What do you call a group of writers? A bunch? A murder? A crop? A gaggle? Whatever they are, the next group of Club Book speakers is an interesting blend of national writers and regional writers, and some who straddle both categories.
Florida's Carl Hiaasen, author of "Strip Tease," "Sick Puppy," and a host of other satirical mysteries, headlines the series, along with Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation." Also in the lineup: mystery writer Erin Hart and her memoirist/musician husband, Paddy O'Brien; poet Ed Bok Lee; Minnesota Book Award-winning memoirist (and farmer) Atina Diffley; and National Book Award-winning young adult writer Will Alexander.
Chinese-American poet Li-Young Lee will kick off the season with an appearance at Highland Park Auditorium at 7 p.m. on June 5. Here's the whole lineup. As always, Club Book is free and open to the public:
Li-Young Lee, 7 p.m. June 5, Highland Park Auditorium, 1974 Ford Parkway, St. Paul. Li-Young Lee is the author of four books of poetry and a memoir, "The Winged Seed," winner of an American Book Award.
Carl Hiaasen, 7 p.m. June 27, Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Av., Burnsville. Hiaasen, a columnist for the Miami Herald, is the author of a dozen novels. His latest is "Bad Monkey."
Will Alexander, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 17, Central Park Amphitheater, 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury. Alexander, who lives in Minneapolis, won a 2012 National Book Award for "Goblin Secrets." Its companion book, "Ghoulish Song," is his latest book. You can read the Star Tribune profile of Alexander here.
Emily Rapp, 7 p.m. Sept. 17, Roseville Library, 2180 N. Hamline Av., Roseville. Rapp, a former Fulbright scholar and recipient of the James A. Michener Fellowship, is the author of "Poster Child" and "Still Point of the Turning World."
Eric Schlosser, 7 p.m. Sept. 26, St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, 2323 Como Av., St. Paul. Schlosser is an investigative journalist and the author of "Fast Food Nation," "Chew on This," and "Reefer Madness." His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the Nation, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere.
Atina Diffley, 7 p.m. Oct. 9, Stillwater Public Library, 224 3rd St. N., Stillwater. Organic farmer Atina Diffley ran Gardens of Eagan with her husband, Martin, for more than 20 years. She is the author of a memoir, "Turn Here Sweet Corn," winner of a Minnesota Book Award. You can read the Star Tribune profile of Diffley here.
Sarah Stonich, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15, Chanhassen Public Library, 7711 Kerber Blvd., Chanhassen. Stonich is the author of "The Ice Chorus," "These Granite Islands," "Shelter," and "Vacationland." She lives in Minneapolis. You can read the Star Tribune profile of her here.
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien, 7 p.m. Oct. 24, Prior Lake Library, 16210 Eagle Creek Av. SE., Prior Lake. Erin Hart's mysteries, set in Ireland and St. Paul, have been international best-sellers, and O'Brien is legendary in his home country of Ireland for his music. You can read the Star Tribune profile of Hart here.
Andy Sturdevant, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4, Rum River Library, 4201 6th Av., Anoka. Sturdevant writes a weekly column on art and culture for MinnPost and also writes for Rain Taxi, MSP Magazine, and other publications. His first book, "Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow," will be published this fall by Coffee House Press.
Ed Bok Lee, 7 p.m. Dec. 2, Hennepin County Library Southdale, 7001 York Av., Edina. Lee is the author of two collections of poetry, "Real Karaoke People," and "Whorled." He has won an American Book Award, a Minnesota Book Award, an Asian American Literary Award, and the PEN Open Book Award.
The Loft Literary Center today announced the winners of the 2013 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers.
The winners are Matthew Batt of St. Paul; Minneapolis writer Eric Braun; writer Susan Koefod; and memoirist Kao Kalia Yang of Minneapolis. The young-adult winner is Anne Ursu.
Honorable mentions went to Jonathan Odell, Pallavi Dixit, Katie Hae Leo, Yuko Taniguchi, Will Alexander, Brian Farrey-Latz, and Lynne Jonnell.
It is a testament to the depth of the field that among the honorable mentions are a National Book Award winner and two winners of a Minnesota Book Award.
The awards carry a prize of $25,000 each.
Matthew Batt is the author of the memoir, "Sugarhouse," and his work has appeared in Tin House, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He teaches at the University of St. Thomas and is at work on a collection of essays.
Eric Braun, winner of a Minnesota Monthly Tamarack Award, has published short stories in a number of literary journals.
Susan Koefod has widely published prose, poetry and mysteries.
Kao Kalia Yang is the author of the memoir "The Latehomecomer." She co-hosts a weekly radio program focusing on the Hmong community.
Anne Ursu's latest book is "Breadcrumbs." She teaches at Hamline University.
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for excellence in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on June 30 in Chicago. Winners will receive $5,000, and the four finalists will receive $1,500 each.
The finalists in fiction are Louise Erdrich for "The Round House"; Junot Diaz for "This is How You Lose Her" (and those two met mano-a-mano once before, for the National Book Award, and we all know who won); and Richard Ford for "Canada."
In nonfiction, the finalists are "The Mansion of Happiness," by Jill Lepore, "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher," by Timothy Egan, and "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic," by David Quammen.
Here are Strib reviews of four of the six finalists:
In the promotional materials for Kate DiCamillo's new book, "The Illuminated Adventures of Flora & Ulysses," there is an adorable photograph of DiCamillo hamming it up next to a giant statue of a squirrel. The photo is not just cute, it's apt--the book is about a girl (Flora) who saves a squirrel (Ulysses) from a vacuum cleaner (wielded by a neighbor, Mrs. Tickman, who is vacuuming her yard).
It's a charming, funny story, told in DiCamillo's spare, direct style. ("Not much goes on in the mind of a squirrel," opens Chapter Two.) (Which is called, "The Mind of a Squirrel.")
The book is illustrated by K.G. Campbell, who contributes both traditional drawings and little segments of graphic-novel panels. It pubs in late September.
Here's our interview with DiCamillo and McGhee from 2010, when the first Bink & Gollie book came out.
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.
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