How cruel can Mother Nature get? The winter storm that we are supposed to get tonight (but I am positive we won't; we can't; we cannot endure another half-foot of snow) has prompted the cancellation of tonight's Earth Day poetry reading at Open Book.
Poet and photographer John Caddy sent around an e-mail this afternoon, saying, "Our insane winter predicts nasty snow tonight with 6"-8", so the Earth Day reading is postponed for one week. We will read Monday, April 29, 7 pm at Open Book. Pray for Minnesota winter to fold its leaky tent and slink away."
Hear, hear. I mean, hear that, Winter?
The Earth Day reading will include Caddy, Joe and Nancy Paddock, George Roberts, Scott King of Red Dragonfly Press, Daniel McGuire and Joe Alfano, with music by the Tjornblom Quartet.
It is sponsored by Morning Earth and Milkweed Editions. Open Book is at 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls.
Poet and translator Jane Hirshfield, author of seven books of poetry, including "Come, Thief," and "After," will speak in Minneapolis at 7 p.m. tonight (Monday, April 15) at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Av., Mpls.
Hirshfield graduated from Princeton University in the first class that included women. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets. She has published four books of poetry in translation, including "Mirabai," which she worked on with Robert Bly.
Her reading this evening is free and open to the public.
The winner of the second annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is Wisconsin poet Rebecca Dunham, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
The prize for her unpublished manuscript, "Glass Armonica," is $10,000 and publication this December by Milkweed Editions.
Dunham, who lives in Bayside, Wis., is the author of "The Miniature Room" and "The Flight Cage." Her poetry has appeared in The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, AGNI, and other literary journals.
Finalists for this year's prize were Michael Bazzett of Minneapolis, Oliver Bendorf of Madison, Wis., Amy McCann of Minneapolis, and Angela Voras-Hills of Madison.
The Lindquist & Vennum Prize for poetry was established by Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation. The finalists are selected by Milkweed editors, and the winner this year was chosen by G.C. Waldrep. Poets who live in the Upper Midwest are eligible to compete for the regional award. The inaugural award went to Twin Cities poet Patricia Kirkpatrick for "Odessa," now a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.
You can't miss the finalists in the Common Good Books first annual amateur love poem contest--they're printed on huge sheets (three by four feet) of posterboard and are suspended from the ceiling of the bookstore. You can read them even without your bifocals. And then, after you've found them and read them, you can go up to the counter and vote for your favorite.
The finalists were chosen by G. Keillor, Prop., himself from more than 150 entries, and he will announce the winner at 1 p.m. on April 21 at a celebration of poetry at Weyerhaeuser Chapel at Macalester College.
The finalists are: Emily Walz, Thomas Kendrick, Barbara Miller, Carol Van Hale, Bernard Jacob, Delores Mixer, Norman Holen, Anne Parsons, Roy Close, Rob Dougherty, Ginger Bolling and Thomas Hamburg.
The bookstore is at 38 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul. Stop by, read, cast your vote. And watch your head.
It was only at the very end of the evening, when Robert Bly read a poem by his longtime friend Tomas Tranströmer, that he grew animated, his voice dipping and swaying, gaining in power. He crisply enunciated the words, added that famous little Bly twist, and looked straight out at the crowd.
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