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!
Plymouth Congregational Church, January 27
Kim Stafford gave a soaring talk about the life and work of his father William Stafford, celebrating the centennial of his birth and the publication of Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems by William Stafford. This free event was sponsored by Literary Witnesses and co-sponsored by Rain Taxi, the Loft Literary Center, and Graywolf Press.
The Soap Factory, February 21
Diehard Minnesotans braved treacherous roads to come hear the amazing Okey Ndibe speak and read from his brilliant new novel, Foreign Gods, Inc. The charming Ndibe enthralled the audience with stories, including one about the pitfalls of his name, Okey (sounds like "okay"—you figure it out!), and discussed the differences between writing fiction and political journalism. We hope to see him back here soon!
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
Walker Art Center, March 20
Nevada Diggs flexed her linguistic muscles with hypnotic musicality, humor, and verve, reading from her astounding book TwERK. Tapping into Michael Jackson's dance moves, animé, birdsong, and more, Nevada Diggs took the audience on a cultural ride through language and sound, race and ritual. If you missed this extraordinary experience, CLICK HERE and view the video now.
Plymouth Congregational Church, April 28
Colorado poet Pattiann Rogers delighted a rainy night audience with poems spanning her career and ranging in topics from one-celled organisms to the cosmos. The event was sponsored by the Literary Witnesses program, with cosponsorship from Rain Taxi, Milkweed Editions, and the Loft Literary Center.
Walker Art Center, May 1
Beat legend Michael McClure roared in May with a mighty reading from his recent books, including the GAHRRRREAAAT Ghost Tantras, "BE NOT SUGAR BUT BE LOVE"—along with beautiful love poems to his wife Amy, a poem dedicated to Ray Manzarek and much more. See this link for a video recording in case you missed this momentous reading!
Walker Art Center, June 14-15, Northern Spark
Crowds filled the Garden Terrace gallery to find their fortune at the Poetry Tarot event for Northern Spark. Seven poets read the cards and produced personal poetry for over a lucky people. If you want to share your poem, please post it on our Facebook page! CLICK HERE to see a recap of this event!
SOCIAL/BRIEF: CAT POETRY
Walker Art Center, Thursday, September 4
Some of the Twin Cities’ meowiest writers took the mic to unleash their cat poems in celebration of the third annual Internet Cat Video Festival.
Social/Brief, an occasional series that collides gregariousness and brevity, is co-presented by Rain Taxi Review of Books and the Walker Art Center.
NAJA MARIE AIDT and DORTHE NORS
Danish American Center, September 23
Danish authors Naja Marie Aidt (Baboon from Two Lines Press) and Dorthe Nors (Karate Chop from Graywolf Press) read from their short story collections, recently translated into English. The beautiful Danish American Center was the setting for this rare event, with an enthusiastic crowd eager to listen and learn about their work and inspiration.
Saturday, October 11th
We broke all kinds of records on a beautiful fall Saturday with the 14th Annual Twin Cities Book Festival with almost 7000 attendees. Special guests included Ann Hood, Laird Hunt, Okey Ndibe, J. Otis Powell‽, Katha Pollitt, Matthea Harvey, Hoa Nguyen, Stephan Eirik Clark, Julie Schumacher, Dylan Hicks, Anders Nilsen, and Zak Sally. Click here for more highlights!
Rondo Library, October 19
Cory Doctorow presented his new YA graphic novel In Real Life and took questions from an eager audience with grace and eloquence.
J. OTIS POWELL‽
Patrick's Cabaret, November 7
This special launch event featured spoken word legend J. Otis Powell‽, accompanied by his musician friends Donald and Faye Washington and Davu Seru, read selections from his new chapbook Pieces of Sky, a fantastic, improviXational jazzy rendering. See a video of this event HERE.
Rain Taxi, in partnership with J. Otis Powell‽, is a fiscal year 2013 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
FREE VERSE: GILLIAN CONOLEY and BRIAN LAIDLAW
Walker Art Center, November 20
Gillian Conoley read beautifully from her recent translation of Michaux poems, Thousand Times Broken, a new book of poems, Peace, accompanied by beautiful imagery of Michaux's art. Twin Cities-based poet and songwriter Brian Laidlaw, renowned for his work with his “folk orchestra" The Family Trade, accompanied Conoley for a poem and performed music from his latest project, a poetry chapbook and vinyl album in one titled Amoratorium. It was wonderful event! If you missed it, you can see a video recording HERE.