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End National Poetry Month with a Bang, not a Whimper

Very proud to report that the Twin Ports sees the end of National Poetry Month out in grand fashion.

Friday, April 29th, 7pm| Jim Dan Hill Library UW-S: Reception & Booksigning by poet George Gott, Emeritus UW-S, for his new book The Willow Tree and Other Inclinations: Poems from the Lake

Saturday, April 30th, 7:30pm | Somers Lounge CSS: Spirit Lake Poetry Series reading by former national poet laureate, Ted Kooser. Don’t miss this living legend of Midwestern Verse!

Monday, May 2nd, 6:30pm| Teatro Zuccone: as part of Homegrown Music Festival, there will be an evening dedicated to a Homegrown Poetry Showcase

These are all sure to be great events – make as many as you can; look forward to seeing you there!

Buy Indie Day

There’s a ton going on this weekend – the full force of Homegrown; One Book, One Community reading at LSC 7:30 Michael Perry, Duluth Poet Laureate reading at the Green Room Saturday at 3:30pm; the final weekend of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. It seems then especially fitting that it’s also Buy Indie Day.

Started by the American Booksellers Association, it naturally focuses on Independent Bookstores, but embodies local spirit. Wherever you find yourselves today, think of how you’re supporting the unique community! Listen to local musicians, watch local theatre, buy from local food vendors, artists, craftsmen, and booksellers! Just stop by to let them know that you’re glad they’re here and contributing to the maintenance of Duluth’s unique character.

Happy Indie Day, Duluth!

Poetry Month Finales

Today, Saturday, April 25th: 3-5pm Reading and Reception for Duluth-Area High School Poets! Listen to emerging voices, help yourself to some free refreshments and chat about poetry! Mitchel Hall Auditorium, free and open to the public. One of Jim Johnson’s Duluth Poet Laureate initiatives!

Spirit Lake Poetry Series 7:30pm Anishinaabe poet, Al Hunter, will read from his two books of poetry (and maybe more!) Spirit Horses and Recklessness of Love. Reading is at Somers Lounge at St. Scholastica – free and open to the public, refreshments to follow!

Monday, April 27th, as part of the Arts Night in the Homegrown Music Festival, Devin McKinnon will be hosting a poetry showcase with the Cosmic Pit Orchestra serving as house band. A really great lineup of tremendous talent – you won’t want to miss! 8pm at Teatro Zuccone!

And since there were people unable to make the contemporary poetry discussion with Ryan Vine, I wrote up a summary of the talk: Poetry Talk at Norlight Lit Life

Happy Last Days of Poetry Month!

Poetry Discussion at Northern Lights Books

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 16th, 7PM, Ryan Vine and I will be hosting a reading/discussion on contemporary poetry. Our rules for the evening: Non-famous, Non-local & Non-dead. Bring in a poem by your favorite poet who meets the criteria above – we’ll have a sharing of poems read aloud. And also bring in your questions. We’ll be speaking of where we go for information on new poets and poetry, reviews, magazines, websites, etc. We’ll also speak to our impressions on some current trends in poetry. Any other contemporary poetry concerns you want to bring up will be very welcome!
See you there (if you’re not at the DECC)!
7pm, Thursday, April 16th, Northern Lights Books & Gifts 307 Canal Park Drive
(if you sign up for our newsletter at http://norlights.com by noon, Thursday, you can print off a poetry coupon Thursday evening)

Ads for Amazon

Cleverly disguised as an ad for a fantastic book by an amazingly talented artist and writer, Chris Monroe.  I work hard to promote the many excellent books I come across – a great number of them from within this region:  blogging (at least semi-regularly), writing a weekly newsletter and talking to people through facebook and twitter and, most rewardingly, at the store – talking about books and authors that I love and that people have shared with me.  It’s hard to then see a book that I’ve worked to introduce people to being used as a way to drive money to amazon.

I’m not saying you need to buy it at the store where I work.  Or buy it at Fitgers.  Or buy it up at the Mall.  Or even that it’s the end of the world to buy it from amazon.  But I do want to confront this notion that amazon is either neutral or the only game in town (which it most decidedly is not since it has nothing to do with our town whatsoever) when it comes to links about media, especially books. IndieBound lets you search all books in print and then, after you’ve learned a bit more about them, lets you find a locally owned, independent store of your choice.  You can search for varieties of local businesses across the US. You can add you favorite local businesses.  Authors can affiliate themselves with IndieBound and receive a portion of the sale (not being an author, I have to rely on rumor that the terms are more generous than amazon).

I’m not advocating amazon abstinence, but really try to measure your options more carefully. Get excited about local businesses. Get excited for local events. Celebrate our musicians, writers, actors, publishers, artists, etc. who really make this area so wonderful.

One Book, One Community 2009

Proud to announce that the One Book, One Community selection for this spring is Population 485 by Michael Perry. Small town life viewed through the lens of an EMT re-entering his community after being gone for 12 years. Raucous, tragic, humorous, touching and insightful – these accounts are written with a careful ear for language and a finger on the pulse of the relationships that make and sustain communities. More info at Norlight Lit Life