It's fully summer now, which means that the Madeline Island art colony classes are in full swing. They run from May until October, with artists and writers teaching workshops in everything from quilting and painting to writing poetry and learning to edit.

The weeklong classes take place at the Madeline Island School of the Arts, housed in a former dairy farm (beautifully spiffed up) on the island just off Bayfield, Wis.

There are lots of familiar names among the faculty -- many Twin Cities writers, and writers who used to live here, including Paulette Bates Alden, Kathryn Kysar, Katherine Lanpher, Todd Boss, Heid Erdrich, Brian Malloy and Catherine Watson. Take a peek at the website:


• The Robbin Art Gallery in Robbinsdale will host a poetry reading and reception next week honoring poet Matt Rasmussen, who was awarded the prestigious Walt Whitman Award in April. Rasmussen was born in International Falls and now lives in Robbinsdale and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Next week's reception will begin at 7 p.m. June 28 at the art gallery.

• "Rift," the prequel to Andrea Cremer's "Nightshade" trilogy, will be published in August by Philomel Books. Cremer teaches history at Macalester College in St. Paul.

• "The End of the 19th Century," a novel by Eric Larsen, has been published by the Oliver Arts & Open Press. Larsen lives in New York City, but his novel is set in Northfield, Minn. ("West Tree" in the book), the town where he was born. Larsen is the author of two other novels, both set in Minnesota.

• "Cat Tale," another colorful and clever picture book by Michael Hall, will be published by Greenwillow Press. Hall is the author of two previous books for children. He lives in Minneapolis.

• "Finns in Minnesota," by Arnold Alanen, has been published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Alanen is a third-generation Finn from Minnesota and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin.

• "The Joy of Deception and Other Stories," by Gretchen Johnson, has been published by Lamar University Press. Johnson graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University and now lives in Texas. Her stories and poems have appeared in a variety of publications.