Wisconsin Academy of Science Arts and Letters: New Wisconsin Academy book discussion group features state authors

March 15, 2012

Contact: Jason A. Smith, communications director, 608.263.1692 x21

MADISON—Wisconsin People & Ideas, the Wisconsin Academy’s quarterly magazine of Wisconsin thought and culture, recently announced plans to celebrate the lives and works of the state’s best writers with a monthly Wisconsin Book Discussion Group starting in April 2012.

“Many people simply don’t realize that our state has a soaring literary tradition,” says John Lehman, literary editor of Wisconsin People & Ideas and discussion facilitator for the new book group. “With these monthly discussions of outstanding works by both classic and contemporary Wisconsin authors, we hope to shed some light on this tradition—and remind people to ‘buy local’ when it comes to their literature, too.” Along with Lehman, poet and author Ronnie Hess will facilitate the Madison discussion group.
Free and open to the public, these Wisconsin Academy Book Group discussions will be held every first Wednesday of the month at the conveniently located Wisconsin Academy offices at 1922 University Avenue in Madison (parking along the street and behind the building). There is no prerequirment or registration required. Simply read the book, show up at 7:00 pm, and be willing to share why this book means something to you and participate in the ensuing discussion. The Wisconsin Academy will provide downloadable discussion questions online for participants to review ahead of time and for those who cannot attend the Madison discussion group meetings.

For 2012, we have selected the first round of contemporary and classic authors based on their readability and relevance:

April 4: A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold
May 2: Museum of Happiness, Jesse Lee Kercheval
June 6: American Boy, by Larry Watson
July 11 (delayed due to holiday): Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
August 1: Self Help, by Lorrie Moore
September 5: Son of a Middle Border, by Hamlin Garland
October 3: Fanny Herself, by Edna Ferber
November 14 (delayed due to the Wisconsin Book Festival): The Land Remembers, by Ben Logan
December 5: Rascal, by Sterling North

The Wisconsin Academy encourages members outside of the Madison area to begin their own local groups, and is happy to facilitate discussions in cities and towns around the state. For more information on forming a Wisconsin Book Discussion group in your area or to join an existing one, please contact Jason A. Smith at 608-263-1692 ext. 21. For an updated list of dates and titles for the Madison group or to download questions for your own group, visit wisconsinacademy.org/bookgroup.
The Wisconsin Academy encourage participants to purchase books at their local independent bookseller.

About Wisconsin People & Ideas
The Wisconsin Academy’s quarterly magazine of Wisconsin thought and culture, Wisconsin People & Ideas is highlights the best of Wisconsin: innovations in science and technology, groundbreaking visual arts, the best fiction and poetry, and reportage on the environmental issues and challenges of today. Distributed free of charge to Wisconsin Academy members, Wisconsin People & Ideas can be found in bookstores and libraries across the state and is available online at wisconsinacademy.org/magazine.

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