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Literature Posts

(Former) local author Michael Fedo, Well-Reviewed

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.

Gary Boelhower is the 2018-’20 Duluth Poet Laureate

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.

Fall 2018 issue of Split Rock Review released

From Split Rock Review

A new issue of local literary magazine Split Rock Review has been released. Visit splitrockreview.org to check it out.

Five-star Customer Review of Richardson Brothers Duluth-based Amazon Kindle Book

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: Amish Outlaw, 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.

The new issue of Freshwater Review has been published

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.

Lake Superior Writers 2018 writing contest winners announced

The winners have been announced in Lake Superior Writers annual writing contest. Winner in each category receive a prize of $250 and publication on the Lake Superior Writers website.

Duluth Book Releases in 2018

A Nice Relaxing Sea Cruise
Dale R. Botten
Page Publishing
(Jan. 18)

Web Watching: A Guide to Webs & the Spiders that Make Them
Larry Weber
Adventure Publications
(Jan. 25)

Chance Poems
Poems by Michael Kleber-Diggs, Julie Gard, Sheila Packa and Kathleen Roberts
Edited by Kathleen Roberts
Wildwood River Press
(Feb. 3)

Split Rock Review, Issue 10, Spring 2018

The new issue of Split Rock Review is out.

ISSUE 10, SPRING 2018

Writer Reads … in Ashland and on the Radio

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.

Don’t thank him; just write

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.

North Country Girl in the Saturday Evening Post

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.

North Country Girl in the Saturday Evening Post

Up North Lit

The Duluth area saw the launch of a new online literary journal in 2017. Up North Lit debuted in June with its Summer issue and has also published a Fall 2017 issue.

Local writer wins national audience

Jayson Iwen, associate professor of writing at UW–Superior, has landed a piece in Tikkun magazine. His story “Night Running,” was also a Glimmer Train “very short fiction” honorable mention.

Crystal Spring Gibbins and Holy Cow at Twin Cities Book Festival

On Saturday at the Twin Cities Book Festival, Gary Boelhower, Joan Henrik, Miriam Karmel and Crystal Gibbins celebrated the 40th anniversary of Duluth’s Holy Cow! Press.

The panel, moderated by Jim Perlman, was basically short readings followed by a book signing. It was great to see friends at this celebration of literary culture.

Sinclair Lewis’ Perfect Duluth Day

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 …