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June literary events spark and pop!

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The Twin Cities for bookish sorts

While summer is typically not as heavy on the literary events as the rest of the year, let it be known that we will make up in quality what we lose in quantity. Here are just a few of the stellar events going down in the Twin Cities this month. Come rain or shine!

Wednesday, June 5
Our Flow is Hard and the Great Twin Cities Poetry Road Show present THE STRANGE PLUMBERRIES Reading, 7pm
Harriet Brewing, 3036 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis
Who are the Plumberries? And why do they want to make the sugar in your blood hula hoop? Come on and find out, with poets Chelsea Tadeyeske, Russell Jaffee, and Edwin R. Perry, along with local poet Sierra Demulder. A serious cast of credentials. Besides, how can you not enjoy yourself at a brewery? So many questions… Go enjoy some poetry. This reading is organized by Matt Mauch, Feng Chen, Kristin Fitzsimmons, Carrie Lorig, Chrissy Friedlander and Jennifer Fossenbell.

Saturday, June 8
Northern Spark, 8:59pm
Various and sundry places in Lowertown, Saint Paul
Attention, all you night owls! This year, the third-annual arts and literary celebration takes place in Lowertown of Saint Paul. It is about art, language, light and what good comes of staying up til 2am. There will be events encouraging participation, creativity, and just plain wonder. Locations include Bedlam Theatre, Union Depot, the Black Dog Café and Tpt Studios. Literary events include fast and furious writing with Revolver at Write Fight, and Analog Cave, co-sponsored by Rain Taxi and mnartists.org, where they will crowdsource content to create public displays in old-school formats. There are performances, exhibits, demonstrations, screenings and other creative endeavors too numerous to list. Print a poster, play a life-size board game, commission a love letter. And it goes on all night long. Bring your flashlights. Visit the website to get the lowdown.

Thursday, June 13
Matt Rasmussen & Katrina Vandenberg, 7pm
ArtStart Art Gallery, 1459 St. Clair Ave, St. Paul
Two fantastic poets read from their latest work. Rasmussen, who was a recipient of the Walt Whitman Award, reads from his first book, Black Aperture. Vandenberg reads from her latest, The Alphabet Not Unlike the World. This is part of ArtStart’s Poetry Book Series and Art Exhibit. Emcee for the evening will be Margaret Hasse. Poetry central!

Friday, June 14
Paper Darts Vol 5 Launch, 8:30pm
Paper Darts Pop-Up, 3506 Nicollet Ave S. Minneapolis
Get your ticket to reserve your copy of the newest issue of one of the most audacious magazines to ever hit the street. A mere $10 will reserve your copy of Volume 5 and allow you access to the party early. Reserved party starts at 7pm, and the open house starts at 8:30, with live music by Black Diet starting around 9pm. There will be a cash bar, Technicolor GIF art, and more. This is the spot, taking place at the Pop Up, A Storefront for Storytellers, which will host a dazzling array of events over the next six weeks. Visit the website and plan your month accordingly. In partnership with SooLOCAL.

Tuesday, June 18
Readings by Writers, 7:30pm
University Club, 420 Summit Ave, St. Paul
The 28th annual Bloomsday celebration takes place this month, hosted by Carol Connolly, with a line-up sure to draw a crowd. Celebrating the Irish doesn’t have to happen only in March. Gracing the microphone this month will be Mayor Chris Coleman, Molly Culligan, Erin Hart, Donal Heffernan, Ted King, Paddy O’Brien, and Joyce Sutphen. As a self-avowed Connolly groupie, I’ll be there selling books. Dara Syrkin manages the book table, and I stand next to her and take half the credit. Readings last about an hour, and if you want to buy books, you have to bring cash or check. Sorry, no credit cards. Call 612-222-1751 if you’d like to make dinner reservations at the Club beforehand. Arrive early and prepare to circle for parking. Intro music by Violinist Mary Scallen and Flutist Jim Miller. Sponsored by Public Art St. Paul and Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk.

Wednesday, June 19
LitPunch Mixer, 6pm
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, 6 W 6th St, St. Paul
Mix it up with local book cronies at this reinvention of the punch card. You’ll be given a dance card for the evening, and will be challenged to get signatures from area editors, designers, writers, book reviewers, and more. You’ll then be eligible to win fabulous literary prizes from the sponsoring organizations. AND the first 20 people who show up with a receipt from a local independent bookstore will receive a free beer! LitPunch is sponsored by Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, The Loft Literary Center, Milkweed Editions and Rain Taxi Review of Books. You'll just meet all kinds of nice bookish folks. What’s not to love?

Tuesday, June 25
Extended Family Launch, 7:30pm
O’Gara’s Bar and Grill, 164 N. Snelling Ave, St. Paul
Join editor Jim Rogers and essayist Brian Nerney for the Saint Paul launch of this collection of memoirs, essays, and poetry from New Hibernia Review (the journal of the UST Center for Irish Studies). Four of the essays included have been listed as notables in the annual Best American Essays volume. Emcee for the evening will be Kieran Folliard.

If you can’t find something to do here, you can always check the fabulous Twin Cities Literary Calendar. I haven’t listed everything! As a reminder, I generally do not include in my round-up those events that are held at bookstores or ticket venues, as they have their very own avenues of promotion. So yes, they are missing here. But if you know of something happening that needs a little grassroots budge, please do let me know!

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