Twin Cities Book Festival, Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Friday, October 13, 2017: 6-7pm Reception; 7-8pm Opening Night Talk
Saturday, October 14, 2017: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Rain Taxi is pleased to welcome the following authors from around the country and the globe to this year’s Twin Cities Book Festival stages.
Charlie Jane Anders
with Cory Doctorow, Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 2:30pm
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Charlie Jane Anders lived in a Buddhist nunnery as a teenager, loves to do karaoke, and eats way too much spicy food. She was a founding editor of io9.com and has published a variety of short stories in such places as McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, and numerous anthologies. Anders also works as an event organizer and hosts Writers With Drinks, a monthly reading series in San Francisco known for its “joyously cross-genre approach.” Her award-winning novel All the Birds in the Sky (Tor Books) is a testament to that sensibility in its beautiful amalgamation of science fiction, magic, and wholehearted geek culture. All the Birds in the Sky won the 2017 Nebula Award, the 2017 IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, the 2017 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and ranked No. 5 on Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Novels” of 2016. Learn more at charliejane.net
What people are saying about All the Birds in the Sky:
“Charlie Jane Anders' brilliant, cross-genre novel All the Birds in the Sky has the hallmarks of an instant classic. It's a beautifully written, funny, tremendously moving tale that explodes the boundaries between science fiction and fantasy, YA and ‘mainstream’ fiction.”
— Elizabeth Hand, The LA Times
“The book is full of quirkiness and playful detail — it's not hard to imagine Wes Anderson adapting it, if he ever turned toward science fiction — but there's an overwhelming depth and poignancy to its virtuoso ending, which tugs all of its rich cultural symbolism into a heart-wrenching whole. With All the Birds in the Sky, Anders has given us a fresh set of literary signposts — and a new bundle of emotional metaphors — for the 21st century, replacing the so many of the tired old ones. Oh, and she's gently overturned genre fiction along the way.”
— Jason Heller, NPR Books
Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 3:30pm
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Roz Chast is a Brooklyn-born staff cartoonist for The New Yorker who now resides in suburban Connecticut. Her work first appeared in The New Yorker in 1978–what began as small black-and-white panels eventually transitioned to color spreads, back pages, and covers. Since then, she has written or illustrated more than a dozen books and received numerous awards, including the 2015 Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities, the 2015 Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year, and honorary degrees from the Pratt Institute and Dartmouth College. Her latest graphic memoir, Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York (Bloomsbury) serves as a charming introduction to her beloved Big Apple for those who have never lived there, and a source of laughter and delight for those who have.
What people are saying about Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York:
“The wonderful and inimitable Roz Chast introduces her old friend, New York City, in a beguiling way that will illuminate newcomers, prompt old-timers to nod in recognition, and inspire a whole new generation of siamese standpipe buffs.”
“I love this book as much as one can love a book without getting arrested.” —Patricia Marx
“Those of us who prefer Roz Chast’s work to just about any other amalgam of words and pictures since the Egyptian hieroglyphs will not be surprised that her book about New York is a complete delight from first page to last—but all of us may be instructed anew in how much her art depends on her close observation of detail. Everything in the city—from the positive emptiness of the Metropolitan Museum to the ominous emptiness of a subway car—is registered with a discriminating eye for the truth as real as her matchless sense of the wacky.”
Taxi Stage, Fine Arts Center, 2:30pm
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Yrsa Daley-Ward–actor, model, and poet–is of mixed West Indian and West African heritage, and was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in Chorley, a small town in the north of England. After returning to London following several years of international modeling in South Africa and elsewhere, she returned to London, and has since developed a worldwide following for her dynamic and moving spoken word poetry. She has produced works exhibited in London’s Tate Modern, Appels and Snakes, and Film Poem, in addition to performing on BBC’s Radio 3 and in theatres worldwide. Her upcoming book, bone (Penguin), is already receiving rave reviews as the excitement continues to build for this young and already brilliant poet.
What people are saying about bone:
“yrsa daley-ward's bone is a symphony of breaking and mending. this whole book is an ache. and a balm. daley-ward effortlessly mines the bone. the diamond from the difficult. the things that are too bright and taboo. she lays her hands on the pulse of the thing. and gives wide air to the epic realities of women . . . her poetry and prose are intimate and distant. sonorous and staunch. delicate and metal. unwilling to yield and wondrously supple. daley-ward's extraordinary talent. ability. to both see and write the veins of the true life. the true lives. is a gift. a breath.”
—nayyirah waheed, author of salt. and nejma
“. . . ‘community’ from Yrsa Daley-Ward’s book bone really spoke to me. I think that’s what’s good about poetry. Sometimes it seems to tell you something about yourself that you didn’t really know until you saw it written down by someone else.”
—Florence Welch, lead singer, Florence + the Machine
“[Yrsa Daley-Ward] is at the realm of a new wave of contemporary poets who inspire an unprecedented level of empathy and accessibility through their honest and raw approach. . . . [A] powerful collection of a woman facing tumultuous inner and external battles head on, delivered with a hard-hitting directness, yet with inflections of optimism throughout that are bound to touch readers to their core.”
with Charlie Jane Anders, Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 2:30pm
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Cory Doctorow has accomplishments to spare. In addition to being a New York Times-bestselling author, he is the coeditor of Boing Boing; he’s contributed to many publications, both print and digital; he’s a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation; he holds an honorary doctorate from the Open University (UK); and he is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate. We don’t know how he has time for all of that, either, which is why we are thrilled he will be joining us at this year’s Book Festival. His most recent science fiction novel, Walkaway (Tor Books), “an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death,” was published in April and has not stopped receiving ecstatic praise.
What people are saying about Walkaway:
Walkaway is his newest, and it is remarkable. It's one of those books that I don't want to describe at all, because doing so would ruin the new car smell of stepping into a fresh-off-the-lot universe. It would sour the joy of getting face-punched over and over again by the utopian/dystopian ideas, theories, arguments and philosophies that Doctorow lays down. It would, in short, wreck the fun.
—Jason Sheehan, NPR Books
Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell (2009), Doctorow offers meticulous worldbuilding and philosophizing about how the world just around the corner might be. In an age of makers, 3-D printers, mobile fabricators, and endless food sources, the book asks what life would be like—or should be like—in a post-scarcity, post-employment world . . . A truly visionary techno-thriller that not only depicts how we might live tomorrow, but asks why we don’t already.
—Kirkus (starred review)
Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 12:30pm
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Senator Al Franken has represented Minnesota in the United States Senate since 2009. Before entering politics, he was an award-winning comedy writer, radio talk show host, and the bestselling author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, The Truth, and most recently, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate (Twelve). He's been married to his wife, Franni, for 41 years—many of them happy. They have two children, Thomasin and Joe, and three grandchildren. Senator Franken graduated from Harvard College and received his doctorate in right-wing megalomania studies from Trump University.
What people are saying about
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate:
“An excellent, insightful memoir . . . Franken is quite a raconteur, and he tells the story of his remarkable life and times with a sense of humor that is always irreverent and often self-deprecating. One thing is no joke, however: he’s very serious about his job representing the people of Minnesota.”
“The nation's funniest senator speaks of the strange ways of government by ‘old white men.’ Franken . . . is a definitively humorous fellow and about as candid as any politician can be expected to be . . . Here's how the sausage is made on Capitol Hill—and in Franken's case, made with a smile.”
with Juan Felipe Herrera, Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 11:30am
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Ray Gonzalez is the author of fifteen books of poetry. His latest book, Beautiful Wall (BOA Editions), received last year’s Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, as did his 2000 title Turtle Pictures. His poems have appeared in several editions of The Best American Poetry and in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses 2000. Gonzalez was awarded a 2015 Con Tinta Lifetime Achievement Award in Latino Literature and a 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southwest Border Regional Library Association. Gonzalez was selected for the 2017 Witter Bynner Fellowship by the U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. He is a Professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota.
Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 1:30pm
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Daniel Handler, while perhaps best known for his children’s books written under the pseudonym of Lemony Snicket (perhaps you’ve heard of A Series of Unfortunate Events?), has produced consistently fantastic work under his real name as well. In addition to doing some generally awesome things such as serving as the “adjunct accordionist” for The Magnetic Fields, he has penned six acclaimed novels; his newest work, a novel entitled All the Dirty Parts (Bloomsbury), explores the hilarity, humiliation, and utterly complex nature of high school sexuality. Handler masterfully balances comedy with thoughtfulness—and a lot of sex—in this latest tour de force of fiction.
What people are saying about All the Dirty Parts:
“Handler continues his recent endeavor to boldly straddle the divide between teen and adult books . . . Cole sounds like Holden Caulfield writing a sex blog. Amusing yet genuine, lustful yet sensitive, [All the Dirty Parts] approaches teenage horniness seriously and, in the process, touches on important subjects such as sexism, consent, and sexual identity.”
“Take one sex-crazed teenage boy and take him seriously. Don't make him the butt of an easy joke. Don't make him the star of a humiliation comedy. Let him be an idiot, a jerk, a cad, a hero. Make his desire into a rocket shooting him out of this too small life. Show his loneliness crash-landing him into pieces. It's almost impossible to write tenderly and truthfully about such things. Somehow Handler has done it.”
–Jenny Offill, author of Dept. Of Speculation
“This interesting experiment by Handler may be the most clear-eyed and honest portrayal of the sexuality of adolescent boys in recent memory—it's raw, authentic, fitfully funny, and tragic all at the same time . . . A disarming cautionary tale that's just naughty enough to be kept from Handler's Lemony Snicket fans but real enough to spark genuine conversations about sex and its consequences.”
–Kirkus (starred review)
Juan Felipe Herrera
with Ray Gonzalez, Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 11:30am
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The son of migrant farm workers, Juan Felipe Herrera was educated at UCLA and Stanford University, and he earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His numerous poetry collections include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007, Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), and Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (1999). In addition to publishing more than a dozen collections of poetry, Herrera has written short stories, young adult novels, and children’s literature. In 2015 he was named U.S. poet laureate.
In 2012, Herrera was named California's poet laureate, and the U.S. poet laureate in 2015. He has won the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction, the Focal Award, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, and a PEN West Poetry Award. His honors include the UC Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Stanford Chicano Fellows. He has also received several grants from the California Arts Council.
Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. His creative work often crosses genres, including poetry opera and dance theater. His children’s book, The Upside Down Boy (2000), was adapted into a musical. His books for children and young adults have won several awards, including Calling the Doves (2001), which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award, and Crashboomlove (1999), a novel-in-verse for young adults which won the Americas Award. His book Half The World in Light was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize in 2009.
Taxi Stage, Fine Arts Center, 1:30pm
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Alex Lemon was born in Iowa, resided for a time in Minnesota, and now lives in Ft. Worth, Texas where he teaches at Texas Christian University. He is a poet who has published four collections of poems with a fifth in the works, and a memoirist whose first memoir Happy was selected by Kirkus as one of the best memoirs of 2010. Lemon is an Editor-at-Large at Saturnalia Books and a poetry editor of Descant, Texas Christian University’s literary journal. His many accolades include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and inclusion in the Best American Poetry 2008. In his forthcoming book, Feverland (Milkweed Editions), Lemon “has created a fragmented exploration of what it means to be a man in the tumult of twenty-first-century America—and a harrowing, associative memoir about how we live with the beauties and horrors of our pasts”.
What people are saying about Feverland:
“Fevered prose and wild digressions mark a poet’s candid memoir of pain and illness . . . Although sometimes maddening to read, Lemon’s collision of ideas and images adds up to a celebration of a life unbowed by suffering.”
“What a marvel of a book. In its rigor, variance, and sonic playfulness, Feverland makes a winning argument for the case that a life—in all its trial, tenderness, and physical troubling—is best presented in shards, as the title indicates. Why? Because these vivid and surprising shards that Alex Lemon gives us teem with heft and life, evocative diction and sticking image, narrative brilliance and lyric mystery.”
—Elena Passarello, author of Animals Strike Curious Poses
“I didn’t read Feverland—I plunged into it. Alex Lemon’s mind comes at you in a hot, mad rush, and you experience him as you experience your own past, all at once. A good memoir leaves you feeling that you know another person. This one, somehow, leaves you feeling that you know yourself as well.”
—J.C. Hallman, author of B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal
Taxi Stage, Fine Arts Center, 10:30am
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Donna Seaman is Editor of Adult Books at Booklist and has reviewed for various publications including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. She is a member of the advisory council for the American Writers Museum, and recipient of both the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. Many of her insightful radio interviews with authors were collected in Writers on Air: Conversations about Books. She has had a personal interest in the visual arts since childhood which drove her to write Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists (Bloomsbury). Seaman lives in Chicago.
What people are saying about Identity Unknown:
“Not only did I not want this revelation of a book to end, I did not want these women’s lives to end . . . Identity Unknown is a credo to creativity, to lives lived large without apology. In Seaman’s hands, these artists’ magnificent offerings of sculptures, paintings, portraits, collages, and tapestries return to life and inhabit anew our imaginations. In this way, Seaman creates an artistic afterlife for seven women artists whom we can no longer forget.”
—Terry Tempest Williams, Pacific Standard
“In this passionate book, Seaman . . . asks why seven American female artists – Louise Nevelson, Gertrude Abercrombie, Loïs Mailou Jones, Ree Morton, Joan Brown, Christina Ramberg, Lenore Tawney – respected and celebrated in their lifetimes, have been forgotten or nearly so. Seaman resurrects and reanimates. The women come to life here; grouchy, impish, shy, confident, introspective, scrounging and childish. Seaman also provides multiple interpretations of artworks . . . and discusses how the gender of these accomplished artists led to society forgetting them. This is an inspiring and beautifully written book that will encourage the reader to research further and discover more.”
—Claire Kohda Hazelton, The Guardian
“‘This is not a book of art criticism,’” Donna Seaman observes in her new book about mostly unsung heroines of the American art world. Seaman is quite right: Identity Unknown goes far beyond the more narrow question of criticism in discussing seven women artists whose relative neglect places them in unfair obscurity. No more obscurity for this arty septet! Seaman’s lively portraits make the reader eager to rediscover them, a process helped along by the book’s photos of them and their art.”
—Melinda Bargeen, The Seattle Times
Where Do We Go From Here?
Travel Writing and Discovery
Taxi Stage, Fine Arts Center, 11:30am
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Geraldine DeRuiter is a Seattle-based author, public speaker, and founder of the hilarious, award-winning travel blog The Everywhereist–or as DeRuiter describes it, “an award-winning cry for help”. DeRuiter started her blog after getting laid off from her copywriting job–her husband had a job that required him to travel, and she began to join him on his sojourns across the globe. Her blog has caught the attention of Time magazine, Forbes magazine, and The Independent. DeRuiter’s first book is called All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft (Public Affairs, 2017), and according to DeRuiter, serves as “a humorous guide to life from a travel expert”. Is anyone else curious to see what she will blog about her journey to our beloved Twin Cities?
What people are saying about All Over the Place:
“Her intimate memoir chronicles her adventures during the seven years she spent crisscrossing the globe, learning to understand and accept quirky family members. The author delves into her relationship with a workaholic-but-loving husband and a serious health crisis. DeRuiter’s memoir is a light-hearted look at travel and learning to live life to the fullest each day, even if you not quite sure where you are going.” —Publishers Weekly
“Geraldine DeRuiter’s voice is funny, witty and warm, and her stories sparkle. This book is a travel companion you'll be happy you brought along.” —Lauren Graham, star of Gilmore Girls and New York Times bestselling author of Talking as Fast as I Can
“I laughed so hard during the book’s 'disclaimer' that I woke up my baby, and then actively ignored him to continue reading. Geraldine is at turns laugh-out-loud hilarious and grab-me-some-tissues tender, and all I could think of after reading this was “can we take a trip together please?”
—Nora McInerny Purmort, author of It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)
Kenny Fries is a distinguished poet and memoirist and the recipient of fellowships and grants from numerous prestigious organizations, including having twice been a Fulbright Scholar (Japan and Germany). He has utilized this sponsorship to produce consistently stunning work out of his life experiences as a Jewish, gay, and disabled man. His upcoming book, In the Province of the Gods (University of Wisconsin Press), recounts his personal experience of self-discovery in Japan; in it he grapples with deep and fundamental questions of identity and mortality, and recounts the re-framing of previous assumptions that grew out of his truly thoughtful engagement with this foreign culture.
What people are saying about In the Province of the Gods:
“Deeply moving and exquisitely written, about many things—cultural and physical difference, sexuality, love, loss, mortality and the ephemeral nature of beauty and art. It is also a love letter to Japan, a country that embraced the author at a time when he needed acceptance the most. But perhaps most importantly, In the Province of the Gods is that rare kind of book that offers us a profound sense of what it means to be truly alive.”
—Mira Bartók, author of The Memory Palace, National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
“Kenny Fries writes out of the pure hot emergency of a mortal being trying to keep himself alive. So much is at stake here—health, affection, culture, trauma, language—but its greatest surprise is what thrives in the midst of suffering. A beautiful book.”
—Paul Lisicky, author of The Narrow Door
“In this subtle page turner, Fries helps reinvent the travel-as-pilgrimage narrative. He neither exoticizes nor shies away from the potential pitfalls of a western mind traveling abroad; instead he demonstrates how, through an all too rare open heart and a true poet's eye, bridges can be built, and understanding deepened, one sincere action at a time.”
—Marie Mutsuki Mockett, author of Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say
Doug Mack is a freelance writer who lives in South Minneapolis with his wife and daughter. His 2012 travel memoir Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day was awarded the National Geographic Traveler Book of the Month and the 2013 Lowell Thomas Award Winner from the American Society of American Travel Writers. Mack enjoys reexamining the proverbial beaten path to find unexpected twists and humor during his travels, and also pays careful attention to provide political and historical context to the places he visits. This is particularly salient in his most recent book, The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA (W.W. Norton, 2017), in which Mack sheds light on American colonialism by visiting the United States territories. Find out more at www.douglasmack.net
What people are saying The Not-Quite States of America:
From funny tales to contemplations on the disparity of Medicare and Medicaid payouts, work visa status, and other repressive actions the mainland US government takes to prevent residents of these islands from becoming bona fide citizens, readers will find this book relevant to many current events, such as our controversial new president. —Nichole L. Reber, Ploughshares
Mack’s thoughtful assessment of American colonialism, underlined by the question of which cultural aspects of each territory should be retained and which should be assimilated into broader American culture, is the spine of the book. Rather than taking an authoritative approach, Mack lets the residents do just as much of the talking and analyzing, making for a strong book sure to spark thought and inspire further research. —Publishers Weekly
Throughout the deft narrative, Mack presents numerous revealing vignettes of far-flung Yankee civilization, many the results of our experiments with Manifest Destiny over a century ago, when Uncle Sam traveled to Polynesia, Micronesia, and the Caribbean searching for military outposts and a place in world affairs . . . An entertaining, informative guidebook to some cool places populated by people to whom attention should be paid. —Kirkus Review
Holy Cow! 40th Anniversary Celebration
Rain Stage, Fine Arts Center, 10:30am
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Gary Boelhower is both theologian and poet. He lives in Duluth, Minnesota where he teaches at The College of St. Scholastica in ethics, spirituality, and leadership. He also co-founded the Center for Spirituality and Leadership at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. His poetry has been published in numerous anthologies including: Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior (Holy Cow! Press, 2015), The Heart of All That Is (Holy Cow! Press, 2013), The Cancer Poetry Project 2 (Tasora Books, 2013), and Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude (Holy Cow! Press, 2009). He has also been published in several journals and magazines, such as America, The Freshwater Review, New Millenium Writings, Prove, Shavings, and Willow Review. His 2011 collection of poems, Marrow, Muscle, Flight (Wildwood River Press) won the Midwest Book Award, and he was awarded the Foley Prize in poetry from America in 2012.
What people are saying about Naming Rites: Poems:
"Naming Rites is such a generous collection it offers both blessings and confessions, dirt and bread, miracles and explosions, cruelty and mercy, great blue herons who resemble monks and blue jays clowning around, a lover’s tender touch and the horrors of the nightly news. In second grade, Gary Boelhower admits, he won 'the glow-in-the-dark statue of Mary,' and his religious drive, now mature, is still alive in these poems. They aim for (and often achieve) not just a personal record but transubstantiation, transforming experience into wisdom, fear into freedom, language into song. Naming Rites is the autobiography of a soul, reaching out beyond the boundaries of the self."—Bart Sutter, author of Cow Calls in Dalarna and Chester Creek Ravine: Haiku
"Gary Boelhower's poems resist convention and confinement even as they speak deeply of and from history, family, and community. The persona names and narrates himself into being as he chronicles profound and tender encounters as well as 'tectonic shifts and betrayals.' Software engineers meditate, children go hungry, and faith is lost and reconfigured. 'Let me not forget to be what I have spoken,' Boelhower reminds himself and his readers. Naming Rites is an important and sustaining book for our times, with its 'cadence that calls us into the streets with voices / of protest and hope.'" —Julie Gard, author of Home Studies
Joan Henrik was born in Duluth, Minnesota where she would later begin her graphic design career at the University of Minnesota. She worked for more than fifty years in advertising, including over twenty-five years at the Westmorland, Larson, and Hill agency. Henrik retired in 2008 and in 2010 started participating in local art exhibitions, juried shows and calls for public art. She then designed her first terrazzo floor, entitled “Winds & Currents”, which is now inlaid in the new Amsoil sports arena in the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Her design was profoundly inspired by the legends and stories that had their origins in native folklore, and those stories are now collected in her book Winds & Currents: Native American Stories.
Miriam Karmel grew up in Chicago but now lives between Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Sandisfield, Massachusetts. She has worked professionally as a newspaper reporter, a magazine editor, and as a freelance writer specializing in medicine and health. Karmel is also the author Being Esther: A Novel (Milkweed Editions, 2013), and Subtle Variations and Other Stories (Holy Cow! Press, 2017) which received the inaugural “First Fiction” Prize from Holy Cow! Press. Other awards for her short fiction include the Waasnode Prize, the Kate Braverman Prize, and the Moment Magazine/Karma Foundation Prize.
What people are saying about Subtle Variations and Other Stories:
“The characters in Miriam Karmel's stories hold together the expanding, collective lives of extended family through a cherished and cared-for history of survival that is present and always heard, even when it is unspoken, incomplete, or hidden. Gently told in prose that is elegantly matter-of-fact and lovingly descriptive and detailed, Subtle Variations and Other Stories is a beautiful and moving read." —Linda LeGarde Grover, Finalist judge and author of The Dance Boots (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)
Crystal Spring Gibbins
Crystal Spring Gibbins grew up on Lake of the Woods, Minnesota/Ontario, and now lives on the south shore of Lake Superior. She teaches at University of Minnesota Duluth and is the editor of Split Rock Review. Gibbins has received fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council. Now/Here is her first published collection of poems.
What people are saying about Now/Here:
"Crystal Gibbins's poignant and quietly intense poems give lie to 'You can't go home again.' You can. It is changed, but you can go back. And we are changed, as readers, by these wildly articulate poems which speak like a woman, or a man, leaning towards you, across from you, with something urgent and true to say." —Thomas Lux, author of Child Made of Sand and To the Left of Time
"If Mary Oliver and W.S. Merwin wandered the Minnesota-Canadian borderlands and waters, they would write poems that look and sound a lot like Crystal Gibbins’: spare, taut, meditative, and wise. In many ways, Gibbins has taken Oliver’s directive to heart: 'Pay attention / Be astonished / Tell about it.' Gibbins knows her territory: she knows its manners and mysteries, allowing us to see 'the white / bloom of a wave break,' the 'barbs on the vane / of a pinion feather,' and 'cattails shattering into seed.' There is a kind of Whitmanesque joy and celebration in her poems. I recommend that you allow Crystal Gibbins to be your travel guide. Follow and learn from her. You will be generously rewarded." —Thom Tammaro, author of 23 Poems, 31 Mornings in December and Holding on for Dear Life
Special Friday Night Presentation
Tales of Two Americas
Friday, October 13, 2017, Fine Arts Center, 7:00 pm
John Freeman was born in Cleveland but raised on Long Island, in small-town Pennsylvania, and later, in Sacramento. A renowned writer and literary critic, Freeman was the editor of Granta literary magazine until 2013, has served as president of the National Book Critics Circle, and is now an executive editor at Literary Hub and teaches at the New School. He is also the editor of a biannual of unpublished writing called Freeman’s, “which brings together the best new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry around a single theme”; a new volume of Freeman’s on “The Future of New Writing” will be released in October 2017. Freeman’s books include The Tyranny of E-mail: The Four-Thousand Year Journey to Your Inbox (Scribner, 2009) and How to Read a Novelist (FSG, 2013), and his work has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Paris Review. His debut book of poetry, Maps, draws on memories of childhood and past loves, and will be published this October by Copper Canyon Press. He is also the editor of a new anthology appearing this fall, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation (Penguin Books, 2017), in which thirty-six major writers examine life in contemporary America.
Lawrence Joseph was born in Detroit, a grandson of Lebanese and Syrian Catholics who were among the first Arab immigrants to the United States. He was educated at the University of Michigan, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Michigan Law School. His poetry often references the discrimination he witnessed as a child, including the 1967 Detroit riots, and engages directly with themes of power. He has received numerous accolades, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Joseph is the author of several books of poetry, including Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems: 1973–1993 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005). His most recent collection, So Where Are We? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), interrogates worldwide violence in a post-9/11 political landscape. Joseph currently lives in New York City where he teaches at St. John’s University School of Law.
Claire Vaye Watkins
Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California, then raised in the Mojave Desert. She graduated from the University of Nevada Reno, and went on to earn her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. After having been chosen as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” writers to watch, her stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, The New York Times, Paris Review, and many other publications. Watkins is the author of Battleborn (Riverhead, 2012), winner of The Story Prize, and most recently, Gold Fame Citrus (Riverhead, 2015), a speculative novel “as unrelenting as it is brilliant” (Los Angeles Times). She is on the faculty of the low residency MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing program for teenagers in rural Nevada.