About the State Historical Society > News > 2012

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release June 28, 2012

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

SHSI hosts authors and offers programs during Iowa City Book Festival

Learn about the Civil War and visit with Willcockson, Carvey and Slonneger

DES MOINES – The State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City invites the public to celebrate with local authors and learn about the Civil War during the Iowa City Book Festival in July.

SHSI will host an open house featuring three authors 1-4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, 2012, at the Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue in Iowa City. All activities are free and open to the public.

Visitors may visit with co-authors Tom Willcockson and Beth Carvey, who will speak at 1:30 p.m. about their new book for young readers, “Twelve Moons: A Year with the Sauk and Meskwaki, 1817-1818.” Willcockson created roughly 100 illustrations that accompany Carvey’s text, based on 31 years of research while working at the Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island, Ill.

Visitors can also explore a collection of almanacs published between 1743 and 1937. Volunteer archivist Kristina Huff has been processing the collection and will discuss the interplay between printed text and messages their writers left behind. Handwritten notes in many of the almanacs mark significant events such as the arrival of a ship from England, the planting of crops or the death of a loved one. Huff will speak at 2:30 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m., Marybeth Slonneger will speak about her newest book, “The Burg: a Writer’s Diner,” which takes a look at Iowa City’s landmark diner, the Hamburg Inn. Using photos and words of guest contributors, including Iowa’s first poet laureate, Marvin Bell, Iowa City mayor Matt Hayek, Iowa state representative Mary Mascher, and social activist and local business owner Karen Kubby, Slonnegar captures the magic of the Burg.

Throughout the afternoon, staff will share excerpts from several Civil War era newspapers in the SHSI collections. Some of SHSI’s bound Civil War era newspaper volumes will be on display in the library. Copies of “The Burg” and “Twelve Moons” will be available for purchase.

The Iowa City Book Festival is July 13-15, 2012, in Iowa City and is presented by the University of Iowa Libraries. More information is available at www.iowacitybookfestival.org or by contacting SHSI’s Carol Kirsch at 319-335-3936 or carol-kirsch@uiowa.edu.


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.


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