Ed Bok Lee. Star Tribune photo by Aaron Lavinsky.

Ed Bok Lee. Photo by Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

The Minnesota State Arts Board has announced its 2019 Artist Initiative Grants, which includes money for poets and prose writers. Such happy news---and so many wonderful books to look forward to.

The full list of grants (for theater, dance, music, etc.) is online here, but here are the grants for writers. These books all sound so interesting!

Theodosia Henney,  Minneapolis, $10,000

Henney will spend six months researching and writing a hybrid manuscript on death, gender, and honeybees. Henney will also facilitate a workshop and reading series themed around environmental justice.

Preeti Kaur, Minneapolis. $10,000

Rajpal will draft and edit her poetry work in progress, O, How We Escaped. She will hold a series of generative poetry workshops on the broad theme of human rights in Minneapolis.

Janna M. Knittel, Minneapolis  $7,350

Knittel will complete her first book of poetry, Real Work. She will hold readings of the work in progress at Saint Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Ed Bok Lee, Saint Paul, $10,000

Lee will give three public readings and focused, thematic talks from his third book of poetry, Mitochondrial Night (2019), at libraries in Elbow Lake, Saint Paul, and Minneapolis. Lee will also complete twelve new poems.

Timothy Otte, Minneapolis  $10,000

Otte will complete a final draft of a full-length poetry collection with editorial guidance from a mentor and perform public readings in three Minnesota cities. His work focuses on climate change and landscapes.

Sun Yung Shin, Minneapolis       $10,000

Shin will complete Utopias of Descent, a hybrid manuscript exploring the evolutionary "science" of race, gender, and reproduction. A public performance will be copresented with a scientist and held at a science venue.

Su Smallen, Roseville  $10,000

Smallen will commission three dance films inspired by her new book of poems inspired by dance and visual art. The films will be shown with poetry readings and audience/artist conversations in Morris, Duluth, and Minneapolis.

Michael P. Torres,  Mankato  $9,980

Torres will write the first draft of a memoir in essay, host writing workshops for incarcerated juveniles, and host a public reading and a discussion focused on exploring identity in creative nonfiction.

Chaun Webster, Minneapolis $6,550

Gentrified Memory will be a series of readings and writing workshops meant to engage and interrogate the uneven landscapes of memory in north Minneapolis.

Lynette Reini-Grandell. Star Tribune photo by Renee Jones Schneider

Lynette Reini-Grandell. Photo by Star Tribune photographer Renee Jones Schneider.


Kendra L. Atleework,  Minneapolis   $10,000

Atleework will work on her nonfiction book exploring themes of home and stewardship. She will offer a Minneapolis reading with Friends of the Mississippi River and a writing workshop at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center.

Maya Beck,  Minneapolis  $10,000

Beck will write and revise a body of speculative short stories as preparation for publication. She will also host three events that engage geeks of color in examining their subcultures.

Essence Bonitaz,  Maplewood  $10,000

Bonitaz will rewrite the manuscript for, Ajha's Web, the first novel in a series about a woman whose advice rules the lives of unsuspecting loved ones that divulge their deepest secrets on her anonymous advice blog.

Rachel V. Castro,   Minneapolis  $10,000

Castro will write the second draft of her essay collection which explores her first generation American upbringing and performative whiteness. She will also teach nonfiction workshops and host a public reading.

Kristin N. Collier, Minneapolis  $10,000

Collier will finish her nonfiction book about debt, family, and forgiveness. Additionally, she'll lead workshops in which participants develop techniques for telling stories about family, love, grief, and home.

Josh Cook, Saint Paul  $9,525

Cook will revise his short story collection, A Hug for My Amygdala, and will create three public events themed around mental health, which will be a collaboration between musicians and writers.

Venus DeMars, Minneapolis $10,000

De Mars, trans front person of glam punk/trans band ATPH, shares memoir reflections of an era wholly accepting of trans phobic violence and discrimination while navigating marriage, a band, and her public gender transition.

E.A. Farro,           Saint Paul            $             10,000

Farro will use grant funds to complete her first book. Science Love Letters takes the reader on a complex and unique journey through what it means to be a scientist in research, politics, and motherhood.

Carson D. Faust,               Mankato              $             10,000

Faust, an emerging Native American writer, will write a series of stories centering on queer and Native characters, work with a mentor, and give a reading in Mankato with other writers from underrepresented groups.

Holly J. Gross,    Andover              $             9,500

Gross will have a fully revised manuscript of her memoir, Where Presidents Lived, ready for traditional publication as well as the knowledge and information to successfully begin the query and publishing process.

Elizabeth M. Horneber, Mankato              $             10,000

Horneber will work with a mentor on the revision of her first book length collection of essays. A panel reading and discussion about the intersections of the personal and the public will be held in Mankato.

Rebecca Kanner,              Saint Paul            $             9,920

Kanner will complete her essay collection dealing with mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them. Along with other Twin Cities writers, she will hold a panel on writing about mental health.

Brian J. Malloy,  Minneapolis       $             10,000

Malloy will complete a draft of his first Minnesota historical fiction collection, and perform a public reading and facilitate a community discussion of his short story Boundary Waters at Ely Folk School.

Michele Micklewright,   Brooklyn Park    $             10,000

Micklewright will facilitate a memoir writing workshop for residents of Saint Therese apartments in Brooklyn Park and a northeast Minneapolis senior housing facility. Participants will deepen skills in reflecting upon/writing memories.

Saara Myrene Raappana,              Marshall               $             10,000

Raappana will study a fiction curriculum and work with a mentor to write/revise eight stories that represent rurality and femininity as complex and diverse. She'll host a workshop and reading in southwest Minnesota and a reading in the Twin Cities.

Sheila M. O'Connor,        Edina     $             10,000

O'Connor will promote her forthcoming novel, Reconstructing V, to new audiences. Focusing on little known Minnesota history of incarcerated girls, O'Connor will market and present to readers throughout the state.

Nneka Onwuzurike,        Minneapolis       $             10,000

Onwuzurike will continue work with a mentor to complete a draft of her first book length project, a collection of personal essays focused on the displacement of children of immigrants.

Lara Palmqvist, Faribault              $             10,000

Palmqvist will complete a story collection by writing two new stories, and will work with a mentor to revise the full manuscript. She'll host two open mic readings as well as two craft workshops on the theme of excavation.

Kasey M. Payette,            Saint Paul            $ 9,963

Payette will complete a draft of her first novel and host writing workshops on navigating the complexities of a religious upbringing.

Thomas D. Peacock,        Duluth  $6,009

Peacock will write The Wolf's Trail, a work of fiction about the Ojibwe relationship with wolves, and do writing for publication workshops in Minnesota's tribal communities using excerpts of the manuscript as examples.

Roseanne G. Pereira,      Minneapolis       $10,000

Thinking about how all ghost stories are love stories, Pereira will facilitate writing workshops open to the public that incorporate guided meditation and writing prompts geared towards addressing what we cherish.

Vanessa Ramos,               Woodbury          $ 10,000

Ramos will complete new work for young readers. She will facilitate an OwnVoices panel and offer a workshop for other writers of color and indigenous writers who are interested in writing for young audiences.

Glenda E. Reed, Minneapolis       $10,000

Reed will incorporate research into her memoir, host a reading and panel discussion of feminist Minnesota authors, and conduct writing workshops with underresourced teen girls.

Lynette E. Reini-Grandell,             Minneapolis       $ 9,900

Reini-Grandell will complete a book length memoir draft reflecting on her 35-year transgender marriage, give public readings, and participate in panel discussions about negotiating a loving, changing relationship.

Erin Kate Ryan,  Minneapolis       $10,000

Ryan will complete her short story collection, Parade Of Horribles, which explores a continuum of human experience through characters who exist at the edge of humanity, and will host an interactive fiction event.

Kathryn D. Savage,          Minneapolis       $ 9,850

Savage will complete the first 75 pages of her lyric novel that is concerned with the ways loss imbeds itself in the body and will lead a workshop at Shakopee Correctional Facility on this theme.

Felicia Schneiderhan,     Duluth  $10,000

Schneiderhan will work with a mentor to rewrite a novel about the devastating affects of addiction and the hope of recovery. She will teach creative writing workshops for people in the early stages of recovery.

Erin D. Sharkey, Minneapolis       $9,290

Sharkey will use funds to complete a collection of prose poems, Urban Farmers Almanac. Events will include a public reading in Saint Paul and a workshop at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Lino Lakes.

Mihret M. Sibhat,             Minneapolis       $10,000

Sibhat will complete a revision of her first novel, The History of a Difficult Child, a humorous take on the tempestuous childhood of a queer woman in Ethiopia. She will also organize a bilingual writing workshop.

Pamela J. Smith,               Saint Paul            $10,000

Smith will complete Edgewalker, a memoir for anyone directly or indirectly touched by cancer. She will hold readings at Gilda's Club in Minnetonka and the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance in Minneapolis.

Sarah L. Stonich,               Minneapolis       $10,000

Stonich will introduce her novel Laurentian Divide, a sequel to Vacationland, at rural libraries in conversational programs with area writers and audiences on the quiet activism of literature in an era of loud headlines.

Kristin A. Tipping,             Minneapolis       $9,950

Tipping is a queer Minneapolis based comic creator. She will complete her graphic novel Evil Witch Allie and the Book of Secrets and finalize the script to its sequel.

Mimi Van Ausdall,            Minneapolis       $10,000

Van Ausdall will complete a manuscript of her first novel Across the Fence, Gather the Sky. A public reading will be held in Minneapolis.

Diane E. Wilson,                Shafer   $10,000

As a Dakota writer developing a new body of work focused on recovering an indigenous relationship with the land, this grant will help me develop a collection of essays and improve my marketing and social media skills.

S.A. Wolter,        Eden Prairie        $10,000

Wolter will revise and prepare for submission to agents and publishers her novel, All That Lies Beneath, set in northwestern North Dakota amidst the oil exploration, and coordinate a public reading with several Minnesota writers.

Allison Wyss,      Minneapolis       $10,000

Wyss will complete revision of her first novel, Ghost Arm, and will lead a Strange Bodies in Art and Writing tour at the MIA.

Kao K. Yang,        Saint Paul            $10,000

As one of a few Hmong writers in the state, she hopes to contribute to more diverse children's books for young readers.

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