Former Duluthian Michael Fedo’s new book is reviewed on the arts and literature website Open Letters Review:
For all readers interested in the workaday writing life, it’s fascinating to follow Fedo through his many adventures, from writing an authorized biography of Garrison Keillor vehemently opposed by its subject to interviewing Cloris Leachman about starring in a play about Grandma Moses (which flopped).
I enjoy this book well enough, it inspired my Spring syllabus for Writing Studies majors.
Poet, author and College of St. Scholastica professor emeritus Gary Boelhower has been selected as the 2018-’20 Duluth Poet Laureate. For the two-year post, Boelhower will organize five community events and participate in an inaugural reading and crowning ceremony on Dec. 2 at Peace Church. He will receive a $3,000 honorarium for his efforts.
The Duluth Poet Laureate Project was founded in 2005 and is overseen by a 10-person committee. Past Duluth Poet Laureates include Bart Sutter, Sheila Packa, Jim Johnson (twice), Deborah Cooper and Ellie Schoenfeld. The project is co-sponsored by donations from local organizations such as the Friends of the Duluth Public Library, the Arrowhead Reading Council, the English departments at UMD and St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College, Minnesota Public Radio, Lake Superior Writers and others.
Thought you should know about this. We published a novella on Kindle a while back and this review just appeared. The novella is Menno Zwonk: AmishOutlaw, which we excerpted in the Transistor over the course of several years:
This hyperfantastic shitstorm of a story will make about as much sense as anything in 2018 without the frightening public policy implications. Filled like an overflowing park garbage can on Memorial Day weekend with biologic catastrophes, double and triple crossing henchmen, some forgivable juvenalia, ungodly sea mutants, Duluth references, and hope in the form of ecoterrorist lesbians, the Meatco minions can’t possibly know who really works for who as experiments become kill triggers plowing through law enforcement and launching giant lamprey. Can’t wait for Book Two.
Internal Landscape oil painting by Natalie Salminen Rude
The new issue of Freshwater Review has been published. It is the College of St. Scholastica’s student-run annual journal of literature and art, including work by writers and artists throughout the region.
Duluth authors Avesa Rockwell, Lucie Amundsen and other Duluthians I don’t know all read in the annual “Writer’s Read” event at Northland College on Jan. 26.
Avesa’s memoir, Children of the Earth, was selected by judges for its relevance to this year’s theme of “gut instinct.” Her story describes a disturbing incident from her adolescence in New Mexico and the tension between acquiring wisdom and maintaining innocence.
If you fling a certain line at Air Force veteran Eric Chandler, expect a pleasant smile masking irritation. He might nod in recognition. And if that’s all you got, the conversation is over.
“Thank you for your service.”
“Who are you thanking?” he asked earlier this year when talking about the growing gap of understanding of the U.S. military experience with that of civilians.
“We’re all complicit,” Chandler says with a serious tone. He could go on for hours on this topic, he says. There’s a deal made in a constitutional republic: Citizens ask for protection with a standing army and some answer the call by enlisting. But it’s not a service contract, Chandler says. “It’s not like the cable guy.”
“It should feel more invested” all around, Chandler says. “Thank you for your service” rings as hollow as any other jingoistic notion of the military’s role in American society. When people don’t know what it is you do or have done, platitudes mean nothing, he says. People are less interested in “who is in the military” over just passing along jingoistic notions of it, he says.
Gay Haubner’s memoir about growing up in Duluth during the 1960s has been running as a weekly serial in The Saturday Evening Post since May 24, 2017. It’s at 36 chapters and counting, indexed on the page linked below.
Excerpt of a letter from Sinclair Lewis to Marcella Powers, included in the book Minnesota Diaries:
What a day — the first in Duluth this year completely of the type known to meteorologists as a p.d., or “absolutely perfect day” — cool, the air sweet, sky ringing blue except for lovely lazy clouds, as idyllic and indolent as a Grecian glade, yet full of energy for people from Chicago … the lake a mirror of many kinds of blue and gray glass, some sleek, some delicately wrinkled …