First it was "Pretend the World," the book. Then it was "Pretend the World," the art exhibit. And now it's "Pretend the World," the CD.
Twin Cities poet Kathryn Kysar will celebrate the CD release of "Pretend the World" at 7 p.m. July 10 at SubText Books in St. Paul. The work began as a poetry collection published in 2011 by Holy Cow! Press, and turned into a series of readings — of other writers reading Kysar's poems.
Kysar then invited artists to create pieces inspired by her poetry — paintings, sculpture, videos and photographs.
Last year, Kysar won a state arts board grant to record the CD version, which includes myriad voices (Joyce Sutphen, Anna George Meek, Leslie Adrienne Miller, Jim Heynen and many more). Writers Kris Bigalk, Hawona Sullivan Janzen, John Minczeski and Sun Yung Shin will join Kysar at SubText, along with clarinetist Sean Egan.
A clarinetist? Of course, music! Maybe "Pretend the World," the opera, is next?
• "Night Train, Red Dust: Poems of the Iron Range," by Sheila Packa, has been published by Wildwood River Press. Packa is a writer and editor who was poet laureate of Duluth from 2010 to 2012.
• "Ten Thousand Waves," poems by Wang Ping, has been published by Wings Press. Wang Ping is a professor at Macalester College; she has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the Minnesota Book Awards and elsewhere.
• "Goodnight Football," by Minneapolis writer Michael Dahl, and "There's a Mouse Hiding in This Book!" by St. Paul writer Benjamin Bird, will be published in August by Capstone Press.
• "Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing," by Scott Laderman, has been published by the University of California Press. Laderman teaches at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is the author of "Tours of Vietnam."
• Kelly Barnhill's third middle-grade novel, "The Witch's Boy," will be published in September by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Barnhill, who lives in Minneapolis, is the author of "The Mostly True Story of Jack" and "Iron Hearted Violet."
• "Church of the Adagio," poems by Philip Dacey, has been published by Rain Mountain Press. Dacey lives in Minneapolis. He is the author of 12 collections of poetry and has won three Pushcart Prizes.
• "Rancho Nostalgia," poems by James Cihlar, has been published by Dream Horse Press. Cihlar's poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Awl, Lambda Literary Review and many other places. He lives in St. Paul.