Poet and translator Robert Hedin, the founding director of the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minn., is this year's Kay Sexton Award winner.
Hedin is the author, translator or editor of more than 20 books of poetry and prose. He has received two Minnesota Book Awards and has been the co-editor of the Great River Review since 1997. The Anderson Center, a rertreat for writers and artists, also hosts a number of literary events each year, including an annual celebration of children's books held each fall.
The award goes to a Minnesotan who has devoted a lifetime to books, reading and the written word.
Hedin will receive the award on April 13, at the 25th annual Minnesota Book Awards gala event in downtown Minneapolis.
This spring, the English Department at the University of Minnesota will host author Colum McCann for a free lecture. McCann, author of “Let the Great World Spin,” which won the 2009 National Book Award, will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in Coffman Theater. McCann’s newest novel, “Transatlantic,” will be published in June.
In March, the First Books reading series will feature Amanda Coplin, Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Shana Youngdahl. Coplin’s novel, “The Orchardist,” was published last year and hit the New York Times best-seller list. Larsen’s nonfiction book (written with Joshua Glenn), “Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun,” hit the Indiebound best-seller list. And Youngdahl’s collection of poetry, “History, Advice and Other Half-Truths,” was described as “delicate and stern.”
The First Books series will be at 7 p.m. March 14 at the Weisman Art Museum.
And the annual Hunger Relief Benefit started by fiction writer Charles Baxter has moved from autumn to spring. The benefit, which raises money for Second Harvest Heartland, will take place at 7 p.m. April 2 at the McNamara Alumni Center University Hall. Baxter will read, along with Maria Damon, Maria Fitzgerald, Julie Schumacher and Patricia Weaver Francisco. A $5 donation is requested.
"Iron Hearted Violet," a young-adult novel by Minneapolis writer Kelly Barnhill, has been nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, part of the prestigious annual Nebula Awards.
Barnhill's book is about a reckless princess, a forbidden book (the best kind!) and a cowardly dragon.
She is also the author of "The Mostly True Story of Jack."
Here's our review of "Iron Hearted Violet."
The Nebula Awards will be announced in mid-May in San Jose, Calif.
The Poetry Society of America has bestowed its highest honor, the Frost Medal, on Minneapolis poet Robert Bly, it was announced today. The Frost Medal, which recognizes a lifetime devoted to poetry, has gone previously to Wallace Stevens, Lucille Clifton, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others.
Bly has written, published and translated poetry throughout his life. His first book, "Silence in the Snowy Fields," was published in 1962, and his most recent book, "Talking into the Ear of a Donkey," was published in 2011.
As a young man, Bly traveled to Norway on a Fulbright grant, where he began translating Norwegian poetry into English. Over the years he has published many books of foreign-language poetry in translation, including the works of Pablo Neruda, Rumi, and Tomas Transtromer.
He is well-known for his fierce opposition to the Vietnam War (for which he was once jailed), his literary magazine, "The Fifties," (later called "The Sixties" and "The Seventies"), and "Iron John," his book that launched the men's movement and which spent 62 weeks on the New York Times' best-seller list. He won the National Book Award in 1968 for "The Light Around the Body."
Later this spring, Graywolf Press will publish "Airmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Transtromer."
Bly, 86, grew up in Madison, in western Minnesota, and now lives in Minneapolis.
Here is a link to the Star Tribune profile of Bly, published in 2009.
In 20 seconds, you can say a lot: You can recite a haiku. Or a rhymed couplet. Or a limerick. Or, if you talkreallyfastlikethis, maybe an entire sonnet.
On Valentine's Day, you'll get your chance to show off. Rain Taxi Review of Books is sponsoring an open mic for any and all writers of love poems. Everyone gets 20 seconds to read. Twenty seconds! What have you got to lose?
Paper and pencils will be on hand for those who wait for last-minute inspiration. Cash bar will be on hand, too, for those who require liquid courage.
The event, called "Social/Brief: The Love Version," will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Cargill Lounge of the Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.
Featured readers include Lynette Reini-Grandell, Venus DeMars, William Waltz (who just won a big poetry prize--but don't be intimidated!), James Lenfestey, and five others, but the nine poets together will only take up about three minutes of the hour, leaving lots and lots of time for you.
Well, technically, leaving 20 seconds for you. But lots of time for everyone.
Rain Taxi launched its first "Social/Brief" last fall at the Twin Cities Book Festival, where it resulted in much hilarity ("People were just cracking up," said editor Eric Lorberer). They now have plans to hold several of these throughout the year.
Added bonus for this one: The Walker is currently running its Cindy Sherman exhibit, and anyone who shows up on Valentine's Day is invited to write a Valentine to her. The Walker will make sure she gets it.
Love love love. (Which takes only 1.5 seconds to say.)
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