Monday, October 22, 2018

Event blog: Nathaniel Philbrick at AGS Library at UWM Golda Meir Library, Donald Baumgartner and Kurt Chandler in conversation with Mitch Teich, Meghan O'Gieblyn in conversation with Jon M. Sweeney, John M. Adam, Emory Douglas, Gaël Faye, and Roxane Gay (the last four also at UWM)

Get a weekly parking pass at UWM! I'm only sort of kidding.Please note that five of these events are being held at UWM this week. In one case we're the cohost (Nathaniel Philbrick). In other cases, we are either a cosponsor or just selling books at the event. Roxane Gay has an admission charge for the general public - the rest are free but may require registration. In all cases, we'll try to link you to the sponsor's page just in case there are last-minute changes. I'm just doing one big logo here, as there is not room for all the logos with each event listing.

Monday, October 22, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Donald Baumgartner and Kurt Chandler, in conversation for With the Wind at His Back: The Charmed and Charitable Life of Donald Baumgartner

Milwaukeean Donald Baumgartner is known as a man who takes a big bite out of life. He’ll chat with his biographer, Kurt Chandler, about his life and times. Baumgartner crossed the Atlantic in a 58-foot yacht through two gale-force storms. He’s set foot on all seven continents and accepted an award from President Ronald Reagan in the White House Rose Garden. He built his family business into a global leader and then made headlines in 2016 when he handed over the ownership of his Milwaukee manufacturing company to his employees.

For this event, Baumgartner and Chandler will be joined by Mitch Teich, Executive Producer of Lake Effect on Milwaukee Public Radio.

As depicted by author Kurt Chandler, Donald Baumgartner has led a charmed life of adventure, success, and generosity, and he continues to give back to his community as one of his hometown's most charitable patrons of the arts. Impassioned, lionhearted, he works hard and lives large, endowed with an optimistic nature, sense of humor, and a measure of good luck.

Donald Baumgartner founded Paper Machinery Corporation in 1951 and now oversees this thriving, international company. He is highly active in Milwaukee-area civic and community organizations including Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Ballet, Florentine Opera, and Milwaukee Film Festival. Kurt Chandler is a former Editor-in-Chief of Milwaukee Magazine. The author or coauthor of numerous books, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon. Chandler was named Journalist of the Year by the Milwaukee Press Club and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Tuesday, October 23, 4:30 pm, at UWM Student Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd:
John A. Adam, author of A Mathematical Nature Walk, on Patterns in Nature

Join UWM Colleges of Letters and Science for the Fall 2018 Dean's Distinguished Lecture in the Natural Sciences with our special guest speaker Dr. John A. Adam. Adam has been Professor of Mathematics at Old Dominion University since 1984. As an undergraduate he was exposed to a concentrated diet of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and he has never fully recovered, even at his advanced age. He is a frequent contributor to Earth Sciences and author of A Mathematical Nature Walk.

His talk "Patterns in Nature: A Treasure Trove for the Curious" will address the many fascinating and beautiful patterns in the natural world around us that we often don't even notice. These include rainbows, ice crystal halos, glories, waves on puddles, lakes and oceans (and in the atmosphere), patterns in flora and fauna, and much more. This picture-laden talk will be an introduction to some familiar (and not so familiar) patterns with brief reference to some of the science and mathematics underlying them. More here.

Tuesday, October 23, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of Interior States: Essays, in conversation with Jon M. Sweeney

Madison-based critic and essayist O’Gieblyn chats at Boswell with Milwaukee-based author and scholar Jon M. Sweeney about her new collection of essays about faith, culture, and the Midwest. O'Gieblyn's essays have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, and Best American Essays. Jon O. Sweeney is an independent scholar who is based in Shorewood whose recent works include editing What I Am Living for: Lessons from the Life and Writings of Thomas Merton and the children's book Margaret's Night in St. Peter.

O’Gieblyn, born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and she still lives in the Midwest, aka Flyover Country. She writes of her existential dizziness, and her rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the essays in this collection which ask, what does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts?

In Interior States, O'Gieblyn looks at everything from a her personal relationship to Christian rock to Kentucky's creationism museum. Another essay looks at how her family prepared for the end precipitated by Y2K. She also looks at how American Christians map their lives onto the wanderings of the Old Testament Jews and how that translated to a commitment to a non-religious but still charismatic president.

Marian Ryan writes: "An Upper Midwest intellectual from a fundamentalist Christian family, O’Gieblyn brings an outsider’s voice to bear on subjects from economic decline and liberal hipsterism to transhumanism and the questionable teleology of motherhood." Read the rest of the Minneapolis Star Tribune review here.

Wednesday, October 24, 5 pm, at UWM Hefter Center, 3271 N Lake Dr:
Franco-Rwandan Rapper Gaël Faye, author of Small Country (Petit pays)

The UWM Department of French, Italian and Comparative Literature, MALLT, and the Institute of World Affairs present an evening of bilingual reading, songs with musical accompaniment by Milwaukee's Paul Cebar, and conversation with the socially engaged wordsmith Gaël Faye. Faye's craft depicts the fragility of his Bujumbura childhood haven within the violence of growing national and international tenstions, and calls out exclusionary practices and identity politics, then and now, from Burundi and Rwanda to France and beyond.

Gaël Faye's Small Country (Petit pays) has won no less than five French literary prizes, including the Prix Goncourt de lycéens and the Prix Palissy. It was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal in the United States. The starred Booklist review exclaimed: "Vividly translated by (Sarah) Ardizzone, this powerful tale, a best-seller overseas, presents a world where there are no easy demarcations of good and evil, sane and insane, or pure and corrupted, as Faye focuses not on offering judgement but rather on capturing the full impact of social and political disintegration." More here.

Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 PM, at American Geographical Society Library at UWM, 2311 E Hartford Ave:
Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

Philbrick, the National Book Award winning author of In the Heart of the Sea, chronicles the thrilling story of the fateful year that won the Revolutionary War during a special evening in the perfect setting for historic adventure. Please register for this event or upgrade to a book-with-ticket option, which includes a copy of In the Hurricane’s Eye, all taxes and fees, and signing line priority, at

From Mark Katkov at NPR Books: "Nathaniel Philbrick's masterful new look at the American Revolutionary War's end days isn't quite revisionist history, but it comes close. With both hands, he grabs the reader's head and turns it towards the sea. Naval power, according to the account in his new book In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown, was central to the victory at Yorktown - but is largely overlooked because the decisive sea battle that preceded it did not involve Americans."

National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of Mayflower, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Valiant Ambition, winner of the George Washington Prize, and Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award, among other books. We can't think of a better place to see Nathaniel Philbrick than at the American Geographical Society Library at UWM's Golda Meir Library. Cohosted by UWM Libraries. Come join us!

Wednesday, October 24, 7:30 PM, at UWM Arts Center Lecture Hall, Room #120, 2400 E Kenwood Blvd:
Emory Douglas, author of Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas

UWM Peck School of the Arts Artist’s Now! guest lecture series, cosponsored by AIGA Wisconsin and Boswell, presents a rare opportunity to hear from graphic artist Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required and space is limited. Register at

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas is the reformatted publication of the first book to collect the provocative posters and groundbreaking graphics of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, sounded a defiant cry for an end to the institutionalized subjugation of African Americans. The Black Panther newspaper was founded to articulate the party’s message, and artist Emory Douglas became the paper’s art director.

Emory Douglas is a graphic artist who was Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until its discontinuation in the early 1980s. His artwork was featured in most issues of The Black Panther newspaper. Douglas’s artistic talents and experience proved a powerful combination: his striking collages of photographs and his own drawings combined to create some of the era’s most iconic images. More info here.

Thursday, October 25, 7 pm, at UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd:
Roxane Gay, author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body and other works

UWM’s Distinguished Lecture Series presents the award-winning author of Bad Feminist, Difficult Women, and An Untamed State. Gay also recently became the first black woman to write for Marvel with World of Wakanda, a comic series set in the Black Panther universe.

Tickets are available to the general public for $10 in advance, at, and will be available for $12 at the door. Tickets are free for UWM students, $5 for non-UWM students in advance, $8 for non-UWM students at the door, and are available at the UWM Student Union Information Desk.

Courageous, humorous, and smart are just a few words used to describe the internationally acclaimed author and cultural critic. She works to critique modern culture through her humor and enthusiastic personality. NPR named Bad Feminist of its best books of the year. Gay is also an opinion writer for The New York Times and a founding editor of PANK literary magazine.

Roxane Gay is author of Bad Feminist, a New York Times bestseller, the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize, and the story collection Ayiti. She has also written for Time, The Rumpus, and Salon, where she was a featured columnist, and her fiction has been selected for Best American Short Stories 2012 and Best American Mystery Stories 2014. More info here.

More info on upcoming events here.

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