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Graywolf Press poets Claudia Rankine (above, photo by John Lucas) and Fanny Howe, below, photo by Lynn Christoffers) were named two of five finalists for the National Book Award on Wednesday.
Two poetry collections published by Minneapolis-based Graywolf Press have been named 2014 National Book Award finalists."Second Childhood" by Fanny Howe and "Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine are two of the five short-listed titles announced Wednesday, with the winner to be announced in November.
Executive editor Jeff Shotts of Graywolf, who edited both collections, said the book by Howe, who spends every summer at an Irish monastery, "comes out of a strong sense of Catholic faith, its role in the faimly and what it means to be a part of that community."
The themes of Rankine's collection, a multi-genre mix of poetry, essays and visual artwork, is particularly timely, Shotts said: "It's about race in this country, the sort of racially motivated micro-aggression that can become macro, like what happened in Ferguson," he said referring to the prolonged unrest in the St. Louis suburb following the shooitng of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer.
Authors published by Graywolf have been tallying up an impressive list of awards over the past few years. Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011, and Pultizer prizes for poetry were issued to Tracy K. Smith in 2012 and Vijay Seshadri in 2014. Last year's National Book Award winner for poetry was Mary Szybist's "Incarnadine," also a Graywolf title.
Architect Julie Snow. Photo provided by AIA Minnesota
Modernist architect Julie Snow has won the 2014 Gold Medal from AIA Minnesota, a professional association. The award is for "a lifetime of distinguished achievement" and significant contributions to the field.
Snow and colleague Matt Kreilich run the Minneapolis-based firm Snow Kreilich Architects. She is equally adept at transforming and updating outmoded structures for new uses, and start-from-scratch designs for homes, offices and government buildings. Typically she details her sleek geometric structures with glass walls and warm wood surfaces defined by narrow bands of metal.
Recent projects range from converting a shabby 1960s food distribution center in Minneapolis into a stylish headquarters for KNOCK, Inc., a design and marketing firm, to designing a handsome U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Warroad, MN. One of her most high profile Minneapolis projects was the 2004 conversion of a Spanish Revival Congregational Church into the Museum of Russian Art, a transformation that created a spacious two story gallery from the former nave and intimate galleries in the basement. She has also designed houses in the Twin Cities and vacation homes in Northern Minnesota.
"Her graceful modernism -- from elegant cantilevered spaces in oceanfront houses to the elegant rooflines of U.S. border stations -- achieves simplicity that only comes from the highest rigor in design and attention to detail," said Tom Hysell, AIA Minnesota president, in a statement.
A graduate of the University of Colorado, Snow worked for various Minneapolis firms including HGA before starting her own practice while teaching at the College of Architecture at the University of Minnesota.
Previously her firm also won, among others, the AIA Honor Award, Progressive Architecture Design Award, and the Chicago Athenaeum's American and International Architecture Award,
"Within a rigorous underpinning, she and her studio make the marvelous happen," said the Amercan Academy of Arts and Letters in presenting her with its prestigious architecture award. "She is a ballerina who can dance in work boots."
Calling all moviemakers who also love the Mississippi in its urban setting. The Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership has issued a call for one-minute movies and DVDs about the urban river and its surroundings.
For the competition, the Mississippi River has been divided into four categories:
River Gorge: Ford Dam to Washington Ave Bridge
Downtown Riverfront: Washington Ave Bridge to Plymouth Bridge
River North: Plymouth Bridge to Lowry Bridge
Upper Harbor: Lowry Bridge to City Border
Submissions the Minneapolis Minute Film Festival are due by Sept. 4. Judges will view the films and issue awards in each of the above categories. Top movies will be shown at the Partnership's Minneapolis Riverfront Summit on October 20 at Mill City Museum.
Judges are Jesse Bishop, The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul; Ben Heywood, The Soap Factory; Brenda Langton, Spoonriver; Sarah McKenzie, Downtown Journal; Tom Meyer, Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD.
Twin Cities artists and arts leaders were on hand Monday at the White House to cheer on Bill T. Jones, who was presented with the National Medal for the Arts by President Obama.
A multiple Tony-winning choreographer, dancer, director and company founder, Jones has a decades-long association with artists and arts institutions in the Twin Cities, especially Walker Art Center, under whose aegis he has developed, premiered and performed many works. He also directed "Dream on Monkey Mountain" at the Guthrie Theater.
On Monday, Walker director Olga Viso (left) posed with honoree Jones alongside Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, who are, respectively, founder and principal dancer of Ragamala Dance Theater.
President Obama appointed both Viso and Ranee Ramaswamy (who supplied the image), to the National Council on the Arts. The Senate confirmed them in 2013.
Jones was one of 11 luminary winners of the arts medal, among the nation's highest honors for artists. The winner's roster included writers Julia Alvarez and Maxine Hong Kingston, musical theater composer John Kander, musician Linda Ronstadt and pioneering documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.
KARE, the Twin Cities' NBC affiliate, has won two Edward R. Murrow awards, which are among the most prestigious honors in the electronic media world.
The station was cited in feature reporting was a piece called "Climbing Out" and in hard-news reporting for "Know Before You Tow."
MPR was also recognized for its website.
The awards will be presented Oct. 6 in New York.
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