Friends of the WPL announces 125th Anniversary Speaker Series


To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Winona Public Library (WPL) building, the Friends of WPL are holding a speaker series throughout the year. Each event features a current or former Minnesotan: Cathy Wurzer, J.D. Fratzke, J. Ryan Stradal, and Lou Raguse. During each event, the Friends will have 125th Anniversary items for sale.



Cathy Wurzer

Minnesota Public Radio’s (MPR) Cathy Wurzer will be at the Winona Public Library on Saturday, March 23rd at 11AM. She will talk about how she always stops at the local library while on vacation and how the local library is where you really learn about a town.

Wurzer is the host of MPR’s Morning Edition. She is, also, a long-time host of the Emmy award winning Twin Cities PBS show Almanac.

Paperbacks & Pieces will be on hand during the event to sell Wurzer’s books, Tales of the Road: Highway 61 and We Know How This Ends: Living While Dying. The author will be available afterward for signings.




J. D. Fratzke

Chef J.D. Fratzke is the featured guest speaker at the Friends of Library’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 4th at 6:30PM in the Library’s Central Exchange Room. He will talk about how Winona, Mississippi River, Driftless Area, and Winona Public Library not only formed his heart and soul, but heavily influenced the way he wanted to cook in restaurant kitchens.

Originally from Winona, Fratzke is a chef and restaurateur in the Twin Cities. You may, also, recognize him from Season 16 of the television show Top Chef. Fratzke has been used as a source in many literary publications including but not limited to J. Ryan Stradal’s Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club and the Northern Soul cookbook by fellow castmate, Justin Sutherland. Watch for a forthcoming spring title by Fratzke as well.




J. Ryan Stradal

Author J. Ryan Stradal will be at the Winona Public Library on Tuesday, June 11th at 7PM. Stradal will discuss his books – Saturday Night at The Lakeside Supper ClubThe Lager Queen of Minnesota, and Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

Stradal is originally from the southern Minnesota town of Hastings but currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. He likes books, craft beer, wine, root beer, sports, and peas.

Interested in purchasing any of his books? Paperbacks & Pieces will have them available for 20% off at the store and at regular price during the event.




Lou Raguse

KARE 11’s Lou Raguse, will visit the Winona Public Library on Saturday, October 5th at 11AM. He will give a behind-the-scenes look at his true crime book, Vanished in Vermillion.

Raguse is an award-winning Investigative Reporter at KARE 11. In 2020, his eight-part podcast, 88 Days: The Jayme Closs Story, won an Edward R. Murrow award.

Paperbacks & Pieces will be selling his book, Vanished in Vermillion, at the event.