Saturday, May 19, 2012

Congratulations, Hamline Class of 2012!

Graduation for Hamline is today, and we'd like to congratulate you graduates for finishing your degrees!  We look forward to seeing you at alumni events in the future.  : )

Cracked Walnut Reading Series Prepares for Another Season

The Cracked Walnut Reading Series is preparing for another round of readings, and big things are in store.

The Cracked Walnut Reading series takes place in innovative locations througout the Twin Cities. Readers tend to address the space which adds to the unique flavor of each reading. Some examples of past locations include The Braemer Skating Arena, Local D'lish, The Midtown Global Market, and the Washburn McGreavy Hillside Funeral Chapel. For more information on the Cracked Walnut reading series visit

If you wish to become involved in the Cracked Walnut Readings join the mailing list by e-mailing me at

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Sunday, May 20, 2012
Phalen Park1615 Phalen Dr.
St Paul, MN 55106
3:00 - 8:00 PM (reading at 4:30)

Cracked Walnut and Red Bird Chapbooks would like to invite you to our picnic fundraiser where we will celebrate the great work of the poets and artists who contributed to Red Bird's Broadside series. Featured Readers will be Kelly Hansen Maher, Donna Isaac, Jamie Lynn Buehner, Shelly Love, Chris Title, Wendy Brown-Baez, Didi Koka, Jenny McDougal, Sandy Beach.  The reading itself will start at 4:30 at the Amphitheater, and we have rented out the close by picnic shelter for the rest of the evening. We will have some simple refreshments and appetizers available and invite you to bring finger foods that you are willing to share.

This will also be a fundraising event for Cracked Walnut and Redbird, and there will be items for sale. We are planning on becoming registered a Non-profit company.  Your kind donations, either cash or check, will help us with this endeavor.

Please follow the evite for more info and to accept our invitation

Upcoming Poetry Book Club

Thursday, May 31, 2012: Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds by Angela Ball. First of all, I love the title. Second, she's a Mississippi poet who I don't hear about all of the time, and I'm curious about poets on the other end of our river. Third, in Donald Revell's review, he calls the poems "ghostly hotel assemblages of Joseph Cornell". Maybe it's just too close to Halloween, but I'm dying to read this!
Suggested by Haley Lasché

Thursday, June 28, 2012: Whorled by Ed Bok Lee's (new book)
Suggested by Sarah Spleiss

Thursday, July 26, 2012: What Work Is by Philip Levine
Suggested by Kathleen Keller

Thursday, August 30, 2012: Dread by Ai. I saw a reading in memorial to the poet Ai at AWP last year. She is not someone whom I am all too familiar with; however, Marilyn Chin, Major Jackson and Eavan Boland were all reading her works to celebrate her (and I really like all of them). The book Dread is full of characters, each poem creating a portrait in a single long stanza. I've only flipped through it, but I'd love to read it with you guys!
Suggested by Haley Lasché

Thursday, September 27, 2012: Invisible Strings by Jim Moore
Suggested by Jean Larson

Thursday, October 25, 2012: Willow Room Green Door by Deborah Keenan
Suggested by Libby Casey Irwin

Anything tempting you to read and come discuss with us?! Pick up your copy from Micawber's in St. Paul (sale price for members of our club - yet another great reason to support your local bookstores).  It's always a good idea to give them a call before you head over in case they're having a hard time getting ahold of the book.

Hamline GLS Alumni Poetry Book Club meets on the last Thursday of each month from 7:30-9 at Jean Larson's house (Barnes and Noble at Har Mar in case of emergency). Read part, read all. Sit back or engage. Come monthly, come sometimes. Flexible and low key. (Unless someone decides to raise a ruckus.)

Email Jean at for more information and/or to get on the Book Club's mailing list.  You can also get Facebook Invitations if you join the group.  See you there.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Congratulate new graduates at the Green Light Sendoff on May 19th

Yes, it's that time of year again when we bid the new graduates farewell.  As soon as their ceremony is over, they'll stop by to talk to professors, current students, and alumni.  Some will bring their families.  They'll pick up the gifts we made them, and then they will belong to us!  (This is not sinister at all, it's just that they'll be alumni and part of the alumni association, and . . .)

Green Light Sendoff
May 19th
CWP House
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And if that's not enough fun for you, when you're done with this party, head on to the West Egg After Party.  It's their end-of-semester party, and there will be a cook-out.  They require that you bring your cheerful self and a healthy non-self-destructive attitude towards alcohol consumption.  If you're feeling ambitious, you can bring a delicious dish or beloved beverage to share.  Both animal and vegetable food grills we be going.

Songs may be sung, poorly. Poetry may be recited, spontaneously. Stories may be shared, gratuitously.  Fun will be had, memorably.

Location: The Burgess Street Poetry House - 1026 Burgess Street; St. Paul, MN 55103

With love, respect, and unflinching support, now as ever,

The West Egg Literati

'06 alum Lawrence Benson's Miras Press debut poetry collection reading May 18th

Miras Press, the brainchild of MFA '06 Alum Lawrence Benson, is presenting a publication reading of its debut poetry collection, Rainsongs: Poems of a Woman's Life by Meta Commerse.  Lawence Benson will also read selected poems. More information available at and Facebook/MirasPress.

Friday, May 18, 2012
Phillips Community Center, Multipurpose room
2323 11th Ave S; Minneapolis, MN

Talking Image Connection reading on May 12th

This April, ceramic artists Amber Ginsburg and Joseph Madrigal will set up Flo(we){u}r, a clay bomb manufacturing plant at The Soap Factory.  They'll make replicas of the terra cotta test bombs commissioned by ourmilitary in WWI.  During the war, pilots used the flour-filled bombs to calibrate their targets.  Amber and Joseph's bombs, filled with flour and seeds, will be launched to plant fields of flowers.

Saturday, May 12th, 8 PM
Flo(we){u}r Power
a TalkingImageConnection reading,
responding to Flo(we){u}r at the Soap Factory
514 2nd St. SE; Minneapolis, MN

Featured writers: Brian Beatty, Andrea Jenkins, MC Hyland, Michael Moore, Andy Sturdevant, May Lee Yang.  These readins always make me want to write, and the end result of this installation (planting flowers) is pretty awesome.  For more information about the reading, contact Alison Morse at

Brian Beatty's jokes, poems and stories have appeared in many print and online publications. He's also the creator and host of's monthly literary podcast, You Are Hear. Brian's 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival show is titled "Minimum Rage."

MC Hyland is the author of Neveragainland (Lowbrow Press) and the chapbooks Every Night In Magic City (H_NGM_N), Residential, As In (Blue Hour Press) and (with Kate Lorenz and Friedrich Kerksieck) the hesitancies (Small Fires Press). She lives in Minneapolis, where she runs DoubleCross Press and the Pocket Lab Reading Series, and works at Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Andrea Jenkins, author of two chapbooks, tributaries: poems celebrating black history and Pieces of A Scream, is a Poet, Spoken Word and Performance Artist. Winner of the 2010 Naked Stages and Verve Grant(s) she co-curates the Queer Voices, one of the longest running LGBT reading series in the country. Most recently she was published in the anthology, Gender Outlaws II: The Next Generation.

Michael Kiesow Moore's work has appeared in Talking Stick 20, Water~Stone Review, The Rockhurst Review, Evergreen Chronicles, The James White Review and the book Losing Loved Ones to AIDS, among other publications, and his awards include a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship. Michael founded and curates the Birchbark Books Reading Series at Birchbark Books and teaches creative writing at the Loft Literary Center. He also teaches classes on “Writing Peace into the World,” and founded the Loft’s Peace and Social Justice Writers group.

Alison Morse's poems and stories have been published in Water~Stone Review, Natural Bridge, The Pedestal, Rhino, Opium Magazine, and other places. In 2012, she completed a collection of stories about Kenyan social justice activist Wahu Kaara for the Women PeaceMakers Program at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. She is also the 2012 "poet laureate" for the St. Paul JCC. Alison teaches English and runs TalkingImageConnection.

Andy Sturdevant is an artist, writer and arts administrator living in South Minneapolis. He has written for a variety of places, including, Rain Taxi, Art Review and Preview!, Mpls. St. Paul and in publications of the Walker Art Center and the Jerome Foundation. In addition, Andy writes a weekly column on arts and visual culture in Minneapolis-St. Paul for MinnPost. He also directs and host Salon Saloon and is co-creator of the Common Room at The Soap Factory. The results of Andy's solo and collaborative explorations and conversations about artmaking often take the physical forms of pamphlets, printed matter, books, and drawings. They also manifest themselves in ephemeral, site-specific performance and interactions. By the way, Andy was born in Ohio, raised in Kentucky and has lived in Minneapolis since 2005.

May Lee Yang is a playwright, poet, prose writer, and performance artist. She has been hailed by Twin Cities Metro Magazine as “on the way to becoming one of the most powerful and colorful voices in local theater.” Her theater-based works have been presented at Mu Performing Arts, the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), Out North Theater, the 2011 National Asian American Theater Festival, the MN Fringe Festival and others. Her most recent works include Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman and Ten Reasons Why I’d Be a Bad Porn Star. She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Performance Network, the Midwestern Voices and Visions Residency Award, the Playwright Center, the Loft Literary Center, and is a winner of the 2011 Bush Leadership Fellowship. In her 9-5 life, she works as the Executive Director of Hmong Arts Connection, a non-profit based in St. Paul, MN. Be sure to check out her website

Help make gifts for graduates!

The Best Gift You'll Ever Make (Book Arts with MC Hyland)
Thursday, May 10 @ 6:30 PM
CWP House @ 1500 Englewood, Saint Paul

This year, we’re creating beautiful gifts for members of the 2012 graduating class under the guidance of MN book arts maven, poet and publisher MC Hyland. Don't worry if you have never done anything like this. This event is the perfect time to give it a try and a great time to get ideas for your own handmade gift books. Meet us at the CWP House, and bring a glue stick, bone folder, and exacto knife if you have them. (If not, that's okay too. :) Hope to see you there.

MC Hyland was born in Washington, D.C., raised in Massachusetts, and after stints in Boston, Philadelphia, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has found her way to Minneapolis. She is a poet, letterpress printer, and bookmaker, and runs DoubleCross Press, a publisher of chapbooks and broadsides by (mostly) emerging (mostly) poets. She also runs the Pocket Lab reading series and works as an administrator at the Minnesota Center for Books Arts, a letterpress and writing teacher through local nonprofits, and a cheesemonger. Poems from Neveragainland have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, Slant, H_NGM_N, The Paris Review, apocryphaltext, LIT, 751 Magazine, Platte Valley Review, 42 Opus, Fairy Tale Review, among other places