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.