Indianapolis Celebrates Freedom to Read with Banned Books Week “Prisoner” and Week of Programming

banned-buttonJoin us as we transform the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library into a cozy salon where community members can gather to ask big questions about art, citizenship and humanity. This year, Banned Books Week (BBW) is September 24-September 29, and we are thrilled to welcome a host of guests to discuss censorship, book banning, and many other topics. And, we will celebrate the publishing of a new collection of Vonnegut short stories by Seven Stories Press.

DSCN0498BBW opens with a discussion of censorship in the newspaper industry with Indianapolis Business Journal’s Mickey Maurer. We’ll dedicate the KVML art gallery as the Frank and Katrina Basile Community Room. We’re also teaming up with local and national partners like Gen Con to host conversations and activities that will reach a diverse audience and encourage dialogue.

Dr. Greg Bravehorse, Deputy Curator of the #Tralfamadore Memorial Micro-Library, will spend the week in our storefront museum window, trapped behind a “prison” wall constructed of banned books. During his time in the Vonnegut Library, Dr. Bravehorse will re-create banned books in 140 characters or less and regale us with information about Tralfamadore and its moon #Tralfamadore. Thank you to Bluebeard and Clustertruck in Indianapolis for supplying wonderful lunches and dinners for our prisoner throughout the event.


2017 Banned Books Week Schedule

Sunday, Sept 24
  • Evening Event: Censorship in the Newspaper Publishing Industry
    • Join us as Mickey Maurer discusses his publishing of the IBJ and issues with censorship in the newspaper industry.
    • KVML hosts a reception following the presentation to name the KVML Art Galery the Frank and Katrina Basile Community Room
    • Our prisoner, Dr. Greg Bravehorse, introduces himself and his mission for the week.
    • 5pm, KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • This is a free event
Monday, Sept 25
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Sarah Skwire from Indiana Humanities will read from Frankenstein and Constance Macy will read from Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave
  • Evening Event: Discussing Howard Zinn
    • Join us as we discuss Howard Zinn’s seminal book, A People’s History of the United States with authors Dan Wakefield and James Alexander Thom
    • 6pm, KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • This is a free event
Tuesday, Sept 26
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Leonard Hoops from Visit Indy will read from Vonnegut’s Cats Cradle.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave.
  • Evening Event: Barb’s Banned Books Club
    • Barb Shoup from the Indiana Writers Center will discuss her own banned book Wish You Were Here and author John Green’s book, Looking for Alaska
    • 6pm, KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • This is a free event
Wednesday, Sept 27
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner reads from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Former Poet Laureate Karen Kovacik will read from Howl by Allen Ginsburg.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave
  • Evening Event: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism.
    • We’re teaming with DePauw University and GenCon to bring Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication to discuss her research on racism and censorship in search engines.
    • 7pm, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • Limited Spacing available; Tickets available soon
Thursday, Sept 28
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Sandra Harris from Indiana Storytelling Arts reads from Tropic of Cancer and Christina Jones from Indiana Storytelling Arts reads from In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave
  • Evening Event: Vonnegut’s Complete Short Stories
    • Dan Simon from Seven Stories Press will interview Dan Wakefield about the new Vonnegut book, Short Stories
    • 5pm, Indiana State Library, 315 W. Ohio Street
    • Limited Spacing available; Registration available soon.
Friday, Sept 29
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Butler University professor Terri Carney reads from Don Quixote.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave
  • Evening Event: Tales of a Timetraveling Prisoner
    • Dr. Greg Bravehorse comes out of character and transforms back to Craig Brandhorst from University of South Carolina. Craig will discuss what he learned through the week’s performance art and his typewritten tweets.
    • 5pm, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • This is a free event.

There will be something new to see and something more to learn every day at the Vonnegut Library during Banned Books Week. You don’t want to miss this week!

Feel free to check out the list of banned or challenged books.


Keep an eye on this page, and Facebook and Twitter for a full schedule of events.

Become a defender of intellectual freedom

The Vonnegut Library seeks support for its Banned Books Week activities this year. We are looking for donations and volunteers. To learn more about our Banned Books Week activities and donate to the cause, email us.  Please e-mail us at [email protected] if you can help with events.