Don’t miss the most promising events of the Unbound Book Festival


Boasting a remarkable array of authors, Columbia’s Unbound Book Festival promises as many entry points to literary conversation as there are types of readers.

This year’s festival is set to run from Thursday to next Sunday, and it can be overwhelming to sift through the many promising events and work out a schedule – a good problem to have, no doubt.

Here are some of the most exciting opportunities in this year’s program. Even this list might encourage you to try to be two places at once, but hopefully it offers some clarity. Each of these events takes place on Saturday, April 23.

After:Unbound Book Festival: Here are the faces to know at this year’s festival, from David Berry to Viet Thanh Nguyen

Knock home

Just weeks after Major League Baseball teams threw out the first pitches of the 2022 season, writers Emily Nemens, Emily Rutter and Andrea Williams come together to discuss the sport’s rise and fall as a symbol of the American dream. 10 a.m. in the Tiger Hotel Ballroom.

picture perfect

The term “graphic” is not automatically followed by “novel”, as panelists Malaka Gharib, Maia Kobabe and Kristen Radtke prove. Their works of graphic non-fiction flesh out the real world in words and images. 10 a.m. at the Ragtag Cinema.

Show me the writer

Think and read local as biographers Steve Paul and Henry Schvey team up to discuss their work on Missouri writers Evan Connell and Tennessee Williams, respectively. 10 a.m. at the Serendipity lounge.

After:From novels to graphic non-fiction, check out these books from the 2022 Unbound Festival authors

Author Talk: Pop Culture

"How far do we go in the dark"

Two brilliant and moving fiction writers – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and Sequoia Nagamatsu – strike up a conversation about the impact of “high” and “low” art, and whether or not these distinctions serve us well. 11:45 a.m. at Orr Street Studios.

Author Conversation: Seriously Funny

Despite the connotations we attach, we don’t have to take the term “literary” too seriously. Critic/journalist David Berry and novelist/essayist Julie Schumacher “discuss the challenge of being consistently funny” without “undermining (the) ambition or seriousness” of their work, notes the Unbound website. 1:30 p.m. at the Serendipity lounge.

A conversation with Jenny Lawson


Speaking of funny, Lawson – known to fans as The blogger – keeps readers in stitches, even as it promotes honesty and healing around mental health issues. This conversation with Brandan Gremminger of Burrell Behavioral Health will dig deeper into these topics and show how we can support and heal together. 1:30 p.m. at the Ragtag Cinema.

Zine workshop with Malaka Gharib

the do everything Gharib — associate editor and digital strategist of NPR’s global health and development team, cartoonist, memoirist and more — will discuss and post the do-it-yourself publishing medium. 3:15 p.m. at Orr Street Studios.

Forbidden books

With authors Kobabe, Brian Katcher, and Lyrissa Lidsky on board, this will certainly be a timely discussion given the recent flurry of news regarding censorship, especially in US school districts. 5 p.m. at the Katy Ballroom at the Broadway Hotel.

After:Here’s What Mid-Missouri Authors Have to Say About Recent Book Ban Attempts

Patrick Rosal and Leila Chatti

"the last thing"

This couple of accomplished poets will share their work with the listeners. 5 p.m. at the Serendipity lounge.

Find the full calendar of Unbound events at

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