Category Archives: Minnesota writers

Ideas that Bloom in the Spring, Tra La!

A good idea will keep you awake during the morning, but a great idea will keep you awake during the night.   Marilyn Vos Savant 

Much like – no doubt inspired by – the tulips and daffodils that grace the city boulevards and country roadsides, ideas bloom in Spring.  These are just a very few of the ideas that have been germinating during these spring-like days and evenings.

The idea in this brief is to suggest a smattering of less-publicized events that share the rich pollen of ideas and information that may “keep you awake during the night.”  Opportunities to explore good ideas are blooming everywhere these days – take time to smell the roses!

Events:

Programs at Eat My Words! Bookshop on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of May.  1228 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com/events?view=calendar&month=May-2017

  • May 6 – 3 pm – Anne Marie Mershon: You Must Only to Love Them: Lessons Learned in Turkey.
  • May 12, 7:00 PM – Nora Murphy, White Birch, Red Hawthorn.
  • May 13 – Howard A.W. Cargon, Howard A.W Caron. Lily Pond: Forged Alliance, 3:00 PM
  • May 19, Meet the author: Connie Claire Szarke, Moon. – 5:00 PM
  • May 26, Kathleen Novak: Do Not Find Me, 7:00 PM
  • May 27 – Poetry performance with Sharon Chmielarz and Larry Schug, 3:00 PM

Ongoing during May  –  A sampler of a busy month sponsored by East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul.

  • May 9, 7:00 pm – Nativism and Resistance-Then and Now. Dr. Peter  Rachleff
  • May 15, 7:00 pm Racism in our Hometown: The story of the Arthur and Edith Lee Family. Presented by the APWU Solidarity Kids Theater. East Side Freedom Library.
  • May 16, 7:00 PM, 100 Years at the Library. Greg Gaut, Bill Lindeke, and Billie Young.  St Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Avenue, St. Paul.
  • May 18, 6:00 PM, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids. William Jones, Yuichiro Onishi, James Robinson. Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 North Dale Street, St Paul.
  • May 21, 10:30 AM. Payne Avenue Walking Tour & Library Celebration with Peter Rachleff.  Registration required http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/event/historic-payne-avenue-walking-tour/

May 6 – Researching the History of Your Minneapolis Home.  10:30-11:30, Minneapolis Central Library Special Collections. https://mclib.bibliocommons.com/events

May 7 – In Her Own Voice, Selected Works of Grace Flandrau, edited by Georgia Ray. 4:00 PM, Commodore Bar and Restaurant, St Paul. http://www.twincities.com/2017/05/01/in-her-own-voice-book-looks-at-importance-of-st-pauls-grace-flandrau/

May 11, 7:00 PM – Writers Read, The Coffee Shop Northeast, 2852 John St, NE, Minneapolis.  All writers/readers, every genre www.thecoffeeshopne.com

May 20, Noon-4:00 PM – Minneapolis International Festival, Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley Street NE, Minneapolis.  Music, dance, cultural exhibits. (http://millcitytimes.com/news/minneapolis-international-festival-set-for-may-20-at-boom-is.html)

 

May 25, 7:00 PM. Black Memory and Imagination An Intergenerational Conversation on Archiving Black Arts Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408. Sponsored by Friends of the U of M Libraries https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/black-memory-imagination/

Exhibits:

Protest Publishing and Art: From the Copy Machine to the Internet.  U of M Wilson Library.  Through May 19.

The Anatomy of a Hospital: The Buildings of The Swedish Hospital, St. Barnabus Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center.  Minneapolis Central Library, through May 30. http://hclib.tumblr.com/post/159346669813/the-anatomy-of-a-hospital-the-buildings-of-st

We Watch the Stream, sponsored by the Mississippi Watershed Management Office, Stormwater Park and Learning Center, 2522 Marshall St, NE, Minneapolis.   Through June 23.

Understand that these ideas offer just a sniff of a garden of good ideas that are waiting to “keep you awake on a hot summer night when you cannot sleep!”

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt 

 

 

 

 

 

Indie Bookstore Day- A day to shop, read and think for yourself

As I write I’m thinking what a perfect day this would be to curl up in a remote corner of an indie bookstore, nose in book, devices decidedly off, lost in a world yet to be explored.  Since it’s an indie there’s a friendly proprietor/staffer who will share an opinion about my chosen book, even suggest a similar tome I will undoubtedly enjoy.

As I further envision my reading nook, I catch the imagined scent of the venerable books –an olfactory extra of hanging out at a used bookshop. ! I realize that I would rather read a crumby – even crumbly –   book in a used bookstore than today’s bestseller in a chain store.

All of which is a fabricated buildup to Independent Bookstore Day, set for this coming Saturday, April 29.  The basics are covered in an earlier post (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/looking-ahead-to-indie-bookstore-day-april-29-2017/)  This is just a reminder to treat yourself to an indie bookstore tour on Saturday.

There’s a helpful map online (http://indiemap.bookweb.org) – know that the map is far from comprehensive.  You might want to start not with the map but by trolling your own community, including the newbies, antiquarian shops, children’s bookstores, campus stores, ethnic and other bibliophile haunts you may have yet to explore. Cater to your bookish inclinations, expand your personal collection, appreciate the creative energy that supports the book community and nurtures the range of reader tastes.

Check out Indie Bookstore Day on Facebook:  (https://www.facebook.com/events/402999000036140/)  Note that this is a highly selective post of just a few of the myriad happenings at local shops.

You’ll find the creative ways in which Indie bookstores reflect the proclivities of their proprietors.  Shops host readings, book clubs and discussion groups on every conceivable topic, art exhibits and artist presentations, children’s programs, storytellers, sports heroes and their biographers, politicians, stories and mores of new Americans, environmentalists, veterans, gardeners, musical ensembles of every tone….

As blog readers have probably observed, Eat My Words in Northeast Minneapolis ranks as my favorite indie (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/hungry-for-a-good-read-try-eat-my-words/)   Come for the books, stay for the programming:  https://www.facebook.com/eatmywordsbookstore/

On Independent Bookstore EMW will feature special displays, and Bookstore Bingo (played 10 AM-8 PM) where you can put your English major to the test.  Plan to be on hand mid-afternoon to join the 3:00 reading and conversation.  Author Mary Martin will discuss her book La Familia: An International Love Story. (https://manoamano.org/la-familia-book/).   La Familia chronicles the emergence of Mano a Mano, the St. Paul-based international development organization.(http://manoamano.org)  It’s the story of ways in which this grassroots international partnership bridges cultural and racial challenges.

The EMW conversation serves as a model of the ways in which independent bookstores are taking the lead by hosting and informing safe spaces that foster civil discourse so critical to finding our way in these divisive, uncertain, unprecedented times.

UPDATE: Indie Bookstore Day celebrations around the nation: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15bc3f419b6b8ba8

National Poetry Month — Poetic ways to spend the days!

Today’s weather notwithstanding, we are well into April – which means we are well into National Poetry Month.  Whether it’s politics or taxes or a brief spate of springlike weather, the fact is that this post is late to herald the month!   The good news is that there is much to come!

A veritable potpourri of possibilities –  this simply gives the flavor of the host of readings, celebrations, blog posts and creative ways in which we welcome spring with a collective celebration of well-chosen words that enrich our lives throughout the year

The best way to learn everything there is to know about National Poetry Month is to start by diving deep into the official website sponsored by the Academy of American Poets: https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/home   There you’ll learn about the two decades of celebration of the world’s literary treasures we share;  you’ll also find  a delightful poster, listing of events, and some unique projects including Poem in Your Pocket Day, details of the Dear Poet Project”, a chance to sign up to read a Poem-a-Day and scores of other ideas.  It’s not too late to dip into this overflowing pool of celebratory options!!!

Don’t stop with the National Poetry Month section though – take time to explore more of the website.  This is a never-depleted, always refresh source of ideas, insights, videotaped interviews and readings, poems for every occasion and more!  A year-round treasure-trove!

Then move on to explore what’s happening closer to home.

  • April 20-21 Magers & Quinn Booksellers will sponsor back-to-back evenings of poetry readings. Milkweed Editions co-founder Emilie Buchwald will read from her latest collection of poems The Moment’s Only Moment and Margaret Hasse will read from her new poetry book Between Us. On April 21 the store will host poets Lyle Daggett, Wang Ping and Morgan Grayce Willow reading their contributions from Resist Much, Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance.  Magers & Quinn is at 3038 Hennepin Avenue.  Free and open. (Magersandquinn.com)
  • Schools, colleges, public libraries, book clubs, indie bookstores and poetry lovers everywhere will be celebrating National Poetry Month in diverse and wondrous ways.
  • The Wadena County Historical Society has invited local writers to submit an original poem; selected poems will be read at “Minnesota Voices,” April 20, at noon at the Wadena County Museum as part of April’s National Poetry Month.
  • In honor of National Poetry Month, MPR’s The Thread is celebrating Poetry Fridays. Each Friday in April, The Thread will publish a selection of poetry from local independent publishing houses Graywolf Press, Milkweed Editions and Coffee House Press.
  • Be sure to explore My-Minnesota (My-minnesota/blogspot.com). This special blog describes a delightful range of poetic possibilities you will want to explore – and possibly emulate.
  • And this may be my favorite. Senator Franken is soliciting young people’s poetic thoughts on the theme “Celebrating the Veteran in My Life:  Students are invited to write about any veteran or active military member who has had a positive impact on their life.  Entries will be judged by a special panel; winners in each age group will receive a book autographed by Garrison Keillor.  They will also be invited to attend a reception at Senator Franken’s St Paul office.  Guests at the reception will include Senator Franken, Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota National Guard Major General Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard Brigadier General Sandra Best, and Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.  Winning poems will be framed and displayed in Senator Franken’s Minnesota or Washington, DC office. The poetry contest is open until April 21.  Contact poetry@franken.senate.gov or mail to Office of Senator Al Franken, c/o Poetry Contest, 60 Plato Boulevard East, St Paul, MN 55107.  Questions: contact Marc Kimball (651 221 2649 or marckimball@franken.senate.gov.

There are countless celebrations –  ideas, activities, contests, visuals, projects and other ways to celebrate poetry!   Though this list is abbreviated, sponsors, poets, and readers are welcome to forward notices of National Poetry Month 2017 activities at this late date.  I will happily add notices to future events as soon as I learn the details.  Thank you!

p.s. Recognizing as I do that the suggestion will raise an eyebrow or two, you might want to check out the Wikipedia post about National Poetry Month.  Lots there about the genesis of the idea and the many ways poetry lovers have found to honor the poets and their work.

UPDATE FROM THE NATIONAL POETRY MONTH WEBSITE:  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15b5dc2bb5124021

UPDATE FROM U OF M : PANKAKE POETRY READING – BAO PHI http://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/pankake-poetry-reading-featuring-bao-phi/utm_source=continuum++News+from+University+of+Minnesota+Libraries&utm_campaign=c7df777509News_from_RSSFEED_TITLE_for_RSSFEED_DATE_3_17_2015&utmmedium=email&utm_term=0_35496412ca-c7df777509-174925501

 

Rosemount Writers Festival/Book Fair Set for March 18

Bibliophile alert!  The Rosemount Writers Festival and Book Fair, sponsored by a host of organizations, is set for Saturday, March 18, 9:30-4:30 p.m. at Steeple Center, 14375 South Robert Trail in Rosemount.

Sponsors include the Rosemount Area Arts Council, Minnesota Independent Publishers Association, Friends of the Robert Trail Library, Fuzion Print and Spring Book Design.

The day begins with a Keynote speech at 9:30, presented by Mark Hirsch, author of That Tree.  That will be followed by a smorgasbord of twenty workshops on five tracks, each led by publishing industry experts and authors.   The Book Fair, beginning at 10:30, offers an opportunity to  meet and talk with authors, publishers and vendors – as well as a chance to purchase books.

Lunch is available. ($12)

Each portion of the day’s program requires individual registration. All the details and costs are spelled out on the event’s user-friendly website: http://www.rosemountwritersfestival.com.

 

 

Minnesota Book Awards 2017 – Nominees Named

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

MINNESOTA BOOK AWARDS – SAVE THE DATE – APRIL 8, 2017

We have just received this message from Friends of the St Paul Library, current sponsor of the Minnesota Book Awards:

We are pleased to announce the finalists in all nine categories for the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards. Chosen on Saturday, January 28, by 27 judges from around the state – writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community – the finalists are….

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Tell Me a Tattoo Story, by Alison McGhee, illus. by Eliza Wheeler (Chronicle Books)

This Is NOT a Cat! By David LaRochelle, illus. by Mike Wohnoutka (Sterling Children’s Books)

Worm Loves Worm, by .J. Austrian, illus. by Mike Curato (Balzer + Bray)

Yellow Time, by Lauren Stringer (Beach Lane Books)

GENERAL NONFICTION

Canoes: A natural history in North America, by Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims (University of Minnesota Press *)

Designing Our Way to a Better World, by Thomas Fisher (University of Minnesota Press *)

Thrill Me: Essays on fiction, by Benjamin Percy (Graywolf Press *)

The War on Science: Who’s waging it, Why it matters, What we can do about it, by Shawn Otto (Milkweed Editions *)

GENRE FICTION

The Born and the Made, by Robert Spande (Self-published)

The Heavens May Fall, by Aalen Eskens (Seventh Street Books)

Rise of the Spring Tide, by James Stitt (Self-published)

Stealing the Countess, by David Housewright (Minotaur Books)

MEMOIR /CREATIVE NONFICTION

I Like Inside: Memoirs of a babe in toyland, by Michelle Leon (Minnesota Historical Society Press *)

The Song Poet: A memoir of my father, by Kao Kalia Young (Metropolitan Books)

This Is Where I Am: A memoir, by Zike Caigiuri  (University of Minnesota Press*)

The Thunder Before the Storm: The autobiography of Clyde Bellecourt, by Clyde Bellecourt, as told to Jon Lurie (Minnesota Historical Society Press *)

MIDDLE GRADE LITERATURE

Little Cat’s Luck, by Marion Dane Bauer, illus. by Jennifer A. Bell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

Sachiko: A Nagasaki bomb survivor’s story, by Caren Stelson (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group *)

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse, by Brian Farrey (Algonquin Young Readers/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

Sticks & Stones, by Abby Cooper (Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan)

MINNESOTA NONFICTION

The Big March: The story of a lost landscape, by Cheri Register (Minnesota Historical Society Press *)

The Ford Century in Minnesota, by Brian McMahon (University of Minnesota Press *)

Women of Mayo Clinic: The founding generation, by Virginia M. Wright-Peterson (Minnesota Historical Society Press*)

NOVEL & SHORT STORY

The Annie Year, by Stephanie Wilbur Ash (Unnamd press)

Do Not Find, by Kathleen Novak (The Permanent Press)

LaRose, by Louise Erdrich (Harper Collins Publishers)

Wintering, by Peter Geye (Alfred A Knopf)

POETRY

May Day, by Gretchen Marquette (Graywolf Press *)

Tula, by Chris Santiago (Milkweed Editions *)

Unbearable Splendor, by Sun Yung Shin (Coffee House Press *)

Yes Thorn, by Amy Munson (Tupelo Press)

YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE

Assassin’s Heart, by Sarah Ahlers (HarperTeen/HarperCollins Publishers)

LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for equality, by Kristin Cronn-Mills (Twenty-First Century Books/Lerner Publishing Group *)

The Memory Book, by Lara Avery (Poppy/Little Brown and Company)

Original Fake, by Kristin Cronn-Mills, art by E. Eero Johnson (GP.Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House)

* Indicates Minnesota publisher

+++++

Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 8, at the InterContinental Hotel Saint Paul Riverfront.   The Preface reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Awards Ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$55 and available by visiting http://www.thefriends.org or calling 651-222-3242. The official hashtag for social media is #mnbookawards. All are encouraged to use it when posting comments, status updates or tweeting about any of the authors or their books.

 

 

 

 

 

Poken Sword – A space where love of language matters

The evening’s program is so rich and varied that I contacted the planner to be certain that all of these people, all of the talent, all of these ideas will be shared in just one evening at Poken Sword!   Yes they are, and here are the details!!!

“A luminous evening dedicated to the Love of Language” is the tagline for Poken Sword.   The phrase sings out as we as a nation come to grips with the reality that words matter, truth matters.

The theme for this week’s Poken Sword literary salon is “Solitude.” Guests this week include Franklin Knoll, legislator, judge and poet.   Joining Franklin Knoll are writer and artist Hannah Kreibich, Judoka poet Gumo Orenji (Eric Tu), writer Noel Labine, Earl Crosby and Jason Wells. Each will share an original work on the theme of “Solitude.”

The evening is one in a monthly series of literary salons, gathered the fourth Friday of each month at 2001 A Space, located at 2001 5th Street NE in the heart of the vibrant Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area. Doors open at 6:30 PM.   Salons are free and open with a simple $5 voluntary contribution.

Each salon features original work by local writers and thinkers; each will focus on a specific theme – future salons are these:

  • February 24 – Passion
  • March 24 – Turbulence
  • April 28 – Fools
  • May 26 – Joy

Learn more about Poken Sword in this interview with  founders, Christine Jaspers and Dean Hawthorne:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Z6by48NS1V4&feature=youtu.be

Learn more about this month’s and future guests here: http://www.pokensword.com

 

 

Honoring the Writers of Northeast Minnesota

Organizers of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) have posted a “date due” notice – not for loaned library books but for nominations of books for the 29th Annual NEMBA. The awards recognize books that are substantially representative of northeastern Minnesota which includes Aitkin, Carleton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis counties. Categories include these:

  • Nonfiction
  • Fiction
  • Art and Photography
  • Children’s literature
  • Poetry

Eligible titles must have been originally released in 2016; nominations should include a nonrefundable entry fee ($25) for each title.

The annual awards are co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library and the Friends of the Duluth Public Library. An awards reception honoring all nominated authors will be held on Thursday, May 18, in the Kirby Ballroom on the UMD campus. The reception is free and open to the public.

For past recipients and more about the awards, click here: http://www.d.umn.edu/lib/nemba/award.htm

Questions? Call 218 726 7889 or email libnemba@d.umn.edu.