On May 16, 2021, the Twin Cities literary community lost a beloved and active member, Paul Von Drasek. Paul was Rain Taxi’s Board Chair and his passionate delight in spreading the word about interesting books fueled everyone in our organization, from his fellow Board members to your humble editor. Wide-ranging in his interests, Paul loved all of Rain Taxi's tendrils—reveling in the magazine’s spirit of discovery, attending every darn one of our events, laying hands on each new chapbook and broadside—but he had a special fondness for Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival. The picture you see above is of someone who threw his whole being into making our annual Festival a happy day for all—“the best day of the year,” as he joyfully called it. Below you’ll find fellow Board member Tom Cassidy’s amazing one-minute video of Paul at the Festival.
Wonderful obituaries of Paul ran in the Star Tribune and Publishers’ Weekly. We encourage you to click those links to learn more about this remarkable person. The family has requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to the causes Paul championed. If you would like to donate to Rain Taxi in that spirit, please go to our GiveMN page here.
“While Paul Von Drasek was happily (and intentionally) milling around the 2018 Twin Cities Book Festival, my son and I asked if he'd give a quick overview of the event for a video we were putting together. He expressed surprise that we wanted to record him, but said he'd give it a shot. Within a minute Paul was on camera, and off-the-cuff shared his brilliant, inspirational summary of the Festival buzzing around us. One take. It was pitch-perfect and engagingly delivered—we couldn't have gotten better results had we used a well-rehearsed actor with a script. And not only does that short clip provide an excellent overview of the book Festival, it provides a pretty good portrait of Paul: kind, sincere, positive, encouraging, welcoming, and bibliomaniacal. I'll miss him an awful lot.”
Indeed, we will all miss our dear friend, tireless champion, joyful companion on this literary ride. And we will strive to honor him by continuing to serve the literary community in the ways he loved.
The Staff and Board of Rain Taxi