Fireside Reading Series: Ed Bok Lee

February 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Hamline Midway Library
1558 Minnehaha Avenue West
Saint Paul
MN 55104
Wendy Werdin

Ed Bok Lee
Mitochondrial Night (Poetry)

Space is limited; registration is requested. You can register for this event only or any of the other series events below.
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About the Book
Taking mitochondrial DNA as his guide, Lee explores familial and national legacies, and their persistence across shifting boundaries and the erosions of time. In these poems, the trait of an ancestor appears in the face of a newborn, and in her cry generations of women’s voices echo. Stories, benign and traumatic, travel far and wide. Using lush, exact imagery, whether about the corner bar or an invasion in medieval Korea, Lee is a careful observer, tracking and documenting the way that seemingly small moments can explode into larger insights.

About the Author
Lee is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Mitochondrial Night. The son of North and South Korean emigrants—his mother originally a refugee from what is now North Korea; his father was raised during the Japanese colonial period and Korean War in what is now South Korea, Lee grew up in South Korea, North Dakota, and Minnesota, and was educated there and later on both U.S. coasts, Russia, South Korea, and Kazakhstan. Honors include the American Book Award, Minnesota Book Award, Asian American Literary Award (Members’ Choice), and a PEN/Open Book Award. He currently teaches at Metropolitan State University, and for two decades has taught in programs for youth, communities of color, and the incarcerated.

About the Series
With cookies in one hand and coffee in the other, cozy up for six weeks of free readings. The Fireside Reading Series, one of The Friends’ longest-running and most popular events, annually highlights the work of some of Minnesota’s finest writers who have published a new work in the previous year.

This season, we’re asking our Fireside authors to talk about what our natural environment means to them. Our goal is to complement the citywide conversation happening this winter as part of Read Brave Saint Paul, an intergenerational reading program whose 2020 theme is our climate crisis.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

American Sign Language interpretation will be provided upon request with two weeks advance notice.

2020 Fireside Lineup

Wednesday, January 22
William Kent Krueger, This Tender Land

Wednesday, January 29
John Coy & Gaylord Schanilec, My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall’s Story

Wednesday, February 5
Staci Lola Drouillard, Walking the Old Road: A People’s History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe

Wednesday, February 12
Laurie Allmann, An Hour from Now

Wednesday, February 19
Anika Fajardo, Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family

Wednesday, February 26
Ed Bok Lee, Mitochondrial Night