When Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer won the Nobel Prize in October, the cheers stretched from the poet's hometown in Sweden all the way to Minnesota.
Minneapolis poet Robert Bly is a good friend of Tranströmer and has translated many of his poems into English. During Tranströmer's first American tour, back in 1972, the two men read together -- Tranströmer in Swedish, Bly reading English translations -- at Gustavus Adolphus College.
In 2001, Graywolf Press of Minneapolis published "The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer," chosen and translated by Bly. The collected letters of Bly and Tranströmer have sold well in Sweden and will be published in English next year, edited by Thomas R. Smith.
Next week, Literary Witnesses, the Loft, Graywolf Press, the American Swedish Institute and the University of Minnesota libraries will co (co-co-co) sponsor a reading in honor of Tranströmer and to celebrate his award. Gustavus professor Roland Throstensson will read Tranströmer's poems in Swedish, and Bly will read translations. They will be accompanied by one-handed piano music -- significant, because Tranströmer can only play with one hand, since his stroke 20 years ago. The free event will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 12, two days after Tranströmer receives his Nobel Prize. It will take place at Plymouth Congregational Church, Nicollet and Franklin Avs., Mpls.
• Cary Waterman's poetry collection, "Book of Fire," has been published by Nodin Press. Waterman, who teaches at Augsburg College, is the author of four other collections. She will read at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hamline-Midway Library in St. Paul. Reading with her will be Greg Watson and Linda Back McKay. Watson's collection, "What Music Remains," was published by Nodin Press. Watson lives in St. Paul and his poetry has appeared in the Seattle Review, Poetry East, and elsewhere. McKay's collection, "The Next Best Thing," has been published by Nodin Press. McKay lives in Minneapolis and is the author of several collections of poetry.
• "Blizzard Ball," a frigid mystery by Dennis Kelly of St. Paul, has been published by North Star Press of St. Cloud. Kelly will sign books at 2 p.m. today at Barnes & Noble Har-Mar in Roseville, and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Common Good Books, St. Paul.
• "Art Lessons," poetry by Ann Iverson of East Bethel, has been published by Holy Cow! Press of Duluth. She will read with Holy Cow! authors Tony Bukoski and Catherine Holm at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Loft.
• Kevin Kling's collection of stories and poems, "Come and Get It," illustrated by Michael Sommers, has been chosen as this year's Winter Book by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Kling's will be the 21st in the center's annual series, which celebrates the artistry of handmade books. The book launch will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Open Book, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls.