Rockford Public Library

The Rockford Public Library presents the Festival of Words Sept. 8-13. The Festival is a multi-stage interactive celebration of the written and spoken word that features author readings and signings, workshops, poetry jams, reader’s theater and storytelling. Come out and enjoy the drama, the romance, the comedy, the tragedy—all the power of words!

All programs are free and open to the public.

Festival of Words events

Keynote Address by Author Daniel Glick

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 7-8:30 p.m.

Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St.

Description: Come join us and experience the power of words with author and journalist Daniel Glick, author of Monkey Dancing: A Father, Two Kids, and a Journey to the Ends of the Earth. Glick and his two children traveled around the world, “visiting some of the world’s rare life forms before they disappeared from the planet.” Their journey was also an emotional one, into the wilderness of divorce, single fatherhood, and a death in the family. The author’s teenage daughter, Zoë, will also speak briefly about the trip and keeping a journal. For more information: 815-965-6735.

Bizarro Beat Circus

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 9 p.m.

Kryptonite Music Club & Bar, 308 W. State St.

Description: Celebrate words with an open stage of poetry, spoken word, music, and hip-hop. This “Open Jam” is hosted by local poet Cullen Balch. Registration is NOT required. For more information: 815-965-6735.

Performance Poetry Workshop

Thursday, Sept. 9, 6 – 7 p.m.

Minglewood Boutique & Coffee House, 317 W. Jefferson St.

Description: Taalam Acey, renowned spoken word artist and performance poet from the east coast, will lead a poetry/spoken word workshop and discuss his memoir, Eyes Free. This program is sponsored by Rockford Public Library and Minglewood.

For more information: 815-965-6735.

Poetry Slam hosted by Taalam Acey

Thursday, Sept. 9, 8 p.m.

Minglewood Boutique & Coffee House, 317 W. Jefferson St.

Description: Taalam Acey has been Grand Slam Champion of London’s Paddington International Poetry Festival. He was featured in BBC Radio One’s documentary on slam poetry, lectured on performance poetry, and has been featured in Essence magazine. This program is sponsored by Rockford Public Library and Minglewood.

For more information: 815-965-6735.

Writing Workshop presented

by author Donald Harstad

Friday, Sept. 10, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St.

Description: Donald Harstad is the author of five police-procedural crime novels. He was a Deputy Sheriff in Iowa from 1973 to 1996, then became a full-time writer. This program is free, but participation is limited and registration is required,

for more information: 815-965-6735.

Murder Mystery Dinner

Friday, Sept. 10, 6:30–9 p.m.

Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St.

Description: Dinner guests will become enmeshed in an original staged murder mystery, in which author Donald Harstad will play a role. Cost: $15/person. Reservations are required. For more information: call Zoe Norwood at 815-965-7606, ext. 608.

Talk by Author & Poet E. Ethelbert Miller

Friday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.

Rockford Business College, 730 N. Church St.

Description: Award-winning poet and author E. Ethelbert Miller, of Washington, D.C., will talk about his memoir, Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer, discuss the publishing process, and read from his poetry. Registration is NOT required. For more information: 965-6735. This program is sponsored by Rockford Business College and Rockford Public Library.

Saturday Spectacular: Marilyn Kinsella

Saturday, Sept. 11, 11–11:45 a.m.

Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St.

Description: Join us for a morning of tales by this unique storyteller. Since 1981, she has been sharing folk tales, literary stories and personal experiences with audiences throughout Illinois. For more information: Registration is NOT required, 815-965-6732. For all ages.

Local Author Showcase and Street Fair

Saturday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m–5 p.m.

Memorial Hall Parking Lot, 211 N. Main St.

Description: Come see your favorite authors and meet new ones, buy terrific books, make a craft item, and listen to music! (Rain location—Memorial Hall Auditorium)

For more information: Local authors wishing to participate, please contact Fay Muhammad, Northeast Branch Library, 815-226-1533.

ShawChicago Theater

Company Performance

Saturday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m.–2 p.m.

Memorial Hall Parking Auditorium, 211 N. Main St.

Description: ShawChicago Theater Company presents a reader’s theater performance of the George Bernard Shaw one-act play, Village Wooing. This romance “begins with a testy exchange aboard a ship and ends with a …” well you’ll need to come and see how it ends! Registration is NOT required. For more information: 815-965-6735.

Panel Presentation on

Comics and Writing for Comics

Saturday, Sept. 11, 3 p.m.–4 p.m.

Memorial Hall Parking Auditorium, 211 N. Main St.

Description: Will Pfeifer, a regular writer for D.C. comics and features editor and video critic for the Rockford Register Star, and Dave Rodriguez, writer for High Voltage Video Games and writer of The New Comic Book, will discuss comics and writing for comics. Registration is NOT required.

For more information: 815-965-6735.

‘The Ultimate Goal: Getting

Published’ Workshop

Monday, Sept. 13, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St.

Description: Workshop by Dianne Helm of Helm Publishing on how to get a book published. Registration is NOT required. For more information: 815-965-6735.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council.

About the Library

The Rockford Public Library, founded in 1872 as the second library in Illinois, currently has six facilities, including the Main Library and five branch libraries.

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