Literature Posts

Reading Sinclair Lewis: Country, Critiques, City Satires

The Minnesota Historical Society produced this video dramatizing excerpts from two of novelist and social critic Sinclair Lewis’ breakthrough works — Babbitt and Main Street. Lewis, of course, went on to become a Duluthian and even kind of almost coined the phrase “perfect Duluth day.”

The program is created and hosted by Craig Johnson and features actors David Beukema, Anna Leverett, Damian Leverett and Melanie Wehrmacher. It was filmed on location in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sauk Centre.

Having traveled I-35, writer tips one at Black Woods

Texas-based writer Emily Gogolak drove the entirety of Interstate 35 from Laredo to Duluth for an essay in N+1 magazine.

The Nemadji Review, Vol. 10

The tenth issue of the Nemadji Review, the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s literary journal, was released in May and a new website was launched. The publication was previously available only in print, but the 2021 issue can be viewed and downloaded online as a PDF file.

UMD literary magazine Roaring Muse reactivated

Cover of Roaring Muse.

From the story on UMD’s website:

UMD’s literary magazine Roaring Muse is a student-led magazine that was started in 1997 by UMD’s Literary Guild. Often including poetry, prose, and artwork, and edited by students, Roaring Muse sought to highlight the great work by UMD’s community, and at one point solicited submissions from community members outside the campus. Since its beginnings in ’97, the magazine has been published on and off and is currently back up and running.

Duluth Book Releases in 2021

The Old West End
Nick Nerburn
February
Available at niknerburn.bigcartel.com

It Could be Worse: A Girlfriend’s Guide for Runners who Detest Running
Beth Probst
Feb. 1
Available at circletouradventures.com

Prax and the Hazardous Countdown
Matthew Francis
Feb. 17
Available at amazon.com

Lake Superior Writers 2020 writing contest winners announced

Poetry
Winner: Jess Koski, “Did Geronimo Send Postcards from FL?”
Runner-up: Tina Higgins Wussow, “This is How Scars are Formed”

Short Fiction
Winner: Jess Koski, “Onaabani-giizis—Hard Crust on the Snow Moon”
Runner-up: Vickie Youngquist-Smith, “Autumn Shadow of Death”

Short-short Fiction
Winner: Vickie Youngquist-Smith, “Domestic Duplicity”
Runner-up: Lynn Watson, “But Officer”

Creative nonfiction
Winner: Eric Chandler, “I Have No Idea”
Runner-up: Chris Marcotte, “Holding Hands with an Angel”

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s contest. Lake Superior Writers had 117 entries this year. The organization plans to launch next year’s contest theme in January, with a submission deadline in April.

Duluth Book Releases in 2020

Half-Breed: Taming the Elements, Book 1
Hickory Mack
Jan. 23
Available on Amazon

Village of Scoundrels
Margi Preus
Feb. 25
Harry N. Abrams
Available at IndieBound

Camp Cocktails: Easy, Fun, and Delicious Drinks for the Great Outdoors
Emily Vikre
Feb. 25
Harvard Common Press
Available on Amazon

My Favorite Writers/Biggest Influences: Jorge Luis Borges

I read, and re-read, the same few authors. I find them impossible to put down. Here are my favorites,  the biggest influences on my own writing — and why.

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Argentina in 1899.

Split Rock Review, Spring 2020

The new issue of Split Rock Review, formerly edited from Duluth, now finding its home in northwest Wisconsin, is now available.

Writers share time with students at UMD


 

Every year, regional writers spend time with my students. Last semester, Julie Gard, Linda Grover, Lucie Amundsen, Terrance Griep, Michael Fedo and Roy Booth made the trip. This year, Katya Gordon will be visiting on April 22. Maybe you can join us?

Above are photos of one of the author visits by Paying Thao, journalist for the UMD Bark and student in Introduction to Writing Studies.

St. Lutgarde of Aywières at the CSS Book Sale

Annually, the College of St. Scholastica sells books, records, and other media — in part, it looks like, to clear shelves of material that does not circulate, and in part, I think, to offload donations.

I managed to snag a few items worth thinking about. The first was a biography of St. Lutgarde by Thomas Merton.

Michael Fedo signs at Zenith Bookstore

I was lucky enough to run into Michael Fedo at Zenith Bookstore at the rescheduled Small Business Saturday on Dec. 7. How did you spend the rescheduled Small Business Saturday last weekend?

Wild, a spoken-word musical tribute to weasels, inspired by an encounter in Chester Park

A celebration of the weasel family (mustelids) inspired by an encounter I had with a least weasel in the deep woods portions of Chester Park Ravine, which led to a re-reading of Annie Dillard’s essay, “Living Like Weasels.”

PDD Quiz: Duluth in Literature

This edition of the PDD Quiz tests your knowledge of references to Duluth in literature. The 10-year-old PDD post “References to Duluth in Popular Literature” might prove useful should you want to cheat study.

The next PDD quiz will focus on September 2019 headlines; it will be published on Sept. 29. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Sept. 25.

Iwen wins prize

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports that UW-Superior professor Jayson Iwen has won a $5,000 poetry prize.

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