Featured Gala Authors Announced

A historian, a Christian novelist, a Native American horror writer and a 1968 World Series baseball star walked into a library event...

Does this sound like an unlikely gathering? It’s exactly who you’ll meet and hear from at the 2023 Literary Libations fundraiser for Kent District Library on Tuesday, September 19. You’re invited to this celebration of literacy programs that help children and adults alike, plus we’ll be honoring the 50th anniversary of the Talking Book and Braille Center.

Don't miss KDL's Literary Libations Gala & Auction, sponsored by Centennial Securities, The Steve & Amy Van Andel Foundation and more!

Event Details:

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 5:30 – 8:30 PM
  • JW Marriott, 235 Louis St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


  • Author presentations by Lynn Olson, Stephen Graham Jones, Susie Finkbeiner and Willie Horton
  • Emcee, Catherine Behrendt of WZZM 13 ON YOUR SIDE

Secure your seat at kdl.org/gala, opens a new window today!

About this year's authors

Lynne Olson is a New York Times bestselling author of nine books of history, most of which focus on World War II. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has called her “our era’s foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy.” Her career began with the Associated Press, where she was their first female correspondent in Moscow. Her latest book, Empress of the Nile, is a story of a daredevil archaeologist who saved Egypt's ancient temples from destruction.

Stephen Graham Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians. He is a Blackfoot Native American author of experimental fiction, horror fiction, crime fiction and science fiction. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Jones with a fellowship and he’s also the recipient of several awards including: the Ray Bradbury Award from the Los Angeles Times, the Bram Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Jesse Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, and the Alex Award from American Library Association. He is the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Susie Finkbeiner is the Christian Booksellers Association bestselling author of The All-American, The Nature of Small Birds, All Manner of Things — which was selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book — and Stories That Bind Us, as well as A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. Her most recent book, The All-American, is a 1950s coming-of-age story, where two sisters are left reeling when their father is accused of being a member of the Communist party. Bertha finds a haven with the All-American Girls Baseball League. Flossie finds herself in an unexpected friendship. Both are about to discover how much good there is in the world--even in the hardest of circumstances.

Willie Horton is a Detroit Tigers 1968 Baseball World Champion ballplayer and continues on the Tigers' staff. In his autobiography, Horton shares the story of his life and career, from growing up in Detroit's Jeffries Projects as the youngest of 21 children to winning a World Series with his hometown Tigers in 1968. Horton also discusses the opposition he faced as a Black player, his fond memories of Al Kaline, the joy he felt in returning to the Tigers as a front office executive, and the many ways he still tries to give back to Detroit and his community.