OCTOBER 13-16, 2022

and year round




Passing the Mic: Into the Multiverse

Mahogany Browne First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble

10/16/2021 - 6:00pm

Memorial Union - Union Theater Play Circle

UW-Madison Office of Multicultural of Arts Initiatives and the Wisconsin Book Festival present the 15th Annual Passing the Mic Festival: Into the Multiverse. The Multiverse is where the dimensions of past, present and future all intersect on the same timeline. If the last two years have taught us anything, they have emphasized the importance of now. The urgency of honoring real histories, real present pressing matters, real futures filled with hope and yet at stake. The 15th Annual Passing the Mic Intergenerational Hip Hop Festival is the Multiverse where these planes meet; where we bridge the gap between generations and silos; where we use song and poems, multi verses, movement and media, to demand radical documentation, collaboration, and celebration. Join us for a weekend of showcases, concerts, panels and workshops all dedicated to this conversation: where have we been, where are we going, what will we make possible and how in this Multiverse?


Doors open at 5:30pm. Performance 6:00-8:00pm


Passing the Mic: Into the Multiverse - Mahogany Browne - <span class="date-display-single">10/16/2021 - 6:00pm</span>



2021 Charlotte Zolotow Lecture

Christopher Myers

09/30/2021 - 7:30pm

Memorial Union - Great Hall

Established in 1998, the lecture was named to honor Charlotte Zolotow, a distinguished children's book editor for 38 years with Harper Junior Books, and author of more than 65 picture books, including such classic works as Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present (Harper, 1962) and William's Doll (Harper, 1972). Ms. Zolotow attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison on a writing scholarship from 1933-36 where she studied with Professor Helen C. White. The Cooperative Children's Book Center, a library of the School of Education of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, administers the event which each year brings a distinguished children's book author or illustrator to the campus to deliver a free public lecture.


2021 Charlotte Zolotow Lecture - Christopher Myers - <span class="date-display-single">09/30/2021 - 7:30pm</span>



Go Big Read: Transcendent Kingdom

Yaa Gyasi

11/03/2021 - 7:00pm

Memorial Union - Memorial Union Theater

Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best-seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. Presented in partnership with Go Big Read.


Go Big Read: Transcendent Kingdom - Yaa Gyasi - <span class="date-display-single">11/03/2021 - 7:00pm</span>



Go Big Read: The Poison Squad

Deborah Blum

10/15/2019 - 7:00pm

Memorial Union - Shannon Hall

Presented in partnership with Go Big Read, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change. By the end of the nineteenth century, food was dangerous. Lethal, even. “Milk” might contain formaldehyde, most often used to embalm corpses. Decaying meat was preserved with both salicylic acid, a pharmaceutical chemical, and borax, a compound first identified as a cleaning product. This was not by accident; food manufacturers had rushed to embrace the rise of industrial chemistry, and were knowingly selling harmful products. Unchecked by government regulation, basic safety, or even labelling requirements, they put profit before the health of their customers. By some estimates, in New York City alone, thousands of children were killed by “embalmed milk” every year. Citizens–activists, journalists, scientists, and women’s groups–began agitating for change. But even as protective measures were enacted in Europe, American corporations blocked even modest regulations. Then, in 1883, Dr.

Go Big Read: The Poison Squad - Deborah Blum - <span class="date-display-single">10/15/2019 - 7:00pm</span>



Go Big Read: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

Dan Egan

10/16/2018 - 7:00pm

Memorial Union - Shannon Hall

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is an ode to the majesty and history of this national, natural treasure. Egan, a master reporter and storyteller, begins with European explorers arriving at these shores for the first time in the 1600s. Egan takes the reader deep beneath the lakes’ shimmering surface to illuminate the ongoing and unparalleled ecological unraveling of the continent’s most precious natural resource, all while retaining a sense of awe and respect for their immensity and danger: “A Great Lake can swallow freighters almost three times the length of a football field; the lakes’ bottoms are littered with an estimated 6,000 shipwrecks, many of which have never been found. This would never happen on a normal lake, because a normal lake is knowable. A Great Lake can hold all the mysteries of an ocean, and then some.”


Go Big Read: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes - Dan Egan - <span class="date-display-single">10/16/2018 - 7:00pm</span>



The Pleasure of His Company

Randall Duk Kim Anne Occhiogrosso

10/21/2016 - 7:00pm

Memorial Union - Shannon Hall

Presented in partnership with The Arts Institute and Shakespeare in Wisconsin 2016: the world premiere of Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso starring in The Pleasure of His Company: Our 40 Year Love Affair with William Shakespeare, an evening of personal recollections, dramatic scenes and stories of Shakespeare's influence on Kim and Occhiogrosso's lives and careers for more than four decades.
The two-character performance piece, conceived and written by Kim and Occhiogrosso for the celebration of Shakespeare’s 400-year legacy, combines performance of signature Shakespearean dramatic scenes with performance pieces that celebrate Shakespeare’s contribution to world literature. The evening is also a tribute to the First Folio, the 1623 collection of Shakespeare’s plays which scholars cite as the most authentic and reliable versions of a majority of the playwright’s texts. The performance is a prelude to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s national exhibition of an original edition of the First Folio in Madison from November 3 - December 11 at the Chazen Museum of Art.

The Pleasure of His Company - Randall Duk Kim - <span class="date-display-single">10/21/2016 - 7:00pm</span>




Matthew Desmond

11/01/2016 - 7:00pm

Memorial Union - Theater

Presented in partnership with Go Big Read, the Wisconsin Book Festival presents Matthew Desmond for his latest book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.  This heartbreaking first-hand account brings together years of fieldwork and data to change the perception of poverty in America.   
Following eight families and their respective landlords in Milwaukee, W.I., Desmond calls attention to the city’s growing eviction epidemic. Interweaving stories of poor white families from trailer parks, black families from ghettos and perspectives from landlords, Desmond further explores how poverty, race, and segregation aggregate the escalating eviction rates in Milwaukee.  
For further information and Go Big Read events, visit: https://gobigread.wisc.edu/


Evicted - Matthew Desmond - <span class="date-display-single">11/01/2016 - 7:00pm</span>



2014 Charlotte Zolotow Lecture

Paul Fleischman

10/15/2014 - 7:30pm

Memorial Union - Great Hall

Some Things Go Together: Making Books with Charlotte Zolotow
Paul Fleischman will discuss his career as a writer for children and teens, and his long association with Charlotte Zolotow, the legendary editor at Harper & Row. Fleischman is the versatile author of fiction, nonfiction, and picture books, and he is well known for his venturesome creativity in all three genres. He won the Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, and his novel Seedfolks is a popular choice for all-community reads. His most recent book is Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines. This free public lecture is sponsored by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the UW-Madison School of Education; the Wisconsin Book Festival; and the Friends of the CCBC, Inc.  A book signing will follow the event, with books available on site from A Room of One’s Own.

2014 Charlotte Zolotow Lecture - Paul Fleischman - <span class="date-display-single">10/15/2014 - 7:30pm</span>
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