"Reading Is Still Sexy" video for Madison Lit Fest

This promotional video for Madison Lit Fest is kind of funny.  To avoid confusion, Lit Fest is different from the Wisconsin Book Festival, which is in the fall.  I must say that I was a bit disappointed in their schedule of events, which on the one hand looks like it's supposed to be mainly for students but on the other hand looks like maybe they spent all of their funding getting Billy Collins and only had enough left over for this.  By the way, it's by no means pornographic but that doesn't necessarily mean you should show it to your children.

(Disclaimer:  As a college dropout, it's MY JOB to make fun of any public event backed by the UW, even if I'm appreciative of it.  The schedule has events that I'm sure will be of interest to quite a few people--heck, I might even go see Billy Collins--and the video is funny.  The fact that this is now coming up as the #3 hit on Google for "madison litfest" is bringing on a pesky sense of responsibility.)


  1. Well...I'd show it to my children.

    Will you please follow up if you go?

    I'll be looking for it.

    I also really enjoyed your recent comments on Per Petterson. I haven't been able to connect with anything of his since Out Stealing Horses which is still one of my favorite books. I guess it's time to try again.


  2. Hi there!

    I'm the current Director of WUD Publications and the founder of Lit Fest, and I'd just like to say something about the funding. We're a small student organization and we were allotted a few hundred dollars in funding for this event at the beginning of the year. We worked aggressively to get grants and cosponsorships and one of the cosponsorships was with the WUD Distinguished Lecture Series, which has generously funded Billy Collins.
    As for the event lineup, we tried to create a variety of events that were largely aimed at students, since we are students ourselves. We love the Wisconsin Book Festival and never intended to compete with it, so we tried to set up a different identity for Lit Fest. As for focusing exclusively on Collins, that's something I wouldn't agree with. Right now, we're featuring:
    -Jeff Zeleny from NYT
    -Tony Romano, IL Author of the Year
    -Bill Lueders from the Isthmus
    -Alison Stine
    -Jacqueline Jones Lamon
    -Kelly Dwyer
    -Owen Pallett
    -Margaret George
    -Dusty Weis
    -James Baughmann
    If you have any suggestions for future Lit Fest authors or events, please don't hesitate to contact us. Information is available on the website.
    Thank you for blogging about us. We're looking to make Lit Fest better and better with each year, so please give us any constructive feedback you've got!

  3. I just want to say that Madison Lit Fest should be commended for getting such an amazing line-up ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that they are a small student organization. This looks to be like a wonderful event with many excellent, well respected authors; as well as featuring the talents of promising student writers which seems like a terrific opportunity to see some of the writers of the future on display.
    In light of the current state of the literary world, events that encourage literary endeavors should be applauded.
    I definitely will be attending Madison Lit Fest and hope that it continues as a Madison event for many years to come!

  4. Honestly, the main reason why I say I was disappointed in the schedule of events was that the name "Lit Fest"--as well as the promotional video--conjured up a different image for me. About a third of the events don't seem to have anything to do with reading/writing in the literary sense, instead focusing on things like music and print journalism. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, it just wasn't entirely what I was expecting.

    I did not mean to imply that Billy Collins was focused on exclusively, but it seemed reasonable to imagine that a disproportionate amount of funding might go to a big name (at least within the literary world) like that, and I also thought it was noteworthy that he was the only writer with his own page and bio in the schedule of events.

    Just to be clear, since I only said it indirectly before, I do appreciate what you guys have done with the funding you have, as I appreciate any effort made toward improving the literary scene in Madison. I also appreciate you taking the time to comment. I will probably attend at least one or two of the readings at LitFest perhaps even write about them on here. Thanks for the insight.