Twin Cities Book Festival is back – in person – Twin Cities

The Twin Cities Book Festival, one of the largest gatherings of book lovers in the state, celebrates its 20th anniversary with everyone returning in person to the Minnesota Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 16. The festival is free, and there is plenty of free parking at the fairgrounds.

New this year is the Minnesota Author Mashup, where nearly 50 authors will have three minutes to present their new books on TCBF’s official “soap box.”

There will also be a new way to meet favorite authors at the interactive walking stations where they will teach attendees something from their new books. Their topics range from deciphering and drawing vampires to close magic and running demos.

Writers include Joshua Gay (“How Witches Think”), Terry Virts (“How to Become an Astronaut: An Insider’s Guide to Leaving Planet Earth”), Melissa Corley Carter (“Running the World: A Memoir of the Seven Continents”), Kate Hannigan, books From the middle grades empowered girls (“Cape,” “Mask,” and “Shoes”), Tracy Richardson, Young Adult (“Catalyst”), Heather Demetrius (“Code Name Badass: The True Story of Virginia Hall”), and graphic novelist Madeleine McGrane (“Cursed Vampire”).

Poet/songwriter and educator Brian Laidlaw will host the Adaptation Station, where he will turn your favorite poem or own work into a song. His latest album “This Aster: Adaptations of Emilie Nelligan” will appear at the festival.

The author’s talks and readings, although scaled back somewhat this year due to COVID concerns, include the major poetry reading of Iranian poet and scholar Kafeh Akbar; Youth Keynote with Angeline Boulley, bestselling author of “Firekeeper’s Daughter”; Novelist, poet and writer Kazem Ali; Dianne Glancey, former Minnesota, poet and novelist; and comics creators Bill Campbell and Matt Madden.

There will be readings for a book launch by Minnesota Margaret Haas, Robert Hayden and James Leinvesti.

For readers who like to wander, the book fair will feature more than 100 publishers, literary organizations, book dealers, and authors on booths at the Progress Center as well as selling second-hand books and CDs.

There was also a virtual element for this year’s festival, which kicked off September 16 with Marie Roach in conversation with Eric Larson. Subsequent discussions were held by Tongo Eisen Martin and Crystal Wilkinson, the East-West Laureate Poet; Former Minnesota Lemony Snicket Gary Paulsen et al. All archived and available for viewing. go to the Crowdcast.io/raintaxreview.

Next will come a virtual appearance by Cuban-American writer and translator Ashie Obijas and poet Philip B. Williams, recipient of Kate Tufts Discovery and Lambda Literary Awards at 5:30 p.m. October 12; Douglas Walk (“All Marvels”), 5:30 p.m. October 13, and Kate DiCamillo with illustrator Sophie Blackall in conversation with Anne Patchett about their new novel “The Beatryce Prophecy.”

Information about the entire festival in twincitiesbookfestival.org.

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