Tag Archives: 2023 events


Thursday, June 8th, 6:00pm
Next Chapter Booksellers
38 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, MN 55105

Free and open to the public! Books will be available for purchase.
Please note this is an in-person event only; virtual attendance is not available

Rain Taxi is thrilled to bring acclaimed cartoonist Megan Kelso to the Next Chapter podium for this Twin Cities stop on her Midwest book tour for her new book, Who Will Make the Pancakes. At this special event, Kelso will be in conversation with Minnesota cartoonist Tom Kaczynski, creator of the recently republished and much acclaimed graphic novel, Beta Testing the Ongoing Apocalypse. We hope to see you there!

Facebook event link


Who Will Make the Pancakes is a collection of five stories that Megan Kelso created over fifteen years. These stories all orbit motherhood: its private and deeply individual forms, but also its broader social and political connections. It also includes “Watergate Sue,” her landmark NYT serial comic from the 1970s. Through her unmistakable art style and unique literary voice, Kelso gives readers who are new to her work a seamless entry point to her graphic fiction; for those familiar, Who Will Make the Pancakes is a welcome addition to an impressive body of work—as Jonathan Lethem said, “a superb slice of her growing art.”


Megan Kelso has been drawing comics for over 30 years. In 2007, she was invited by The New York Times to serialize her "Watergate Sue" comic as part of the weekly "Funny Pages" feature. In 2019, she was selected for a public art commission for Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.  Her books include The Squirrel Mother (2006), Artichoke Tales (2010), and Queen of the Black Black (2011).  She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and daughter.


Tom Kaczynski is a cartoonist, writer, and publisher. He is the author of the award-winning Cartoon Dialectics series, many essays, and the forthcoming Trans Terra graphic novel. A new edition of Beta Testing the Ongoing Apocalypse, his award-nominated graphic novel, is out now from Fantagraphics. For the last 15 years, Tom K has run Uncivilized Books, a boutique publishing house and think-tank specializing in the comics medium.


our 25th Anniversary celebration!

musicreadings • food • drinks • fun

Wednesday, May 10, 7 pm
Granada Theater
3022 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

Tickets only $25 — one dollar for each difference-making year — or snag a VIP table for two with a special appetizer thrown in for only $100! 

Online tickets have concluded, but you can still get a ticket at the door!

Rain Taxi turned 25 in 2020, but we couldn’t celebrate at the time because, you know. Join us now as we celebrate our silver anniversary in style at one of the coolest venues in Minneapolis!  You’ll be treated to an extraordinary showcase of short musical performances and literary readings by great local artists—plus the return of the Raintini, our signature cocktail, and other awesome food and drink at the Granada Theater

We can’t wait to party with you! Located in the heart of the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis, the newly renovated Granada Theater is Uptown in a nutshell—arts friendly, forward looking, welcoming to all—we are proud to have them as our sponsoring venue!  And we are equally proud to have this event supported by Dispatch and it’s outstanding coverage of arts and culture in the Twin Cities. Come lift a glass with, and to, these terrific kindred spirits of Rain Taxi!

Download a flyer for this event here!


The following is an alphabetical list of the six musical acts—set times will be announced the week of the event!

Colin Bracewell

Colin Bracewell, a 22-year-old indie pop artist from Minneapolis, is paving his own, fresh path within the Midwest music scene. Originally hailing from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Colin blends inspiration from the likes of Justin Vernon and John Mayer, though his music holds a raw and unabashed post-Frank Ocean R&B quality. His instrumentation sets Bracewell apart from other singer-songwriters of the same genre, often adding gentle synths, a killer trumpet solo, or a moody saxophone riff to bring a jazzier feel that offsets lyrics of heartbreak (or amplifies them, depending on the listener). Colin is a full-time student at the University of Minnesota majoring in Vocal Performance and Marketing. His most recent release, "Making Me Crazy" has been in rotation on The Current (Minnesota Public Radio) and Radio K (University of Minnesota Radio) since September of 2022.


A master multi-instrumentalist, Dosh has been making independent music since 2002. His use of loops to create dazzling musical interplay while evoking deep emotion have made him a renowned solo performer, though he has also collaborated with numerous other musicians, including Andrew Bird, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Gaelynn Lea, and Gayngs. His most recent solo album is Tomorrow, 1972, which reflects upon the anguish of the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the artist’s own childhood to create a layered meditation on our times.

Adam and Ava Levy

Ava Levy and her father Adam have played music together for most of Ava’s life, first in the family group Bunny Clogs but now as a duo sharing originals and covers.  Adam Levy is a singer-songwriter guitarist, producer, activist, and educator. He’s led The Honeydogs for almost thirty years, been a founding member of Turn Turn Turn (who just released their second record)  and a number of varied musical projects, and recently began teaching high school social studies. Ava Levy was one of the songwriters and guitarist for Femme Punk group Sapphire. She’s finishing up college in Gender Studies at the University of Minnesota and just released her first solo single, “Not Ur Clown.”

Allie McIntosh

Seventeen-year-old Allie McIntosh has been playing music since the age of four. A bonafide wunderkind, she excelled at violin, viola, and piano by the time she entered middle school, but her musical curiosities extended far beyond the notes on the page. At only nine, her original song “Pachyderm Plea” was featured in a video by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. From then on, rigorous classical study was paired with explorations on guitar, ukulele, and in Logic Pro. McIntosh’s most recent single, “Want you to stay,” likewise shows an artist with instincts and abilities well beyond her years. Recorded in part in her bedroom and in part at Minneapolis’s Hideaway Studios with super-producer Joe Mabbott (Snoop Dog, Atmosphere, Doomtree), the single is a strong indication of her creative talent. Described by Jon Bream in the Star Tribune as having “skills beyond her years…equal parts Adele and Camila Cabello,” Allie was selected as the youngest ever participant for NYU’s 2020 Summer Songwriters Workshop, has recently graduated from high school, and is just getting started.

Munson-Hicks Party Supplies

Munson-Hicks Party Supplies is a collaboration between John Munson, who does most of the singing and plays bass, and Dylan Hicks, who does most of the writing and plays piano. They make groovily bookish music inspired by far-flung alliances between interpretative singers and less spotlit writers. Munson is best known as a founding member of Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic, and the New Standards. Hicks, who’s also a novelist, is the leader of Dylan Hicks & Small Screens and part of other collaborative groups.

Why Not

Henry Breen, Isaac Dell, and Joshua MacGregor met playing in a middle-school music class; before any band member could drive, they had released their first album and booked their first tour. Now based in Minneapolis, the trio have pivoted from their math rock and punk beginnings, incorporating a wide variety of musical influences; the result is an amalgamation of punching drums, intricate guitars, and digital distortion, all built around an incredibly memorable suite of songs. Completed at Hippo Campus’ recording studio, their debut album WHY NOT is a virtuosic, genre-fluid statement from a young band just beginning to harness the heights of their craft.


The following is an alphabetical list of writers who will be reading—set times will be announced the week of the event!

Michael Bazzett

Michael Bazzett is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Echo Chamber (Milkweed Editions, 2021). His work has appeared in Granta, Agni, The American Poetry Review, The Nation, and The Paris Review. His verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh, (Milkweed, 2018) was named one of 2018’s best books of poetry by the New York Times, and his translation of the selected poems of Humberto Ak'abal, If Today Were Tomorrow, is forthcoming from Milkweed. 

Tish Jones

Founder & Executive Director of TruArtSpeaks, Tish Jones is a poet, narrative strategist, cultural producer, and educator from Saint Paul, MN, with a deep and resounding love for Black people, arts & culture, youth development, and civic engagement. As a performance artist her work has been shared in venues throughout the United States. Her writing can be found in We Are Meant to Rise (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), A Moment of Silence (Tru Ruts and The Playwrights Center, 2020), the Minnesota Humanities Center’s anthology entitled, Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2015) and more.

Currently serving as a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and an Arts Matters Artist2Artist Fellow, Jones is grateful to have been supported through grants, fellowships, andawards from The Intercultural Leadership Institute, Springboard for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board and more. The generous support that she has received over the years has allowed her to excavate the kind of stories that chart new worlds—she is eternally grateful.

Michael Kleber-Diggs

Michael Kleber-Diggs is a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and a poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things (Milkweed Editions 2021), won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, the 2022 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry, the 2022 Balcones Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 2022 Minnesota Book Award. Michael’s essay, “There Was a Tremendous Softness,” appears in A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars, edited by Erin Sharkey (Milkweed Editions, 2023). His poems and essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies.

Mary Lucia

Mary Lucia is a writer/actor/voiceover artist, and has been a celebrated voice in MN radio for 28 years. Known for her unique interview style, she has chatted with everyone from Studs Terkel to Trent Reznor. A graduate of New York University Tisch Drama with a BFA, she is currently a regular columnist for Dispatch MSP @Popular Creeps and is in the process of writing her memoir. Though she prefers animals over people, she's open to occasional exceptions.

Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is the author of seven novels (includingThe Sky Vault, which releases this September with William Morrow), three story collections, and a book of essays. He writes Wolverine, X-Force, and Ghost Rider for Marvel Comics. His honors include a Whiting Award, an NEA fellowship, a Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, the iHeart Radio Award for Best Scripted Podcast, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics.

Sun Yung Shin

신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin was born in Seoul, Korea and was raised in the Chicago area. She is a poet, writer, and cultural worker. She is the editor of What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories on Food and Family and of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, author of the poetry collections The Wet HexUnbearable Splendor (winner of the 2016 Minnesota Book Award for poetry); Rough, and Savage; and Skirt Full of Black (winner of the 2007 Asian American Literary Award for poetry), co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, and author of a bilingual illustrated book for children, Cooper’s Lesson. She lives in Minneapolis where she co-directs the community organization Poetry Asylum with poet Su Hwang.


presented by Rain Taxi and Mizna

Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 7:00pm
East Side Freedom Library

1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul

Free and open to the public! Books will be available for purchase.
Please note this is an in-person event only; virtual attendance is not available.
East Side Freedom Library requires masks to be worn in their building.

Two boundary-pushing Minnesota orgs, Rain Taxi and Mizna, are proud to team up to present an evening with renowned Palestinian writer and human rights activist Raja Shehadeh, who will discuss his new book We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and IAt this special event, the author will be in conversation with Joseph Farag, professor of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota who specializes in Palestinian Literature and Culture. We hope to see you there!

About the Book

We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I is in part the story of Palestine’s ongoing fight against multiple foreign powers, but it also presents a poignant unraveling of a complex father-son relationship. Set against the backdrop of continuing political unrest, Raja Shehadeh describes his failure as a young man to recognize his father’s courage as an activist fighting for Palestinian sovereignty and his father’s inability to appreciate Raja’s own efforts in campaigning for Palestinian human rights. Then in 1985, Aziz Shehadeh is murdered, and Raja undergoes a profound and irrevocable change. 

About the Author

Raja Shehadeh, winner of the prestigious Orwell Prize for his book Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape, is widely regarded as Palestine’s leading writer. He is also a lawyer and the founder of the pioneering Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq. In addition to this new work and Palestinian Walks, Shehadeh is the author of many acclaimed books, including Strangers in the HouseOccupation DiariesWhere the Line Is Drawn, and Going Home, which won the Moore Prize in 2020. He has also written for The New YorkerThe New York Times, and Granta, among many other periodicals. Shehadeh lives in Ramallah in Palestine. 

About the Moderator

Joseph R. Farag is Assistant Professor of Modern Arab Studies at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities where his teaching and scholarship focus on the intersection of politics and modern Arab literary production. His first book, titled Politics and Palestinian Literature in Exile (2017), addresses Palestinian short fiction in the wake of the Nakba of 1948; his current book project explores narratives of imprisonment and confinement in novels and memoirs from across the Arab world. Farag's scholarship has appeared in the Journal of Arabic Literature and Middle East Literatures.  


how it works participating bookstores | sponsors | literary prize packs | grand prize pack

Thanks to all who visited bookstores in the week leading up to Independent Bookstore Day and on the day itself!

Another successful Independent Bookstore Day is in the books! Thousands flocked their favorite indie bookstores with the Twin Cities Bookstore Passport in hand to celebrate.

Congratulations to Grand Prize winner Melissa Z.; to Literary Prize Pack winners Morgan M., Kyle H., Angie B., Jacob V.W., and Kelsey Y.; and to #ItsMeMargaret Prize Pack winners Ami P., Chloe B., Keeli G., Anna H., and Deb S.!

The Passport wouldn't be possible without our incredible sponsors. Thank you for supporting our cities' great independent bookstores and this fun program, and for all you contribute to the world of books!
Many thanks to Finishing Line Press, The Givens Foundation for African-American Literature, Graywolf Press, Professional Editors Network, The Book House in Dinkytown, Candlewick Press, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Haymarket Books, Lerner Publishing Group, The Loft Literary Center, Milkweed Editions, Mizna, and the University of Minnesota Press.

Rain Taxi's Twin Cities Literary Calendar is once again publishing its Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Passport to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day!  Passports will be available at the participating bookstores listed below starting Monday, April 24, 2023 and continuing to IBD itself on Saturday, April 29, 2023

Packed with bookstore coupons and illustrations by local artist Kevin Cannon, the Passport is FREE to pick up at any participating store. Once you obtain a Passport, get it stamped at ALL the stores you visit that week for future discounts and a chance to win prizes.  Don’t forget that each stamp activates that store's coupon; read on for more details below. We’ll see you in the bookstores! 

How it Works

Pick up a passport and activate the coupons

Start your bookstore journey at any of the participating stores listed below, and then get a stamp at each bookstore you visit through April 29, 2023. Each stamp activates that store’s coupon; just bring your Passport back after May 1 to buy books and save!

Get any 12 stamps, and you activate ALL store coupons

Collect stamps from any 12 bookstores and ask the twelfth one to stamp a special page that will activate all 23 coupons in the Passport — you’ll have bookstore savings for months to come! 

Get all 23 stamps, and be entered to win the Grand Prize 

Collect stamps from ALL the bookstores and ask the final one you visit to stamp the special square in the back of the Passport; you’ll then be eligible to win one of five literary prize packs, or the Grand Prize! If you have obtained all 23 stamps, simply email a picture of the "Bookstore Hero Stamps" page to calendar [at] raintaxi [dot] com by end of day on Monday, May 1, or tear out and mail on Monday to Rain Taxi, PO Box 3840, Mpls MN 55403 with your email address or phone number included. Winners will be notified by email on Friday, May 5.

Thanks and best wishes on your travels with
the Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Passport!

2023 Participating Stores

Click on these links to learn more about the open hours, special activities, and limited or exclusive items available at each participating store!

2023 Passport Sponsors

Literary Prize Packs

Passport holders who collect ALL the stamps over the course of the week leading up to Independent Bookstore Day will be entered in a drawing to win a Literary Prize Pack full of these great gifts!

Grand Prize

Our Grand Prize winner will receive a new book from each of the independent bookstores involved in this year's Passport—and a handwritten note from each one explaining why they chose it! Each store is offering a book that they feel is representative of both their store and their community of readers, so collectively this is a one-of-a-kind prize that reflects the bounty that independent bookstores in the Twin Cities provide.

#ItsMeMargaret Prize Packs

Five winners will receive prize packs full of goodies for the new film Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, the adaptation of Judy Blume's beloved middle grade novel!