The Most Read Saturday Essays of 2023

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Season eight of Perfect Duluth Day’s “Saturday Essay” series has drawn to close, and it’s time to look back with the usual popularity contest. For the second year in a row, Jim Richardson authored three out of five works deemed by Google Analytics to be your favorites. In 2021, he swept the whole top five. It makes sense, because he’s Lake Superior Aquaman. Superheroes get all the clicks.

Before digging into the 2023 countdown, here’s the standard paragraph that spells out for the uninitiated how the “Saturday Essay” feature works:

PDD publishes an essay on most Saturdays — like, more than half of them anyway. Yours truly, Paul Lundgren, is the editor. A small group of writers are featured somewhat regularly, but anyone is welcome and encouraged to submit a piece for consideration. Of the 323 essays published so far, 46 different writers have been featured. We’re always looking to expand that roster, so anyone who has an original piece of literary excellence that seems to fit (or appropriately defy) the established format should email paul @ for consideration.

And now, let the countdown begin …

#1: Jim and Allen Richardson’s “Duluth’s Lost Township on Chester Creek
… in which the authors delve into the mysterious history of the Duluth inside Duluth.

#2: Jocelyn Pihlaja’s “American Boy
… in which an antagonist feels entitled to disrupt the joy of a day at the beach.

#3: Jim Richardson’s “In Memoriam: Duluth Artist Max Moen
… in which the author reflects on his relationship with the departed Max Moen.

#4: Anna Tennis’ “Times I Was Secretly High
… in which the most Cheech, Chong, Harold and Kumar moments of the author’s life are shared.

#5: Jim Richardson’s “Boner Problems
… in which erectile disfunction is conquered with a naked psychedelic mushroom trip on Amnicon Beach.

So there are the goods. Read or reread and enjoy. We’ll be back with new works of literary splendor in 2024.

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