Deborah Torraine--fiction writer, editor for the St. Paul Almanac, and community activist--died Friday night during emergency surgery. Tonight's Lowertown Reading Jam--featuring Melvin Giles, Andy Driscoll, Nina Rasmunsen and Mustafa Ahmedu Sundiata-- will be dedicated to Torraine. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince St., across from the St. Paul Farmers' Market.
Her play "The Black Snowman"--adapted from a Phil Mendez story--was staged by SteppingStone Theater.
Here's the message, in full, from Kimberly Nightingale and the St. Paul Almanac:
It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you that Deborah Torraine died last Friday night at United Hospital during emergency heart surgery.
Deborah had volunteered for the Saint Paul Almanac as a community editor, hosted slams and reading events, authored short stories for publication and, in March 2011, took on a new role as Director of Community Engagement.
The graduate of University of California Santa Cruz had received training via the Wellstone Fellowship for Social Justice and did graduate coursework at Metropolitan State University in Developing Community. Deborah’s work as a community liaison, prior to joining the Almanac, provided her with diverse professional affiliations that included organizations like Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, the arts community and the Somali and Southeast Asian communities.
Deborah was a writer, artist, and grassroots activist who supported so many important causes connected to the land, to art, to culture, and to a good quality of life for all people. She often called herself a “cultural worker” and described it as “working together in community to get important work done.”
Deborah will be dearly missed. She was an incredible force for good in the world.
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