The Twin Cities for bookish sorts
Something green, something blue… okay, lots of things green. But what’s the harm in that? You’ll have a grand time all over town this month, because the lit season (if there is such a thing) is in full swing! We’re hoping for that natural green (grass) soon, but as long as that’s not here yet, we’ll enjoy some St. Patrick’s Day-themed events, awards shindigs and great networking opportunities.
Many popular authors are launching books right now, including Erin Hart, Wendy Webb and William Alexander. Of course, there are many, many more. You may have noticed that events are becoming more and more varied. This is part of the common belief that watching someone read can be, well, dull. Many authors, writers and event coordinators are kicking it up a notch, and introducing events with exciting and fun twists. If you haven’t been to a literary event in a while, you have got to check one out soon!
Wednesday, March 13
MN Publishing TweetUp – Ides of March edition!
Bin Wine Bar, 6th and Sibley, St. Paul (Lowertown), 5:00 pm
Join MN Pub as they raise a toast on this side of the river, along with 2013 sponsor MN Book Publishers Roundtable, of course. We’ll get cozy in the basement room, with name tags and Twitter handles galore! But if you aren’t on Twitter, relax, you can still come! Just bring along plenty of business cards and your old chatty self!
Friday, March 15
Meet the Finalists
Open Book, Second floor, 7:00 pm
In advance of the Gala event on April 13, the Minnesota Book Awards partners with the Loft Literary Center to present the 2013 finalists in an intimate reception celebrating their diverse talent. Each participating author will give a brief presentation on their nominated title. A reception with refreshments will follow. Free and open to the public. Finalists are listed here. Note that not all finalists will attend. At last count, I believe there were 15 participating authors. Who might you hope to see, meet and chat with? Maybe David LaRochelle, David Housewright, Julie Klassen, Todd Boss, William Alexander, or others! Come and be amazed. Onsite book sales by Magers & Quinn.
Monday, March 18
Poetry Out Loud
Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul, 9:30 am
Students from 31 schools in Minnesota have memorized poems and will perform them in this competition emceed by local award-winning poet Todd Boss. The winner of this round will go on to the national Poetry Out Loud Competition in Washington, D.C. By studying and memorizing some of the most influential and timeless poems of the English language—both classic and contemporary—students are immersed in the power of expression and provocative ideas. This performance is free and open to the public. Pretty cool, huh?
Cracked Walnut Lit-reading Festival
Coffee Shop NE, 2852A Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, 6:30 pm
There is a new game in town – actually, it’s been around for a couple of years. Some of you might have heard of the Cracked Walnut series. The specialty here is that this reading series meets in some strange and unusual venues, including grocery stores, funeral homes, and of course, coffee shops. On this date, the creator of the series, Satish Jayaraj, kicks off what he is calling the Lit-Reading Festival. He has arranged 21 readings in venues all over the Twin Cities, from March 18 to April 12. Watch soon for an article detailing this lit fest and what Satish has accomplished with the Cracked Walnut series. The info above is for the first of this festival, but you can find the rest in the upcoming article, or by going to the website. All readings are free and open to the public.
Tuesday, March 19
Readings by Writers
University Club, 420 Summit Ave, St. Paul, 7:30 pm
You could not find a better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than the annual homage curated by Carol Connolly. In this year’s installment, for your listening pleasure we have Patricia Barone, Mike Faricy, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Ted King, Patricia Kirkpatrick, Ethna McKiernan, James Silas Rogers, and Bill Stieger. With opening music by Mary Scallen (violin) and Jim Miller (flute) and closing music by Mike Faricy on bagpipe. Readings are free but good will donation is asked for sponsor Public Art St. Paul. Readings last about an hour and authors will have books for sale (cash or check). Come early and enjoy the view from the dining room! Reservations at 651-222-1751, just say you are there for Poetry Night.
Wednesday, March 20
Literal Happy Hour presented by Coffee House Press
The Lowry, 2112 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis (Uptown), 5:30 pm
Time for some serious networking! Or some serious fun, depending on how you look at it. Check out this regular series of quarterly happy hours sponsored by Coffee House Press. Enjoy drink specials and literary giveaways. According to those who know, the bonus is: “People at this gathering will actually want to hear about every book you read over the winter!” RSVP to Sarah (sarah AT coffeehousepress.org) to win a prize, and check The Lowry website for parking info. This is free and open to the public, folks! (a.k.a. if you don’t RSVP, still come if you can!)
Saturday, March 23
Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair
Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
The 10th annual iteration of this great event for writers and readers will feature presentations, workshops, panel discussions and a show floor. Come early to hear the keynote address by Tom Hegg. There is a fee for sessions and registration is required. But the book fair is free and here you will meet lots of authors, as well as get to know some local publishers and other literary-related organizations. It’s a full day of book fun!