Tag Archives: Liam Callanan

Wisconsin Writers Abound in 100 Summer Reads

Congratulations to Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2010 Kingery/Derleth Book-Length Nonfiction Award winner Ann Angel for making yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s 100 Books for Your Summer Reading List for her new book, Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves, published by Candlewick Press. Ann not only edited this volume of fictional stories for young adults, she contributed a story as did her fellow Wisconsite and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators member Emily Kokie. To find her listing, click on the link above or go to http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/books/100-books-for-your-summer-reading-list-b99487141z1-305465031.html. Scroll down to the last catagory, BOOKS FOR CHILDREN and TEENS.  Things I’ll Never Say is the last entry.

Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories by CWW board member Jennifer Morales is included in the category of BOOKS BY WISCONSIN WRITERS.  Meet Me Halfway is published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Morales accompanied her recent book tour with fascinating blog posts that include reactions to and conversations prompted by her sitting in open spaces with a large sign that read,  “Please Talk With Me About Race.” Her blog is at http://moraleswrites.com/blog/.

CWW’s 2014 recipient of an Zona Gale Short Fiction honorable mention, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor Liam Callanan for his “Exhibit A” story, is also listed in the BOOKS BY WISCONSIN WRITERS category. His Listen & Other Stories is published by Four Way Books.

Other books in the category of Books by Wisconsin Writers are:

Beneath the Bonfire: Stories (Thomas Dunne Books), by Nickolas Butler.

Bike Battles: A History of Sharing The American Road (University of Washington Press), by University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, historian James Longhurst.

Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land (Bloomsbury), by Sandy Tolan.

Imaginary Things (Astor + Blue), by University of Wisconsin-Waukesha instructor Andrea Lochen.

The Jesus Cow: A Novel (Harper), by Michael Perry.

Long Black Curl (Tor), by Alex Bledsoe.

Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker (Random House), by president of Green Bay’s St. Norbert College Thomas Kunkel.

The Man Who Painted the Universe: The Story of a Planetarium in the Heart of the North Woods (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Ron Legro and Avi Lank.

Rise From the River (Main Street Rag), by Kathie Giorgio.

They Are All My Family (PublicAffairs), by John P. Riordan with Monique Brinson Demery.

The literary talent in this state is astounding!

Read more about CWW award winners at www.wiswriters.org/year.htm.


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CWW Contest Awards Presented

Council for Wisconsin Writers contest winners of first-place awards and honorable mentions were feted Saturday, May 16, at the CWW Annual Awards Banquet at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee.

From left, front row:  Zona Gale Short Fiction Winner Margaret Benbow of Madison,  Edna Meudt Poetry Book Honorable Mention Angela Sorby of Milwaukee, Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Honorable Mention Janet Halfmann of South Milwaukee, Christopher Latham Scholes Award Recipient Daniel Goldin of Milwaukee, CWW Essay Award for Young Writers Honorable Mention Erica Howe of Viroqua, Edna Ferber Fiction Book Winner Chloe Krug Benjamin of Madison.
Back row:  Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award Winner John Hildebrand of Eau Claire, Kay W. Levin Award for Short Nonfictin Winner Catherine Jagoe  of Madison, Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award Winner Cathryn Cofell of Appleton, Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award Honorable Mention DeWitt Clinton of Shorewood, Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award Honorable Mention Tom Pamperin of Chippewa Falls, Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award Winner Bridget Birdsall of Madison, Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award Winner Sean Bishop of Madison, Zona Gale Short Fiction Award Honorable Mention Liam Callanan of Milwaukee, CWW Esay Award for Young Writers Winner Kade Byrand of Sheboygan.

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CWW Contest Winners for 2014 Published Work Announced

The Council for Wisconsin Writers announced today the winners and honorable mentions for this year’s Wisconsin Writers Awards.

The Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award goes to Chloe Krug Benjamin of Madison for The Anatomy of Dreams, (Atria/Simon & Schuster). There was no honorable mention this year.

John Hildebrand of Eau Claire is the winner of the Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award for The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac (Wisconsin Historical Society Press). Tom Pamperin of Chippewa Falls receives honorable mention for Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis) Adventures in a $300 Sailboat (Cedar Street Press).

Sean Bishop of Madison is the winner of the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award for his book The Night We’re Not Sleeping In (Sarabande Books). Honorable mention goes to Angela Sorby of Milwaukee for The Sleeve Waves (UW Press).

Double Exposure (Sky Pony Press) by Bridget Birdsall of Madison is winner of the Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award. Janet Halfmann of South Milwaukee receives honorable mention for Animal Teachers (Blue Apple Books).

Margaret Benbow of Madison is the winner of the Zona Gale Award for Short Fiction with “Joe Szabo and the Gypsy Bride,” (The Antioch Review). Liam Callanan of Milwaukee is the recipient of an honorable mention for “Exhibit A” (Commonweal).

Catherine Jagoe of Madison is the winner of the Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award for her essay “A Ring of Bells” (Gettysburg Review). Patti See of Chippewa Falls receives honorable mention for her essay “Hunter’s Mother” (The WayFarer).

The Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award for five individual poems goes to Cathryn Cofell of Appleton. Honorable mention goes to DeWitt Clinton of Shorewood.

The winner of the $250 CWW Essay Award for Young Writers is Kade Byrand of Sheboygan, a sophomore at IDEAS Academy in Sheboygan for his essay “Shadow Dad.” Honorable mention goes to Erica Howe of Readstown, a junior at Viroqua Area Public School, for her essay “Narrowing it Down.”

Winners of the Wisconsin Writers Awards for work published in 2014 will each receive $500 and a week-long writing residency at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point. Honorable mentions will receive $50. Out-of-state judges made the decisions for each award.

Daniel Goldin, owner of Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee is winner of the Christopher Latham Sholes Award, which recognizes a Wisconsin resident for outstanding encouragement and support of Wisconsin writers and carries a $500 prize, was announced earlier this year.

Awards will be presented at CWW’s annual Awards Banquet, May 16, at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee. Details are at http://www.wiswriters.org/2014%20winners.htm.

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Boswell Book Company: Great WI Author Venue

Milwaukee bookseller, Boswell Book Company, routinely hosts author book events. Here is what’s coming up with Wisconsin authors in March. This book store has become a mecca for authors to showcase their work and for book lovers to meet and hear the people who write the books they love, and to get signed copies.  Venues like Boswell are especially important in shrinking opportunities for author events.  More info about Boswell events is at http://boswell.indiebound.com/upcoming-events

 Bridget Birdsall, author of Double Exposure

Sunday March 1, at 3:00 pm 

We’re honored to welcome to the Boswell stage Madison author Bridget Birdsall, who will discuss and sign copies of her stunning young adult novel great for ages thirteen and up, Double Exposure, which brings to light complex gender issues, teenage insecurities, and overcoming all obstacles.

Fifteen-year-old Alyx Atlas was raised as a boy, yet she knows something others don’t. She’s a girl. And after her dad dies, it becomes painfully obvious that she must prove it now—to herself and to the world. Born with ambiguous genitalia, Alyx has always felt a little different. But it’s after she sustains a terrible beating behind a 7-Eleven that she and her mother pack up their belongings and move from California to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to start a new life—and Alyx begins over again, this time as a girl.

“Told in clear, straightforward prose, this riveting story of Alyx, and the gauntlet she has to run in order to discover who she truly is, shines a brilliant light on the truth that we are all queer in some way. All of us. In Double Exposure, Bridget Birdsall has given us a story that is courageous, intense, and full of heart. It’s a score from the outside, and everyone who reads it wins!” —Kathi Appelt, author of the Newbery Honor winner The Underneath, Keeper, andThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

About the Author: Bridget Birdsall is an author, artist, educator, and inspirational speaker. Despite dyslexic challenges, Bridget made a midlife decision to pursue her dream of writing books that touch hearts, especially those of young people. She earned her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College and now teaches creative, contemplative, and business writing skills throughout the Midwest. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, is the author of Ordinary Angels, and is known as a writer willing to tackle tough topics. Birdsall lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Melissa Falcon Field, author of What Burns Away
Tuesday March 3, at 7:00 pm

Boswell is proud to present Madison author Melissa Falcon Field, who will read from and sign copies of her brilliant debut, What Burns Away, in which a depressed new mom transplanted from Connecticut to Madison, Wisconsin, gives in to her latent teenage-arsonist fantasies and her first love.

Upon relocating to snowy Madison with a distant physician husband, New England native Claire Spruce is besieged by a dark past when her first love finds her again. Breaking decades of silence, old flame Dean offers an intoxicating, reckless escape from motherhood’s monotony. Enchanted by his return, while yearning for her own mislaid identity, she agrees to repay a favor that could incinerate her marriage and her child’s well-being. What Burns Away is a story of loyalty, family and the realization that the past is nearly always waiting for us in the future.

What Burns Away is a study of safety, loyalty, and heart. But it’s also the story of what happens when those things run up against boredom, when they gaze in the smoky glass of lost mirrors and see soulful shadows of passion, freedom, and risk. A new mom’s fiery first love is back, and he challenges all she’s built for herself, revealing the fragility of suburban dreams—I mean nightmares. In scorching prose, Melissa Falcon Field reminds us that when trouble flies out to the far reaches of the solar system, we’d best not forget it’s coming back.” —Bill Roorbach, author of The Remedy for Love and Life Among Giants

About the Author: Melissa Falcon Field received her MFA in Creative Writing at Texas State University, where she received the Katherine Anne Porter Writer-in-Residence Award two years consecutively. She has been a professor of fiction and nonfiction writing at Texas State University. She grew up in Connecticut, and she lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her family.

Local Author Gina Cilento, author of Mitzi Boo & Mia, Too: Go to England
Saturday March 7, at 2:00 pm

Keep Calm and Carry On—to Boswell for a talk and signing with local author and tennis pro, Gina Cilento, who will debut the first book in her Mitzi Boo & Mia, Too series, Go to England, a unique traveldogue in which adorable English Bulldog sisters Mitzi Boo and Mia guide readers on a sightseeing adventure across England, great for kids of all ages!

Two English Bulldogs—the charismatic and ever-stylish Mitzi Boo and her even-keeled sister, Mia—journey to England after landing their first assignment for World Travel Magazine. From Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace, the two traipse across England desperate to see the Queen, sampling local cuisine, and working through sibling rivalry. Appealing to travel lovers, animal enthusiasts, and kids of all ages, Mitzi Boo & Mia, Too: Go to England is a humorous, off-beat approach to sibling stories, travelogues, and fundraising, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every book goes to help fight against animal cruelty.

About the Author: Wisconsin born and raised, Gina Cilento has always been passionate about the wellbeing of animals: one of her lifelong dreams is to open a sanctuary for unwanted and abused animals of all kinds. For two decades, Gina has played tennis professionally in Oregon and Wisconsin. Still teaching and playing competitively, she’s found joy in reviving her art background as the author of Mitzi Boo & Mia, Too: Go to England, starring her two English Bulldogs, Mitzi and Mia.

A Frank L. Weyenberg Library Event (Note: Not at Boswell on Downer in Milwaukee) with Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival and Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule
Thursday March 12, at 6:30 pm

Please join us at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library (located at 11345 N. Cedarburg Road in Mequon) for an evening with beloved Madison author, Jennifer Chiaverini, who will read from and discuss her latest historical novel, Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule, which treats readers to the inner life of Julia Grant, beloved as a Civil War general’s wife and the First Lady, yet grappled with her profound and complex relationship with the slave who was her namesake—until she forged a proud identity of her own.

In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom’s abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress’s closely held twin secrets: she had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia’s eyes to the world. And what a world it was, marked by gathering clouds of war. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks—becoming general in chief of the Union Army—so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband’s side.

Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women—Union and Confederate—she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women’s paths continued to cross throughout the Grants’ White House years in Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant’s Tomb. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle this singular relationship, bound by sight and shadow.

About the Author: Jennifer Chiaverini is The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincon’s Dressmaker, The Spymistress, Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival, and the Elm Creek Quilt series. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wisconsinite Gavin Schmitt, author of The Milwaukee Mafia: A Mobsters in the Heartland
Saturday March 14, at2:00 pm

Please join us for an exciting event with Wisconsinite, research enthusiast, and Images of America author, Gavin Schmitt, who will talk about and sign copies of his latest groundbreaking work, The Milwaukee Mafia: Mobsters in the Heartland, the long-awaited history drawing from thousands of police reports, nearly a million confidential FBI pages, and years of meticulous research to shed light on the dark history of Milwaukee’s criminal underworld. For more information, check out the Facebook Event page.

Milwaukee’s Sicilian underworld is something few people speak about in polite company, and even fewer people speak about with any authority. Everyone in Milwaukee has a friend of a friend who knows something, but they only have one piece of a giant puzzle. The secret society known as the Milwaukee Mafia has done an excellent job of keeping its murders, members, and mishaps out of books. Until now. From the time Vito Guardalabene arrived from Italy in the early 1900s, until the days the Mob controlled the Teamsters union, Milwaukee was a city of murder and mayhem. Gavin Schmitt relies on previously unseen police reports, FBI investigative notes, coroner’s records, newspaper articles, family lore, and more to bring to light an era of Milwaukee’s history that has been largely undocumented and shrouded in myth.

Crime historian Thomas Hunt (DiCarlo: Buffalo’s First Family of Crime) calls The Milwaukee Mafia “comprehensive and entertaining,” and “a long overdue assessment of the substantial role of Milwaukee underworld figures in the evolution of American organized crime,” and The Mob and the City author C. Alexander Hortis calls Schmitt “an excellent researcher.”

About the Author: Gavin Schmitt has been a life-long resident of Wisconsin, and has written about the Midwest’s dark history for many years. He has been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Informer, and interviewed on the radio. He is the author of Images of America: Milwaukee Mafia (a pictorial companion), Images of America: Neenah, and Images of America: Kaukauna.

Local Author Phillip C. Naylor, author of North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present
Monday March 16, at 7:00 pm

Boswell is proud to welcome Marquette Professor of History and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of North African Studies, Phillip C. Naylor, for a talk and signing of the revised edition of his latest book, North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present, the most comprehensive history of North Africa to date, covering the Paleolithic period to the current “North African Spring” uprisings and everything in between.

North Africa has been a vital crossroads throughout history, serving as a connection between Africa, Asia, and Europe. Paradoxically, however, the region’s historical significance has been chronically underestimated. In a book that may lead scholars to reimagine the concept of Western civilization, incorporating the role North African peoples played in shaping “the West,” Phillip Naylor describes a locale whose transcultural heritage serves as a crucial hinge, politically, economically, and socially. Ideal for novices and specialists alike, North Africa begins with an acknowledgment that defining this area has presented challenges throughout history. Naylor’s survey encompasses the Paleolithic period and early Egyptian cultures, leading readers through the pharonic dynasties, the conflicts with Rome and Carthage, the rise of Islam, the growth of the Ottoman Empire, European incursions, and the postcolonial prospects for Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Western Sahara. Emphasizing the importance of encounters and interactions among civilizations, North Africa maps a prominent future for scholarship about this pivotal region. Now with a new afterword that surveys the “North African Spring” uprisings that roiled the region from 2011 to 2013, this is the most comprehensive history of North Africa to date, with accessible, in-depth chapters covering the pre-Islamic period through colonization and independence.

About the Author: Phillip C. Naylor is a Professor of History at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he has directed the Western Civilization program. His previous books include The Historical Dictionary of Algeria and France and Algeria: A History of Decolonization and Transformation. Professor Naylor is publications officer of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of North African Studies and a recipient of the Reverend John P. Raynor, S.J., Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

Local Author Liam Callanan, author of The Cloud Atlas, All Saints, and his latest collection Listen & Other Stories
Friday March 27, at 7:00 pm

Boswell Book Company is proud to welcome beloved local author and professor, Liam Callanan, who will read from and sign copies of his latest book, a collection of stories titled Listen & Other Stories, which has already earned rave reviews as “a wonderfully readable and hugely pleasurable collection” (Margo Livesey) of “lovely stories, indeed” (Alix Ohlin) that is “necessary and timeless” (Michael Parker).

Listen & Other Stories is a book where characters ask readers to do just that: listen to their stories, especially because many aren’t the type of people who often get listened to—even though they should be. These characters’ trials, missed connections, and sundry challenges are full of surprises—some good, some bad, some funny, some wise, and some all this at once. Even more surprising, there’s tenderness here and a lot of heart—which often gets the collection’s characters into a lot of trouble.

“Here is what makes these stories necessary and timeless: Liam Callanan’s incisive ability to render not just our desires and the choices we make to fulfill or thwart those desires, but the mystery behind those choices. These stories glow, backlit by the author’s generous and discriminating vision, his ability to contrast doubt and faith in our actions and interactions, all in the service of an abiding grace. And lest all of the above sound unduly serious, let me assure you: there is humor here of the most vital stripe, wherein halfway through your laughter you realize you’re laughing not only at the characters, but at your own foolish, if well-intentioned, ways.” —Michael Parker, author of The Watery Part of the World

“Over and over Callanan finds that moment when a character’s past, their deepest longings, their most intimate fears, emerge from the flood-waters of daily life and stand exposed. These richly imagined and beautifully written stories transport the reader from TV studios to lonely woods, from an old convent to a new gym, from war-time Alaska to the beach at Santa Monica. The result is a wonderfully readable and hugely pleasurable collection.” —Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

About the Author: Liam Callanan is the author of the novels The Cloud Atlas, a finalist for an Edgar Award, and All Saints, a Target Bookmarked Breakout book. A frequent public radio essayist, Liam has taught at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Los Angeles, he now calls Wisconsin home.

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