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Claire - Author Archive

World Book Night 2014 in Duluth »

Every year since 2012, on April 23, which is William Shakespeare’s birthday, volunteers across the country spread out and give away special editions of books to unsuspecting citizens. It’s a campaign to promote literacy and the importance of people having access to books, no matter their circumstances.

This year, I gave away copies of Peter Geye’s The Lighthouse Road, which is a novel set in early 20th-century Duluth and on the North Shore. I figured it would resonate with anyone who lives here or would like to live here. As I’ve done since this initiative was launched, I blogged about my experiences for Publishers Weekly magazine. Did anyone else give out books on World Book Night this year? If so, I’d love to hear your stories!

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Help the East High Key Club »

Hey PDDers, the East High School Key Club is organizing a plant sale to help out the First Witness Child Advocacy Center. The Plant Sale is Saturday, May 25, starting at 8 a.m. And they need some donations of plants ASAP! Got any extra perennials? Hand them over! You can either email funds4roots @ or you can drop off any donations of plants tomorrow morning from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. at the Leif Erickson Rose Garden parking lot. Every penny raised will go to First Witness’ Roots of Hope emergency fund. Thanks and sorry for the last-minute plea.

The Key Club plant sale is part of the Duluth Flower and Garden Society’s 2013 plant sale at the Rose Garden.

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World Book Night is April 23 »

The second annual U.S./World Book Night is taking place on, appropriately enough, William Shakespeare’s birthday. On World Book Night, volunteers across the country give out free copies of a book they’ve selected from a list to complete strangers. It’s all part of an effort to promote literacy and book lust.

I participated in WBN last year, and gave away free copies of A Reliable Wife (set in northern Wisconsin) by Robert Goolrick to strangers imbibing at Thirsty Pagan Brewing and at the Anchor Bar. It was a lot of fun, and I urge anyone who loves books and loves to talk about books to apply.

The books are supplied by the participating publishers and if you are selected as a book giver, the books will be shipped to a local pick-up point for you to pick up that day. Each giver gets 20 books. Last year’s local pick-up point was Fitger’s Bookstore.

The list of books for this year’s World Book Night is on, as is the application form. The deadline to apply to be a book giver is Jan. 23. UPDATE: The deadline to apply to be a book giver is January 25, 2013.

I’m giving away copies of Population:485 by Michael Perry this year, and intend to, once again, hit bars in Supetown to give away Perry’s memoir about living and working in a small Wisconsin town.

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Don’t you want locally laid? »

Do you like eggs? I do too. I eat a soft-boiled egg every day, and I buy them from the Whole Foods Co-op because I don’t know what shit they put into mass produced eggs and I want organic food in my body. But I hear pasture-raised eggs are even better than organic! Less fat, healthier, etc. So … two friends of mine have launched an egg production farm, called Locally Laid Eggs, where they are tending hens that are laying eggs! And they are selling those eggs! Yum.

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New Asian fusion restaurant alert: Pak’s Green Corner in West Duluth »

There’s a new restaurant in the Denfeld area at 4131 Grand Avenue that I can only describe as Thai fusion. It’s called Pak’s Green Corner and it’s got a lot of traditional Thai dishes, but also it’s got dishes like Poutine and a Phad Thai burrito on its takeout menu. The sit-down menu had even more unconventional takes on traditional Thai dishes that truly made my mouth water.

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World Book Night is coming up »

World Book Night USA will be celebrated on Monday, April 23, which is also William Shakespeare’s birthday. On World Book Night, thousands of people all across the USA will give away free copies of one of 30 titles. That’s right, free books. It’s all part of an international effort to promote print books and literacy and reading.

Last year’s first World Book Night, held in the UK, was by all reports, fabulous. So, if someone like Ann Klefstad or hbh1 or myself walks up to you Monday evening and hands you a book, you know why. I’ll be giving away free copies of A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick in both Supetown and in Duluth, as it is set in northern Wisconsin and the place itself is so much a part of the plot. Here’s an article former Duluthian Laurie Hertzel wrote about World Book Night USA.

I’d like to point out that Carl Lennertz, the big cheese at World Book Night headquarters in NYC, told Hertzel that one of his “top five favorite applications” to be a World Book Night giver was from a Duluth, Minn. cabbie! Ramos, was it you?

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Duluth: Say Ix-nay to the March 3 Rally »

I’m reposting here an open letter written to the Duluth community by Joel Kilgour, a local peace activist, and Sara Thomsen, a local musician. Basically, Duluthians are urged to stay away from the March 3 rally planned by a white supremacist group right here in the Zenith City.

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Tim Riley and the Marriage Amendment »

An interesting article in today’s Duluth News Tribune about the at-large city council race race. This Tim Riley is a piece of work. He’s apparently a one-issue candidate.

“Riley said he was motivated to run by a desire to make the Duluth City Council more approachable and welcoming to concerned citizens.

He also has strong views on social issues.

“Some people don’t much want to talk about it, but I support the marriage amendment, and that’s an important issue which is sure to be addressed between now and the 2012 election,” he said. “Our very existence depends on preserving the relationship between man and woman and the institution of marriage.”

How welcoming.

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Minn. Republican Legislator Rips on Author Neil Gaiman »

Neil Gaiman (l.) w/ M.T. Anderson at Midwest Booksellers Association trade show in 2009

Republicans now targeting a hard-working author for being too successful at what he does.

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Goin’ Mad at the Rad »


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Tim Pawlenty, president of the United States of Apocalypse »

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Duluth Snowshoe-buying Advice »

I’ve become a true Minnesotan — I went snowshoeing for the first time this past weekend. We checked out Lester Park and Park Point. I enjoyed snowshoeing so much I’ve decided to buy a pair with some gift money my generous in-laws gave me. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to buy snowshoes in Duluth? Any recommendations regarding brands also?

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Breaking News from American Library Association »

Heart of a Samurai (Amulet) by Margi Preus, a Duluth resident, has been named a Newbery Honor Book at the ALA’s midwinter meeting in San Diego. Dark Emperor (Houghton Mifflin) by Joyce Sidman of Minneapolis, illustrated by Rick Allen of Duluth’s Kenspeckle LetterPress, has also been named a Newbery Honor Book. They are two of four Newbery Honor Books — basically they were the four runners-up to the book, Moon Over Manifest, that won the Newbery Medal this year.

The Newbery Medal is given each year to the author of that year’s most distinguished contribution to American children’s literature.

This is a very big deal, congratulations to Margi and to Rick!

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Opera in Duluth! Amahl and the Night Visitors, Dec. 17-19 »

News release:

Lyric Opera of the North cordially invites you to a new production of Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti.

December 17 & 18 at 7:30 p.m., and December 19 at 2 pm
Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, 4 W. Second St., Duluth.

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Some great storytelling events coming up! »

Local storyteller extraordinaire Elizabeth Nordell is organizing the following exciting events. Be sure to put them on your calendar!

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There’s a Thief Out There »

My daughter, aged 12, loves Halloween. It’s always been her favorite holiday. Since she was a toddler, we’ve decorated our front porch and front yard for Halloween. This year, we went all out: we bought a larger-than- life-sized plastic skeleton for $40 from Target and hung it from a tree in our front yard, half a block up the hill from Chester Creek Cafe. This morning, my daughter and her father prepared to set up the coup de grace for our very cool front yard Halloween display: strobe lights.But they discovered that the skeleton had been stolen overnight. Who would be so low as to steal from a child, and destroy her Halloween display? My daughter is devastated, that someone would actually enter her yard and steal the skeleton she put up to celebrate the holiday. It was also something that would take some work to do, as it was hung from a tree pretty high up from the ground. How can such a thief live with himself or herself, knowing that they stole the skeleton they now own and are probably displaying in their dorm room or off-campus housing? This is the kind of vicious stunt perpetuated on local families that gives — rightly or wrongly — the students living in the neighborhoods near UMD a bad rap.

UPDATE: I closed the comments to this thread — and accidentally deleted an OP comment in doing so, but it was made by a troll so I’m not too bent out of shape about my inadvertent act of censorship. While many who both supported me *and* disagreed with me had intelligent and thoughtful things to say, it was obvious that the thread was being hijacked.

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Lyric Opera Benefit – Saturday, Sept. 18 »

Please join us for a Benefit Gala Concert to be held on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica.

Lyric Opera of the North kicks off a new season –- and a new era –- with this festive program, which features soloists Vicki Fingalson, Kate Kulas, Sarah Lawrence, Bill Bastian, Cal Metts, Jeffrey Madison and others, along with the LOON Chorus and Orchestra, all under the baton of Keith Swanson. With close to 70 musicians participating – 100% of them local artists– this is an event you do not want to miss!

The program is sure to please: plenty of favorites and lots of variety from opera and operetta. The program will run approximately 75 minutes and will conclude with a champagne reception. More than 10 local vendors have contributed treats for this event.

Funds raised at this event will support future programming, including LOON’s upcoming production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, scheduled for December 17, 18 and 19.

Tickets are $24 and are available at the Mitchell Auditorium Box Office: 723-7000.

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Laurie Hertzel book launch in Duluth on Thursday, Sept. 16 »

Laurie Hertzel, author of News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist, is going to be in Duluth launching her new book, Thursday evening, Sept. 16, at 7 pm, in Fitgers’ Spirit of the North theater.

News to Me tells the story of the 18 years Laurie spent working for the Duluth News Tribune, including her accompanying a group of Duluthians to what was then the Soviet Union in 1986, when they went to talk to the city officials in Petrozavodsk about setting up a sister city relationship. It’s a compelling read, and there’s some fabulous stories about what Duluth was like in the ’70s and ’80s. And to sweeten the deal, there’s going to be a cash bar, free meatballs, and I am introducing Laurie!

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Fundraiser for Haiti foundation Sunday 6/6 »

Haiti Worthy Cause Event
Supporting the Kako Foundation
Music/storytelling/Caribbean food
Sunday, June 6, 2010 | 3 p.m.
Chester Park United Methodist Church
819 N. 18th Ave. E
218 724-4969

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12 Artists/2 Weekends OPENS FRIDAY »

Broc Allen, Tonya Borgeson, Jen Dietrich, Eric Dubnicka, Liz James, Jeffery “Meat” Gadbois, Adu Gindy,David Gross, Aaron McLeod, Travis Melin, Chris Monroe, Jeremy Schock.

Washington Galleries
Opening Reception: Friday, April 2, 6-9 pm
Show April 3 & 4, and 10 & 11, 1-5 pm
or by appointment, call Eric Dubnicka at 727-4434

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