Celebrating its 20th season, the Chippewa Valley Book Festival October 21-27 is the premier literary event in our area. We go behind the scenes with Pam Gardow and talk about some of the great authors coming and how the event has grown into a week long celebration of the written word.

The Menomonie Public Library has been a part of this event for a number of years now.  This year the library will be hosting Minnesota author Carolyn Porter, October 23 at 10:30 a.m. in our meeting room.  Ms. Porter is an award-winning graphic designer and type designer based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. She graduated with a BA in Graphic Design from University of Wisconsin–Stout, which is where she was exposed to typography and the design of letterforms. Her first font, P22 Marcel Script, has garnered four international honors, including the prestigious Certificate for Typographic Excellence from the New York Type Director’s Club. Her nonfiction book, Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate, was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, a Paris Book Festival winner, and won gold medals from Independent Publisher Book Awards and the Military Writer’s Society of America.  Learn more about Carolyn at carolyn-porter.com

Seeking inspiration for a new font design in an antique store in small-town Stillwater, Minnesota, graphic designer Carolyn Porter stumbled across some old letters and was immediately drawn to the beautifully expressive pen-and-ink handwriting. She could not read the letters—they were in French—but she noticed they had been signed by a man named Marcel and mailed from Berlin to France during the middle of World War II.

As Carolyn grappled with designing the font, she decided to have one of Marcel’s letters translated. Reading words of love combined with testimony of survival inside a German labor camp transformed Carolyn’s curiosity into an obsession, and she sought to find out why the letter writer, Marcel Heuzé, had been in Berlin, how his letters came to be for sale in a store halfway around the world, and, most importantly, whether he returned to his beloved wife and daughters after the war.

Marcel’s Letters is the incredible story of Carolyn’s increasingly desperate search to find answers to the mystery of one man’s fate, answers that would come from Germany, France, and the United States. Simultaneously, she would continue to work on what would become the acclaimed P22 Marcel Script font, immortalizing the man and his letters that waited years to be reunited with his family.