During the tenth annual (downtown) Omaha Lit Fest, authors will discuss the process of adapting facts (either historical or personal) for their fiction works. On September 12 and 13, nationally acclaimed writers will convene at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St. for author panel discussions, special exhibits and an opening night party. All events are free and open to the public. No registration is required.
Omaha Lit Fest kicks off Friday, Sept. 12, 6:30-9:30 p.m. with Cures & Tonics: The Lit Fest opening-night party & exhibit. An exhibit curated by award-winning visual artist and experimental filmmaker Tim Guthrie, “The Museum of Alternative History,” will bring together a curio cabinet of artists to create and display their own distorted commentaries on the historic aspects of person, place or thing. “The Poetry Brothel” will celebrate the literary journal burntdistrict (burntdistrict.org) and its namesake, Omaha’s historic Burnt District, which was infamous for its bordellos, gambling tables and other unseemly underbellies in the 19th century. Finally, there will be a presentation of 10 years of Omaha Lit Fest posters designed by Justin Wolta.
On Saturday, Sept. 13, there will be a series of panel discussions led by novelist and Lit Fest director Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola. Books will be available for purchase.
1 p.m. – Midwestern Mythmaking: Nebraska in fiction. This panel discussion will feature Pamela Carter Joern, author of In Reach, a collection of short stories about the fictional Nebraska town of Reach; Margaret Lukas, author of Farthest House, a novel about family, grief and ghosts; and Karen Gettert Shoemaker, author of the 2014 Omaha Reads selection, The Meaning of Names, a novel set among Americans of German descent living in rural Nebraska during WWI.
2 p.m. – Mixtapes and Jazz Standards: Exploring the past through music. Rainbow Rowell, whose novel Eleanor & Park follows the relationship of two teens who connect via new wave and punk music in 1986, will discuss the role of music in creativity and character development with Rebecca Rotert, whose novel Last Night at the Blue Angel tells the story of a Chicago jazz singer in the 1960s.
3 p.m. – Past Tense, Future Perfect: Research, history and writing about the past for readers in the present. Maud Casey, whose novel The Man Who Walked Away is set in a 19th century psychiatric hospital, will discuss the role of research in creating an authentic and moving portrait of history with Karen Shoemaker, whose novel The Meaning of Names is set in Nebraska farm country during WWI.
4 p.m. – The Aviator’s Wife: Fiction and biography. Novelist Melanie Benjamin will discuss her
bestselling novel, The Aviator’s Wife, based on the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh with Timothy
Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola, a novel set in turn-of-the-century Omaha.
The event will conclude Saturday evening at The Apollon, 1801 Vinton St., at 7 p.m. with Women Write Resistance: Poets resist gender violence anthology reading, featuring Leslie Adrienne Miller, Sara Henning, Laura Madeline Wiseman and Jennifer Perrine.
The Omaha Lit Fest is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and has been supported and/or sponsored by a number of people and organizations. Visit omahalibrary.org for more information about additional programs offered at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.
Omaha Public Library (OPL) has served City of Omaha and Douglas County residents for more than 140 years. It is one of the most visited institutions in Nebraska, seeing more than 2 million visitors each year at 12 locations throughout the metro area. OPL’s mission is to strengthen our community by connecting people with ideas, information and innovative services. Learn more about OPL’s collections, facilities, services, programs and more at omahalibrary.org. Follow OPL on Facebook and Twitter.
402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340
Amy Mather, 402.444.3399