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DSM Book Festival Announces Slate of Headlining Authors

February 15, 2023

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Feb. 15, 2023) – The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced the full slate of headlining authors for the upcoming DSM Book Festival. The Festival will take place on Saturday, March 25 at Capital Square in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). The DSM Book Festival connects people who love books with people who create them. 

Two new headlining authors have been announced:  

  • Sequoia Nagamatsu is the author of the National Bestselling novel, “How High We Go in the Dark,” a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and the story collection, “Where We Go When All We Were is Gone.” His work has also appeared in publications such the Iowa Review, Lightspeed Magazine and “One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories.” Nagamatsu will speak at 10 a.m. the day of The Festival.  
  • NoViolet Bulawayo is the author of the novels “Glory” and “We Need New Names,” which was recognized with the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature and the National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Fiction Selection. It was a selection for the All Iowa Reads list for 2023. Bulawayo will speak at noon the day of The Festival.  

Nagamatsu and Bulawayo join previously announced headlining authors: 

  • Chris Bohjalian is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 24 books including “The Flight Attendant.” Bohjalian will speak at 2 p.m. the day of The Festival.  
  • Sarah Penner, who is joining The Festival through the Des Moines Public Library’s Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series, is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of “The Lost Apothecary” which has been translated into 40 languages worldwide. The novel is also being developed into a television series by Fox. Penner will speak at 4 p.m. the day of The Festival. 

"We are thrilled to welcome these esteemed authors to the 2023 DSM Book Festival,” said Amelia Klatt, Director of Events at The Partnership. “Each author offers a unique take on the world, expressed through their masterful storytelling.”  

In addition to acclaimed authors, the DSM Book Festival will feature writers’ workshops led by featured commentators, hands-on activities, children’s programming, food, drink, live music and more. More than 30 local authors/illustrators will be in attendance. Three local publishers will be onsite, including Bookpress Publishing, Ice Cube Publishing and Meadowlark Press. Learn more at DSMbookfestival.com and watch for more information in coming weeks regarding the full schedule of activities. 

The DSM Book Festival has also opened applications for volunteers. Learn more about the volunteer opportunities available for the 2023 Festival here.  

VIP options are now available for attendees. VIP packages include signed copies of books from headlining authors, premier seats for author presentations, a commemorative DSM Book Festival item, 20% off at Beaverdale books and access to a VIP Suite. VIP packages begin at $60. Learn more here.  

The Festival is sponsored by Prairie Meadows, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Dotdash Meredith, Bankers Trust, Kum & Go, the Kerry and Linda Killinger Foundation, John Ruan Foundation, Bravo Greater Des Moines, the Des Moines Public Library’s Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series, BH Companies and BookPress Publishing. 

“The DSM Book Festival adds to the vibrancy of Downtown Des Moines by bringing thousands of people together to hear from nationally acclaimed authors and learn from local authors and creators in a festival setting,” said Emily Bahnsen, Community Investment Manager at Kum & Go. “We encourage attendees to take in all The Festival has to offer and use it as a springboard for their reading lists in 2023.”  

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership 

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com

About Downtown, DSM, Inc.  

Downtown DSM, Inc. is part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership and is dedicated to ensuring the continued growth of Downtown Des Moines (DSM). A strong region needs a strong Downtown. Downtown DSM, Inc. leads efforts to drive development, placemaking and events in Downtown DSM. It promotes a strong Downtown through integration of retail, restaurants, businesses, housing, events and placemaking.