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

Six poets are finalists for the Lindquist & Vennum prize

The six finalists for the Lindquist & Vennum Prize.From top left to right: Patrick Johnson, Soham Patel, Paige Riehl From bottom left to right: Caitlin Bailey, Michael Torres, Angela Voras-Hills

The six finalists for this year's Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry were chosen from more than 200 submissions. The annual award, established in 2011, is open to poets in Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It is co-sponsored by the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation and Milkweed Editions.

The finalists are: 

"The Account of Worms," by Angela Voras-Hills
"Gatekeeper," by Patrick Johnson
"Homeboys with Slipped Halos," by Michael Torres
"Solve for Desire," by Caitlin Bailey
"To Afar from Afar," by Soham Patel
"Wait," by Paige Riehl

Pictured above: Top, left to right: Patrick Johnson, Soham Patel, Paige Riehl
Bottom, left to right: Caitlin Bailey, Michael Torres, Angela Voras-Hills

Angela Voras-Hills lives in Milwaukee, Wis., and is co-founder of Arts + Literature Laboratory in Madison. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Best New Poets, among other places. She has received awards from the Key West Literary Seminar, the Writers' Room in Boston, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

Patrick Johnson lives in Madison and is studying to become a physician assistant. He holds an MFA from Washington University and some of the poems in "Gatekeeper" have been published in various publications.

Michael Torres grew up in California and now lives in Mankato, where he teaches creative writing and co-hosts "Notepad Poets," an art workshop for at-risk and homeless youth. His work has appeared in Green Mountains Review, Forklift, Ohio and Tinderbox Poetry Journal and he has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation. He was a 2016-17 winner of the Loft Mentor Series.

Caitlin Bailey lives in St. Paul and holds an MFA from Hamline University. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Carolina Quarterly, Hayden's Ferry Review and elsewhere.

Soham Patel is the author of three chapbooks: "and nevermind the storm," "New Weather Drafts," and "Riva: A Chapter." She is a Distinguished Dissertation Fellow in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Ph.D. program in creative writing and serves as a poetry editor for cream city review.

Paige Riehl lives in St. Paul and is a former winner of the Loft Mentor Series. She is the poetry editor for Midway Journal and teaches at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Her work has appeared in South Dakota Review, Nimrod International Journal, Portland Review, and elsewhere.

The finalists will be honored at 5:30 p.m. April 13 at Milkweed Editions in the Open Book Building, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls., with a poetry-themed cocktail party. At 7 p.m. the party will move to Target Performance Hall for a reading. The winner will be announced on April 19, selected by poet and judge Srikanth Reddy.

For more information on the poetry party, go here:  https://milkweed.org/event/national-poetry-month-party-reading

Fundraiser planned for St. Paul poet Brett Jenkins

Brett Elizabeth Jenkins.

Brett Elizabeth Jenkins.

Friends are raising money for St. Paul poet Brett Jenkins, who is undergoing therapy in an Illinois residential treatment center that specializes in mood disorders--treatment her insurance company does not cover.

Jenkins, who has taught at the University of St. Thomas and Concordia University in St. Paul, has published poems in a number of literary journals, including Tupelo Quarterly, PANK, Beloit Poetry Journal, Potomac Review, Revolver, Paper Darts, RHINO, WordRiot and many other places.

She has long struggled with bipolar disorder and has been hospitalized several times in the last few years. A gofundme site set up in her name has raised about $11,000 toward the $30,000 goal, which would cover the cost of her treatment. 

There will also be a fundraiser beginning at 7 p.m. on April 11 at Sisyphus Brewing, 712 W Ontario Av., Minneapolis, which will feature readings, a silent auction, and a raffle.

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