Monday, November 26, 2018

Boswell Celebrates Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Wocka Wocka Wednesday (only Fozzie-themed gifts) and the rest of the week: Patrick J. Jung on Nicolet, Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook at the JCC,

Here are the Boswell happenings

Tuesday, November 27, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Patrick J. Jung, author of The Misunderstood Mission of Jean Nicolet: Uncovering the Story of the 1634 Journey

Milwaukee School of Engineering Professor of History Patrick J. Jung delves into the history of Wisconsin wanderer Jean Nicolet.

For years, schoolchildren heard the story of Jean Nicolet’s arrival in Wisconsin. But the popularized image of the hapless explorer landing with robe billowing and guns blazing, believing himself to have found a passage to China, is based on scant evidence - a false narrative perpetuated by fanciful artists’ renditions and repetition.

Recently, historians have pieced together a story that is more complicated and more interesting. Jung synthesizes the research about Nicolet and his superior Samuel de Champlain, whose diplomatic goals in the region are crucial to understanding Nicolet’s journey across the Great Lakes. Additionally, historical details about Franco-Indian relations and the search for the Northwest Passage provide a framework for understanding Nicolet’s famed mission.

Patrick J. Jung is a professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a Ph.D. in history and anthropology and is author of The Black Hawk War of 1832, The Nicolet Corrigenda: New France Revisited with coauthor Nancy Oestreich Lurie, and The Battle of Wisconsin Heights: Thunder on the Wisconsin.

Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 PM, at Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Boulevard
A ticketed event with Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, authors of Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious  

2017 James Beard Outstanding Chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner, Steven Cook, owners of Zahav, Federal Donuts, and other restaurants, weave together history and delicious food in this demonstration and discussion at the Harry and Rose Samson Jewish Community Center, cosponsored by the Israeli Center and Boswell.

For this event Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook will be in conversation with Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Foodie.

Tickets for this event are available at $40 for one person, $60 for two, includes admission, one copy of Israeli Soul, and delicious appetizers.

For their first major book since the trailblazing Zahav, Solomonov and Cook go straight to the food of the people, the great dishes that are the soul of Israeli cuisine. Usually served from hole-in-the-wall restaurants or market stalls, these specialties have been passed down through generations. The authors scoured bustling cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and sleepy towns on mountaintops, visiting bakeries, juice carts, beaches, even weddings, to find the best recipes. Perfected for the home kitchen, recipes include falafel and pita, grilled and roasted spice-rubbed meats, stuffed vegetables, chopped vegetable salads, pastries, ice creams, and shakes.

Kyle Cherek is a culinary historian, food essayist, and host of Wisconsin Foodie, and a is also a contributor to Lake Effect on WUWM. Cherek has been awarded the Wisconsin Broadcast Association Award twice for his essays on food culture.

James Beard award-winning Michael Solomonov is the executive chef of Zahav, an Eater essential restaurant, and the 2016 Eater Chef of the Year. Steven Cook, with Solomonov, wrote Federal Donuts and the award-winning Zahav. Together, they own Zahav, Federal Donuts, and Abe Fisher restaurants.

Thursday, November 29, 4:00 PM, at UWM Lapham Hall, 3209 N Maryland Ave, Room N101:
Marcia Bjornerud, author of Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World

UWM’s Department of Geoscience presents Lawrence University Geology Chair Marcia Bjornerud for a discussion of her newest work, which explains why an awareness of Earth’s temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival. Cosponsored by Boswell.

Marcia Bjornerud shows how geologists chart the planet’s past and determine the pace of processes like mountain building and erosion, comparing them with the unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere. These overlapping rates of change in the Earth system - some fast, some slow - demand a poly-temporal worldview, which Bjornerud calls “timefulness.” She explains why timefulness is vital in the Anthropocene, this human epoch of accelerating planetary change, and proposes sensible solutions for building a more time-literate society.

This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth’s history and the magnitude of our effect on the planet.

Marcia Bjornerud is Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geology and Chair of Geology at Lawrence University. She is the author of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth and a contributing writer for Elements, The New Yorker’s science and technology blog. She lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Thursday, November 29, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Milwaukee Art Museum Docents, authors of Look, Write, See: Activities for Teaching Writing and Looking at Art

Join docents from Milwaukee Art Museum, including Mary ‘Peetie’ Basson, Jody Baxter, and Jee-Won Schally, as they present the book Look, Write, See, a collaborative endeavor developed to help teach writing and encourage closer looking at art. Cohosted by Milwaukee Art Museum.

Twenty activities are paired with works of art from the Milwaukee Art Museum's Collection, but each can easily be used with other works-and at other museums. The magic of these activities happens in the combination of close looking, writing, listening to what others see, and looking again. Children and adults will be amazed at what there is to find and see!

The heart of the interaction is writing that enhances an appreciation of art, and art returns the favor by enriching our understanding of writing. The beauty of these activities is that you do not need to be trained in art to enjoy and learn from it. With this book, museum goers will look more closely, think more personally, and engage in dialogue in the galleries.

Look, Write, See is a collaborative effort created by docents at Milwaukee Art Museum.

Friday, November 30, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
John Koethe, author of Walking Backwards: Poems 1966-2016

Join us for a special evening celebrating the release of the collected work of John Koethe, UWM’s Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and Milwaukee’s own philosopher-poet, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the Frank O’Hara Award.

Walking Backwards gathers for the first time Koethe’s award-winning body of work. These poems, always dynamic and in process, never static or complete, luxuriate in the questions that punctuate the most humdrum of routines, rendering a robust portrait of an individual: complicated, quotidian, and resounding with truth.

Pulitzer-winning poet John Ashbery said, “Solemn and playful, John Koethe’s poems lock themselves gradually but firmly into one’s memory.”

John Koethe has published eleven books of poetry. He has also published books on Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophical skepticism, and poetry, and is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at UWM.

Saturday, December 1:
10:00 AM at West Allis Public Library, 7421 W National Ave
Noon at Cudahy Family Library, 3500 E Library Dr
2:00 PM at Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W Layton Ave
Bruce the Bear, hero of Mother Bruce and Santa Bruce

Everyone’s favorite bear is coming to Milwaukee! Bruce, the hero of Mother Bruce, is coming to town (in costume form) for the publication of Ryan T. Higgins’s picture book Santa Bruce.

Each library will have a story time, and children and adults will have a chance to pose for pictures with Bruce and get his "autograph" (custom Bear stamp). Boswell will have Higgins books for sale at each library. Please note, Higgins will not be present at these events. Perfect for adults and kids 4+.

Bruce is many things - a reluctant mother, a harangued hotelier, and an all-around magnet for chaos. But one thing Bruce is definitely not? He is not Santa Claus. But that doesn't stop the whole forest from giving him their Christmas wishes in the fourth installment of mistaken identity fun with the hilarious bear who just can't catch a break.

While Ryan T. Higgins is not appearing at these events, we should note that he received the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor for Mother Bruce. 

Saturday, December 1, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Andrea Gibson, author of Lord of the Butterflies
in conversation with Audrey Nowakowski of Lake Effect

Poet, activist, spoken-word artist, and author of stirring, introspective poetry collections such as Take Me With You and Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns, Andrea Gibson appears at Boswell for a special evening in which they will speak and perform poems from their latest collection, Lord of the Butterflies.

After the performance, Gibson will be in conversation with Audrey Nowakowski, producer at WUWM's Lake Effect.

Register for free at or upgrade to a book-with-ticket option for $17, which includes admission to the event, a copy of Lord of the Butterflies, and priority on the signing line. If we are near capacity for this event, Boswell will close to the general public, so be sure to register today!

Gibson’s latest collection is a masterful showcase from the poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. The honesty of Gibson's work makes audiences and readers feel welcome as they are. With artful, nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, Lord of the Butterflies is a new peak in Gibson’s career. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

Andrea Gibson began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. In 2008, Gibson won the first ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Gibson is the author of four previous books of poetry and has released seven spoken-word albums.

Audrey Nowakowski is a producer at WUWM's Lake Effect since 2014. She is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University and has also worked at WMSE.

*It turns out there's nothing happening on Cyber Monday except our recovery from the weekend. More at Boswell's upcoming events page.

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