Tickets available for ‘Go Big Read’ Wednesday

October 4, 2016 By Käri Knutson

MADISON – Free tickets are available to the public starting Wednesday, Oct. 5 for this year’s Go Big Read Event featuring author Matthew Desmond.

Desmond, a UW–Madison alumnus and author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Memorial Union Theater. “Evicted” tells the story of eight Milwaukee families faced with losing their homes and highlights the plight of those living in poverty.

Tickets may be picked up at the Memorial Union ticket office or online at While free, there is a $4 processing fee for the online tickets. There is a two-ticket maximum per person. A stand-by line will also be offered for any that want to see if they can get in due to an unused ticket.

Go Big Read has a history of choosing timely topics that are part of the national discussion. Last year’s Go Big Read book, “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, highlights racial inequality and the need to reform America’s justice system. Demand for tickets was great, prompting a new ticketing system. Distributing tickets gives students the first opportunity to attend the event, now in its eighth year. For those who can’t attend, the event will also be streamed live via the Go Big Read website and archived. Many local venues will be hosting shared viewings of Desmond’s presentation as well.

Desmond received his doctorate from UW–Madison in 2010. He is an associate professor of sociology and social studies at Harvard University and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the UW. In 2015, he received a MacArthur “genius” grant.

The Go Big Read program is an initiative of the Office of the Chancellor.