Tag Archives: Eat My Words Bookstore

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

Looking ahead to Indie Bookstore Day – April 29, 2017

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?

 Henry Ward Beecher 

Chilly temperatures notwithstanding, it must be Spring!  And that means that it’s time to mark the last Saturday in April to join in Independent Bookstore Day – specifically to tour as many as possible of the unique and spectacular indie bookstores that call this community home   There will be author visits and readings, music, children’s events, and a chance to meet and greet the friendly bibliophiles who staff the region’s scores of independent bookstores.

As the promo material for the day points out, “Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers.  They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity.  They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.”  The point, as I see it, is that not just the bookstores but their supporters are unique and independent!

There will be much more publicity, including on this blog, as the date approaches.

Meanwhile, I’d like to share a small story that reflects the relationship that readers share with their favorite indie:

Bethany Clarke was a long-time regular at Eat My Words! Bookstore, a very special used bookstore in Northeast Minneapolis.  I never met Bethany but I share with her a devotion to this book lover’s dream destination.  It’s also the site of our weekly Voices of Northeast interviews with reps of the Northeast Minneapolis book/reading community.   (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/voices-of-northeast-minneapolis-captured-and-shared-on-video/)

One of the charming features of EMW is the busy all-purpose check-out desk where phones rings, customers request specific titles, Jimmy the USPS delivery man delivers and picks up tons of mail orders, neighbors drop in – and some of us show up for a weekly “shoot.”

If you hang out at that busy desk you soon spot a little box of miscellany.  As it turns out, EMW staffers collect the stuff found in used books, returned books, etc.  Everything from book marks to family photos to newspaper clippings, cartoons, personal notes and more.  Like many customers, including me, Bethany perused the contents of that little box.  Then Bethany took the next step – she assembled the collection in a booklet, appropriately entitled “Eat My Scraps: Things found in the pages of books at Eat My Words Bookstore” –self-published in Minneapolis, MN, November 2016.  It’s a limited edition, and a grateful patron’s way of thanking EMW for the many hours of reading pleasure the shop has provided.

I love the story – it made me think that other faithful customers might want to do something personal to express their Thank You to a special indie on April 29.

My personal thank you to EMW is to encourage every independent reader to visit the shop and to subscribe to the bookstore’s “way above average” newsletter! More about EMW, their public programs and a chance to subscribe to the newsletter here: http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE;  http://www.midwestbooksellers.org/twin-cities-ibd-passport.html — The basics re. this year’s bookstore passports!  

UPDATE:  Reflections on the new Amazon bookstore in Chicago – need we know more… Chicago’s Amazon Books: ‘No Quirks, No Warmth, No Store Cat’

“Amazon Books on Southport Avenue, the fifth physical store from the Seattle online giant and its first in the Midwest, is a deeply, unsettlingly normal place, a soulless, antiseptic 6,000 square feet, a stone’s throw from a J. Crew and a SoulCycle. It has the personality of an airport bookstore and conveys all the charm of its stone floor. Shopping there is as frictionless as a one-click purchase. There are no quirks, no attempts at warmth. There is no store cat. There are no handwritten notes about what the staff loves. The only difference between the children’s section and the rest of the store is that the children’s section has a rug. It is, in businessspeak, a bricks-and-mortar presence, so unimaginative its facade is brick.

“Body snatchers come to mind.”

–Christopher Borrelli in a column in the Chicago Tribune about the new Amazon Books store in Chicago.

UPDATE: Tribute published in ShelfAwareness 4/25/17

UPDATE:  My Bookstore: ‘A Love Letter to Indies’- PUBLISHED IN SELF AWARENESS 4/25/17

In 2012, Black Dog & Leventhal (one of our favorite names for a book publisher) published My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop, a tribute to independent bookstores by 84 well-known writers. Edited by industry veteran Ronald Rice, illustrated by Leif Parsons and with a foreword by author Richard Russo, the book included essays by, among others, Fannie Flagg, John Grisham, Isabel Allende, Dave Eggers, Wendell Berry, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Lisa See and Erin Hildebrand. Sometimes funny, often entertaining and always heartfelt, their contributions emphasized something readers may not be aware of: the many ways that indie bookstores are crucial to writers, particularly as they begin their careers and need help introducing their work and themselves to readers. In addition, indies keep established writers connected with their readers and with the wider book world. Bookstores also help writers in the same way they do other customers: introduce them to books and authors they wouldn’t know about otherwise, and offer them all the activities, services and charm that indies provide.

Earlier this month, My Bookstore was released in paperback; this updated edition features contributions from nine more writers and an afterword by Emily St. John Mandel. This version is timed to appear in connection with the third annual Independent Bookstore Day, which takes place this coming Saturday, April 29. My Bookstore offers book lovers a great opportunity to read more by their favorite writers, and about their favorite bookstores.

Editor Ronald Rice commented: “The new edition comes at a time when I see a bumper crop of new independent bookstores opening. I’m very encouraged. I hope the book is a legacy of the spirit and vital importance of independent bookselling.” He also called My Bookstore “a love letter to the indies,” a description and sentiment we embrace–in a variety of ways.

 

Northeast artists roll out holiday welcome mat!

Neither snow nor cold nor political upheaval will stay these local artists from their appointed rounds

The hundreds of artists of every stripe who live and work in Northeast Minneapolis face every challenge – economic, social, artistic or political – with abundant creativity and boundless hope. In the weeks to come the artists of this vibrant community will share their words, works, vision and hopes through a host of venues scattered throughout the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area.

Following are just some of the highlights of what’s to come – all are free and open unless noted.

November 17 – Janaya Martin hosts the popular “Writers Read + Open Mic” readings and discussion at Coffeehouse Northeast http://thecoffeeshopne.com at 29th and Johnson NE. Learn more about the popular local series in a recent issue of the Northeasterhttp://www.mynortheaster.com/wp-content/news-archives/161102Northeaster/

November 18-20 — Visit Artblok Open Studio and Sale in the former General Mills labs, 2010 East Hennepin near Stinson. http://www.minneapolis.org/calendar/2016-art-blok-open-studio-tour/ Meet and learn about the work of a host of local visual and literary artists – painting, paper arts, drawing, printmaking, jewelry metalwork, ceramics, woodworking, sculpture and more.

November 19– Opening event at The Public Functionary, 1400 20th Avenue North. (http://publicfunctionary.org) The Feminist highlights the interdisciplinary work of Charles Phillipe Jean Pierre.   (http://publicfunctionary.org/charles-philippe-jean-pierre-the-feminist/ Following the opening reception, Public Functionary will host Disrobing Masculinity: An Artist Talk and Discussion on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

November 25 – Release Party for writer Penny Johnson’s The Forget-Me-Nots at Eat My Words bookstore, 13th and 2nd Streets NE. (http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com) Billed as a “counterpoint to the madness of Black Friday” the event features homemade cheesecake and cookies and seed packets of forget-me-not flowers.

November 26 – the fun goes on– topped with discounts — at Eat My Words. It’s the Annual Corporate Excess Sale, a highlight of Shop Small Saturday. At 3:00 historian and former Army musician Bruce P. Gleason will share a reading and discussion of his book Sound the Trumpet, Beat the Drum: Horse-Mounted Bands of the U.S. Army, 1820-1940, an exploration of the distinctive role that mounted bands played in American military history.

December 1 – First Thursday – A Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area tradition – Open Studios 5:00-9:00 PM on (virtually) every street corner – Some highlights:

  • Artspace Jackson Flats, 901 18½ Avenue Northeast
  • Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Avenue NE
  • Casket Arts Carriage House, 1720 17th Avenue NE
  • Grain Belt Studios, 77&79 13th Avenue South
  • Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson Street NE (http: Northrupkingbuilding.com)
  • Q.arma Building, 1224 Quincy Street NE (http: quarmabuilding.com)
  • Solar Arts Building, 711 15th Avenue NE
  • Thorp Building, 1618 Central Avenue NE

December 3, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM –The American Craft Council, located in the iconic Grainbelt Brewery on Broadway and Marshall, hosts a Craft Sale+Open House in the Library. Featured artists will be on hand to describe their unique crafts. Archival materials on display, a used book sale, topped by complimentary hot cider! Shopping starts at 10:00.

December 3, 10:00-4:00 – Betty’s Holiday Bizarre Bazaar at Betty Danger’s Country Club, 2501 Marshall. Artists, crafters and artisans are invited to display and sell their “quirkiest and garish” handcrafted holiday gifts and decoration. Emphasis at Betty’s Bazaar is clearly on the bizarre-ness of the item.

December 10-12 — 2nd Annual A-Mill Maker’s Market, 10:00AM Saturday to 5:00 PM Sunday. Hosted by BridgeArts. A-Mill Artist Lofts, 315 Main Street SE. Sculpture, photography, fiber arts, millinery goods and more. Refreshments and pastry items, hourly raffle, entertainment by resident musicians, fashion show on Saturday.

And there is so much more to explore, enjoy, learn and even purchase in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area — check it out online or, better yet, on foot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat My Words features Mail Art Beyond the Fringe

Though “Beyond the Fringe” may be easily misinterpreted during the 2016 Campaign MinneDaDa1984 is only peripherally political.   MinneDaDa1984 might be characterized as the outer fringe of the Minnesota Fringe Festival that rolls out August 4 at venues throughout the Twin Cities. MinneDaDa1984 is actually an exuberant tribute to the centenary of Dada and the anniversary of the 1949 publication of Orwell’s iconic 1984.

More to the point this post is about the MinneDaDa1984 MailArtShow http://t337vhst2.xiagao.us/2016/04/20/12/46564656205.html. The Mail Art Show features avant-garde poets, filmmakers, neo-Dadaists, noise artists and a host of local and out-of-town alternative artists.

Newbies to the Mail Art Movement (like me) may need some background. According to this brief entry, the name pretty much says it all. Wikipedia, the infallible source of the recorded knowledge of humankind provides this brief definition:

Mail art (also known as postal art and correspondence art) is a populist artistic movement centered on sending small scale works through the postal service. It initially developed out of the Fluxus movement in the 1950’s and 60s, though it has since developed into a global movement that continues to the present.

Now on a mission to learn I clicked to find out about the Fluxus movement, thus defined by the oracle infallible Wikipedia:

A network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They varied in performance, Neo-Dada noise music and visual art, urban planning, architecture, design, as well as literature.

Because Mail Art is best understood and appreciated close up and personal, Eat My Words Bookstore in Northeast Minneapolis (http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com) will feature a Mail Art exhibit throughout the month of August. EMW will also host a special Mail Art reading on Thursday, August 11, 7:00 p.m.  

The exhibitor and featured guest for the evening at Eat My Words is local Mail Art aficionado Tom Cassidy. Cassidy has been in the Mail Art, underground and avant communities since the 70’s.   Last spring he put out a call for Mail Art to be exhibited in conjunction with the Fringe Festival. So far he has received over 100 pieces of art from over sixty artists whose postmarks reflect the global reach of the call and the interest in mail art.

Cassidy boasts that “submitted works include Dada and antiDada tributes, zines, collages, performance instructions, subversive and satiric pieces with a healthy dose of ‘politically-engineered sanity’”. The unique collection will be on display in binders and in the windows at Eat My Words throughout the month of August. Both the exhibit and the August event are free and open.

Special note: The Eat My Words bookstore offers a warm welcome and a delectable feast of rare and lightly used books!   The bibliophile owner and staff feature special exhibits and unique public programs akin to this one on an ongoing basis! Sign up for email updates on the EMW website.

 

 

 

“Eat My Shorts” Celebrates the Art and Elegance of a Powerful Genre

Back in the day, when the printed word reigned as a prime mode of communicating information and ideas – and academic institutions offered electives that were not finely tuned to career goals – I spent a semester mesmerized by Catherine Lupori who taught a most exceptional course on The Short Story. We devoured with awe the artfully crafted words of Flannery O’Connor (still my favorite), Virginia Wolff, Alan Tate, Franz Kafka and scores of other short story writers. (The elegance of the short story allows for many voices to be heard.)

Thus I rejoice at the launch this week of “Eat My Shorts: Short Story Theatre”, the brainchild of Scott VanKoughnett, proprietor of Eat My Words Bookstore. The opening event, 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29, is first in the series that features a robust mix of short fiction, performance, and audience participation. The performance reading will be led by Applause Community Theatre whose members will lead with a performance reading followed by opportunities for audience participation.

Featured author for the premiere is Sherman Alexie (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/sherman-alexie) whose work includes poetry, fiction, comedy and film, much of which reflects Alexie’s experience as a Native American.

Eat My Words bookstore is at 1228 2nd Street in Northeast Minneapolis. To learn more about this most extraordinary bookstore check this recent blog post — file://localhost/(https/::marytreacy.wordpress.com:2016:02:06:hungry-for-a-good-read-try-eat-my-words)

To read or reconnect with some favorite short stories you might want to start here:

https://americanliterature.com/100-great-short-stories

To learn more about Applause Community Theatre on FaceBook click here: https://www.facebook.com/ACTMN/timeline

 

 

Independent thinker? Think independent bookseller!

When legendary philosopher and social critic Jerry Seinfeld reminds fans that “a bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking” he refers to thinking about something more than “books about nothing.” I’m sure he’s also not thinking about chains but about the thinking possibilities that thrive in the atmosphere that only an independent bookstore can create.

Often nestled in quiet neighborhoods, indies reflect, shape and create vibrant communities of individual and collaborative thinking about ideas, stories, what’s been and what has yet to be.

This past few days I’ve been so busy hanging out in my neighborhood indies that I nearly overlooked the fact that next Saturday, April 30, we celebrate the second annual Independent Bookstore Day.   In 2015, the inaugural year of Independent Bookstore Day, at least 400 indies participated. Sponsors of IBD have made special efforts this year to reach lesser known and possibly more remote indies that enrich the lives of countless readers who yearn for more access to the written word.

For Twin Cities thinkers Mary Ann Grossman, renowned book editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, provides some great tips to local happenings. (http://www.twincities.com/2016/04/21/local-merchants-celebrate-independent-bookstore-day/)  She describes the ten TC’s bookstores that have joined forces to introduce a Bookstore Passport that encourages readers to travel the indie route for intellectual and economic gain.  She also notes the local authors who will be participating at indie bookstores. There will no doubt be further coverage in the local and neighborhood press in the days to come.  Bookstores are also working together and with supporters to create maps and guides to the fascinating mix of indies that the intrepid seeker can find on some unexpected sites ranging from rehabbed commercial enterprises to strip malls.

My recent time spent thinking in and about the atmosphere of two very special indie bookstores inspires my enthusiasm for IBD.    It’s interesting to observe that both of my Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood bookstore favorites, Corner Books and Eat My Words, feature used books. For me, used books somehow enhance the reading adventure – maybe because of the time spent with thinkers who have are inclined to  leave their indelible mark on the volume – by way of margin notes, bookmarks and/or coffee stains. I wonder as I read just what that reader was thinking as she thought about these same words.

One of my most frequent bookish haunts is Corner Books (http://www.cornerbooksmn.com, in the St. Anthony Village mall.  This past week proprietor Carol Urness celebrated her rich life of books with a most wonderful event.  In a three day celebration of eighty years of life Carol  shared a wealth of treasures – etchings, atlases, objects d’art and other fun stuff – with long-time friends, customers, scholars, birders, writers, and librarian colleagues. I couldn’t resist dropping in each of the three days of this unique tribute to the life of the mind.  I will happily share more about Carol and Corner Books when I can corner this unique dynamo for a long conversation and, as soon as she recuperates from the celebration, she will find an hour to guest star on Voices of Northeast. (http://ias.umn.edu/2014/07/29/northeast/)

My other neighborhood indie favorite is Eat My Words where proprietor Scott Vankaughnett has built a community of thoughtful readers not with written words alone but with a rich agenda of creative programs designed to pique the fancy of any thinker. More about Eat My Words on an earlier blog post (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/hungry-for-a-good-read-try-eat-my-words/) – or view a delightful interview with Scott on the Voices of Northeast site. (http://ias.umn.edu/2014/07/29/northeast/

Saturday, April 30, 2016 — Independent Bookstore Day

Support this community of thinkers built by independent booksellers, bibliophiles and discerning book buyers