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Attend The DSM Book Festival

Experience the DSM Book Festival in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)! Meet nationally-acclaimed authors, engage in exciting discussions, discover new flavors and activities, hear local singers/songwriters and celebrate your favorite stories in a vibrant community celebration.

Festival admission is FREE thanks to the DSM Book Festival sponsors. Fees may apply to select hands-on activities and experiences.

Event Details

Date & Time

Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.


Capital Square and Cowles Commons, Downtown Des Moines (DSM)

Prairie Meadows Author Pavilion  |   Festival Atrium  

Hands-On Activities & Classes  |   Programming for Kids

Prairie Meadows Author Pavilion

The Des Moines Register presents: Nnedi Okorafor, Author of Marvel's "Black Panther"

Nnedi Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. Although born in the United States, Nnedi was raised by two Nigerian immigrant parents, which has inspired the influence of African culture in her creative evocative settings and memorable characters. In a profile of Nnedi's work titled, "Weapons of Mass Creation," The New York Times called Nnedi's imagination "stunning."

Books by Okorafor:

  • "Who Fears Death" (a World Fantasy Award winner for Best Novel), adult
  • "The Binti Trilogy" (the first of which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella and the second which is a Hugo Award finalist), adult
  • The Akata series ("Akata Witch" and "Akata Warrior," "Akata Witch" being an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year, "Akata Warrior" being a finalist for the World Science Fiction Society Award), young adult

AViD by the Des Moines Public Library presents Susan Orlean, Author of The Library Book

New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean has been called “a national treasure” by The Washington Post. Her deeply moving explorations of American stories both familiar and obscure have earned her a reputation as one of America’s most distinctive journalistic voices. Her latest work is the instant New York Times bestseller The Library Book, an exploration of the history, power, and future of these endangered institutions.

Books by Orlean:

  • The Orchid Thief
  • Rin Tin Tin
  • Saturday Night

Headlining Author: Garth Stein, Author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein is best known for his contemporary classic, The Art of Racing in the Rain, that has sold more than 6 million copies, been translated into 35 languages and spent more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list. The film adaptation of this book is due out in 2019, starring Milo Ventimiglia from the hit TV show, "This is Us", Kevin Costner and Amanda Seyfried.

Books by Stein:

  • A Sudden Light
  • How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets
  • Raven Stole the Moon

More authors will be announced soon!

Festival Atrium

The DSM Book Festival will feature the Hubbell Realty Company Main Stage within the Capital Square Atrium to highlight a variety of singers/songwriters. The stage will also showcase poetry slams and creative contests. A stage lineup will be posted in February 2019.

The Atrium will also be home to specialty merchants, artisans, ample seating, foods from local vendors and Hemingway's Drinkery, a specialty bar with cocktails and beverages featuring literary puns.

Hands-On Activities and Classes

From unique art activities and engaging book talks to spirited discussions paired with samples of wine, there's fun for book lovers of all ages at the DSM Book Festival!

  • Flower Arranging – Make-and-Take with Wildflower
  • Beaverdale Books Book Club Discussion: "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Make-and-Take with Art Terrarium
  • The Grape Gatsby – Wine tasting and book discussion on "The Great Gatsby"

Additional activities to be announced soon!

Programming for Kids

Kids can celebrate their love of reading at the DSM Book Festival. The Festival will feature unique activities, contests and more in a special kids' zone:

  • Llama Llama Red Pajama Party
  • Dog Man
  • Creating Comic Books
  • Peppa Pig Tea Party
  • We are in a BOOK! Meet Elephant and Piggie!

Additionally, comic book character and storybook character contests will take place on the Acoustic Stage.

Check back for more author, programming and activity details soon!