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Thursday, April 27
Keynote - Nickolas Butler, Author

Butler NickolasNickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, raised in Eau Claire and educated at UW-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He is the author of the internationally-bestselling novel Shotgun Lovesongs, which was selected as the 2015 Wisconsin Library Association's Literary Award winner. His collection of short stories, Beneath the Bonfire, was one of WLA's 2016 Outstanding Achievement selections. He is the winner of France's prestigious PAGE Prix America, the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award, the 2014 Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, the 2015 UW-Whitewater Chancellor's Regional Literary Award, and has been long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty Dunnan Award for First Novel and short-listed for France's FNAC Prix. He has previously worked as a Burger King maintenance man, a tutor, a telemarketer, a hot-dog vendor, an innkeeper (twice), an office manager, a coffee roaster, a liquor store clerk and an author escort. His itinerant work includes: potato harvester, grape picker and Christmas tree axe-man. His short stories, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Lumberyard, The Christian Science Monitor, Narrative, Sixth Finch and several other publications. His newest novel, The Hearts of Men, will be available for signing immediately following the keynote.

He lives on sixteen acres of land in rural Wisconsin adjacent to a buffalo farm. He is married and has two children.   

Thursday, April 27
Luncheon Speaker - Dawn Logsdon, Filmmaker, Serendipity Films LLC, San Francisco

Logsdon DawnDawn's career has been dedicated to making films about civic issues and city life, particularly at the neighborhood level. She directed and produced Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (2008), which premiered nationally at the Tribeca International Film Festival. It went on to win the SFIFF Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary and was a PBS Black History Month feature presentation three years in a row. Dawn co-directed and edited Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (2013) and Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet (2008). Dawn edited the Sundance Award-winning Paragraph 175 by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Freidman, Academy Award-nominated Weather Underground by Sam Green, Emmy award-winning Have You Heard from Johannesburg? by Connie Field, and the Peabody award-winning The Castro. Short films that she produced and directed include Tomboy, which was exhibited at the Whitney Museum and aired on PBS. Dawn received a BA in Philosophy from UC Berkeley. Her honors include a Soros OSI Media Fellowship, California Arts Council Artist Residency, BAVC Media Maker Award, Djerassi Artist Residency, Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship, New Orleans Contemporary Art Center Artist Fellowship, and the New Orleans Arts Council Award. 

Friday, April 28
Luncheon Speaker - Nicolette Warisse Sosulski, Business and Reference Librarian, Portage (MI) District Library

nicolette desk-1

Since 2005, Nicolette has been the Business Librarian at Portage District Library in Portage, Michigan, where she develops the business, reference, 200s and 600s, database collections and programming, with special interests in new business development, investor education and “How to be a (Re)Search Ninja”, a workshop in search and information literacy. Since receiving her MLIS from the iSchool at the University of Washington in 2004, she has also worked as a staff librarian for QuestionPoint, monitoring public, academic and business queues across the country and in Great Britain. Other interests include bibliographic instruction for high school and college students and best practices in virtual reference. Her musings on these can be found in her column “Real Life Reference” in Booklist Online; “A Reference for That,” a column in RUSQ, which she co-edits with Dave Tyckoson, and other library publications.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, she has moved from collecting Southern cookbooks in quest of the ultimate chess pie recipe to having a serious cookbook habit, possibly requiring a 12 step program. She has two college-age sons, Peter and Nicholas; two dogs, Pandora and Penelope; and in her free time she escapes to worlds where endings are happy and plucky females triumph.