Literature Posts

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

Roze & Blud
Jayson Iwen
March
University of Arkansas Press

My Favorite Writers (1 of 5): Jorge Luis Borges

(This is a limited essay series; I will publish its installments on Fridays.)

What do I do when I’m not being Aquaman? I read, and re-read, the same few authors. Here are their histories, and why I find them impossible to put down.

#1. Jorge Luis Borges

Borges was born in Argentina in 1899.

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.

Duluth author part of Jeopardy! clue

What is Lake Superior? According to the television game show Jeopardy! and host Alex Trebek, it’s the place where “the lives of 3 women centuries apart intertwine upon the shores” in Duluth author Danielle Sosin‘s The Long-Shining Waters. The answer/question was part of episode #8030, which aired Friday, July 5, on the CBS network.

Duluth Book Releases in 2019

Grasshopper Girl
Written by Teresa Peterson
llustrated by Jordan Rodgers
Black Bears and Blueberries Publishing

Rez Dog
Story by Heather Brink
Illustrations by Jordan Rodgers
Black Bears and Blueberries Publishing
(March)

The Forever Sky
Thomas Peacock
Minnesota Historical Society Press
(April 1)

Gallery of Defunct Duluth Literary and Arts ’Zines

In addition to the various (“legitimate,” if you will) literary and arts magazines and journals in the Duluth area, past and present, there is a long tradition of renegade ’zines circulated for short periods of time. What’s technically the difference between the two? Well, a magazine or journal tends to have a glossy cover and be governed by an institution or a nonprofit board of directors. A ’zine tends to be printed on a photocopier for limited circulation and produced by an individual or disorganized group.

You could move to Duluth and walk right into Chuck Klosterman’s office

Manhatten-based humorist Micah Osler drops the D-word six times in a May 11 piece in The New Yorker titled “Hi, It’s Your Mom, and I Have Some Advice for Your Job Search.”

The article is entirely from the voice of a mother on the phone, mostly offering employment advice based on hot tips like, “Dolores works up in Duluth, and she says that everywhere in Duluth is hiring.”

“Rule 15” by Ryan Vine

Duluth poet Ryan Vine reads “Rule 15,” from his 2018 book To Keep Him Hidden.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

Saturday Essays in Book Form

I have self-published a small book containing 15 essays. They comprise the lion’s share of the 17 essays which Perfect Duluth Day so kindly ran as part of the Saturday Essay series. It is available at Zenith Bookstore on Central Avenue in West Duluth next to Beaner’s Central.