Art and Literature about the Environment

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One more post about art and literature this week … some poetry readings and some paintings about the environment, in different ways.

I attended the Wolf/Flow art opening, hosted by Stephanie Johnson and Angie Arden, at the Zeitgeist Arts gallery.The work shimmers with the energy of collaboration, with passion for the natural world, and with exploration of a variety of media. And, if you contributed a line to the community poem at Wolf/Flow 2, you may be happily surprised to see what became of it.

I love the idea of “community poetry,” and I’ve experienced something like it twice in the last few weeks.  A few weeks ago, I attended an 8am poetry reading by Susan Perala-Dewey at UMD.  Susan is among our community leaders in the teaching of writing;  she is UMD’s liaison to College in the Schools and a leader in the Lake Superior Writing Project.  But I didn’t realize how talented she was in using language playfully as well as with a deep emotional resonance.

Susan was one of several readers at Peace Church, a few weeks later at the more humane hour of 7pm, to celebrate the publication of Amethyst and Agate with Holy Cow! Press.  Of special note, to me, was the reading from Milton Bates, my friend and former teacher, who drove more than eight hours to be in the company of some of the best poets in the region.

Finally, if you think Lake Superior is the backdrop for awesome literature, keep your eyes on Spike Carlsen, who did presentations at UMD and at the Bookstore at Fitgers about his new book, Cabin Lessons.  I own too many books to want to live in a cabin.  Also, I like sidewalk.  But Spike talks about life on Lake Superior and life as a writer in a way that enchants and informs.

I’m a city kid, but I love and respect all the attention to the natural world in art and literature in Duluth.

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