A Tribute to Denis Johnson
Featuring Charles Baxter, Venus DeMars, Lynette Reini-Grandell, and Sean Tillmann (aka Har Mar Superster)
Friday, January 19, 2018, Moon Palace Books
Many gathered to elebrate the life and writing of Denis Johnson, who died on May 24, 2017. Best known for his 1992 work of fiction Jesus’ Son and his 2007 National Book Award-winning novel Tree of Smoke, Johnson was also the author many other works of fiction, poetry, drama, and journalism. Charles Baxter, Venus DeMars, Lynette Reini-Grandell, Eric Lorberer, and Sean Tillmann (aka Har Mar Superster) read excerpts from Johnson's posthumous book of stories, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden (Random House), which the author finished shortly before his death. The evening wrapped up with Venus DeMars's heart-wrenching version of Lou Reed's Heroin.
Mary Jo Bang & Stephanie Burt
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, Uptown Church
Graywolf Press poets Mary Jo Bang and Stephanie Burt read from their latest collections of poetry. Bang read poems from her new book A Doll for Throwing, and Stephanie Burt read from her new book Advice from the Lights. The poets then sat down to talk with Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer, providing insightful and eloquent commentary on their own and each other's work. A brilliant evening of poetry!
March 14, 2018, Black Dog Cafe
A lively crowd gathered to hear Peter Stenson read from his new audacious and austere novel, Thirty-Seven, which follows the final living member of a cult called The Survivors. Peter was then joined by Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer for a discussion about the creation of the book, its inspiration, and his writing life along the way.
March 29, 2018, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Many supporters joined Rain Taxi and the Autism Society of Minnesota to celebrate the publication of DJ Savarese’s chapbook A Doorknob for an Eye and watch the feature film Deej, a heart-felt and candid look at DJ's challenges and victories as he lives with autism. The evening concluded with a Q&A session with DJ himself. DJ was joined by local poet with autism, Meghana Junnuru, who addressed the crowd with her thoughts about how the movie inspired her.
April 9, 2018, Plymouth Congregational Church
Literary Witnesses and Rain Taxi presented phenomenal poet Gregory Orr to an enthusiastic audience. Orr read new poems addressing "the beloved," and discussed his writing life. This event celebrated his latest book, A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry, and marked the 20th anniversary of Literary Witnesses.
April 16, 2018, American Swedish Institute
Celebrated Norwegian journalist Åsne Seierstad was joined by local PBS Newshour journalist Fred de Sam Lazaro to discuss her new book, Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad. The two had a lively discussion, digging deep into the complex story of two sisters leaving their family in Norway to join extremist Islamic militants, delving into how a journalist can remain objective in the face of such a controversial story.
April 28, 2018
Rain Taxi's Twin Cities Literary Calendar administered the Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Day Passport, coordinating with over one dozen stores with offers of discounts, coupons, gift certificates, and literary prize packs.