Kevin Kling is a prolific writer and storyteller whose plays have been performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and in such cities as Seattle, Chicago and New York. His droll, whimsical tales have delighted National Public Radio listeners and readers of his best-selling books.

On Wednesday, Washington County residents can meet the acclaimed author during a free program at 7 p.m. at the Stillwater Public Library.

The appearance is part of the ongoing Club Book, a program put on by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) that brings big-name writers to suburban libraries across the Twin Cities. Kling also will appear at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Maplewood Library.

"It's rare that one gets to see this caliber of authors free," said Rachel Fulkerson, communications director for the Library Foundation of Hennepin County. "It gives them an opportunity to connect with authors they might read and inspire reading."

During the one-hour program, Kling will talk about his works, read short excerpts and take questions. He also will sign books after the program.

"As an artist, I feel that being an active participant of my community, of my home, is essential, so getting to read some of my material for family, friends and neighbors is a thrill," Kling said. With Club Book, "I am again reminded of the importance of the arts in our community."

Kling developed his appetite for reading and writing as a student at Osseo High School. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in theater in 1979 from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Since then, he has written several groundbreaking plays, including "21A" and "Fear and Loving in Minneapolis," and he's won several arts grants and fellowships from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Bush Foundation.

Kling has appeared at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival and continues to be a regular contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered." He also has written two books, "The Dog Says How" and "Holiday Inn," his latest collection of essays that recounts events from various holidays. The book landed on local and national best-seller lists for several weeks last year and was a finalist for a 2010 Minnesota Book Award.

Kling's appearances in Stillwater and Maplewood are being funded with money from the Legacy Fund, the voter-approved increase to the sales tax to fund the arts, recreation and clean water projects. Future programs will bring Will Weaver to the Hardwood Creek Library in Forest Lake on Oct. 14 and Faith Sullivan to the Stillwater Library on Oct. 28. Both appearances are scheduled for 7 p.m.

For a complete list of authors who will appear at suburban libraries in the seven-county metro area, go to

Tim Harlow • 651-735-1824