For many years, area book-lovers had yearned for opportunities for readers, writers, storytellers, and publishers to connect with each other. A few years ago, a collective group of Green Bay area volunteers with diverse backgrounds in the literary arts, community planning, and education decided to try and organize an event to make that happen. What resulted was the 2017 inaugural UntitledTown Book and Author Festival. The ambitious three-day event brought readers and writers together for free readings, discussions, panels, workshops, a book expo, and other events at venues in Downtown Green Bay.
The hugely successful 2017 event led to similarly successful festivals in 2018 and 2019. Plans were underway for a 2020 festival, but like everything else, it was canceled due to the pandemic.
To regain the momentum of the earlier festivals, the organizers took the opportunity to explore and initiate a partnership with the Friends of the Brown County Library.
“UntitledTown’s partnership with the Friends of the Brown County Library opens up new opportunities to connect our community with the types of literary experiences we know they want,” said Amy Mazzariello, owner of Lion’s Mouth Bookstore and an original founder of UntitledTown. “Working with Brown County Library, Lion’s Mouth Bookstore, and others as additional partners, UntitledTown’s new chapter promises to be the best and most thrilling yet.”
“The Friends of the Brown County Library is proud to partner with UntitledTown to offer these exciting and engaging literary experiences,” said Sherrill Revolinski, Friends of the Brown County Library Board President. “Supporting literary arts is vital to our education and learning; the Friends are enthusiastic for this opportunity.”
This new community partnership was able to get UntitledTown back on track with the August 2021 “UntitledTown: The Comeback Event” (see flyer here), a one day celebration of reading, writing, and stories. The event featured almost twenty authors, including Miranda and Baptiste Paul, Nickolas Butler, Patricia Skalka, Amanda Skenandore, Pao Lor, and Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.
Upcoming UntitledTown Events
The revived UntitledTown will consist of a variety of literary events leading into and throughout 2022 (see list below), and the organizers anticipate a return of the Book & Author Festival in 2023. Prominent among these upcoming events are Virtual Book Launches and the newly formed PageTurners Book Club.
Both promote the discussion of current books of interest, and are free and open to the public. PageTurners, however, is an in-person event where attendance is limited, and as such requires advance registration. For information and updates on both programs, go to facebook.com/untitledtown.
December 16, 2021 - Virtual Book Launch (6:30-7:30 pm)
"Death at Greenway" by Lori Rader-Day
Rader-Day discusses her recently released book, a suspense novel that finds a host of World War II nurses placed in the middle of a murder mystery. The novel was named a pick by Library Reads and IndieNext, and the audiobook version won an AudioMagazine Earphones Award.
January 18, 2022 - Virtual Book launch (6:30-7:30pm)
"Icebreaker" by A.L Graziadei
The debut author discusses the new book, a young adult novel about two hockey players fighting to be the best, and the romance that catches them along the way. The book is available for pre-order through Lion's Mouth Bookstore.
March 23, 2022 - PageTurners Book Club (6:00-7:30 pm, Central Library)
"The Sentence" by Louise Erdrich
According to GoodReads.com, "In this stunning and timeless novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a women's relentless errors." Amy Mazzariello, owner of Lion's Mouth Book Store, will lead the book club discussion.
May 25, 2022 - PageTurners Book Club
"Swamplands" by Edward Struck
The full title is "Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat". According to GoodReads.com, "Swamplands highlights the unappreciated struggle being waged to save peatlands by scientists, conservationists, and landowners around the world. An ode to peaty landscapes in all their offbeat glory, the book is also a demand for awareness of the myriad threats they face. It urges us to see the beauty and importance in these least likely of places. Our planet’s survival might depend on it." The discussion leader will be Kathryn Corio, environmental scientist at the UWGB Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.
The Friends of the Brown County Library is a
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515 Pine Street, Green Bay, WI 54301