Add two more names to the already strong lineup of writers reading here this fall: former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and rapper/writer/singer Dessa.
Dessa will launch her new poetry chapbook (as yet unnamed) at the Walker Art Center at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3. The book will be published by Rain Taxi Review, which is co-sponsoring an evening of poetry and music. Aby Wolf, Sims and Taj Raj will also perform. Tickets go on sale Aug. 23 for $12 and $9, available at www.walkerart.org.
Collins will read from his work at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Pantages Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. Collins was poet laureate from 2001-2003, and is both widely popular and deeply admired. Tickets are $30.50-$40.50 and are on sale now at the State Theater Box Office, online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org, or at Ticketmaster.
• "Evil Men," a nonfiction account by Macalester College Professor of English James Dawes, has been published by Harvard University Press. The book is a series of harrowing interviews with convicted war criminals from the Sino- Japanese War, and examines )the capacity for people to commit monstrous acts — rape, torture, cannibalization, murder — but also to express remorse.
• "Vestigial," a collection of poetry by Page Hill Starzinger, will be published in August by Barrow Street Press. It was the winner of the Barrow Street Press Prize, judged by Lynn Emanuel. Starzinger lives half-time in Minneapolis and her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Volt and many other publications.
• "The Wee Hours," a picture book by Stephanie Watson and Mary GrandPré, will be published in August by Disney-Hyperion. Watson, who lives in Minneapolis, is the author of the Elvis & Olive middle-grade series, and GrandPré, a Twin Cities native, is well known as the artist for the American editions of the Harry Potter series. Upcoming events include an appearance at the State Fair's Alphabet Forest on Sept. 2, a launch party at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 7 at the Red Balloon, and a reading at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 14 at Wild Rumpus.
• Brian Farrey, who won a Minnesota Book Award for "With or Without You," will publish "Shadowhand Covenant," book two of the Vengekeep Prophecies, in November.
• "Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter," a collection of poems by Maryann Corbett of St. Paul, has been published by Able Muse Press.