You don’t literally have to crawl to take part in the second annual Lit Crawl MN, so please do not worry about your knees (or your dignity).
A lit crawl is like a pub crawl, except (perhaps) you won’t have a headache the next day. You will, however, wake up to find your head stuffed with glorious words and (perhaps) to see a new stack of books on your bedside table.
A lit crawl is “a walkable smorgasbord of literary happenings,” says the website for the Los Angeles Lit Crawl. A lit crawl is a “madcap literary adventure,” says the website for the Portland, Ore., Lit Crawl. A lit crawl is a place to “get drunk on words,” says the website for San Francisco Litquake, which originated the Lit Crawl in 2004.
There are now Lit Crawls all over the United States, as well as in Ireland and in Finland (where it is called Kirjakrooli). So of course the Twin Cities has become part of this. Who has more writers per capita, more fine publishers, more readers, than the Twin Cities? Nobody! Yeah! So get crawling.
This year’s Lit Crawl will take place from midafternoon to after dark on Sept. 16. It will begin at Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Uptown and then move between M&Q, Trapeze at Barbette, Soo Visual Arts Center and the Soap Factory, ending with music and books at Bryant-Lake Bowl.
Good walking shoes, a bus pass, a bicycle, a unicycle, a tricycle, a Nice Ride or maybe a car will be necessary. Everything’s in Minneapolis, but not necessarily close together. The full schedule is online at litcrawlmn.com, but here are some of the highlights.
• Make your own chapbook, from 3-5 p.m. at Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. For kids, parents, everyone. (What you put into the chapbook is your own business.)
• Midwest Is Best Bingo, 4 p.m., Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., Mpls. Hosted by Coffee House Press, which knows the Midwest very well.
• Readings from Twin Cities transplants Sun Yung Shin, Michael Kleber-Diggs, Roy Guzman and others. 5 p.m. at Trapeze at Barbette, 1600 W. Lake St., Mpls.
• Poetry Karaoke, 6 p.m., Bryant-Lake Bowl, hosted by Graywolf Press. Judges include poet Gretchen Marquette, and the prize is a tote bag full of Graywolf books, a very lovely prize indeed.
• Story Slam, 7 p.m., Trapeze at Barbette, hosted by Word Sprout, a group that hosts all kinds of word performances: poetry slams, open mics and workshops.
• Books and Bars, 7 p.m. Bryant-Lake Bowl. Mr. Books and Bars himself, Jeff Kamin, will host a sci-fi “Saga” comics discussion. Surprise guests are promised.
• A celebration of Adrian Matejka, 8 p.m. SooVAC Gallery, 2909 Bryant Av. S., Mpls. The poet will be on hand, thanks to Rain Taxi Review, and will read from his new collection, “Map to the Stars.”
• Advice from poets, 8 p.m., Trapeze at Barbette. Do you trust a poet with some of the big questions of your life? Ah, go ahead and ask. You never know what a poet might advise. The Loft Literary Center will provide the poets (including Elizabeth Tannen and Michael Torres), and you provide the questions.
• Rock ’n’ roll book club party, 9-10 p.m., Bryant-Lake Bowl. Hosted by folks from the Current (89.3 FM), this will feature three music writers talking briefly about their books, followed by lots and lots of music.
No need to register. No tickets required. No money to pay. No need to go to everything — actually, you can’t go to everything, because some things are held simultaneously. Just show up, go to what you like and then, exhausted, crawl home.
Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune senior editor for books. On Twitter: @StribBooks. On Facebook: facebook.com/startribunebooks