(Pictures from Minerva social media)
Minerva celebrated its second anniversary last night, and it was a blast.
There was a ton of energy beforehand — a promo on The Playlist:
…as well as an article in the Duluth News Tribune.
Minerva has arrived, and the party manifested this. Held at the Prøve Gallery, across the street from the Technology Village (the Pizza Luce building), the party was attended by artists and by faculty, by writers and by musicians, by students and fish biologists — at least, these are the folks I talked to, every one of them having a good time.
The Zine Library was immensely cool, and it made me think that a personal collection, shared once a year, is just a start at a zine library in the Twin Ports. I wonder whether LSC or Duluth Public (or any of the other libraries) would be interested in something like MCTC’s Zine Library.
There was a reading, and a reading from Zinesters is always complex. The words of a zinester are about authenticity as much as about language — voice and craft run hand in hand in a way that you don’t hear in a traditional poetry reading. As a result, you listen sometimes to the language, sometimes to the experience. Unlike a poetry reading, you recognize that the voice is always the voice of the speaker. I told one of the readers, AFBat, that I would be listening for a window into her soul; she told me that she wasn’t sure she had either. But Minerva is the window; the language and visuals intertwined on the pages are windows, giving us insight into something we just don’t see in other media, in other art forms in our community.
If there were a rough spot, it was in the sequencing of the evening — a band played before the reading, and the reading was really a moment of quiet intensity that didn’t play well after the band. I would add, too, that the desire to play as loud as possible seems to me the desire of the young musician, maybe less sure of their craft. There are ways to fill a space with intensity, with passion, even with rage, without making my teeth rattle, and I hope they find that comfort and confidence in the future.
When Minerva founder Laura Gapske thanked her teacher for inspiring Minerva, it was a touching moment. It was about an introduction to an art form as well as a feminist movement that can best be communicated in this form.
The most amazing thing about Minerva, about the creators who work to make it happen, is one of the signature dimensions of Duluth’s artistic community. More than once, last night, people whose creative work I have the privilege of experiencing thanked me for reading. It felt awkward — like someone giving you a gift thanking you for accepting it.
Minerva is the gift of several talented women to the Duluth-Superior community, and we are lucky to receive it.