When looking to appeal to the young professional crowd, the organizers at the Wonder of Words Festival looked at the pub in “publisher.”
The Pub(lishers) Crawl on Monday will feature three Iowa authors and a digital librarian at four Full Court Press bars. It’s one of many events in the inaugural book festival.
Amy Baker, director of public relations, says the festival, held Wednesday though Oct. 29 in Des Moines, seeks to offer something for everyone.
The Pub(lishers) Crawl will include lectures by authors Maureen Ogle, Eric Hall West, J. Wilson and librarian Bart Schmidt, followed by question and answer sessions.
“It’s a pretty relaxed atmosphere, and that’s what we wanted to offer,” Baker said.
The events, at 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m., allow attendees to get from one venue to the next with ease. Only the library talk, appropriately held at the University Library Cafe, isn’t in walking distance.
The Full Court Press staff organized the event, and the topics match the bars hosting each session. Think book and beer pairing, Baker said.
This is just one event during the 12-day festival.
Here are five other reasons to attend the Wonder of Words Festival:
1. Dennis Lehane. Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably heard of his books that have been turned into movies: “Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone,” and “Shutter Island.” You won’t see Leo DiCaprio on stage, but you might hear some from Lehane’s current works at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Hoyt Sherman Place. Tickets are $20-$50.
2. Iowa Author’s Fair. It’s a free event from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 28. Publishers, writers, bookstore owners and others will be featured in a Sunday afternoon event at Capital Square in downtown Des Moines.
3. You can hear other voices in literature. There are three writers forums: Women’s writers forum (Oct. 21), Latino writers forum (Oct. 29), and African-American writers forum (Oct. 24). All are free events.
4. You’ll learn more about the woman that bridge was named after. The Kate Shelley Story, a live mixed-media performance, will bring to the stage the story of the girl who saved the lives of many on the Midnight Express train. It’s Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., $10-$60.
5. It’s a new cultural event in Des Moines. Many large cities have book festivals, Baker says, and the support of the community is important.
For a full list of events, visit wonderofwordsfest.com.
Jeff Bruning, a partner of Full Court Press, said the pairings of speaker and bar came naturally.
Maureen Ogle, author of “Ambitious Brew: The Story Of American Beer”
What: Ogle will talk about the history of craft beer, at the bar with more than 100 beers on tap. When: 4:30 p.m. Monday
Where: El Bait Shop, 200 S.W. Second St.
Bart Schmidt, Digital Projects Librarian
What: Schmidt, who works at the Cowles Library at Drake University, will talk about why librarians still matter in a digital age. The University Library Cafe was an obvious pairing.
When: 4:30 p.m. Monday
Where: University Library Cafe, 3506 University Ave.
Eric Hall West, author of “Truck, A Quarter Life Crisis Handled Poorly”
What: West, who wrote about his experiences as a trucker, is paired with the High Life. “It has that flavor of a corner tavern,” Bruning said.
When: 6 p.m. Monday \
Where: High Life Lounge, 200 S.W. Second St., downtown Des Moines
J. Wilson, author of “Diary of a Part-Time Monk”
What: Drinking like a monk is appropriate at the bar that houses Red Monk.
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
Where: The Royal Mile/The Red Monk, 210 Fourth St.