Fireside Reading Series: Heid E. Erdrich & Gwen Westerman

February 13, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Hamline Midway Library
1558 W Minnehaha Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
Bailey Veesenmeyer

Heid E. Erdrich & Gwen Westerman
New Poets of Native Nations


This season, we’re asking our Fireside authors to talk about what “home” 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 2019 theme is housing.

About the Book:

This landmark anthology gathers poets of diverse ages, styles, languages, and tribal affiliations to present the extraordinary range and power of new Native poetry. Editor Heid E. Erdrich has selected 21 poets whose first books were published after the year 2000 to highlight the exciting works of poets coming up after Joy Harjo and Sherman Alexie. Collected here are poems of great breadth – long narratives, political outcries, experimental works, and traditional lyrics – and the result is an essential anthology of some of the best poets writing now.

About the Authors:

Erdrich is Ojibwe and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media, winner of a 2018 Minnesota Book Award. She is also the author of a nonfiction memoir-in-recipes, Original Local, and co-edited the anthology of Native American women’s writings, Sister Nations. She teaches in the Augsburg College Low-residency MFA program.

Westerman is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. A first-generation college student, she is now Professor in English and Director of Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is the author Follow the Blackbirds, a poetry collection in Dakota and English; Dakota in Minnesota; and co-author of the award-winning Mni Sota Makoce: Land of the Dakota. Her essays and poems have appeared in numerous journals and collections, including New Poets of Native Nations, edited by Heid E. Erdrich.

About the Series

With cookies in one hand and coffee in the other, enjoy six weeks of free readings at Hamline Midway Library. The Fireside Reading Series, one of The Friends’ oldest 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. Programs are accompanied by coffee, cider, cookies, and book signings. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided. 

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.

Full Fireside Series

Wednesday, January 23
Sarah Stonich, Laurentian Divide

Wednesday, January 30
Wang Ping, Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi

Wednesday, February 6
Gary Eldon Peter, Oranges

Wednesday, February 13
Heid E. Erdrich & Gwen Westerman, New Poets of Native Nations

Wednesday, February 20
Martin Case, The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property

Wednesday, February 27
Karen Babine, All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer