by Susannah Schouweiler, editor
April 8, 2008
For April, in honor of poetry month, we're tipping our hat to homegrown literature--with lots of author interviews, book reviews, and a survey of some of the offerings emerging from Minnesota's flourishing indie lit mag scene.
What Light: Steve Downing
What Light: Steve Downing
What better time that Poetry Month to salute the North Star State's thriving literary scene? Home to nationally acclaimed authors, a hotbed of never-say-die lit-mag innovators (both in print and online), and a slew of arts resources geared to cultivating this community of writers and readers, Minnesota has earned its share of bragging rights as one of the best read states in the nation.
This month, we tip our hats to Minnesota's novelists, poets, memoirists, and to our state's plucky band of publishers who give these writers' work a home.
New for the week of April 28, 2008:
Duluth's Got a New Poet Laureate: Jim Johnson
Author Cheryl Reitan offers a profile of Duluth's new official bard, Jim Johnson, with an eye to his flair for weaving Minnesota's immigrant experience into words.
POV: A Chat with Walker Art Center's Director, Olga Viso
mnartists.org editor Susannah Schouweiler visits with WAC Director Olga Viso about the joys of working with living artists, the populist power of the public museum, and the rejuvenative benefits of CSI
Line in the Sand: Off-Leash Area's Border Crossing
Christy DeSmith weighs in on Off-Leash Area's most ambitious "movement theater" production yet, examining the brutal conditions faced by those making the treacherous desert border crossing from Mexico to Arizona.
Wise Fool: Inside Don Lee's New Farce Wrack and Ruin
Writer Shannon Gibney gets the story behind acclaimed author, Don Lee's new novel Wrack and Ruin
and she gives her take on the surprisingly substantial reflections on urban sprawl, race, and identity to be found in his farcical tale.
FEATURED COLLECTION: miniStories: April 2008
Our first miniStories
competition was a fantastic success. The response from Minnesota writers was incredible--for this, the inaugural round of the competition, we received some 130 entries. Our judges read fast and hard and made difficult choices (the quality in this first batch was really stellar). And, now, we have twelve award winners for the spring 2008 quarter, whose short stories will be published monthly, from April-June, on mnartists.org in batches of four.
This month's batch of four winning miniStories is:
by Maggie Ryan Sandford
by Mark Ehling
by Jack El-Hai
Transmittal to HQ
by Jill Bernard
About the series: miniStories
is a quarterly flash fiction competition coordinated by Electric Arc Radio's Geoff Herbach (author of newly released novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimburg
, published by Three Rivers Press). This new literary series showcases previously unpublished short stories by Minnesota writers which are selected by authors, editors, and publishing industry veterans from across the country. Winning stories will be published on mnartists.org and in the e-magazine access+ENGAGE
. One grand-prize winning author will be selected from each quarter's miniStories winners by series coordinator Geoff Herbach; the grand-prize winning author will receive a paid commission for a longer-form short story which will be published on mnartists.org.
ZOOM IN: Meet the new mnartists.org Director, Scott Stulen
We've got a new addition around here! We're so pleased to announce that mnartists.org has a new Project Director: artist and former Rochester Art Center curator, Scott Stulen. He is going to fully step into the role after Memorial Day, and I'm sure he'll introduce himself to all of you more fully then. But in the meantime, we knew you'd want some details about the new guy--so in celebration of Scott's upcoming new role at the helm of this fine enterprise, we sat him down to ask a few questions.
FEATURED COLLECTION (PODCAST): Some Assembly Required (Episodes from March-April 2008)
Hosted by Minnesota artist Jon Nelson, Some Assembly Required features sample-based music and audio art by a variety of artists and groups working with bits and pieces of their media environments, giving something back to the cultural landscape from which they so enthusiastically appropriate. Jon writes, "I think this month’s standout episodes are probably #203 and #016. Episode 203
is full of some great tracks, by some interesting people. Episode 16
features our 2001 interview with the legendary creator of Plunderphonics, John Oswald
. I’d start with that one, if I were you… "
What Light: This Week's Poem: Steve Downing
Read this week's winning poem, Regrets
, selected by poet Todd Pederson. You only have a few more days to show your support for the Springboard for the Arts "Artists' Access to Healthcare" program. 10% of all the proceeds from your purchases at Magers and Quinn in April go to the valuable program. Don't miss this opportunity to lend a hand!
"Wrack and Ruin" is a new novel by St. Paul-based author Don Lee (WW Norton, 2008)