The University Club was ablaze with lights.
Trees, wreaths, white lights everywhere.
So was the neighborhood.
Inside, the room filled up. Someone brought in more chairs, and more.
They were all here to see this woman, Carol Connolly, St. Paul's poet laureate, as well as the writers she invited to read five days before Christmas.
First up was Dennis Kelly, who read from his new thriller, "Blizzardball"--a scene so gory and suspenseful that my hand shook. (This is how I am explaining the blurry photograph.)
Poet Jill Breckenridge read from her memoir, "Miss Priss and the Con Man," a funny scene where she rode in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena during a sleet storm.
Sarah Stonich read a piece that was set Up North during the Christmas holidays. It involved a moose, and --- I really cannot tell you what else because this is a family newspaper. But it was very vivid, and very funny.
Danny Klecko--poet, baker, CEO of St. Agnes Bread Co. in St. Paul--read three poems. One of them was about bread, and poetry. He wore festive red shoes.
St. Paul author N.M. Kelby read a lush, sensuous passage from her lush, sensuous novel, "White Truffles in Winter."
The evening ended with passion as poet Tom Cassidy built his poem about Kindles--and how their real intent is to destroy books and reading--to a roaring crescendo.
And then everyone surged forward to buy books and St. Agnes holiday bread. All the proceeds from the bread sales went to support Everyday Poems for City Sidewalks, a program of St. Paul Public Art.
The evening was bookended by beautiful music from Jim Miller and Mary Scallen. It was a gorgeous night. Aren't you sorry you missed it?