Last year, with its debut literary festival, the group known as Cracked Walnut promised a reading a day for a full month. This year they're doing almost as well: The second literary series debuted last week and will run through early May, with readings if not every single day, at least several times a week.
Cracked Walnut is the brainchild of Hamline University MFA candidate Satish P. Jayaraj, who found himself surrounded by writers (no surprise, in an MFA program) and was looking for a way to establish a venue for reading.
This year's 25 readings will take place in coffee shops, galleries, libraries, museums, a hospital and other offbeat places — mainly in the Twin Cities area, but also in Duluth and Rochester — and will include more than 100 writers.
The lineup includes poets Tim Nolan, Ethna McKiernan, Adrienne Miller, Ryan Vine, Margaret Hasse and Matt Mauch. Visit www.cracked walnut.com for a full schedule.
• Holy Cow! Press has published a new edition of "Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song." First published in 1981, the book is an anthology of work by Henry David Thoreau, Meridel Le Sueur, Sherman Alexie, Robert Bly and many, many more writing in response to Whitman's work. This new edition, edited by Jim Perlman, Ed Folsom and Dan Campion, is revised and expanded.
• Chaska mystery writer Jan Dunlap has published a memoir of life with her black Lab. "Saved by Gracie" was published by Authentic Publications. She has a number of book signings set up for April and May, beginning with 11 a.m. April 11 at the Wild Bird Store in Waconia. Find the rest at jandunlap.com.
• Susan Power's new novel, "Sacred Wilderness," has been published by Michigan State University Press. The book is set in St. Paul and tells the stories of four women of different times. Power is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Her first novel, "Grass Dancer," received the PEN/Hemingway Award for best new fiction. She lives in St. Paul.
• Joseph Amato's first collection of poetry, "Buoyancies: A Ballast Master's Log," has been published by Spoon River Poetry Press. Amato is a historian and professor emeritus at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.