Books & Bars: “Locally Laid”

With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Saint Paul every first Tuesday of the month (with some exceptions: July and August will be held on the third Tuesday). Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” All are welcome to try this moderated reinvention of the book club. No registration required.

5:00 Happy Hour Social | 6:15 Discussion


Locally LaidLucie AmundsenLocally Laid

by Lucie Amundsen

Lucie will be attending the event. Hear from the author, ask questions, and get your copy signed!

Lucie Amundsen is a self-described ‘reluctant farmer’ and co-owner, with her husband Jason, of Locally Laid Egg Company, a ranch enterprise in Duluth that supplies pasture-raised eggs to markets in Minnesota, Iowa, and Indiana. Amundsen holds an MFA from Hamline University and is a past contributor to the Star Tribune and Reader’s Digest Association. When this plucky couple – with no real agricultural experience between them – decided to leave their professions to start up a mid-sized chicken farm, Amundsen applied her considerable writing talents to a part-memoir, part-exposé about the experience. Kirkus Reviews recommends Locally Laid highly, stating: “The author’s skepticism and her husband’s optimism collide to create a laughable tale.” Behind the humor, however, Amundsen reveals some alarming truths about today’s egg and poultry industry, along with insights on what we can all do to turn the situation around.

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” A Good Time for the Truth” reading and discussion

A Good Time for the TruthJoin IBé, Sherry Quan Lee, and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, three contributors from the acclaimed anthology, A Good Time for the Truth, for a reading and discussion.

In this provocative book, edited by Sun Yung Shin, sixteen of Minnesota’s best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They give readers a splendid gift: the gift of touching another human being’s inner reality, behind masks and veils and politeness. They bring us generously into experiences that we must understand if we are to come together in real relationships.

IBéIBé is many things, and they all orbit around being father to his son and daughters. He lives in the Middle of the Atlantic, hoping his children make it to America (without leaving Africa behind).

He writes poetry and passes it off as spoken word. Or maybe it is the other way around.

 

Rodrigo Sanchez-ChavarriaRodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria is a writer and spoken word poet of Peruvian heritage involved with Palabristas, a Minnesota-based Latin@ poets collective. He is an MFA student at Hamline University and writes about fatherhood, the duality of two cultures in English, Spanglish, and Spanish, and issues pertaining to his community.

 

Sherry Quan LeeSherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Her most recent book, Love Imagined: a mixed race memoir, was a 2015 Minnesota Book Award finalist.

 

Presented by the Hamline Midway Library Association, Hamline University, and the Saint Paul Public Library, with support from The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

 

The HiBs Afternoon Concert

Irish Music and Dance AssociationJoin The Friends and the Irish Music and Dance Association for an afternoon concert with The HiBs. 

The HiBs are Jode Dowling on fiddle, Kate Dowling on flute and whistle and Cory Froehlich on piano and vocals. They play an energetic style of traditional Irish music, presenting an array of jigs, reels, polkas, slides and more. Steeped in the tradition, all three have a deep knowledge of Irish music and their love for it emmanates in their tunes and songs. Kate and Jode founded the Center for Irish Music, and Cory and Jode are active teachers there, where they are handing down the tradition to the next generation of Irish musicians. Don’t miss this opportunity to see these artists in a concert setting!

The concert will be a great way to get ready for the Irish Music and Dance Association’s authentic, family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration at Landmark Center on Friday, March 17.

2017 O’Shaughnessy Award Recipient: Katie Donovan

Katie Donovan

Dublin-based poet Katie Donovan will receive the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award in April. Her free public reading, which will follow a week of classroom visits and public appearances, will be on Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of John Roach Center at the University of St. Thomas.

The $5,000 O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, established in 1997, honors Irish poets.  The award is named for Lawrence O’Shaughnessy, who taught English at St. Thomas from 1948 to 1950, formerly served on the university’s board of trustees and is the retired head of the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation.

Donovan, born 1962, grew up on a farm in County Wexford, and was educated at Trinity College Dublin and at UC Berkeley. She spent a year in Hungary teaching English before returning to Ireland to work as a journalist withthe Irish Times. She has published five poetry collections, all with the British publisher Bloodaxe. Currently she works as an Amatsu practitioner and has taught creative writing at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire. She is widowed and has two children.

Her books include Watermelon Man, Entering the Mare, Day of the Dead, Rootling: New and Selected Poems, and most recently, Off Duty, a collection that focuses on the year in which her husband died of throat cancer.

Learn more about the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry >>

FitzFirst@Four: “Groundbreaking Fitzgerald Contemporary, Zona Gale”


Miss Lulu BettWisconsin native and F. Scott Fitzgerald contemporary, Zona Gale, and her groundbreaking novel, Miss Lulu Bett, are the topics of a program on Sunday, March 5 at 4 p.m.  The event will explore how the author and her fictional character both played a pivotal role in the 1920s with regards to social conventions and women’s rights.  The event will be led by Professor Marc Seals who wrote the introduction for the newest edition of the novel.

Zona Gale first gained fame from her short stories that were set in Friendship Village, a homage to her hometown of Portage, Wisconsin.  Later in her life, Gale became an active supporter for progressive causes, such as the National Women’s Party, using her fame as a writer to help gain momentum for social change.  Her role in these groups came in part thanks to her most famous novel Miss Lulu Bett (1920), a story which displays her frustration for the lack of opportunities for women during her time. Zona Gale later used the novel as the basis for her play by the same name, earning the author the distinction of becoming the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.  Miss Lulu Bett was published the same year as Fitzgerald’s first, bestselling novel, This Side of Paradise, as well as Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street.

In the story, Lulu lives with her sister’s family, acting much like a servant to them.  Like many women during that time, she did not complain about her circumstances, even though she was not happy.  When she meets, Ninian, the two appear to be well-suited and, through an unusual accident, become married.  Unfortunately for Lulu, Ninian is already married.  In the end, Lulu must decide whether to conform to social expectations or to live her life by her own rules.

The discussion will be led by Marc Seals, an Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin – Baraboo and the president of the chapter of the American Association of University Professors.  While Seals is trained as an American Modernist, his years of teaching has broaden his knowledge, allowing him to teach courses such as Modern Literature, Film Studies and Composition at UW-Baraboo.  He has published and delivered papers on famous authors including Ernest Hemingway, Neil Gaiman and, of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald.


FitzFirst@Four typically takes place the first Sunday of every month at 4 p.m. at the University Club of Saint Paul.  Hosted by Fitzgerald in Saint Paul, the series is co-sponsored by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and Common Good Books.

For more information, contact Fitzgerald in Saint Paul at info@fitzgeraldinsaintpaul.org, or visit www.fitzgeraldinsaintpaul.orgFitzgerald in Saint Paul is dedicated to celebrating the life and literature of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the revered American author and cultural icon, in his hometown of Saint Paul.

Writers in Conversation: “Deep Heart’s Core: Poetry & Mystery”

Katie Donovan

James Lenfesty

“Deep Heart’s Core: Poetry & Mystery” with Katie Donovan and James Lenfestey

Monday, April 17 | 7 p.m.

 

Join O’Shaughnessy Award-winning Irish poet Katie Donovan and local writer James Lenfestey for a conversation about their craft and the influence of the great mysterious in poetry. Presented with the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas.

Donovan, born 1962, grew up on a farm in County Wexford, and was educated at Trinity College Dublin and at UC Berkeley. She spent a year in Hungary teaching English before returning to Ireland to work as a journalist with the Irish Times. She has published five poetry collections, all with the British publisher Bloodaxe. Currently she works as an Amatsu practitioner and has taught creative writing at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire. She is widowed and has two children.

Her books include Watermelon Man, Entering the Mare, Day of the Dead, Rootling: New and Selected Poems, and most recently, Off Duty, a collection that focuses on the year in which her husband died of throat cancer.

Journalist and poet James P. Lenfestey was born and raised in De Pere, Wisconsin, and educated at Dartmouth College. In 1974, he discovered the work of T’ang poet Han-shan, or Cold Mountain, whose poems offer both thematic and formal inspiration for Lenfestey’s concise, image-driven poetry. He is the author of several poetry collections, including A Cartload of Scrolls: 100 Poems in the Manner of T’ang Dynasty Poet Han-Shan and Into the Goodhue County Jail: Poems to Free Prisoners, the essay collection The Urban Coyote: Howlings on Family, Community and the Search for Peace and Quiet, and a haibun volume of interwoven poetry and prose, Seeking the Cave: A Pilgrimage to Cold Mountain, a Minnesota Book Award finalist.

During his career as a journalist, Lenfestey served as an editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where he received three Page One Awards for excellence in journalism. He chairs the Literary Witnesses poetry program in Minneapolis.

Dublin-based poet Katie Donovan will receive the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award in April.  Her free public reading, which will follow a week of classroom visits and public appearances, will be on Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of John Roach Center at the University of St. Thomas.

Learn more about the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award. >>

Meet the Finalists for the Minnesota Book Awards

Join the Minnesota Book Awards and the Loft Literary Center for a celebration of this year’s finalist books. Authors from each of the nine award categories will gather to discuss their work in a series of fast-paced Q&A sessions hosted by Twin Cities writers, editors, and booksellers. This event is free and open to the public — no reservations required.


EVENT DETAILS

Reception | 6:00 p.m.
Come early to meet the finalist authors and enjoy complimentary wine and light refreshments. Book sales will be provided by Magers & Quinn Booksellers and authors will be available for signing.

Program | 7:00 p.m.
Join the authors in the Target Performance Hall for a fun and fast-paced program consisting of a Q&A session for each category. A different moderator for each group of authors will get them talking about their books, how they got into writing, and much more.

Dessert | 8:30 p.m.
Grab another glass of wine and something sweet and take one last opportunity to mingle with the authors.


PARTICIPATING AUTHORS

We are thrilled to have 24 authors and illustrators participating in the event this year! Here’s who will be there, separated by panel group:

Children’s Literature
Moderated by Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections at the University of Minnesota 

-David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka (This Is Not a Cat!)
-Lauren Stringer (Yellow Time)

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction
Moderated by Melanie Hoffert, 2014 Minnesota Book Award winner for Prairie Silence

-Erik Anderson (editor of This Is Where I Am: A Memoir)
-Clyde Bellecourt (The Thunder Before the Storm: The Autobiography of Clyde Bellecourt)
-Michelle Leon (I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland)

Middle Grade Literature
Moderated by Jay D. Peterson, Program Manager for CHP In The Stacks at Coffee House Press, co-editor of Sky Blue Water: Great Stories for Young Readers

-Abby Cooper (Sticks & Stones)
-Brian Farrey (The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse) 
-Caren Stelson (Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story)

Minnesota Nonfiction
Moderated by Patrick Coleman, Acquisitions Librarian at the Minnesota Historical Society

-Gary Christensen and Stephen Gjertson (Richard F. Lack: Catalogue Raisonné 1943-1998) 
-Brian McMahon (The Ford Century in Minnesota)
-Cheri Register (The Big Marsh: The Story of a Lost Landscape)
-Virginia M. Wright-Peterson (Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation)

Novel & Short Story / Genre Fiction
Moderated by Hans Weyandt, Manager at Milkweed Books

-Stephanie Wilbur Ash (The Annie Year)
-Peter Geye (Wintering)
-Kathleen Novak (Do Not Find Me)
-Robert Spande (The Born and the Made)

Poetry
Moderated by Heid E. Erdrich, Author, Performer, Teaching Mentor at Augsburg College MFA

-Gretchen Marquette (May Day)
-Amy Munson (Yes Thorn)
-Sun Yung Shin (Unbearable Splendor)

Young Adult Literature
Moderated by Megan Atwood, Adjunct Creative Writing Instructor at Hamline University

-Sarah Ahiers (Assassin’s Heart)
-Lara Avery (The Memory Book)
-E. Eero Johnson (Original Fake)

Books & Bars: “The Sellout”

With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Saint Paul every first Tuesday of the month (with some exceptions). Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” All are welcome to try this moderated reinvention of the book club. No registration required.

5:30 Happy Hour Social | 6:15 Discussion


The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The SelloutPaul Beatty

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.

Born in the “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Selloutresigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: “I’d die in the same bedroom I’d grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that’ve been there since ’68 quake.” Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.

Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

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Books & Bars: “The Name of the Wind”

With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Saint Paul every first Tuesday of the month (with some exceptions). Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” All are welcome to try this moderated reinvention of the book club. No registration required.

5:30 Happy Hour Social | 6:15 Discussion


The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss

Name of the WindThe first installment of an epic fantasy trilogy, The Kingkiller Chronicle, The Name of the Wind is the story of Kovthe, a notorious magician, accomplished thief, masterful musician and infamous assassin. From his upbringing as an actor in his family’s traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters, the Edema Ruh, to feral child on the streets of the vast port city of Tarbean, then his education at “the University,” Kvothe is driven by twin imperatives – his desire to learn the higher magic of naming and his need to discover as much as possible about the Chandrian, the demons of legend who murdered his family.

About the Author

Patrick RothfussPatrick Rothfuss was born in Madison, Wisconsin to awesome parents who encouraged him to read and create through reading to him, gentle boosts of self-esteem, and deprivation of cable television.  During his formative years, he read extensively and wrote terrible short stories and poetry to teach himself what not to do.

Patrick matriculated at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, initially studying chemical engineering which led to a revelation that chemical engineering is boring.  He then spent the next nine years jumping from major to major, taking semesters off, enjoying semesters at part-time, and generally rocking the college student experience before being kindly asked to graduate already.  Surprisingly enough, he had enough credits to graduate with an English major, and he did so grudgingly.

Patrick then went to grad school. He’d rather not talk about it.

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Books & Bars: “American Gods”

With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Saint Paul every first Tuesday of the month (with some exceptions). Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” All are welcome to try this moderated reinvention of the book club. No registration required.

5:30 Happy Hour Social | 6:15 Discussion


American Gods
by Neil Gaiman

American GodsReleased from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming – a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path. One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Bram Stoker Awards. 

About the Author

Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis. As a child he discovered his love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, and G.K. Chesterton. A self-described “feral child who was raised in libraries,” Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading: “I wouldn’t be who I am without libraries. I was the sort of kid who devoured books, and my happiest times as a boy were when I persuaded my parents to drop me off in the local library on their way to work, and I spent the day there. I discovered that librarians actually want to help you: they taught me about interlibrary loans.”

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and MirrorsFragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

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