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

St. Paul poet Chris Santiago wins the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize

Chris Santiago

Chris Santiago

Chris Santiago, born and raised in the Twin Cities and a first-generation Filipino American, has won the fifth annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry from Milkweed Editions.

Competition judge A. Van Jordan called Santiago's manuscript, "Tula," "a hypnotic blend of languages and land."

Santiago, who teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, has published poems, short stories, and critical essays in FIELD, Pleiades, the Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Santiago said that he is fascinated by the mystique of language. "When I hear someone speak Tagalog, I recognize it immediately but don't know what they're saying," he said in a press release from Milkweed. "This feeling--of being outside the language, but having it also be a kind of homeland--is where 'Tula' began."

The Lindquist & Vennum Prize awards $10,000 and a publishing contract to the winner. "Tula"
will be published in December.

Previous winners include Patricia Kirkpatrick for "Odessa," and Jennifer Willoughby for "Beautiful Zero." The competition is open to poets in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. Santiago's manuscript was among 195 submitted.

Erdrich and Grover to be featured at Library of Congress event

Louise Erdrich. Photo by Paul Emmel

Louise Erdrich. Photo by Paul Emmel

Duluth short-story writer Linda LeGarde Grover is one of three Native American writers who will be featured at the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center on May 10. "Spotlight on Native Writers" will take place at 4 p.m. that day in Washington, D.C., in an event that is free and open to the public.

Minneapolis writer Louise Erdrich will read from her new novel, "LaRose," that evening, which is also the book's pub date.

Rob Casper, head of the center, said in a press release, "Erdrich is an inspiration as our newest Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction winner, and we're honored to celebrated other essential Native writers on the date of Erdrich's book launch."

Linda LeGarde Grover

Linda LeGarde Grover

Grover, who teaches at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is the author of the Flannery O'Connor Award-winning "The Dance Boots," as well as "The Road Back to Sweetgrass," which received the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers fiction award.

Joining Grover will be Eric Gansworth, author of "Extra Indians," winner of an American Book Award, among other books, and Stephen Graham Jones, author of 16 novels and six story collections.

Grover, Gansworth and Jones will be conversation with Deborah Miranda, author of "Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir."

Erdrich, who owns Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, is the author of 15 novels, as well as poetry, children's books, and a memoir. She was a Pulitzer finalist for "The Plague of Doves," and won a National Book Award for "The Round House."