Details for our upcoming events are below. You can find a line listing of other confirmed author appearances at the bottom of the page.
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Milwaukee School of Engineering Professor of History Patrick J. Jung delves into the history of Wisconsin wanderer Jean Nicolet.
For years, schoolchildren heard the story of Jean Nicolet’s arrival in Wisconsin. But the popularized image of the hapless explorer landing with robe billowing and guns blazing, believing himself to have found a passage to China, is based on scant evidence - a false narrative perpetuated by fanciful artists’ renditions and repetition.
Recently, historians have pieced together a story that is more complicated and more interesting. Jung synthesizes the research about Nicolet and his superior Samuel de Champlain, whose diplomatic goals in the region are crucial to understanding Nicolet’s journey across the Great Lakes. Additionally, historical details about Franco-Indian relations and the search for the Northwest Passage provide a framework for understanding Nicolet’s famed mission.
Patrick J. Jung is a professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a Ph.D. in history and anthropology and is author of The Black Hawk War of 1832, The Nicolet Corrigenda: New France Revisited with coauthor Nancy Oestreich Lurie, and The Battle of Wisconsin Heights: Thunder on the Wisconsin.
2017 James Beard Outstanding Chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner, Steven Cook, owners of Zahav, Federal Donuts, and other restaurants, weave together history and delicious food in this demonstration and discussion at the Harry and Rose Samson Jewish Community Center, cosponsored by the Israeli Center and Boswell.
Tickets for this event are available at jccmilwaukee.org/israeli-soul. $40 for one person, $60 for two, includes admission, one copy of Israeli Soul, and delicious appetizers.
For their first major book since the trailblazing Zahav, Solomonov and Cook go straight to the food of the people, the great dishes that are the soul of Israeli cuisine. Usually served from hole-in-the-wall restaurants or market stalls, these specialties have been passed down through generations. The authors scoured bustling cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and sleepy towns on mountaintops, visiting bakeries, juice carts, beaches, even weddings, to find the best recipes. Perfected for the home kitchen, recipes include falafel and pita, grilled and roasted spice-rubbed meats, stuffed vegetables, chopped vegetable salads, pastries, ice creams, and shakes.
James Beard award-winning Michael Solomonov is the executive chef of Zahav, an Eater ‘essential’ restaurant, and the 2016 Eater Chef of the Year. Steven Cook, with Solomonov, wrote Federal Donuts and the award-winning Zahav. Together, they own Zahav, Federal Donuts, and Abe Fisher restaurants.
UWM’s Department of Geoscience presents Lawrence University Geology Chair Marcia Bjornerud for a discussion of her newest work, which explains why an awareness of Earth’s temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival. Cosponsored by Boswell.
Marcia Bjornerud shows how geologists chart the planet’s past and determine the pace of processes like mountain building and erosion, comparing them with the unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere. These overlapping rates of change in the Earth system - some fast, some slow - demand a poly-temporal worldview, which Bjornerud calls “timefulness.” She explains why timefulness is vital in the Anthropocene, this human epoch of accelerating planetary change, and proposes sensible solutions for building a more time-literate society.
This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth’s history and the magnitude of our effect on the planet.
Marcia Bjornerud is Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geology and Chair of Geology at Lawrence University. She is the author of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth and a contributing writer for Elements, The New Yorker’s science and technology blog. She lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Join docents from Milwaukee Art Museum, including Mary ‘Peetie’ Basson, Jody Baxter, and Jee-Won Schally, as they present the book Look, Write, See, a collaborative endeavor developed to help teach writing and encourage closer looking at art. Cohosted by Milwaukee Art Museum.
Twenty activities are paired with works of art from the Milwaukee Art Museum's Collection, but each can easily be used with other works-and at other museums. The magic of these activities happens in the combination of close looking, writing, listening to what others see, and looking again. Children and adults will be amazed at what there is to find and see!
The heart of the interaction is writing that enhances an appreciation of art, and art returns the favor by enriching our understanding of writing. The beauty of these activities is that you do not need to be trained in art to enjoy and learn from it. With this book, museum goers will look more closely, think more personally, and engage in dialogue in the galleries.
Look, Write, See is a collaborative effort created by docents at Milwaukee Art Museum.
Join us for a special evening celebrating the release of the collected work of John Koethe, UWM’s Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and Milwaukee’s own philosopher-poet, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the Frank O’Hara Award.
Walking Backwards gathers for the first time Koethe’s award-winning body of work. These poems, always dynamic and in process, never static or complete, luxuriate in the questions that punctuate the most humdrum of routines, rendering a robust portrait of an individual: complicated, quotidian, and resounding with truth.
Pulitzer-winning poet John Ashbery said, “Solemn and playful, John Koethe’s poems lock themselves gradually but firmly into one’s memory.”
John Koethe has published eleven books of poetry. He has also published books on Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophical skepticism, and poetry, and is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Everyone’s favorite bear is coming to Milwaukee! Bruce, the hero of Mother Bruce, is coming to town (in costume form) for the publication of Ryan T. Higgin’s picture book Santa Bruce.
Each library will have a story time, and children and adults will have a chance to pose for pictures with Bruce and get his "autograph" (custom Bear stamp). Boswell will have Higgins books for sale at each library. Please note, Higgins will not be present at these events. Perfect for adults and kids 4+.
Bruce is many things - a reluctant mother, a harangued hotelier, and an all-around magnet for chaos. But one thing Bruce is definitely not? He is not Santa Claus. But that doesn't stop the whole forest from giving him their Christmas wishes in the fourth installment of mistaken identity fun with the hilarious bear who just can't catch a break.
Ryan T. Higgins has earned the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor for Mother Bruce. Higgins is also author of Hotel Bruce, BE QUIET!, and We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. Again, Higgins will not be at these events.
Poet, activist, spoken-word artist, and author of stirring, introspective poetry collections such as Take Me With You and Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns, Andrea Gibson appears at Boswell for a special evening in which they will speak and perform poems from their latest collection, Lord of the Butterflies.
Register for free at gibsonmke.bpt.me or upgrade to a book-with-ticket option for $17, which includes admission to the event, a copy of Lord of the Butterflies, and priority on the signing line. If we are near capacity for this event, Boswell will close to the general public, so be sure to register today!
Gibson’s latest collection is a masterful showcase from the poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. The honesty of Gibson's work makes audiences and readers feel welcome as they are. With artful, nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, Lord of the Butterflies is a new peak in Gibson’s career. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.
Andrea Gibson began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. In 2008, Gibson won the first ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Gibson is the author of four previous books of poetry and has released seven spoken-word albums.
Former speechwriter and senior congressional aide to Congressman Mikva, Milwaukee native Sanford D. Horwitt appears at Boswell to discuss his biography of the influential Chicago politician’s long life and career of public service with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff reporter Mary Spicuzza.
Abner Mikva's memoir chronicles his career in Chicago and nationally and details the many controversies he faced as a member of the US House and as a judge: battles with the NRA, the Nazi march in Skokie, IL, Congressional gridlock, and US Supreme Court activism. His career culminated in a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by a young politician he once mentored, Barack Obama.
Conversations with Abner Mikva lets us listen in as the veteran political reformer and unreconstructed liberal reflects on the world as it was, how it’s changed, and what matters. Mikva is eloquent, deeply informed, and endlessly interesting. In this intimate, unfiltered encounter, he remains an optimist, inspired and inspiring to the very end of a remarkable life of public service.
Sanford D. Horwitt is author of Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy and Feingold: A New Democratic Party. Horwitt served as a speechwriter for Congressman Mikva and senior congressional aide. A graduate of Northwestern, he is policy advisor to civic engagement organizations. Horwitt is a native of Milwaukee.
Former reporter, editorial writer, and columnist for The Milwaukee Journal, Whitefish Bay author Douglas Armstrong appears at Whitefish Bay Public Library with the latest novel in his series about newsroom life in the era of love beads, tear gas, and manual typewriters.
The murder of a newspaper reporter in 1967 pulls his colleagues deep into the contentious issues of race in America and the secrets of a troubled family. Did a nine-year-old boy pull the trigger? Alternately solemn and irreverent, Color of The Sun looks back at an era when the civil rights movement rocked the social underpinnings of a nation, including newspaper journalism.
Critics call Douglas Armstrong’s Life on The Sun “authentic, frenzied, and suspenseful.” In 2010, his debut novel, Even Sunflowers Cast Shadows, won the Council for Wisconsin Writer’s Award.
Douglas Armstrong was a reporter, critic, and columnist for The Milwaukee Journal who was on the scene during the anti-war and civil rights protests of the 1960s. He is author of two novels in The Sun series as well as Even Sunflowers Cast Shadows. His short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Ellery Queen and Boys Life. He serves on the board of his local library and school district and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, and the Milwaukee Press Club.
Boswell presents a special evening with graphic artist and award-winning illustrator Jessica Hische for her debut picture book, which encourages kids to try new things, do their best, and be brave. For bibliophiles, Hische's art will be instantly recognizable from her work creating the beautiful Penguin Drop Caps classic series.
Registration is free at bravemke.bpt.me. An upgrade to a book-with-ticket option is also available for $19 and includes admission, a copy of Tomorrow I’ll be Brave, and all taxes and fees.
At a time with so much uncertainty, this simple and uplifting book of beautiful illustrations reminds children to be positive and active in making each day the best that it can be. Journey through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities - all you have to do is decide to make the day yours.
Author Dave Eggers says, "Jessica Hische, one of the great designers and typographers, now shows herself equally adept at creating gorgeous and immersive images for young readers. This is a joyous burst of color."
Jessica Hische works as a letterer, illustrator, type designer, and relentless procrastiworker who’s twice been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Clients include Wes Anderson, The New York Times, and Chronicle Books.
Former Fox 6 Milwaukee journalist and four-time Emmy Award winner Mark Concannon debuts his book, Mettle and Honor, which shares the battlefield stories of Wisconsin veterans.
Traditional history books provide richly detailed chronicles of America’s most important battles but pale in comparison to eyewitness accounts from those who were there, at Normandy, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Khe Sanh, Kabul, and Fallujah.
Concannon captures the myriad emotions of war - a clear sense of duty, the fear of young soldiers in combat, the humor resulting from the absurdities of military life, and the unique sense of pride that one can only realize from serving their country. His book is part of the WMC, Wisconsin War Memorial Center’s Veterans Story Project, which features interviews with dozens of vets that capture an important oral history and provides a remarkable anthology of the exceptional experiences of Wisconsin soldiers.
Mark Concannon is a four-time Emmy Award winning journalist who spent 23 years as a decorated journalist with Fox 6 in Milwaukee. Mark is now President of Concannon Communications.
Wisconsin author and Director of Red Oak Writing debuts her first collection of fiction, Nothing to Lose, from Cornerstone Press of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the second title in the Press’s Legacy Series.
Drawing on the rich complexity of the American Midwest, Kim Suhr peoples her debut book of fiction with characters that we know, carved out of the Wisconsin landscape and caught between expectation and desire.
An Iraq war veteran stalks the streets of Madison. Four drunk friends hunt deer outside Antigo. A mother tries to save her son. A transplanted New Yorker plots revenge against her husband. A man sobers up and opens a paintball range for Jesus. A women with nothing to lose waits for her first kiss. Personal and powerful, Kim Suhr's Nothing to Lose shows us a region filled with real people who are less than perfect, plagued with doubts, and always reaching.
In case you can't make this event, Kim Suhr will also be at Oconomowoc’s Books & Company on Wednesday, December 12, at 7 pm.
Kim Suhr is Director of Red Oak Writing and serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Writer’s Association. She holds an MFA from the Solstice Program at Pine Manor College in Boston, where she was the Dennis Lehane Fellow in 2013, and her work has appeared in Midwest Review, Stonecoast Road, and Solstice Literary Magazine, and has been featured on WUWM’s Lake Effect. She is author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom.
Boswell and UWM’s Slavic Languages Program present the translators of Russian Cuisine in Exile, which brings the essays of Pyotr Vail and Alexander Genis, originally written in the mid-1980s, to an English-speaking audience. This is a delicious introduction to Russian culture and the problems of Soviet life, viewed through the experiences and recipes of émigrés.
A must-read for scholars, students, and general readers interested in Russian studies, but also for specialists in émigré literature, mobility studies, popular culture, and food studies, the essays in this book re-imagine the identities of immigrants through their engagement with Russian cuisine.
Beloved by Russians in the U.S., the Russian diaspora across the world, and in post-Soviet Russia, these essays narrate everyday experiences. Richly illustrated and beautifully produced, the book has been translated “not word for word, but smile for smile,” to use the phrase of Vail and Genis’s fellow émigré writer Sergei Dovlatov. Translators Angela Brintlinger and Thomas Feerick have supplied copious authoritative and witty commentaries.
Angela Brintlinger has written, edited, and translated numerous books and articles about Russian literature. She is Professor and Graduate Studies Chair of Slavic and Eastern European Languages and Studies at Ohio State University. Thomas Feerick is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University.
Cohost of the Locked on Bucks podcast, ESPN Wisconsin’s Eric Nehm combines his encyclopedic knowledge of Bucks history and his passion for basketball into a list of the Bucks fans’ most memorable moments, biggest personalities, and must-do activities.Text goes here
Milwaukee Bucks fans have seen it all. They know the joy of a championship season and the despair of finishing last in the conference. They’ve welcomed legendary players with open arms and seen future stars slip through their fingers. With half a century of basketball in the books and a talented young core, the Bucks’ history makes a great story, and one that keeps getting better.
From the early years of the Milwaukee Arena to the one-of-a-kind play of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nehm covers everything that makes Bucks Basketball unique. 100 Things Bucks Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die will rekindle the fandom of diehards while introducing new fans to the rich history of the franchise. Loaded with facts, stats and anecdotes, this great new title will bring value to readers of all stripes.
Eric Nehm is a producer and writer for ESPN Milwaukee and cohost of the podcast Locked on Bucks.
Native Milwaukeean and Urban Milwaukee’s City Streets history and culture columnist Baehr discusses how the Irish influenced the political, educational, religious, and sports landscape of Milwaukee and their impact on other ethnic groups, overcoming early poverty and bigotry to help make Milwaukee the city that it is today.
Irish-Milwaukee history begins with the first Irish immigrants who arrived during Milwaukee's founding in the mid-1830s. Irish laborers helped shape the city by cutting down bluffs, filling in marshes, digging a canal, and creating streets. They were joined in the late 1840s by more Irishmen who were fleeing the Great Famine and starvation in Ireland.
It's a history populated with heroic figures like Patrick O'Kelly, the city's first Catholic priest and the founder of Milwaukee's first Catholic church. There was John O'Rourke, the first editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel, and Timothy O'Brien, who emerged as a hero during the cholera epidemics. Other colorful characters are the scoundrel Robert B. Lynch, kind-hearted Hannah Kenneally, firefighting hero Patsy McLaughlin, and militia leader John McManman.
Carl Baehr is the City Streets columnist for Urban Milwaukee and author of the Gambrinus Prize-winning book Milwaukee Streets: The Stories Behind Their Names.
John Gurda, Milwaukee’s preeminent historian, will appear at Boswell for a special afternoon book signing. Please note, Gurda will only be signing books at this event. There is no talk or presentation.
An autographed and personalized copy of Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, or the brand new Fourth Edition, including an all new chapter, of The Making of Milwaukee each make the perfect holiday gift for any Milwaukeean, whether they’re brand new to the metro or a lifelong Cream City resident. Boswell will have more of Gurda’s titles available as well.
John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. His book, The Making of Milwaukee, was the basis for an Emmy Award-winning documentary series that premiered on Milwaukee Public Television in 2006. In addition to his work as an author, Gurda is a lecturer, tour guide, and local history columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
More Upcoming Events
- Monday, January 14, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Nick Petrie, author of Tear It Down, the latest Peter Ash novel, in conversation with WUWM’s Bonnie North
- Tuesday, January 15, 6:30 pm, at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave – Debut novelist Madhuri Viyay, author of The Far Field
- Wednesday, January 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – a talk from playwright Marie Kohler, author of the play The Girl of the Limberlost
- Wednesday, January 30, 6:30 pm, at Boswell – New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth, author of How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth, the follow up to How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens. For adults and kids ages eight and up.
- Saturday, February 2, 3:00 pm, at Boswell – Gregg Hurwitz, author of Out of the Dark, the fourth Orphan X novel - in conversation with Nick Petrie and cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine
- Wednesday, February 20, 6:30 pm, at Boswell – YA, Boswell! with publishing veteran and author Lizzy Mason, whose debut novel is The Art of Losing, in conversation with former Boswellian Phoebe Dyer, now at Bloomsbury USA
- Tuesday, March 5, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Nickolas Butler, author of Little Faith and Shotgun Lovesongs - event details to follow
- Wednesday, March 6, time to come, at Boswell – Storytime and activities with Sherri Duskey Rinker, author of Celebrate You!, as well as Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
- Thursday, March 7, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd – The Women’s Speaker Series presents Ariel Lawhon, author of I Was Anastasia, produced by Milwaukee Reads – Ticket info to come
- Monday, March 11, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – A high-school yearbook-themed evening of fun with novelist Elinor Lipman, author of Good Riddance, in conversation with Boswell’s Daniel Goldin
- Tuesday, March 12, 4:00 pm, at a location to come– Soman Chainani, author of A Crystal of Time, the fifth installment of The School for Good and Evil series. Best for adults and kids ages eight and up. Details to come.
- Thursday, March 14, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Former Milwaukeean Andrea Bartz, author of the debut thriller The Lost Night - further event details to come
- Monday, March 18, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Joseph Scapellato, author of The Made-Up Man, in conversation with Marquete’s C.J. Hribal
Please remember that while we try to update this page as frequently as possible, all events are subject to change. If you have any concerns, please contact Boswell. Also note that ticketed events do sell out, and all events are subject to capacity. It never hurts to come early.