Literary and historical fiction, survival tales and more at the Fort Collins Book Fest


The Poudre River Public Library District has unveiled the full program and author list for the 2021 Fort Collins Book Festival: Up, Up, & Out. The free event combines in-person, live and virtual sessions, including writing workshops, book lectures, panel presentations, author readings, family activities, and more. The program is available online at

“This year’s Book Fest features our most eclectic lineup of authors and genres yet, and it also includes exciting family-friendly programs and activities for teens for the first time since we started the event in 2016, ”said Meg Schiel, Fort Collins Book Fest director and librarian with Powder River Public Library District. “With the 2021 festival, we’ve created a fun literary experience that not only celebrates books and authors, but also provides opportunities to get up from our sofas and come back to the community in new ways.”

Festival Sneak Peek Book Fest programs begin Wednesday and Thursday October 20-21, with virtual writing workshops led by writers from northern Colorado. The festival’s official kickoff on Friday features live panel discussions about real women in historical fiction and a steamy look at romantic writing. There is also poetry and music in person followed by readings by local authors at Wolverine Farm Publick House.

The festival continues on Saturday, October 23 with activities for all ages at Lincoln Center, including the opening speech by acclaimed author Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina), presented in partnership with Fort Collins Reads. This session requires a free ticket available at the Lincoln Center box office.

Face masks will be required inside the performance hall during the headlining session. Saturday ends with a powerful poetry reading with a remote appearance by experimental poet Anne Waldman (Sanctuary) and in-person readings by Sasha Steensen, Autumn Bernhardt and Tanaya Winder. Throughout the day, participants can enjoy a children’s concert with 1 2 3 Andrés; book interviews with Stephen Graham Jones (My Heart is a Chainsaw), Jim Davidson (The Next Everest) and Alexandra Elle (After the Rain), and much more.

Sunday wraps up the festival with a live talk by James Bridle (The New Dark Age), a discussion on herbal ecology with Dara Saville (The Ecology of Herbal Medicine) and poetry readings. The final event of the festival is a book release night at Lincoln Center for local music industry leader Dani Grant (The Road She’s Traveled).

The 2021 theme, Up, Up, & Out, speaks of our collective desire to get up from our sofas, meet family and friends (and future friends) and return to the world. Masks are encouraged during the event.

The Fort Collins Book Festival was designed by librarians, writers, book enthusiasts and community members with the simple goal: to combine the community’s passion for the literary arts and our cultural, social and economic heritage. unique in a celebration of literature, literacy, and social conversation. The festival is produced annually by the Poudre River Public Library District.

The 2021 event is offered free to the community thanks to the support and generosity of the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, Colorado State University Libraries, KUNC, Colorado Sound, Colorado Creative Industries, National Endowment for the Arts, WESTAF, Fort Collins Reads, Front Range Community College, Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment Fund, Poudre River Library Trust, Downtown Development Authority, Liggett Johnson & Goodman pc, Fort Collins Downtown Creative District, Anne and Bruce Macdonald, Northern Colorado Writers, Poudre River Friends of the Library, Rocky Mountain Student Media, Eye Center of Northern Colorado, Clothes Pony and Dandelion Toys, Old Firehouse Books, and Wolverine Farm Publick House.

The Poudre River Public Library District was established in 2006 with the approval of the voters. The District’s Shared Resources serve more than 200,000 people in a vast 1,800 square mile area in northern Larimer County, Colorado. Anchored by three libraries in Fort Collins, the district is dedicated to matching the needs, interests and priorities of diverse communities with exceptional opportunities for learning, intellectual stimulation and personal enjoyment. In all its efforts, the District aims to enrich the cultural, educational and economic life of the growing regional area it serves. For more information, visit or call (970) 221-6740.

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