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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday, October 12th
More than 6,000 book aficionados came to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to experience a day of readings, discussions, and literary community. Special guests included Rae Armantrout, David Wojahn, Howard Mohr, Nicholson Baker, Delia Ephron, Ytasha Womack, and Mircea Cartarescu. Click here for more highlights!
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.
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.