Category Archives: Minnesota writers

Autumn options: Places to go, things to learn, ideas to share

So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be do, so little done, such things to be ~~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Minnesota has two major bursts of energy – one after Labor Day (when school starts and the Fair is history) and the other is after the Christmas holidays (when the new year starts and winter sets in for real).   In my decades of event-planning I can attest to that certainty.  My advice to planners and event goers alike, be prepared to be overwhelmed!

This blog post is really a fragment of a calendar, a smattering of post-Labor Day events that have caught my eye, enough to give a sense of the options, with no pretense of being inclusive.  Look around your neighborhood, your stomping grounds, the state to lift the lid of what’s going on everywhere – be on the lookout for the great events that too often slip between the editorial cracks!

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September 5–October 28Celebrating 20 years: MN Basket Weaver’s Guild • Artist Reception: Thursday, September 7, 6–7:30 pm, Textile Center https://textilecentermn.org/opens-95-celebrating-20-years-mn-basket-weavers-guild/

September 7SHHH! Sing Harmony, Hungry Hearts (Song Circle) 7:00 PM  East Side Freedom Library http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/events/

September 8 –Minitex Open House – New location in Wilson Library, Room 60, on the U of M Campus.  11:30 AM-2:00 PM.  https://news.minitex.umn.edu/news/library-news/open-house-new-minitex-offices-scheduled-september-8

September 8-10 – American Pottery Festival.  Northern Clay Center.  https://www.northernclaycenter.org/apf

September 8-15– Plein Air Grand Marais, 120 3rd Avenue West, Grand Marais 55604. http://grandmaraisartcolony.org/event.cfm?eid-2

September 8-10 – Bug Days, Minneota MN – Carissa Hansen: Bill Holm showcase, grand parade, the world-renowned Boxelder Bug Races.   Bug Day apparel available on line.  http://www.boxelderbdays.com

September 9-10 – Energy Fair, St Paul Harriet Island.  https://www.theenergyfair.org/mn/

September 9 – October 20–  Lizzie Wortham “Like a Girl”  Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, St. Catherine University https://www.facebook.com/events/1945469025702001/

September 13 – Exploring graphic design and craft horizons with Sarah Archer. 7:30 p.m.  Library Salon Series, American Craft Council.  https://craftcouncil.org/event/exploring-graphic-design-and-craft-horizons-sarah-archer

September 14 – Leslie Morris, Madelon Sprengnether, & Margie Newman, 7:00 p.m. Eat My Words! 214 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolishttp://www.eaSeptember 14, 7:00 p.m. Eatmywordsbooks.com/events/2017/9/14/leslie-morris-madelon-sprengnether-margie-newman

September 14 – MinnAnimate 6  https://minnanimate.com.

September 15-16 – 29th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Augsburg College. http://nobelpeaceprizeforum.org

September 15-16 – Illuminate the Lock.  8:30 p.m. Experimental works featuring “Surface” by artist Aaron Dysalt with a lightshow displaying the lock’s half century of operation https://www.facebook.com/events/319506135176655/  First in a series of programs at the Lock; sponsored by the National Park Service.  https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/event-listing.htm?eventID=315100C2-1DD8-B71B-0B32B104F0A73440

September 16 – Author talk: William D. Green, 2:00 p.m., Minneapolis Central Library.  In Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of civil rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912 Dr. Green explores the Black experience of everyday figures and national heroes in Minnesota. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

September 16-17 – Twin Cities Ukrainian Heritage Festival.  Noon-5:00 p.m. at the Ukrainian American Community Center, 301 Main Street NE in Minneapolis.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/twin-cities-ukrainian-heritage-festival-tickets-36667956846

September 22 – Poken Sword Literary Salon– New works on “Wilderness” read by Heidi Arneson, Ethna McKiernan, Tom Cassidy, Valerie Borey and Christine Jaspers, 7:00 p.m. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/poken-sword-a-space-where-love-of-language-matters/

September 22 -24 (All Day) – Hand Camp.  Avon Hills Folk School. http://www.handcampmn.comk

September 27 – Residuals: Regan Golden and Maura Rockcastle – Exhibition, opening reception – landscape architecture, urban prairie, photographs and drawings. 5:00-7:00 p.m. https://www.continuum.umn.edu/2017/07/residuals-regan-golden-maura-rockcastle/

September 27 – To Really See; Art exploring the medication-taking experience.  Presented by Spectrum ArtWorks. Closing panel – 7:30 p.m.  Minneapolis Central Library. http://vsamn.org/spectrum-artworks-announces-artists-upcoming-traveling-exhibition-really-see/it

September 29-October 1 – The Arts Meander – Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl   Fifty artists featured in 35 studios – from the southern tip of Granite Falls to the northern point of Big Stone Lake and Ortonville.  http://www.artsmeander.com  Full brochure:  http://www.artsmeander.com/pdfs/2017_Brochure_full.pdf

Please share your good ideas to add to this skeleton listing of places to go, things to learn!   

 

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Things to do during this “odd uneven time”

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.   Sylvia Plath

 Sylvia Plath didn’t know about the Minnesota State Fair – had she known she would have realized that the best of summer is definitely not gone….Nor did she know about the amazing array of options that lure us during this “odd uneven time.”  Just a few of the possibilities, including some that escape the headlines….

Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Steve Sack is guest speaker at Talk of the Stacks at Minneapolis Central Library on Thursday, August 17.  Doors open at 6:15, program at 7:00 PM.  Free and Open to the public.  Sponsored by Friends of the Library.  https://www.supporthclib.org/steve-sack

To Really See, is a unique art exhibit on display through September 27 at the Minneapolis Central Library.  Subtitled “art exploring the medication-taking experience” the exhibit is presented by Spectrum ArtWorks, a program of RESOURCE.  Learn more about RESOURCE and Spectrum ArtWorks here:  https://www.resource-mn.org/about-resource/

Though the days are indeed getting shorter, the East Side Freedom Library is determined to fill them with a robust series of late summer programs.  All are free and open to the public.

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Looking ahead – Details to follow about these forthcoming activities

Expanding the Feast at Eat My Words!

Long ago there was a vague concept, an idea that the vibrant arts community of Northeast Minneapolis somehow needed a stronger voice for the creative folk who live, write, perform or otherwise work with words, books, literary forms of every sort.  Over time the concept morphed.  It would take the words written or spoken by community members to speak for the role of the written word in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area.  And thus began Voices of Northeast, video interviews with those good people whose words and work with words expand the very definition of the arts community.

What video conversations need more than easels and potting wheels is “recording space” — not so much “30 Rock” stages and cameras but quiet space that conveys a bookish feel, space that welcomes the viewer/reader to connect with the speaker, and for the guest speaker to feel not on stage but in a comfortable setting.

Eat My Words! Bookstore, the unique bookstore in the heart of the arts community, offered an ideal setting, a cozy space (complete with piano and an ever-changing art exhibit) that I’ve come to call “the parlor.” Most important, EMW extended knowing welcome to two volunteers with a hand-held camera and lights, a mission to share the views of those who give life to words, and a mission to incorporate the “literary arts” into the Northeast arts community. Thus, for the past couple of years, scores of episodes of Voices of Northeast have emanated from the back room at EMW.  One of the interviews is with Scott VanKaughnett, friend and proprietor of EMW  http://umedia.lib.umn.edu/node/1347781

All of which is background, a roundabout way of sharing my unbounded excitement about the new home of Eat My Words Bookstore.  Just last weekend EMW moved from the original site at the corner of 2nd Street and 13th Avenue Northeast just up the block to 214 13th Avenue NE, former home of Two12 Pottery.   Past posts have covered the basics of the move, the collaboration with the previous owner, potter Bob Sorg, and hopes for the expanded bookstore. (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/eat-my-words-a-moveable-feast/)

Beyond our highest expectations, we can now share with readers just how wonderful this move is – all of the good things that will be happening in the NEW Eat My Words!   The space offers bibliographic elbow room for the shop’s 20,000 volumes (no more iffy basement…)   It’s bathed in gentle sunlight room and nooks just right for cozying up with a great read, tantalizing displays of Bob Sorg’s pottery, unique greeting cards, and, still room enough for Voices of Northeast to continue weekly interviews with people whose art form is the written or spoken word!

There is also great space for the incredible public programming series that EMW is now able to expand! This month’s programs are but a sample of the mix:

  • Thursday, August 10, 7PM – – Poetry Reading: Freddy La Force, Georgia Linden, Stephanie Mann. P
  • Friday, August 11, 7PM — Nate Graznow & Steven Hildreth
  • Friday, August 18, 7PM — Film Meets Poetry: Kathryn Oakley & Damian Kussian.
  • Friday, August 19, 3PM – Michelle Leon—I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland

Each of these programs is announced and generously annotated in the beautifully wrought EMW online events calendar.  In fact, there is so much going on at EMW that the only way to stay in touch is to make haste to get on the list:  http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com/events/?view=calendar&month=August-2017

It is an honor to congratulate and thank Scott VanKaughnett and the staff of this unique community treasure.  Congratulations on your new digs – and sincere admiration for your vision, your commitment and your voice for the writers, readers and word lovers who weave their ideas and energy into the very fabric of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts area.

 

Eat My Words! Moves on up to its new home!

 His hands were weak and shaking from carrying far too many books from the bookshop. It was the best feeling. ― Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The quote no doubt expresses the post-move reflections of some, if not all, of the volunteers of every gender, age, and reading preference who showed up last weekend to heft thousands of tomes up the hill from the original Eat My Words! Bookstore to its new home at 214 13th Avenue Northeast.  As noted in a previous blog post, EMW has relocated to its new site at the former home of 212 Pottery.  See previous pre-move post here: https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/eat-my-words-a-moveable-feast/

And what comes next?

A TWO-DAY CELEBRATION —  Saturday and Sunday, August 5-6

It’s a busy weekend, beginning with a day of Bookstore Bingo beginning at 11:00 AM – with a busy agenda throughout the day:

3:00 PM – Pottery demonstration by local artist Bob Sorg (of 212  Pottery fame)

5:00 PM – Poetry reading featuring Terrance Folz, Morgan Grayce Willow, Tony the Scribe and Tony Plocido.

7:00 PM – Wayne Nelson will screen several of his animated films based on the poems, stories and songs of other people.

And there will be Music! Music! Music!

The music starts Saturday evening at 7:30-8:30pm when Branden Cravallho will share his unique classical guitar talent and repertoire.

And music continues on Sunday when the day’s program is sponsored  in tandem with Open Streets Northeast.  Music will fill the streets for seven hours Noon – 7:00 PM as Eat My Words will host seven bands:  Each band is on stage for an hour, beginning at Noon with Mama Caught Fire, an all-female trio.  The afternoon schedule continues with DMC at 1:00, Nathan Elliot (2:00, Cat and Fox (3:00), Mumblin’ Drew (4:00), Peter Breen at 5:00 and Gabe Barnett wrapping up the afternoon at 6:00.

For much more information about the two-day celebration, including background on the readers, the filmmaker and the musical performers, check the EMW website at http://ww3.eatmywordsbooks.com/emw-is-growing/

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15db08c68b316ff4

 

 

Summertime means time to read!

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by ~~Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle

The recent post report notwithstanding, the F. Scott Fitzgerald international conference does not a summer make. When the dust has settled bibliophiles will continue book binge and reluctant readers won’t be able to resist the abundance of literary lures. What follows are hints of the possibilities.  Whether you’re a reader, a good listener, a browser or just choose to hang out with word lovers, you’ll want to keep your eyes and mind open to the possibilities!  The list here is sadly metro-centric and arbitrary – the idea is to suggest sources and inspire creative searches for bookish gatherings that may pop up in unexpected places.

Public libraries and local Friends of the Library are planning close-to-home programs for all ages.  The MELSA calendar is humungous and detailed, loaded with Bookawocky events for kids,  book discussions, music, house history, art, gardening, something for everyone.  Think reading options, varieties of content and the choice of format that fits the seeker’s fancy and device.

More than ever libraries have no monopoly on reading resources and events – the great good news is that book sales are rising, book groups, literary events of every fashion are everywhere – in coffee shops, places of worship, indie bookstores, parks, book festivals  and more.

Following are some bookish possibilities that suggest you’ll find books and reading – local writers reading their books, book art, book discussions, poets, historians, even Little Free Libraries — in unexpected places!  Troll the neighborhood to learn who’s reading or listening to what… consider your nosiness as a high-brow form of voyeurism.

A few events that might activate your literary inclinations:

June 16, 7-8:00 PM Victoria Houston (http://www.victoriahouston.com) The author will discuss her new book Dead Spider at Once Upon a Crime Bookstore, 604 W 26th Street, , Minneapolis. Doors open at 6:30.

June 17, 2 PM.  History Comes Alive: Emily O. Goodridge Grey.  Emily O. Goodridge Grey was an African American social activist, pioneer and abolitionist in Minnesota during the 19th century.  Hosmer Library. 347 E 36th St, Minneapolis  This is just one in a robust series of History Comes Alive programs, stories of African American men and women shaped not just Minnesota, but the entire nation. The series is developed by Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center.(https://www.facebook.com/MAAMCC/

June 17, 10 AM.  Joel Katz, author of From Footpaths to Freeways, Minneapolis Central Library.  Katzwill discuss the history of highway development in Hennepin County and around the state.  His talk will trace Minnesota’s road and street systems, how they developed in pre-statehood times in the 1840’s to today.  Katz will also talk about classifications, construction, maintenance, traffic control, safety congestion, bridges and the interstate system.  Sponsored by Friends of Minneapolis Central Library.

June 17, 3 PM. David Sedaris and Ariel Levy, Common Good Books.  The authors will read and sign their new books:  Sedaris’ Theft by Finding and Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply. http://www.commongoodbooks.com/event/common-good-books-hosts-david-sedaris-ariel-lev

June 21. All day. Book it to the parks!  To celebrate the 50th anniversary of MPR the Minneapolis Foundation is donating 50 Little Free Libraries to Minneapolis Parks.  Local writers will be reading from their children’s books at city parks throughout the day.  For a full list of parks and readings check here: https://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/bookit/

June 25, Open Mic Night at Coffee House Northeast, 2852 Johnson in Northeast Minneapolis– 5:45-8:30 PM.  This is one of countless  summertime open mic possibilities –  For a full list of Open Mic events check here: http://openmikes.org/calendar/MN

June 16 7 PM.  Heid E. Erdrich Eat My Words, 1228 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis. Learn more about Heid Erdrich here:https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/heid-e-erdrich 

June 17, 2 PM David Housewright, What the Dead Leave Behind.(https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/rosemary-simpson/what-dead-leave-behind/) Valley Bookseller, Stillwater. 

June 22, 7 PM. East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul. Norah Murphy reads from her book White Birch, Red Hawthorn: A MemoirThe story of the author’s ancestors’ maple grove, home of Dakota, Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk who were dispossessed when the Irish arrived, the story of the author’s search for the connections between the contested land and the communities who call it home.  Part of the ESFL’s monthly “Women from the Center Reading Series.”

Friday, June 22, 7 PM Kevin Kuhn: Do you realize? A Novel.  Eat My Words, 1228 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis https://www.evensi.us/kevin-kuhndo-you-realize-a-novel-eat-my-words-bookstore/212898374

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You get the idea — These are June happenings only.  During the summer months Minnesotans will take part in these and a zillion other book/reading/word events.  To know what’s happening in your community,  keep checking these current – and complementary – calendars.  Each posts literary happenings set in bookstores, parks, coffee shops and wherever people who dare to share ideas gather.

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge;

it is thinking that makes what we read ours. John Locke

All things F. Scott Fitzgerald on St. Paul’s Summer Calendar

You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Let there be no mistake Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald reigns in St. Paul these early days of Summer 2017.   Fitzgerald fans have been preparing for eons — reading and re-reading, explicating, exploring the fine points of Fitzgerald’s works and world.

The schedule of events – academic, social and other – will keep the Saintly City planning and parsing until – and no doubt after – the 14th Annual International F. Scott Fitzgerald Society Conference meeting in St. Paul June 25-July 1.  http://www.fitzgerald2017.org

Exploring the program is a glorious introduction to Fitzgerald.  Though you may not have plumbed the depths of the hometown hero you can claim a bit of literary chauvinism, even if your only brush with Fitzgerald is skimming the text for sophomore English or a glorious summer afternoon lost in Jazz Age society.

No need to wait for the grand event.  On Wednesday, June 21 the Show Gallery will sponsor a pre-conference event.  Fitzgerald scholar David Page, author of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer and His Friends at Home will share the stories he has found while doing research.  Page will share stories of the places and people Fitzgerald describes, snippets of local lore he discovered in his extensive study of the writer’s letters, scrapbooks and diaries.  June 21, 6:00 PM at the Show Gallery, 346 North Sibley in St. Paul’s Lowertown.

The following Wednesday evening, June 28, Anne Margaret Daniel will offer a public reading from I’d Die for You: And Other Stories, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. http://www.startribune.com/review-i-d-die-for-you-stories-of-f-scott-fitzgerald/420017193/   The reading will be at 7 pm at Common Good Books, 38 Snelling Avenue South in St. Paul.

This is just a taste of what promises to be a grand frenzy of Fitzgerald festivities! There’s still time to brush up a bit on Fitzgerald lore.  Though the best prep would be to take time to re-read a Fitzgerald classic, rime is fleeting so here are some last-minute options:

NOTE: 6/27/17 —  https://www.minnpost.com/artscape/2017/06/f-scott-fitzgerald-society-events-open-public?utm_source=MinnPost+e-mail+newsletters&utm_campaign=28526b5a6c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3631302e9c-28526b5a6c-123365126

Escaping Anxiety This Summer of Our Discontent

By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something about the world.  Umberto Eco


In this summer of our discontent we have a sense that control has been wrested from our hands.  One way to be sure that we are not reduced by the situation in which we find ourselves is to explore our options – especially ideas and events that expand our thinking beyond the harsh reality of the day.  Here are just of few of the creative mind-refreshing events happening this summer – the tip of a mighty learning iceberg (which, unlike physical icebergs, is not melting as a result of human stupidity.) Clearly the major institutions have promoted grand events, exhibits, openings and more.  Following are just a just a very few of the initiatives with a bookish connection that may be slipping through the promotional cracks.  There’s no intent to be inclusive, simply to suggest that readers be on the lookout for escape routes from anxiety!

The 2017 Book Art Biennial.  “Shout Out: Community Intervention, Independent Publishing, and Alternative Distribution” is the theme of this biennial event.  Expect programming that “encourages people of all disciplines and skill levels to amplify individual and collective voice through grassroots artistic practice.” The centerpiece of the Book Art Biennial is the presentation of the MCBA Prize, a unique award that showcases and honors the best artists’ books in the world. The winner will be announced at a gala and awards ceremony the evening of Saturday, July 22. (http://www.mnbookarts.org/biennial)

Registration is open through June 11 for exhibitors at the Thirteenth Annual Twin Cities Zine Fest set for September 24 2017.   The Free For All Zine Lounge is now open through August 13 at Boneshaker Books, 2002 23rd Avenue South.  Sponsored by the Twin Cities Zine Fest (http://tczinefest.org)

A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota. June 12 (7:00 PM – 8:30 PM) Minneapolis Central Library. IBé, Bao Phi and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria as they read their essays from the timely book, “A Good Time for the Truth.” This collection from 16 local writers features reflective essays on life as a person of color in Minnesota. Q&A will follow the reading hosted by the editor Sun Yung Shin. Registration is encouraged and can be done here. (https://www.facebook.com/events/1761221477450326/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%223%22%2C%22ref_newsfeed_story_type%22%3A%22regular%22%2C%22feed_story_type%22%3A%22117%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D)

The East Side Freedom Library continues its monthly collaboration with A Greener Read Bookstore.  On June 16th the theme is “Storytelling through Vinyl and Film” Gather at 5:00 at the Bookstore, 506 Kenny Road in St. Paul, for happy hour and listening to music.  Focus will be on South African “kwaito” music, a blend of traditional South African forms and hip hop. ESFL will also continue their Women from the Center Reading Series, featuring the work of Midwest writers from diverse communities who support one another as they “write their truths.   Writers on the fourth Thursdays of the summer months include these:   June 22: Norah Murphy (White Birth, Red Hawthorn: A Memoir), July 27: Marcie Rendon (Murder on the Red River), August 24: Carolyn Holbrook (Earth Angels).  In fact, ESFL sponsors a robust summer programs overflowing with ideas and energy. ESFL is at 1105 Greenbrier Street, St Paul 55106. Check the full schedule here: (http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org)

On Wednesday, June 21, Minneapolis parks will open more than 50 new Little Free Libraries  a gift from the Minneapolis Foundation to local families in honor of Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th anniversary. MPR hosts, local authors, and other guest readers will celebrate by reading children’s books at story times in parks all over the city, from sunrise to sunset on summer’s longest day. Book It to the Parks!  (http://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/bookit/)

Silverwood Park, in the far Northeast corner of Hennepin County, is one of the mighty county’s lesser known havens for creative expression of every sort.  Focus is on the talents of local and emerging artists. Silverwood Onstage is the summer series of amphitheater programs that include Wednesday night concerts, movies and a mixed bag of performances. For details on the diverse selections click here:   (https://www.threeriversparks.org/page/silverwood-onstage)

If you’re not already in a book group, you might want to join one of the several sponsored by the Minnesota Women’s Press.  To learn more, click here:  http://womenspress.com/main.asp?SectionID=10&SubSectionID=36&ArticleID=38&TM=62697.43

When’s the last time you reached out to immerse yourself in an unfamiliar bookstore?  Here are some possibilities that will welcome you with open tomes:   (https://www.newpages.com/independent-bookstores/minnesota-bookstores)

My favorite indie, Eat My Words, is moving up the road a piece this summer – still in Northeast Minneapolis.  More in a related blog post.   Meanwhile, the EMW calendar indicates more, not fewer, events.  Proprietor Scott VanKoughnett  confirms that event attendees will not be asked to tote armloads of books to the new site.  Click here for an interview with EMW Scott  VanKoughnett::  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tumRr08qkrc)

Traveling this summer?  The American Writers Museum, the gift of retired executive Malcolm O’Hagan and other donors, opened May 16 in Chicago.  (http://americanwritersmuseum.org)

Closer to home, you might want to check out the SoMN, a network of southern Minnesota history museums.  (http://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/5-must-see-museums-in-southern-minnesota/)

For the motherlode of ideas for summer escapes explore with the editors of Explore Minnesota their “bucket list” of possibilities!       (http://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/your-2017-minnesota-bucket-list/)