Poetry 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.

Jayson Iwen’s book tour has migrated to Facebook Live

Local poet Jayson Iwen is reading his award-winning poetry live online, in lieu of visiting bookshops around the country.

Video: Homegrown Poetry Showcase 2020

StayHomegrown continues with the annual poetry showcase, this year from safe distances. The poets are Tina Higgins Wussow, Jayson Iwen, Crystal Detelfsen, Sonofmel, Scott Knight Kite, Liz Minette, Shelley Getten, Laura Sellner, John Herold, Lucas Dietsche and Brooke Zarn.

Duluth Chapbooks: Poetry, Fiction, Comics, etc.

From laureates to total hacks, writers and other artists have compiled their works into inexpensive little booklets for hundreds of years. The history of street literature in Duluth has perhaps not yet been explored in depth.

Gathered in this post is by no means a comprehensive collection of chapbooks produced in Duluth, but rather just a smattering of publications that happened to be gathering dust in the Perfect Duluth Day library.

Got one to add? Mention it in the comments and/or email the cover art if you have it to: paul @ perfectduluthday.com.

Local Poet on Social Distancing: “Viral Two-Step”

Julie Gard’s prose poem on social distancing, “Viral Two-Step,” appears in issue 25 of the online poetry journal Unbroken. You should read it.

Duluth All Souls Poetry Celebration

I went to the Day of the Dead / All Souls event at the Depot Underground on Friday. The theme of the reading was remembering ancestors who have played important roles in our lives and community. Featured readers, of whom I took pictures, were Zomi Bloom, Brady Kamphenkel, Sheila Packa, Ellie Schoenfeld and Gary Boelhower. An open mic followed; I got a pic of Eric Chandler reading. Richie Townsend played electric guitar.

Iwen wins prize

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

Eavesdropping in Britain

Local author Julie Gard has published new poetry in Coldnoon, from a project rooted in eavesdropping called “Eavesdropping in Britain.”

“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.

“Anyone’s life is smooth from far away. Anyone’s life close up is cracked.”

Julie Gard’s new poetry is awesome.

“This piece consists of 51 texts I sent to myself first thing in the morning during the 2016 presidential election season. Hopefully some of them will speak to you,” says Gard, describing her work in Superstition Review.

Local Poet, Global Community, World Literature

Jayson Iwen has co-translated a significant poem by Salim Barakat, a Kurdish-Syrian poet.

It’s a love poem, and as co-translator Huda Fakhreddine says, “Dylana and Diram’s love infiltrates and overwhelms the landscape. Barakat does not use images of nature to draw analogies with their relationship. The spiritual and sensual bond between them consumes nature and natural scenery and transforms it into a mere manifestation of a surging emotional deluge.”

The poem can be read in the prestigious World Literature Today.

Poems for Chance

Chance: Poems

Tuesday night I attended the publication party and reading for “Chance: Poems,” an anthology of poems edited by Kathleen Roberts in honor of the art installation currently at the Tweed Museum.

Sonofmel & the Slideman – “Kissing Eve”

Sometimes it takes traveling far from home to find out where you come from. Sonofmel & the Slideman have farmed decades of life into a harvest of sounds, growing rows of song and spoken word around dreamscapes rich enough to farm. They’ve just begun an album together at Sacred Heart Studio and will debut one or two during a Jan. 17 performance at Bent Paddle Brewing.

Video recorded at Driftless Books & Music in Viroqua, Wis.

Laura Mae Sellner – “Awareness”

New video produced by Killy Kay, shot at various Duluth locations in 2016. It features poetry written and performed by Laura Mae Sellner for the Homegrown Music Festival.

“Colder than the surface of Mars”

Poet Dora Malech gets all Duluthy in a poem published in the May 29 issue of The New Yorker. It’s more that a reference — the poem is basically set in Duluth.

The text of “I Now Pronounce You” is available online, along with an audio track of the poet reading it.

Malech grew up in Bethesda, Md., and now lives in Baltimore. Her connection to Duluth is unknown, unless it’s as simple as the first line of the poem: “Our friends are getting married in Duluth.”