Donte Collins. Photo by Leslie Plesser
Spoken-word poet Donte Collins, already honored by the American Academy and named the first Youth Poet Laureate of St. Paul, will receive $25,000 through a McKnight grant for his work. The awards were announced today. He is the author of the poetry collection, "Autopsy."
Four other Minnesota writers will also receive McKnight grants. They are children's writer Yvonne Pearson of Minneapolis, and poets Hieu Minh Nguyen of Minneapolis, Chris Santiago of Bloomington and Lara Mimosa Montes of Brooklyn Center.
Pearson is the author of the picture book "Sadie Braves the Wilderness." Her poetry has appeared in Split Rock Review, Talking Stick, Main Street Rag and other places.
Lara Mimosa Montes is the author of "The Somnambulist." Her poems and essays have appeared by Boston Review, BOMB, and elsewhere.
Hieu Minh Nguyen is the son of Vietnamese immigrants. His debut collection, "This Way to the Sugar," was a finalist for both the Minnesota Book Awards and the Lambda Literary Awards. His second collection of poetry, "Not Here," will be published this month by Coffee House Press (and will be reviewed in the Star Tribune on April 22).
Chris Santiago is the author of Tula
, winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Poetry Prize,
and published by Milkweed Editions. His book was a finalist for a 2017 Minnesota Book Award. Santiago teaches literature and creative writing at the University of St. Thomas.
The honorable mentions in spoken word are Keno Evol (Minneapolis), Jeffrey Skemp (Minneapolis), April Gibson (Edina), and Tatyana (Peuo) Tuy (Edina).
The honorable mentions in poetry are Michael Torres (Mankato), Juliet Patterson (Minneapolis), Su Hwang (Minneapolis), and Miriam Karraker (Minneapolis).
The honorable mentions in children’s literature are Megan Maynor (Minneapolis), Peter Pearson (Minneapolis), Barbara DaCosta (Minneapolis), and Elizabeth Karre (Saint Paul).
The Loft is planning a celebration reading with Donte Collins and poetry and spoken-word judges Solmaz Sharif and Anis Mojgani, and Donte Collins at 7 p.m. Oct. 6.