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Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996.

You, too, can be an artist out in the woods

Of course artists can create art anywhere. (Easier for writers, perhaps, than, say, sculptors.) But if they have the chance to stay somewhere beautiful while they are creating, why not?

Like, for instance, a gorgeous cabin on the banks of the St. Croix River just outside of Marine-on-St.-Croix.

The residency program Artist at Pine Needles (sponsored by the St. Croix Watershed Research Station) is looking for artists and writers for their summer residency. More than 40 artists, including writer Sarah Stonich, sculptor Elizabeth Belz, and plein air painter Joshua Cunningham, have been accepted as artists-in-residence in this program, which began in 2002. Residencies can be for either two weeks, or four weeks.

Under the residency, artists and writers will interact with the scientists at the watershed research station in a program that explores the intersection between science and art.

Application forms and more information are available at  www.smm.org/scwrs/programs/artist/. The deadline is Feb. 28, and decisions will be announced by March 30.

For more information, contact Sharon Mallman at the St. Croix Watershed Research Station at 651-433-5953, extension 13, or by email at  researchstation@smm.org.

Minneapolis poet Bao Phi wins award for best picture book in the country

Illustration from "A Different Pond" by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui, published by Capstone

Illustration from "A Different Pond" by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui, published by Capstone

Minneapolis writer and poet Bao Phi has won the prestigious Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book published in the country.

His book, "A Different Pond," was illustrated by Thi Bui and published by Capstone. It tells the story of a little boy and his father slipping out of the house early one morning to go fishing. It's a simple, lovely story, shot through gracefully with themes of immigration, hard work, racism and the uniting power of nature.
 
Bao Phi. File photo by Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

Bao Phi. File photo by Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

 
"A Different Pond" was one of two books Bao Phi published this year; the other was "Thousand Star Hotel,"  a collection of poetry published by Coffee House Press.
 
The Charlotte Zolotow Award is given by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Previous winners and honor books include "Thunder Boy Jr" by Sherman Alexie, "The Dark," by Lemony Snicket, and "This is the Rope" by Jacqueline Woodson.
 
 
 

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