Charles Baxter will read at 6:30 p.m. April 7 at Hamline University.

Charles Baxter will read at 6:30 p.m. April 7 at Hamline University.


It's an ambitious project and an impressive lineup. The Cracked Walnut reading series, the brainchild of Twin Cities reader/writer/literary aficionado Satish P. Jayaraj, opens at 6:30 p.m. on March 18 at Coffee Shop Northeast (2852-A Johnson St. NE, Mpls) with Sheila O'Connor, Susan Thurston, and others, and then gallops around the Twin Cities, ending on April 12 at Cafe Bene in St. Paul, with John Jodzio, Darci Schummer, and others.

Every day (actually, every evening) writers move to another spot--mostly coffee shops, but occasionally a library or college campus--and stage a new reading.

You cannot avoid them! They will be everywhere--the Hamline-Midway Library, Jerabek's New Bohemian Coffeeshop, J. Arthur's Coffee in Roseville, even a quick jaunt up to Duluth.

You will not want to avoid them! Jayaraj has lined up an impressive bunch of writers, including Charles Baxter, Ethna McKiernan, Katrina Vandenberg, Mike Finley, Thomas Maltman, Kris Bigalk, Erin Hart, and many more--even a guy named Matt Dahl who might very well be my neighbor down the street.

The full list and schedule are on Facebook and online.

This is a good way to endure this cold and icy spring: a nice hot drink, and someone to read aloud to you. Like a good cup of coffee, it'll be both soothing and invigorating.

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