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Previous Events in the Rain Taxi Reading Series

Rain Taxi sponsors a reading series as a further demonstration of its commitment to literary culture. We have been particularly vigilant in inviting authors who are generally not in a position to benefit from the travel, promotion, and advertising resources large publishing houses provide. More than 100 authors have appeared in the Twin Cities—many for the first time—since the series began in 1998.

Most of our events feature guest writers performing live at local art galleries, bookstores, and other community spaces. “Free Verse” readings are held in partnership with the Walker Art Center, a collaboration that places contemporary writers in a museum context. “Rain Taxi Salons” are private readings and discussions held in local writers' homes. The Twin Cities Book Festival is an annual event that gathers the local book community together for one big day.

Rain Taxi would like to thank all the venues that have hosted events for us, and all the collaborators that have helped to make certain events happen. Below is a complete listing of the events Rain Taxi has hosted since 1998.

2014

SOCIAL/BRIEF: BLANK SLATE

Walker Art Center, Thursday, January 2

We rang in the new year with readings of short resolutions and poems, featuring work by local writers William Alexander, Margaret Hasse, Steve Healey, Kathleen Jesme, Kate Kysar, Gretchen Marquette, Colin McDonald, Leslie Adrienne Miller, and Tim Nolan. Many were indelibly printed by the wonderful Lunalux folk, so no wriggling out of these new year promises!

2013

SOCIAL/BRIEF: THE LOVE VERSION

Walker Art Center, Thursday, February 14

The love-struck and lovelorn gathered to share snippets of verse amid Cindy Sherman revelers. Poets include Brian Beatty, Kevin Carollo, John Colburn, Maria Damon, Venus DeMars, James Lenfesty, John Pistelli, Lynette Reini-Grandell, William Waltz, and a host of others who offered their swift words of woe and love, including an adorable couple celebrating 50 years of marriage.

FREE VERSE: TAN LIN

Walker Art Center, Thursday, March 28

The eloquent Tan Lin treated his audience to videos which featured a computer-voiced reading, PowerPoint movies of animated text citing bibliographic material and detritus of the digital age, and more—all challenging the temporal activity and passivity of reading, not to mention the genre-bending question of what is poetry. If you missed this reading or want to see it again, it is up on the Walker Art Center Channel HERE.

RICHARD HELL

The Soap Factory, Saturday, March 30

It was standing room only at the Soap Factory as Richard Hell read excerpts from his new memoir, I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp and fielded questions from his fans. He revealed his admiration of Geoff Dyer and the Libertines and discussed how he approached writing about the joy of making a racket in a band in the early ’70s.

NATALIE DIAZ

Macalester College, Friday April 12

Natalie Diaz gave a powerful reading from her book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, as well as some new poems, enthralling the crowd with her rhythmic intonations and revealing her penchant for forms such as the pantoum.

JANE HIRSHFIELD

Plymouth Congregational Church, Monday April 15

Celebrated Zen poet Jane Hirshfield read from recent work in the esteemed Literary Witnesses reading series to a rapt audience. She treated us to selections from her new work, Come, Thief, as well as translations of ancient sacred and ecstatic poetry by women, including Mirabai.

KATE GREENSTREET AND RICHARD MEIER

Common Good Books, April 26

On the first true and warm day of spring, people gathered to hear poetry from the barefoot and ever-entertaining Kate Greenstreet reading from her book Young Tambling, and the charming and mysterious Richard Meier reading from his book, Pure Block of the Whole Imaginary and new poems.

ANALOG CAVE at NORTHERN SPARK

Bedlam Theater, June 8, dusk to dawn

Rain Taxi and mnartists.org joined forces for the third annual Northern Spark festival to create Analog Cave, a dreamlike participatory installation that combined the tactile intimacy of a handwritten letter with the fleeting immediacy of social media. See HERE for a fuller description and photos of this glorious all-night burst of imagination and fun!

SOCIAL/BRIEF: BIG JOY

Walker Art Center, Thursday August 22

Poets and poets-to-be gathered together to express their brief bliss before the screening of the jovial and moving Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton. Among those following their weird were: Dobby Gibson, Terri Ford, John Minczeski, Jack Walsh, Matt Mauch, Jennifer Fossenbell, Fred Schmalz, Michelle Filkins, and Patrick Werle.

DESSA: an evening of poetry with special guests

Walker Art Center, Thursday, October 3

An amazing night at the Walker Art Center for the release of Dessa's poetry chapbook A Pound of Steam, published by Rain Taxi. A sold-out crowd was treated not only to Dessa's reading of the poems, but also to commissioned musical interpretations by three of her musical comrades—Aby Wolf, Sims of Doomtree, and Benjamin Burwell and Jake Pavic of Taj Raj. Afterwards the crowd gathered for a booksigning and reception, including a cocktail inspired by one of Dessa's poems, "The Bullet Rosette."

CLICK HERE to see pictures from this event.

CLICK HERE to see a recording of this event on the Walker Art Channel.

To purchase A Pound of Steam, see our chapbook page HERE.


ROBERT BLY

Plymouth Church, Wednesday, October 16

Acclaimed and legendary poet and translator Robert Bly gave a stirring reading from his new book, Stealing Sugar from the Castle. This event was sponsored by Upper Midwest Literary Archives and co-sponsored by Friends of the University Libraries, Literary Witnesses at Plymouth Congregational Church, The Loft Literary Center, and Rain Taxi Review of Books.

BRENDA HILLMAN

Macalester College, Sunday, November 10

Brenda Hillman gave an extraordinary reading from her latest volume Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, the last in her series on the elements. Hillman eloquently combined animal, spiritual, and political themes to a rapt crowd, plied with hot chocolate and cider.

ERIN MURPHY, WILLIAM STOBB, and RODNEY WITTWER

Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Monday, November 18

Three noted poets traveled from afar to read on a chilly night to an enthusiastic crowd. Erin Murphy charmed with Distant Glitter (and a love poem with a colonoscopy), Rodney Wittwer broke open the flawed world with Gone & Gone, and William Stobb drew laughs at fumbled watermelon with new poems and work from Absentia.

2012

FREE VERSE: JAAP BLONK

Walker Art Center, Thursday March 29

The international master of sound poetry Jaap Blonk wowed the crowd with his breath and breadth of talent, performing classic Dada sound poems by Kurt Schwitters and Raoul Hausmann, along with contemporary masterpieces by John Cage, including 4'33", and his own work on Cheek Synthesizer! If you missed it, CLICK HERE to see this spectacular performance!

AMANDA NADELBERG

The Soap Factory, Friday, April 27

It was standing-room only for the return of poet Amanda Nadelberg who read from her second book, Bright Brave Phenomena, from Coffee House Press. The chill spring evening was warmed considerably by the enthusiastic audience, ambient music of Roy Orb, D.MT, delicious ice cream from Crema Cafe, and the abundantly whimsical poetry from Nadelberg.

BEDTIME STORIES: Charles Baxter

The Walker Art Center, Sunday, June 10, 2:00AM

We celebrated the all-night Northern Spark festival in style with a stellar reading of the amazing story "Gryphon," read by the author, Charles Baxter, in the James Turrell Sky Pesher at the Walker Art Center. "Gryphon" is a tale that pushes the mind into strange new territory, especially when the listener is already in the hypnagogic state. Visit Baxter's website to learn more about this fabulous story!

FREE VERSE: Bernadette Mayer, Philip Good, and Jennifer Karmin

Walker Art Center, Thursday September 13

A wonderful reading from avant garde writer Bernadette Mayer who treated the audience to her new work The Helens of Troy, NY accompanied with a slide show of said Helens from Troy, NY. Then, along with poets Philip Good and Jennifer Karmin, proceeded to present poetry in a round-robin fashion. The audience was treated to the humorous yet deep "Untitled" poems of Good and the art-and-socially infused works of Karmin, including the Human Micropoem and a selection from Aaaaaaaaaaalice, complete with volunteers from the audience. All culminated with a collision of words as they read a poem about the higgs bosin particle! If you missed it, CLICK HERE to see this great performance!

2011

The Graphic Novel Today
a talk by Mark Siegel, editor of First Second Books

Minneapolis College of Art & Design, February 25th

Nearly 100 people ventured out on a frigid Friday evening to hear Mark Siegel speak about the evolution of graphic novels, tracking the key developments in France, Japan, and the U.S. which combined and culminated in his unique and successful vision for First Second Books.

AleŠ Šteger

The Book House in Dinkytown, Sunday, April 3

Slovenian award-winning poet Aleš Šteger gave a stirring reading from his first volume to be translated into English, The Book of Things (BOA Editions, translated by Brian Henry), to a rapt audience this lovely spring evening. Surrounded by philosophy and theoligian texts, Šteger discussed the difficulties and rewards of translating his poems into English, offering a few readings in his native language. Read a review of his book here!

FREE VERSE: Erasure Poetry
featuring Matthea Harvey, Janet Holmes, and Travis Macdonald

Walker Art Center, Thursday, April 7

An eye-opening, multi-media presentation of erasure poetry by three skilled practioners (and one surprise guest!) wowed the crowd, with Travis Macdonald reading from O Mission Repo, an erasure of the 9/11 Commission Report; Janet Holmes read from The Ms of My Kin (Shearsman), an erasure of The Poems of Emily Dickinson; Eric Lorberer read "Lessons of the World," an erasure of portions from the 1919 book Lessons of the World War; and Matthea Harvey read Of Lamb, an illustrated erasure of a biography of Charles Lamb. If you missed this excellent event, CLICK HERE to view the Walker channel webcast!

Daniel Tiffany

The Book House in Dinkytown, Sunday, April 10

Poet and critic Daniel Tiffany read from his books of poetry, Privado (Action Books) and The Dandelion Clock (Tinfish Press) on a blustery Sunday evening.

Ravi Shankar

Rogue Buddha Gallery, Sunday, April 17

Poet Ravi Shankar read selections from his books, including his new book Deepening Groove. He also read a large selection from his chapbook, Seamless Matter, published by Rain Taxi's OHM Editions and later enjoyed in a cake version. CLICK HERE to view a video of Shankar discussing the lovely cover of this chapbook by renowned artist Sol LeWitt!

NIGHTSHIFT

featuring JIM WOODRING, Bedtime Stories, and more!

Walker Art Center, Saturday, June 4-5, dusk to dawn

Held as part of the Northern Spark arts festival, NIGHTSHIFT offered a dazzling all-night tour of oneiric art. For our special midnight presentation, famed cartoonist Jim Woodring commanded the attention of a huge crowd of nightowls, insomniacs, and revellers with his 7-foot pen, inking a drawing of a severed frog's leg. Click here for video of this landmark event! Local comic artists Zander Cannon and Zak Sally assisted Woodring as he undertook the task, and when the drawing was completed Woodring let local artists try out the Giant Pen.

Other activities at NIGHTSHIFT included Skyspace Headphone Concerts, Marcus Young's Lullaby Project, and The Shape of Night, where people took part in choreographed sleep positions. The Drawing Nightclub made some nocturnal works and a bevy of local writers offered Bedtime Stories (originals and night-inspired classics) until the first light could be seen on the horizon. Readers included Will Alexander, Ute Bertog, Paula Cisewski, Gabrielle Civil, John Colburn, Valerie Deus, Gary Dop, Kelly Everding, Catherine Lundoff, Abby Travis, and Becky Weaver.

NIGHTSHIFT was cosponsored with us by the Walker Art Center and mnartists.org, two indispensable loci of the arts scene in the Twin Cities. Thanks to them, and to all who stayed up late with us!

Craig Thompson

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Monday, September 26, 2011

Craig Thompson spoke to over 330 people at MCAD, discussing the process of creating his new book, Habibi, just published by Pantheon. Thompson presented images of pages from his book, showing the painstaking development from draft to finished product, which resulted in the richly decorative and expressive art and story that comprise this 600 page graphic work. Thompson is also the author of Blankets, Good-bye, Chunky Rice, and Carnet de Voyage.

FREE VERSE: JAMES TATE

Walker Art Center, Thursday, October 13

Fans flocked to hear Pulitzer prize-winning poet James Tate read his deliciously funny and dark poems published in the Rain Taxi Brainstorm chapbook The Zoo Club. They were also treated to an amazing poetry reading by surprise guest Dara Wier who warmed up the crowd before Tate took the stage. If you missed it, CLICK HERE to see the recording of this fantastic night.

FREE VERSE: ANNE CARSON

Walker Art Center, Thursday, November 17

We ended our 2011 Reading Series with a bang as a near-capacity crowd braved the first hints of winter to hear poet Anne Carson read from her work. Anne Carson appeared in conjunction with the Walker’s presentation of Big Dance Theater's Supernatural Wife, an adaptation of Euripides’s Alkestis using Carson’s translation. Anne Carson read a gripping new prose piece about a blood splatter specialist, translations of poems by the Roman poet Catullus, and selections from her recent elegaic book, Nox. CLICK HERE to see the recording of this wonderful event.

2010

Emergent Poets III
featuring Julie Carr, Christine Hume, and Andrew Zawacki

Magers & Quinn Booksellers, January 9, 2010

Three excellent poets with three books each read about Georgia, violence, and too many Daves, warming up a poetry-ready crowd on a frigid wintry night in Minneapolis.

An Evening with Brian Evenson and Zak Sally

Bryant Lake Bowl, January 25, 2010

Those who braved the frigid winter temps were treated to an evening of haunting music, disquieting fiction, and a conversation about comics, horror, and more. Local musician and cartoonist Zak Sally, also celebrating his latest graphic novel release Like A Dog, played four songs from his new solo album, Fear of Song. Then award-winning author Brian Evenson read stories from his new book Fugue State. Finally, both Zak and Brian joined Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer for an on-stage conversation. (Co-sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers.)

Miranda Mellis & Megan Vossler

Franklin Art Works, March 3, 2010

Miranda Mellis read excerpts from her novella, The Revisionist, amid the Sound Signals exhibit by Megan Vossler. Later, Vossler discussed with Mellis the impact of this novella on her work.

FREE VERSE: Susan Howe & David Grubbs

Walker Art Center, April 29, 2010

A stunning and moving performance of Souls of the Labadie Tract by Howe and Grubbs kept the audience mesmerized. This unique collaboration combined soundscapes and word meditations on the Labadist sect which occupied territory in Maryland in the early 1700s before being scattered to the wind. View the performance now at the Walker Channel. See pictures from this event HERE.

A Celebration of Midwestern Poetry

Minnesota Center for Book Arts, May 14, 2010

Crowds flocked to celebrate Midwestern Poetry, with standing room only at the 4pm panel discussion featuring local poets Dobby Gibson, Sarah Fox, G.E. Patterson, Sun Yung Shin, Michael Walsh, and Bryan Thao Worra, and a full house enjoying poetic offerings by Antler, Marvin Bell, Robert Bly, Heid Erdrich, Ray Gonzalez, Mary Kinzie, Jim Moore, and Thylias Moss. Co-sponsored by Rain Taxi and the Poetry Society of America, celebrating its 100th anniversary. This activity is made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council from an appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature.

Steve Healey and Gillian Conoley

The Soap Factory, September 10, 2010

It was standing room only as poetry lovers flocked to the Soap Factory to celebrate the book launch of local poet Steve Healey's new collection, 10 Mississippi, and revel in California poety Gillian Conoley's new collection of poetry, The Plot Genie. The rain fell, the waves of the Mississippi lapped along the banks, and poetry filled the air!

Eileen Myles

The Loft, Open Book, Sunday, November 7, 2010

The lucky group that came out on this mild November evening enjoyed a terrifically vibrant and funny reading by poet, novelist, essayist and raconteur Eileen Myles from her most unusual and definitive book yet, Inferno (a poet’s novel). See pictures from this event HERE.

FREE VERSE: John Yau

Walker ARt Center, Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poet and art critic John Yau wowed the crowd reading a work he created especially for new Walker exhibition: Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers. Taking on the persona of Klein, Yau brought a new level of understanding to this much-misunderstood artist and provocateur. If you were unfortunate to miss out on this amazing evening of channeling the immaterial and impossible spirit of Klein, you will be able to view the performance at the Walker Channel. View the performance now at the Walker Channel. See pictures from this event HERE.

2009

Dobby Gibson

Open Book, January 9, 2009

It was standing room only at the book launch celebration of local poet Dobby Gibson's second collection of poems Skirmish. Nearly 200 people gathered this chilly winter evening to hear Gibson read these finely crafted poems and then receive original fortunes written by Gibson at the reception afterwards.

Dan Beachy-Quick

Open Book, January 30, 2009

At this special event held in the Minnesota Center for Book Arts gallery, Dan Beachy-Quick read from his genre-bending book A Whaler's Dictionary, prodding the audience to dictate the course of metaphysical definitions inspired by Melville's Moby-Dick. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a hearty rum punch and hardtack crackers!

Multiples Mall and Chapbook Lecture

Walker Art Center, February 21, 2009

The very first book fair at the Walker Art Center was a grand success! Minnesota artists who make book-related multiples set up shop for a day of merriment, complete with short presentations on the history of chapbooks, radical reasons for making multiples, and more. Also, Eric Lorberer presented a slide show lecture on the History of the Chapbook. View the lecture now at the Walker Channel.

C.A. Conrad, Aaron Kunin, and Magdalena Zurawski

Magers & Quinn Booksellers, March 8, 2009

In celebration of Small Press Month, three talented and entertaining authors read from recent works: Aaron Kunin read from his novel The Mandarin (Fence Books), C.A. Conrad read poetry from a variety of new and upcoming books including advanced ELVIS course (Soft Skull Press, 2009) and The Book of Frank (Chax Press, 2009), and Magdalena Zurawski read from her novel The Bruise (FC2).

FREE VERSE: The Collaborative Artists' Book

featuring Bill Berkson, Vincent Katz, and Lewis Warsh

Walker Art Center, April 16th, 2009

In conjunction with the Walker exhibition Text/Messages: Books by Artists, Berkson, Katz, and Warsh read and presented images from their collaborations with artists. Afterwards, they were joined by Eric Lorberer for a lively discussion on the process of collaboration. Vincent Katz read from his book Judge, a collaboration with Wayne Gonzalez as well as Alcuni Telefonini, a collaboration with Francesco Clemente; Lewis Warsh read his work Debtor's Prison, a collaboration with video artist Julie Harrison;, and Bill Berkson read from his work, Gloria, a collaboration with Alex Katz. You can view this event here.

Joanna Rawson & John Koethe

Common Good Books, September 11, 2009

In the acoustically-optimal depths of Blair House, Rain Taxi kicked off a new season with an intense double-header poetry reading. John Koethe read from his new book of poems, Ninety-Fifth Street, including the meditational and evocative title poem. Joanna Rawson read from her second volume of poems, Unrest, dark, challenging poems on this eighth anniversary of 9/11.

Kate Greenstreet & Norma Cole

Micawber’s Books, Tuesday, September 29, 7:30 pm

Those brave enough to face the gauntlet of traffic and highway construction were very lucky to catch this wonderful reading by Norma Cole and Kate Greenstreet. Kate read from her recent publication, The Last Four Things, and Norma read from her recent selected, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008, along with new poems.

Dara Wier & Ed Sanders

Rogue Buddha Gallery, Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 pm

Poetry enthusiasts packed the gallery for this powerful, synergistic reading by two outstanding poets. Dara Wier and Ed Sanders, each employing a mesmerizing musicality, read from their respective (and newly released) Selected Poems to a wowed audience.

FREE VERSE: DIGITAL POETRY with Oni Buchanan & Brian Kim Stefans

Walker Art Center, Thursday, November 12, 2009, 7:00 pm

The audience was treated to a unique presentation of poetry in motion. Buchanan read from her organic and moving The Mandrake Vehicles, while Stefans beguiled with entropic fonts and Lovecraftian fish. See a video of this event HERE

Mickey Leigh & Legs McNeil

Nick and Eddie Restaurant, Friday, December 18, 9:00 pm

Punk rock fans got a glimpse of a legend's past as Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh and "Please Kill Me" author Legs McNeil read from their collaborative new book, I Slept With Joey Ramone. After the reading, Mickey and a trio of Twin Cities rock musicians played a few Ramones tunes onstage! (Co-sponsored by Nick and Eddie.)

2008

Johannes Göransson & Joyelle McSweeney

Rogue Buddha Gallery, March 7, 2008

Johannes Göransson and Joyelle McSweeney dazzled with a "variety hour" style reading from recent works of poetry, translation, and fiction. Göransson read from his poetry books A New Quarantine Will Take My Place and Pilot (Johann the Carousel Horse). McSweeney read from her works Flet and the baroque noir novella Nylund, the Sarcographer, along with some new poetry.

FREE VERSE: Kent Johnson

Walker Art Center, April 10th, 2008

The gracious Kent Johnson read poems from Hiroshima survivor Araki Yasusada's Doubled Flowering and presented an enlightening essay on authorship which addressed the controversy behind the publication of this created persona. If you missed this fascinating reading due to the spring storm, the Walker Art Center will post an audio recording of this event. Click here to listen.

STATE-TO-STATE POETS EXCHANGE
featuring Christina Davis

Open Book, April 28, 2008

The inaugural State-to-State Poets Exchange (a collaborative effort between Rain Taxi Review of Books and the Poetry Society of America) started off with a bang with poet Christina Davis (author of Forth A Raven) reading from her work in progress. She then joined editors Eric Lorberer (Rain Taxi) and Rob Casper (jubilat) for an on-stage interview, a transcript of whch was featured in the summer 2008 issue of Rain Taxi Review of Books!!

RAIN TAXI 50TH ISSUE CELEBRATION

August 20th, 2008

Rain Taxi Review of Books celebrated 50 continuous issues with a party and fundraiser at the offices of our long-time colleagues Consortium Book Sales and Distribution. Find out more about this event by clicking here!

FREE VERSE: THE FLARF COLLECTIVE

Walker Art Center, September 25th, 2008

If you were lucky enough to attend this hilarious event, then you know who the Flarf Collective is: poets Nada Gordon, Sharon Mesmer, K. Silem Mohammed, and Gary Sullivan read from their "Google-sculpted" works of strange and entertaining poems that cast a parodic look at the world of the inter-nets. The four provacateurs effortlessly choreographed their reading, delving into themes of assorted and sordid human foibles vis-à-vis unicorns, kitty cats, and robots, to name a few. If you sadly missed this unique reading, fear not! For Flarf lives on in—of all places—the web! View this momentous historical event for yourself.

2008 Twin Cities Book Festival

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thousands flocked to the one-day celebration of the written word! The Festival included an exhibit featuring an excellent array of publishers, literary organizations, magazines, and authors, as well as readings and panels scheduled throughout the day. Special guests this year included Alan Cheuse, Ana Clavel, Jaime Hernandez, Valerie Martin, Bill Morgan, Bragi Ólafsson, Nathaniel Tarn, Jess Winfield, Robert Bly, and Robert Hedin as well as terrific storytelling and children's activities in the Children's Storytelling Circle! Check back soon for more information on next year's festival!

STATE-TO-STATE POETS EXCHANGE
featuring William Waltz

Lillian Vernon House at NYU, Thursday, November 6, 2008

Part two of our inaugural State-to-State Poets Exchange (a collaborative effort between Rain Taxi Review of Books and the Poetry Society of America) featured emerging poet William Waltz (author of Zoo Music) reading from his work in progress. He then joined editors Eric Lorberer (Rain Taxi) and Rob Casper (jubilat) for an on-stage interview, a transcript of which will be featured in an upcoming issue of Rain Taxi Review of Books!

SAMUEL R. DELANY

Walker Art Center, November 15, 2008

Lucky listeners were treated to a rare appearance by visionary author Samuel R. Delany who gave a lively reading from his newest work of fiction, Dark Reflections. After answering audience questions, Delany then read a stirring and illuminating excerpt from his memoir, The Motion of Light in Water, recently re-printed by the University of Minnesota Press. For those of you who were unable to attend this momentous occasion, you can listen to it here!

2007

FREE VERSE: Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean

Walker Art Center, January 11th, 2007

The amazing duo of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean dazzled a full house at the Walker for our first event of 2007—Dave showed both still and moving pictures from his amazing body of work, Neil read poems and related juicy tidbits about the pair's long collaborative friendship, then both men conversed with each other and with the audience about everything from depictions of violence in comics to current and upcoming projects. See the webcast here. Also, listen to an interview with Neil and Dave on MPR.

Michael Lesy

Minnesota Center for Photography, Monday, February 26, 2007

Photographic historian Michael Lesy gave a fantastic presentation about his new book Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties, an engrossing portrait of violence in the heartland of America. Lesy introduced the audience to the many sordid characters involved in criminal mayhem. The event was co-presented by the Minnesota Center for Photography.

Michael Friedman & Anselm Hollo

Rogue Buddha Gallery, Thursday, March 29, 2007

A great crowd braved gray skies to hear these two extraordinary and humorous authors read from recent works. Friedman read from his prose poems in Species and his new novel Martian Dawn. Hollo read from his newest collection of poems, Guests of Space.

Clayton Eshleman

Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Celebrating the completion of a lifelong translation odyssey, poet and translator Clayton Eshleman read stunning selections from the recently released The Complete Poetry of César Vallejo as well as stirring poems from his own latest poetry collections, An Alchemist with One Eye on Fire and Reciprocal Distillations.

FREE VERSE: Kevin Young

Walker Art Center, May 3, 2007

Kevin Young gave a stirring presentation and reading in conjunction with the exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, presenting racially charged images of daguerrotypes and stereotypes and discussing the use of these images in Walker's art. Young also read poems from his powerful collections including To Repel Ghosts and For the Confederate Dead, as well as new poems from a series of odes. Click here to view the webcast of this reading!

Austin Grossman and Douglas Wolk

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Thursday, June 28, 2007

Comics enthusiasts gathered at MCAD to hear a super-powered presentation! Douglas Wolk, author of Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean gave a powerpoint presentation of the state of comics today, declaring we are entering a new "golden age." Austin Grossman read from his riveting novel Soon I Will Be Invincible, taking on the voice of his evil mastermind Dr. Impossible with remarkable aplomb. Joining our heroes was MCAD Comic Art professor Barb Schulz in a discussion of their books and the state of comics in general.

FREE VERSE: Jerome Rothenberg

Walker Art Center, September 6, 2007

Esteemed poet and translator Jerome Rothenberg presented an historical context for Picasso's writing and gave a rousing reading of the great painter's poetry from The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and Other Poems. Rothenberg also read from his own work influenced by modernist artists and writers, including poems from That Dada Strain and The Lorca Variations. Click here to view the webcast of this reading!

2007 Twin Cities Book Festival

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Thousands flocked to the one-day celebration of the written word! The Festival included an exhibit featuring an excellent array of publishers, literary organizations, magazines, and authors, as well as readings and panels scheduled throughout the day. Special guests this year included Chris Abani, Gina B. Nahai, Diane Williams, Bin Ramke, Laura Moriarty, Linda Spalding, Andrew Helfer, David Lubar, and terrific children's activities in the Children's Storytelling Circle! See here for more on the 2007 Festival.

Joe Sacco

Walker Art Center, Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Internationally acclaimed cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco attracted nearly 300 comics aficionados and other intrigued people to hear him discuss the inspiration and experiences behind his award-winning books such as Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, and The Fixer. Sacco also answered many questions posed by the engaged audience. This special event was co-presented by the Walker Art Center in conjunction with their Brave New Worlds exhibit. If you missed it, click here to listen to the webcast!

Ron Padgett
in conversation with Garrison Keillor

Virginia Street Swedenborgian Church, Sunday, November 18, 2007

Eager enthusiasts packed the pews on a Sunday afternoon to hear New York poet Ron Padgett read from his newest collection of poetry, How To Be Perfect. Padgett was introduced by radio personality Garrison Keillor, who engaged the author in an on-stage conversation for the remainder of the program, resulting in lively banter about Padgett's unique take on the nature of poetry. The event was co-presented by Common Good Books.

2006

FREE VERSE: Kenneth Goldsmith

Walker Art Center, February 23th, 2006

Goldsmith gave a highly entertaining reading, sampling from his many experimental works such as Fidget and The Weather, and rousingly sung excerpts from Head Citations, to an enthusiastic and packed crowd. Hear Kenneth Goldsmith read for yourself on the Walker Art Center web site!

R.M. Berry and Noy Holland

Micawbers Books, Friday, March 24, 2006

It was a wonderful turnout on a nice spring evening for stories. Berry read from his recent novel Frank, a wry and eloquent "unwriting" of Shelley's Frankenstein. Holland read from her recent story collection What Begins With Bird, bringing alive a lyrical and rural landscape.

FREE VERSE: Richard Hell

Walker Art Center, Thursday, April 20, 2006

The legendary Richard Hell packed the auditorium with an eclectic mix of punks and art lovers, reading from early poetry, his first novel Go Now, his collaborative work with David Shapiro, Rabbit Duck, and his most recent novel Godlike. If you missed it, check out the webcast of Richard Hell's reading on the Walker Art Center web site!

EMERGENT POETS:
Matt Hart, Anthony Hawley, Amanda Nadelberg, and Laura Sims

The Soap Factory, May 13, 2006

Words warmed a chilly Minnesota spring night, as four great new talents read from their first books to a standing room only crowd.

John Koethe

Magers & Quinn Booksellers, June 16, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night, but that didn't deter Milwaukee's John Koethe from delivering a delightful reading to a rapt crowd from his latest book, Sally's Hair.

FREE VERSE: The Poetry Bus Tour

Walker Art Center, September 14, 2006

The Poetry Bus Tour, sponsored by Wave Books, hit Minneapolis on a gorgeous day! Flocks of poetry lovers (along with Canada geese) followed visiting and local poets as they read through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. More readings continued (sans geese) inside the Walker Art Center as poets and listeners moved through the galleries and finally ended up at the cinema. Sixteen poets read from their work: Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Chris Fischbach, Amanda Nadelberg, Travis Nichols, Scott Helmes, Anthony McCann, Becky Peterson, Brian Engel-Fuentes, Matthew Zapruder, Kelly Everding, Joshua Beckman, John Colburn, Catherine Wagner, G.E. Patterson, Tina Brown Celona, and Anselm Berrigan. The Poetry Bus, making a 50-city tour through the United States and Canada, truly exposed the Twin Cities as a flourishing poetic landscape!
Click here to see pictures from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden readings!

Brandon Downing and Macgregor Card

Spot Art Gallery, October 6, 2006

On this night of the harvest moon, Brandon Downing and Macgregor Card read poems to an enthusiastic crowd at this co-sponsored event with Spout Press. The evening also featured an animated short film by local Tom Schroeder and music by The Godevils. For a picture and Eric Lorberer's stress-induced introductions (for which he truly apologizes) click here.

2006 Twin Cities Book Festival

Minneapolis Community and Technical College — , October 14, 2006

Guest authors for this day-long celebration of books included Mark Z. Danielewski, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, John Yau, Mary Roach, Julie Powell, Steven Lee Beeber, Lawrence Sutin, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, Shannon Hale, and Amanda Adams.

Marjane Satrapi

Lyndale Congregational Church, October 26, 2006
co-sponsored by Magers & Quinn

Internationally acclaimed Iranian cartoonist Marjane Satrapi spoke to a full house--348 people!--about her experience writing her award-winning comic book autobiography, Persepolis and Persepolis 2, as well as her newest memoir, Chicken With Plums. Her wit and wisdom concerning dictatorships, world affairs, art, and the pleasures of life kept the audience laughing and engaged on this rare occasion.

Rosamond Purcell

Minnesota Center for Photography, November 14, 2006
co-sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Photography

Rosamond Purcell presented a stunningly beautiful retrospective of her career as a photographer, including work from natural history museum collections, her own collections of dessicated books and rescued objects, and her carefully constructed collages, all in celebration of her new book Bookworm.

FREE VERSE: Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop

Walker Art Center, November 30, 2006

Poets, translators, and Burning Deck Press publishers Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop read from their expansive oevre, including a collaborative poem, to a rapt audience on this last, cold November evening.


2005

APHRODITE'S BACK: A VALENTINE REVEAL
with Harriet Bart, Nor Hall, and Franz Kamin

The Southern Theater — February 14th, 2005

Valentine's Day was celebrated in style with a sold-out show blending writing, sculpture, and music by these esteemed Twin Cities artists. Nor Hall presented a scintillating illustrated discursus on eros; Franz Kamin and fellow musicians performed “Coilular Angel;” and Harriet Bart read from her new artist’s book, PUNICA GRANATUM: A Symposium on the True Nature of the Pomegranate & the Myth of Aphrodite.

Dobby Gibson

Rogue Buddha Gallery — April 8, 2005

The book launch reading and reception for Dobby Gibson's debut book of poems, Polar, was a great success with standing-room-only poetry enthusiasts packing the newly relocated Rogue Buddha Gallery for a taste of Gibson's perceptive and humorous take on American life. A great time was had by all!

Gillian Conoley and Rusty Morrison

Micawber's Books — Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Two fantastic West coast poets read to a rapt crowd on a blustery spring day. Rusty Morrison read from her first collection of poems, Whethering, “agile lines that canyon-open” (Forrest Gander). Gillian Conoley read from her fifth collection called Profane Halo, where “out of old beliefs a new language speaks” (Barbara Guest).

Paul Auster

Walker Art Center — Thursday, June 23, 2005

Internationally renowned writer Paul Auster read a stunning prose poem from his new collection, Collected Poems, and then proceeded to discuss his career in writing with Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer. If you missed this standing-room-only event, you may go to the Walker Art Center website and view the webcast.

Raymond Federman

Nolte Library, University of Minnesota — Monday, October 3, 2005

Acclaimed experimental writer-raconteur Raymond Federman read from his latest meditation on memory, imagination, and the self, My Body in Nine Parts.

Co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the French and Italian Departments, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Jewish Studies, and the Institute for Advanced Studies.

2005 Twin Cities Book Festival

Minneapolis Community and Technical College — Saturday, October 15, 2005

Guest authors for this day-long celebration of books included Harvey Pekar, Audrey Niffenegger, Rick Moody, Ana Castillo, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Siri Hustvedt, Alison McGhee & Pete Hautman, and Eliot Weinberger & Forrest Gander.

Free Verse: Alice Notley

Walker Art Center — November 10, 2005

In her first appearance in the Twin Cities, acclaimed poet Alice Notley read from as yet unpublished work to a rapt audience. Notley, a New York School poet, now resides in Paris. Rain Taxi also celebrated the just-published Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan, which Notley edited along with Anselm and Edmund Berrigan, with a salon reading the following night.

Rain Taxi Tenth Anniversary Celebration

Rogue Buddha Gallery — December 10, 2005

Rain Taxi Review of Books turned ten this year, and we had to mark the occasion with a little shindig. Find out more about this event by clicking here!


2004

Free Verse: Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte

Walker Art Center — January 22, 2004

Pierre Joris and Nicole Peyrafitte gave an awe-inspiring voco-visual performance, incorporating music, art, and poetry in their presentation SUMERICABACHBONEs, a double tryptich traveling from Mesopotamia to America to Europe.

Lisa Jarnot

Speedboat Books and Art Gallery — February 15, 2004

Lisa Jarnot read from her latest collection Black Dog Songs to a packed room of cold weather-defying poetry lovers, weaving meditative lyrics on chinchillas and tapirs with “music-of-rhythmed sounds.”

Matthea Harvey & D.A. Powell

Minnesota Center for Photography — Friday, March 19, 2004

Two Graywolf Press poets read from their recently published work to a standing-room-only crowd at the Minnesota Center for Photography in Minneapolis. Matthea Harvey read her humorous and surreal poems from Sad Little Breathing Machine. D. A. Powell read his eloquent and astonishing poems from Cocktails.

The Prose Poem: A Panel

Minnesota Book Awards Celebration — April 25, 2004

Moderated by Eric Lorberer, a panel consisting of local prose poem practitioners Diane Glancy, Ray Gonzalez, and Jim Heynen discussed a few of the controversies surrounding this elusive genre.

Simon Pettet & William D. Waltz

Tuesday, May 18, 2004,
No Name Exhibitions at the Soap Factory

Two practitioners of verse paired up for a dazzling reading amidst No Name's exhibit “Your Heart Is No Match For My Love.” Pettet, an active participant in the New York art scene since the late ’70s, read from his Selected Poems. Local poet and editor of Conduit, Waltz read from his first publication Zoo Music.

Joanna Fuhrman

Rain Taxi Salon — June 19, 2004

The author of Freud in Brooklyn and Ugh Ugh Ocean read work in progress from her captivating “Moraine” series.

Steve Healey

No Name Exhibitions at the Soap Factory—September 17, 2004

Rain Taxi Reading Series inaugurated its 2004 Fall season with a book-launch party for local writer Steve Healey, who read from his stirring debut poetry collection, Earthling, to a 100+, standing-room-only crowd.

Rebecca Wolff & Catherine Wagner

Micawber's Books—September 20, 2004

Two of the finest young voices in poetry visited the Twin Cities as part of their nationwide tour. Both read from their second books: Rebecca Wolff read from Figment, which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Catherine Wagner read from Macular Hole, published by Fence Books.

2004 Twin Cities Book Festival

Minneapolis Community & Technical College — October 16, 2004

At this all-day extravaganza celebrating books, nearly 4000 people attended the exhibitor fair and reading events. Feature authors included: Chris Baty, Zander Cannon, Janet Desaulniers, Kate DiCamillo, Karen Joy Fowler, Fanny Howe, Wayne Koestenbaum, Rick Kupchella, Doug Nufer, Sheila O'Connor, Julie Schumacher, Eleni Sikelianos, and Sun Yung Shin.

Noah Eli Gordon and Eric Baus

Speedboat Books & Gallery — October 28, 2004

Two rising stars of poetry read from their recent publications. Noah Gordon read from The Frequencies and from a new manuscript. Eric Baus read from The To Sound and a delightful new poem about toy trains.

Kathleen Fraser

Minnesota Center for Photography — November 11th, 2004
co-sponsored by the Walker Art Center.

Reading to a packed room on a lovely, crisp November evening, Fraser threaded texts from her book of essays, Translating the Unspeakable: Poetry and the Innovative Necessity and her newest collection of poetry, DISCRETE CATEGORIES FORCED INTO COUPLING. She also treated the audience to a language defying reading of her cut-up poem, hi dde violeth i dde violet.

2003

Lisa Fishman & Rick Meier

Speedboat Books — January 25, 2003

Rain Taxi Reading Series kicked off the new year with a fantastic reading by two young poets from Beloit, WI to a standing room only crowd in St. Paul's Speedboat Gallery. Keep your eyes and ears open for great things to come from these talented poets. Lisa Fishman's new book of poetry, Dear, Read, will knock your socks off. Rick Meier's first book, Terrain Vague, might possibly knock your pants off as well.

Free Verse: C. D. Wright

Walker Art Center — February 13, 2003

C. D. Wright captivated the audience with a searing reading of her lyrical text which accompanies photographs in One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana, a collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster.

Terri Ford

Rogue Buddha Gallery — March 5, 2003

Poet Terri Ford gave a boisterous and irreverent reading from her book, Why the Ships Are She, as well as new poems riffing on topics biological and illogical.

Free Verse: Bei Dao and Eliot Weinberger

Walker Art Center — April 3, 2003

A spellbound and enthusiastic audience enjoyed readings by essayist and translator Eliot Weinberger, who spoke about topics from the bird language of Papua New Guinea to the first Gulf War, and exiled Chinese poet Bei Dao, who read poems from his recent book Unlock and new poems translated that afternoon in collaboration with Eliot Weinberger! This event was webcast by the Walker Art Center and is archived at latitudes.walkerart.org/lectures/. (You will need RealPlayer or an equivalent plug in to view this webcast).

Joshua Beckman and Matthew Zapruder

Minnesota Center for Photography — April 18, 2003

These two young, prize-winning poets read to a standing-room-only audience on this rainy Spring night. Zapruder read from his new book American Linden as well as new poems. Beckman read a poem he wrote on the plane from Idaho along with a long poem from his book Something I Expected To Be Different. Thanks to the new Rain Taxi sound system, their voices rang strong and true above the swooshing cars on the street outside.

EMERGENT POETS

Soo Visual Arts Center — May 3, 2003

Four young poets read from their recently published books. Dan Beachy-Quick read from his lyrical book North True South Bright; Betsy Brown read “moving and merciless” poems from Year of Morphines; Aaron McCollough navigated the depths of fear in Welkin; and Peter Richards read darkly humorous poems from his second book Nude Siren. It was a great celebration of Rain Taxi Reading Series' Fifth Anniversary!

Arthur Sze

Weinstein Gallery — May 17, 2003

Arthur Sze returned to Minneapolis to celebrate Rain Taxi Reading Series' Fifth Anniversary with an elegant and intense reading, surrounded by Lynn Davis's photographs of China. Arthur read new poems as well as translations from The Silk Dragon.

Jane Miller

Walker Art Center — June 19, 2003

Jane Miller read in Gallery 7 Terrace overlooking the Minneapolis cityscape, reading all-new poems from her upcoming book A Palace of Pearls. Another stunning reading that ended the Spring 2003 Reading Series with a bang!

Free Verse: Vénus Khoury-Ghata and Marilyn Hacker

Walker Art Center — September 11, 2003

Just flown in from Paris, Marilyn Hacker and Vénus Khoury-Ghata read to a rapt audience. Hacker read from her book, Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002. Khoury-Ghata read from She Says, reading poems in French with Hacker reading her English translations.

2003 TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL

September 27, 2003

With dozens of exhibitors from all walks of literary life—local presses, literary organizations, and literary journals—and a full day of activities and events for the whole family, the 2003 Twin Cities Book Festival was a resounding success. Special guests Nick Bantock, Charles Baxter, Kathe Koja, and Peter Kuper read from recent work to appreciative audiences. Children were treated to storybook readings by Lisa Westberg Peters, Nancy Carlson, Alison McGhee, Pang and Michelle Yang, as well as a puppet-making workshop with Galumph Interactive Theatre.

Free Verse: Gail Scott

Walker Art Center — October 9, 2003

Canadian writer Gail Scott read from the U.S. release of her work, My Paris, a fictive diary of a disillusioned visitor to the city of lights. This was Scott's first visit to Minneapolis, and we look forward to seeing more of her publications in the U.S.!

Ted Enslin and Michael Heller

Ruminator Books — October 12, 2003

A stirring reading by two eminent poets, Michael Heller read from his recent collection Exigent Futures: New and Selected Poems while Ted Enslin read from recent poem cycles and Then, and Now: Selected Poems, 1943-1993.

Brian Henry, Andrew Zawacki, and Ethan Paquin

October 18, 2003

Three young up-and-coming poets read from their work on a temperate October night. Brian Henry, author of three books of poetry, read from his latest book Graft. Andrew Zawacki read from his first book of poems, By Reason of Breakings. Ethan Paquin read from his recent book, Acumulus.

Free Verse: Peter Gizzi

Walker Art Center — November 6, 2003

Gizzi read from his visionary new work Some Values of Landscape and Weather, a volume which revives poetic architectures such as elegy, song, and litany to build “a comprehensive music” against a backdrop of political, social, and ethical values.

Elizabeth Robinson

Weinstein Gallery — November 23, 2003

Intrepid poetry lovers braved a blizzard to hear award-winning poet Elizabeth Robinson read from her books, including the recent winner of the Fence Modern Poets Prize, Apprehend, amidst multiple representations of pyramids in the Weinstein Gallery.

Free Verse: Jeff VanderMeer

Walker Art Center — December 4, 2003

Jeff VanderMeer introduced the rapt audience to the bizarre city of Ambergris in his multi-media presentation “An Introduction of Ambergris,” the subject of his novel City of Saints & Madmen. VanderMeer also treated the audience to an excerpt from a collection he edited entitled The Thackery T. Lambshead Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases.

2002

Free Verse: Gerard Malanga

Walker Art Center — January 31, 2002

Well-known as a multimedia talent, Malanga-poet, photographer, filmmaker, and artist-presented a movie he made in 1967 entitled In Search of the Miraculous. After this remarkably romantic and stirring portrait of youth, Malanga read more wistful, elegiac poems recently collected in No Respect.

Cyberliterature Performance: Alan Sondheim & Miekal And

McNamara Center, University of Minnesota — February 22, 2002

The computer reigned in this evening with Sondheim, who lectured by tapping on his keyboard while showing Quicktime movies, and And, who played handmade instruments amidst his hypertext innovations.

Co-sponsored by the U of M's Program in Creative Writing, the Digital Media Center, the College of Liberal Arts, the Humanities Institute, and the English Department.

Free Verse: Michael Palmer

Walker Art Center — February 28, 2002

For his first reading ever in Minneapolis, the acclaimed poet read selections from his many works, including a suite of new poems written in response to paintings by Gerhard Richter.

Norma Cole

Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, College of St. Catherine — March 3, 2002
co-sponsored by XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics

Reading from the recently published Spinoza in Her Youth, Cole captivated the audience with her challenging and riveting work.

Peter Richards and Matthew Zapruder

Rennaissance Box, St.Paul — April 4, 2002

Two young poets from the East Coast read from their first books, Peter Richards's Oubliette, and Matthew Zapruder's American Linden.

Free Verse: Cole Swensen

Walker Art Center — April 11, 2002

Touring us through the past, Swensen read from the medieval meditations of Such Rich Hour, as well as new poems based on antiquated household instruction manuals.

Dean Young

pARTs Gallery, Minneapolis — April 20, 2002

“Foetal robots trolled the river” as Young read from his recently published book, Skid.

Lytle Shaw

Rain Taxi Salon — June 2, 2002

Shaw and his wife, artist Emilie Clark, stopped in while passing through on a cross-country trip from San Francisco to New York City to read from his new book of poems, The Lobe.

Free Verse: Harryette Mullen

Walker Art Center — September 19, 2002

We had to turn people away because of fire codes for this one! More than a hundred people came to hear Harryette Mullen read from Sleeping with the Dictionary, her latest work of poetic wordplay, as well as Blues Baby, a collection of early work.

The Great American Prose Poem: a talk by David Lehman

Walker Art Center — October 6, 2002

Poet and critic David Lehman offered his thoughts on the seemingly paradoxical art form of Prose Poetry, tracing its development and divergences among American poets. Co-sponsored by the Walker Art Center and the Literary Arts Institute of the College of St. Benedict.

Twin Cities Book Festival

October 12th, 2002

Brenda Hillman

Soo Visual Arts Center — October 26, 2002

Acclaimed Bay Area poet Brenda Hillman dazzled this Twin Cities audience with her ability to combine lightness and gravity into a poetry of “Curved Knowledge.” Co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Creative Writing Program.

Free Verse: Serge Fauchereau

Walker Art Center — November 7, 2002

French poet and art critic Serge Fauchereau read from Complete Fiction, his U.S. debut translated by John Ashbery and Ron Padgett. Fauchereau's energetic reading was followed by a lively question and answer session.

Free Verse: Ron Padgett

Walker Art Center — December 5, 2002

The ever-charming Ron Padgett read from his newest collection of poems, You Never Know, leaving audience members' cheeks salty from tears of laughter.

2001

Free Verse: Joe Wenderoth

Walker Art Center — February 1, 2001

Wenderoth returned to read from his collision of fast-food and metaphysics, Letters to Wendy's, to a packed audience in the Walker's restaurant.

Free Verse: Jim Krusoe and Jim Moore

Walker Art Center — March 1, 2001

Two Jims! Aside from the same first name these longtime friends share the same acclaimed skill with words. Local luminary Moore read poems, while visiting LA writer Krusoe read a few poems and a delightful story.

Donald Revell & Claudia Keelan

Weinstein Gallery — March 25, 2001

Another daring duo read from their current books. Donald Revell, professor of English at the University of Utah and co-editor of the Colorado Review gave a lively reading from his book There Are Three. Claudia Keelan, professor of English at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and editor of Interim read from her newly published book of poems, Utopic.

Cecilia Vicuña

Rarig Center, University of Minnesota — April 12, 2001

The marvelous Chilean poet, sculptor, filmmaker and performance artist performed “Sky-tinted Water,” weaving webs of yarn around the audience as she showed slides of sites and spoke words to go with them.

Co-ponsored by the Space/Place Research Group, the Humanities Institute, and the U of M departments of Creative Writing, Geography, and Theatre.

Marvin Bell

Hamline University — April 24, 2001
co-sponsored with the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library

The always eloquent Bell here brought us into the haunting world of Nightworks, his new selected poems that features his “Dead Man” poems.

Free Verse: Eleni Sikelianos

Walker Art Center — April 26, 2001

One of the most dazzling younger poets around, Sikelianos read from her full-length debut, Earliest Worlds. We preceded her reading with a screening of Jean Painleve's lyrical short film, The Seahorse.

Free Verse: Walter Chakela and Laurie Carlos

Walker Art Center — May 3, 2001

South African playwright-director Chakela teamed up with St. Paul actress-choreographer-writer Carlos, weaving dance and song into an evening of dynamic poetry.

Free Verse: Six by Six

Walker Art Center — September 6, 2001

Part homage, part spoof, Rain Taxi recreated the famous Six Gallery reading in the Walker's own Gallery Six, showcasing a new generation's “remarkable collection of angels on one stage reading their poetry.” Here we presented, perhaps, the Twin Cities’ “elliptical poets”: Kelly Everding, Kim Fortier, Dobby Gibson, Steve Healey, and Eric Lorberer, together with Stephen Burt, M.C.

Hanif Kureishi

Walker Art Center — September 27, 2001

A retrospective of his film work was showing at the museum, but the author of The Black Album and Intimacy was happy to give a reading from his fiction as well.

Albert Goldbarth

Weinstein Gallery — October 14, 2001

The poet and essayist delivered a poetic essay on the occasion of his selected essays, Many Circles, being published.

Robert Creeley

Twin Cities Book Festival

October 27, 2001
co-sponsored by the Literary Arts Institute of the College of St. Benedict

Drawing a large crowd (including old friends Robert Bly and Victor Hernandez Cruz) Robert Creeley kept the audience spellbound as he gave a personal and intimate reading from his work-a wonderful culmination to a spectacular day of celebrating books.

Rebecca Wolff

pARTs Gallery — November 2, 2001

Poet and Fence editor Wolff visited to read from her first book Manderley, a riveting winner of the National Poetry Series.

Free Verse: Olga Broumas

Walker Art Center — November 15, 2001

A truly spiritual reading celebrating the publication of her Collected Poems, Broumas sang-spoke her lyrical work to a spellbound audience.

Bob Hicok

Rogue Buddha Gallery — December 2, 2001

Amid the bizarre quilted wall hangings adorning the gallery, Bob Hicok read from his newly published book Animal Soul as well as newer poems that explored with grace and humor humanity's resistance to the commodification of the soul.

2000

Anne Waldman

Walker Art Center — February 20, 2000
co-sponsored by the Walker Art Center

Our first collaboration with the Walker, which led to the creation of our ongoing collaborative series Free Verse. The dynamic Waldman performed on the museum's main stage to a nearly full auditorium, with occasional saxophone accompaniment by Minnesota's own Michael Lewis, from the acclaimed jazz trio Happy Apple.

George Kalamaras

Rain Taxi Salon — April 9, 2000

In town for another engagement, the prolific Kalamaras dropped by to read selections from The Theory and Function of Mangoes, an award-winning first book that is part travelogue, part meditative trance.

Poetry as Theory/Theory as Poetry 2000

A conference sponsored by the University of Minnesota, with readings co-sponsored by Rain Taxi

Lyn Hejinian: April 13 at Weisman Art Museum

Reading from Happily and her then unpublished work A Border Comedy, Lyn Hejinian gave a riveting and surprisingly funny performance.

Marjorie Welish: April 14 at Weinstein Gallery

Marjorie Welish, poet and art critic, gave a hushed and captivating reading of her sensually cerebral poetry, which had recently been published in The Annotated “Here” and Selected Poems.

Lee Ann Brown, Will Alexander, and Bob Perelman: April 15 at the Weisman Art Museum

This startling reading juxtaposed the quite distinct voices of three poets who share a love for challenging writing. Lee Ann Brown, poet and publisher, sang and read her poems. Will Alexander, a true Surrealist, wove an intricate tapestry of imagery and language around the trope of a “quantum sailor.” Bob Perelman took up the theme and delivered a spellbinding reverie on water that originally was performed in collaboration with a film made by his wife.

Craig Arnold

Rain Taxi Salon — April 30, 2000

The Yale Younger Poetry Award-winner dropped in to give an energetic recital from Shells as well as new poems.

James Tate & Dara Wier

Open Book — May 21, 2000
co-sponsored by the Loft Literary Center

Celebrating the publication of his Rain Taxi Brainstorm Series chapbook Police Story, James Tate kept the audience in stitches as he read from this collection, while Dara Wier sailed us to parts unknown with a reading from her forthcoming book, Voyages in English.

Elizabeth Macklin

Ruminator Books — July 27, 2000
co-sponsored by Ruminator Books

They weren't actually called Ruminator back then, but the starving brains at the Twin Cities' largest independent bookstore helped host Macklin as she visited to read from her new book, You've Just Been Told.

Not Bill Knott Poetry Reading

Loring Bar — August 13, 2000

At a party celebrating Rain Taxi's continued existence, anyone who was not Bill Knott was invited to read his poetry. A controversial interview with Knott that had been printed in the previous issue (#18) of Rain Taxi had everybody talking about his work.

Anthology Salon with Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Kurt Brown

Open Book — September 27, 2000
co-sponsored by Milkweed Editions

Poets Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Kurt Brown have together and separately edited five anthologies on themes from cars to urbanity. Here they gave a fascinating discussion about their editorial process and goals.

Richard Jones

Weinstein Gallery — October 15, 2000

This much-beloved poet (and Poetry East editor) charmed with a reading from The Blessing, his new and selected poems.

Free Verse: Mark Nowak

Walker Art Center — October 26, 2000

Our series with the Walker kicked off with local writer-editor-activist Mark Nowak, whose volume of poetry Revenants had just been released. In the multimedia spirit, Nowak not only read but showed a photography-poem suite and short film of his own, as well as Stan Brakhage's Riddle of the Lumen.

Damon & Naomi

Let It Be Records — October 28, 2000
co-sponsored by Let It Be

Sub Pop recording artists Damon & Naomi are also Exact Change publishers Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang. At this combination in-store performance and book fair, they played haunting tunes from their new album With Ghost and spoke about their experiences publishing surrealist literature.

Jaap Blonk

Southern Theatre — November 15, 2000

Acclaimed Dutch “sound-poet” Jaap Blonk gave an incredible two-part tour of the genre, first performing historical works of sound-poetry ranging from Hugo Ball to Dick Higgins, and then performing a set of his own inimitable work.

Co-sponsored by the Program in Creative Writing, the College of Liberal Arts, the Humanities Institute, and the Dept. of German, Dutch, and Scandinavian, all of the University of Minnesota, as well as the American Composers Forum.

Free Verse: An Evening in the Wunderkammern
with Rikki Ducornet & Rosamond Purcell

Walker Art Center — November 30, 2000

Dovetailing with a month-long series on the theme of collecting at the museum, this Free Verse performance featured photographs and commentary by Purcell and verbal musings by Ducornet, both of whose work has been inspired by and addressed historical “cabinets of wonder.”

1999

Franz Wright

Weinstein Gallery — May 1, 1999

Son of the legendary poet James Wright, Franz Wright returned to the land of his childhood to read poems from his lovely and melancholic forthcoming book, The Beforelife.

Paul Metcalf Memorial Reading

Minnesota Center for the Book Arts — March 14, 1999
co-sponsored by Coffee House Press

A moving tribute to Paul Metcalf included readings of the late author's work performed by a variety of Metcalf enthusiasts and local poets, and an address by the publisher of Metcalf's Collected Works, Allan Kornblum. (To read the text of this address, click here.) A commemorative letterpress broadside was created by Rain Taxi and Coffee House Press for the occasion.

Joe Wenderoth

No Name Exhibitions at the Soap Factory Gallery — September 26, 1999
co-sponsored by Short Line Editions

Having just begun his exile in Minnesota, Wenderoth read from The Endearment, his rich and strange new chapbook.

John Taggart

Weisman Art Museum — October 14, 1999
co-sponsored by XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics

The musically spellbinding Taggart entranced our audience as he read the entirety of When the Saints, his elegy for sculptor Bradford Graves.

Joanne Kyger

Rain Taxi Salon — October 23, 1999

In town to give a lecture, Kyger captivated us at home with a reading from her recent poetry, and a discussion of the intercultural travels that prompted it.

Rikki Ducornet

Weinstein Gallery — December 2, 1999

A return engagement, celebrating the writer's new novel The Fan-Maker's Inquisition. Reading amidst the otherworldly artwork of Leslie Dill, Ducornet captivated us with her tale of sex and politics from the French revolution.

1998

Arthur Sze

Weinstein Gallery — May 3, 1998

At our inaugural event, poet Arthur Sze dazzled an audience of nearly 80 people, reading selections from his forthcoming collected poems as well as translations from the Chinese of Wang Wei. Reading with Sze were local writers Sarah Fox and Melissa Olson.

Victor Hernández Cruz

CreArté Chicano and Latino Arts Center — July 12, 1998

The legendary Puerto Rican poet performed a dynamic suite of selections from his work; reading with him were local writers e.g. bailey and Liz Cruz-Smith.

Rikki Ducornet

No Name Exhibitions at the Soap Factory — September 27, 1998

The Nation has called Ducornet “one of the most interesting American writers around,” and we couldn't agree more. Emerging from an installation of pampas grass she read stories of Egypt. Local writers Fred Schmalz and Juliette Patterson opened with poems.

Clayton Eshleman

Weinstein Gallery — December 6, 1998

The acclaimed poet, translator, and Sulfur editor read from From Scratch, his latest book of poems, together with local writer Joanna Rawson, whose first book Quarry had just been released.

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