Although the Des Moines Book Festival kicked off in 2019, this year marks only the second full-fledged in-person lineup after organizers canceled the event in 2020 and moved online last year.
Most of this festival will be held inside Capital Square, 400 Locust St., in downtown Des Moines. There, visitors can eat, listen to live music, read local authors and hear from professional writers.
One of the standout guest authors at this year’s event is Angeline Boulley, who penned “Firekeeper’s Daughter.” She makes an appearance at 5 p.m. to talk about the inspirations for her novel at the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel. Carol Hunter, editor of the Des Moines Register, and Susan Patterson Plank of the Iowa Newspaper Association talk about the future of journalism at an 11 a.m. event.
Other events will teach participants how to read more books and how to start learning braille, among many other activities.
According to Jerrica Marshall, manager of downtown venues with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the event also includes more than 30 area authors, six nonprofits, three publishers, three food vendors and three merchants. .
“What we want to achieve with all of our events is to get people to come out and support the locals,” Marshall said. “We hope to continue to make the book program bigger and better every year.”
Although programming is free, VIP packages start at $55 with “prime seating,” an autographed book, 20% off purchase at Beaverdale Books, and other perks.
Parents who attend these events can bring the kids to Capital Square’s Just for Kids Room, which is available all day, offering story time and activities like putt-putt golf all day.
A full schedule of events, as listed on dsmpartnership.com, is available below. Although all events are free, visitors can pre-register for the workshops.
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Dotdash Meredith Main Stage
The Dotdash Meredith Main Stage will be at the center of the Capital Square Atrium and will feature entertainment provided by area singer-songwriters throughout the day.
- 9 am Bruce Day
- 10am Patresa Hartman
- 11 a.m. Sara Routh
- Midday Matt wood
- 1 p.m. Ryne Doughty
- 2 p.m. Lani
- 3 p.m. Des Moines Community Playhouse Final Act Set
- 4 p.m. J. Jeffrey Messerole
- 5 p.m. As Jones
- 6 p.m.. Joshua Sinclair
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Headlining Author Series
The four lead authors of the event appear in the ballroom of the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust St., accessible by the catwalk north of Capital Square.
- 10am Imbolo Mbue, author of “Behold the Dreamers” and “How Beautiful We Were”
- Midday Dawnie Walton, author of “The Final Revival of Opal & Nev”
- 3 p.m. Stephanie Land, author of “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Way to Survive”
- 5 p.m. Angeline Boulley, author of “Firekeeper’s Daughter”
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Writers’ Workshops are held in the first floor rooms of Capital Square and give attendees the chance to get a feel for the process of becoming a novelist, journalist, or what it takes to write more non-fiction. general.
- 9:30 a.m. Thrill(er) Ride: Lessons learned on the journey to becoming a novelist
- 11 a.m. Panel on the future of journalism
- 1 p.m. Edition 101
- 2:30 p.m. Published Authors’ Perspectives Panel
- 4 p.m. Nonfiction Writers’ Panel
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These hands-on workshops allow Book Festival attendees to hone their creative skills in-person with a variety of activities, from working with watercolor paints to baking pies. The Des Moines Architecture Walking Tour at 2 p.m. is the only event where pre-registration is recommended.
- 9:30 a.m. Books and Beans: Spring pairings between books and coffee with Storyhouse Bookpub and Daisy Chain Coffee
- 10am Paint your story: watercolor and hand lettering with delicate bows
- 11 a.m. Let’s get ready to roll: tips and tricks for making a pie with bird pies
- Midday Everyone Can Read: Introduction to Braille with the Iowa Department for the Blind
- 12:30 p.m. Erasure Poetry: Mining “A Thousand Acres” by Jane Smiley with Sara Perez
- 2 p.m. Improve your list: how to learn more and really benefit from it with Linzi Murray
- 2 p.m. DSM Architecture Walking Tour with the Iowa Architecture Foundation
- 3:30 p.m. Another Dimension: Women of Science Fiction Past and Present with Lettie Prell
- 4 p.m. Sips, stats and stories with Red Boot Distillery and Daisy Cocktail
just for kids
For kids who may not have the interest or ability to attend some of the above offerings, a Just For Kids space with its own lineup can be found on the first floor of Capital Square.
- 9:30 a.m. Storytime with StoryHouse BookPub
- 10am Open game with JouJou
- 11:30 a.m. Storytime with StoryHouse BookPub
- Midday Open game with JouJou
- 2 p.m. The History of Braille with the Iowa Department for the Blind
- 3:30 p.m. Salamander Storytime with Ruby the Red Panda Reading with Blank Park Zoo