through Monday, February 18. This museum-quality exhibit contains 80 objects from the two largest private presidential memorabilia collections in the country. Among some of the rare and unique items on display are campaign buttons, state dinner menus and seating arrangements, and an original key to the White House. MPL has supplemented this exhibit with items from its own collection, as well as donations from library patrons and friends.

Along with the exhibit, Jordan M. Wright, author of Campaigning for President, will be discussing and signing his book on Sunday, February 17 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. in Central Library's First Floor Meeting Room. Copies of his work will be available for purchase at the event.

**MPL is partnering with HarperCollins Publishing and FOX News to bring this exhibit to Milwaukee.**

December 11, 2007

Jane Austen's 232nd birthday party success!

The staff of the Adult Programming Committee prepared a tea party to celebrate the 232nd birthday of Jane Austen. A beautiful display of the Milwaukee Public Library staff’s tea cups and related items was prepared to complement the celebration.

Authors Victoria Hinshaw and Kim Wilson in the Rare Books Room.

Regency romance author Victoria Hinshaw and tea aficionado and author Kim Wilson gave talks about Jane Austen’s life, her books and the history of tea in England. A trivia quiz was distributed and the authors’ books were given as prizes. Several kinds of teas and cookies, some brought by generous participants, were enjoyed by all.

The event took place in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room at the Central Library on Saturday, December 8, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The event was a great success with the 28 participants raving about the program and there were several requests that a similar program take place on an annual basis.

December 3, 2007

Caroline Kennedy Book Signing


Please join the Milwaukee Public Library and Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops in welcoming Caroline Kennedy to Central Library on Thursday, December 13. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., Ms. Kennedy, editor of A Family Christmas, will be signing books in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room. The Milwaukee Children's Choir will also be part of the evening's festivities. Tickets for the event are $32 and may be purchased at any Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop or online at One ticket includes admission to the event, an autographed copy of A Family Christmas and a $5 tax deductible contribution to the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation. Tickets and additional books will be available at the event. We hope that you will be able to join us!

September 24, 2007

LOL @ Your Library: 3 Ways to Celebrate Teen Read Week

October 14-20, 2007

1. Poster Contest

Your library wants you to submit posters based on the theme “LOL @ Your Library.”

Entries by teens age 13-18 will be accepted October 1-12 at all Milwaukee Public Libraries. Posters must be done by hand (not computer-generated) in any other medium including: pencil, chalk, ink, marker, paints, etc. Posters must be submitted on 8.5 x 11” paper. Each entry will be judged on composition, quality of drawing, originality, and how closely it relates to the theme. Winning posters will be displayed on the library’s web page.

1st place – $50 Target gift card
2nd place – $25 Target gift card
3rd place – $15 Target gift card

2. ComedySportz @ Washington Park Library (2121 N. Sherman Blvd.)
Thursday, October 18, 2007 6:30 p.m.
Sit back and laugh, or take the opportunity to stand up and make people laugh during this interactive improv comedy performance suitable for all ages. The entire show is fueled by audience suggestions and participation.

3. Meet the Author: Sonia Hayes @ Center Street Library (2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave.)
Saturday, October 20, 2007 3:00 p.m.
Sonia Hayes, author of Ms. Thang and Urban Goddess, will present a book discussion based on her novels entitled: Flavor of Love Adolescents age 12-18 will be invited to explore the concept of love in various relationships including friends, family, romantic and, most importantly, self-love.

About Author Talks

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Now @ MPL... in the Author Talks category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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