If you're looking to hang out somewhere this week and talk about writing, you might want to head to Mankato, Minn. The Good Thunder Alumni Reading Series takes place Thursday -- at the state university, and on the airwaves. Writers Nicole Helget, Benjamin Drevlow and Jude Nutter will meet with writers, read from their own work, lead a discussion on writing and be interviewed on local radio.

Helget's memoir, "The Summer of Ordinary Ways," was a Barnes & Noble new writers winner. Her novel, "The Turtle Catcher," will be published next month. Drevlow, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, is the author of "Bend With the Knees," which won the Many Voices Project award from New Rivers Press. Nutter received a Minnesota Book Award for her collection of poetry, "The Curator of Silence." All are alumni of Minnesota State University Mankato.

The discussion on writing will begin at 3 p.m. Thursday; the public reading will be at 7:30 that evening, and the radio interviews will be aired at 1 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Friday on KMSU (89.7 FM).

All events are free. Information is at www.english2.mnsu.edu/gt.

Also ...

• David C. Smith has written "City of Parks: The Story of Minneapolis Parks," recently published by the University of Minnesota Press. The book covers the city's major parks -- from Nicollet Island to the newer Mill Ruins Park -- as well as the people who founded them.

Alex Lemon, whose most recent book of poetry, "Hallelujah Blackout," was published by Milkweed Editions of Minneapolis, is featured in the January issue of Esquire magazine. The piece includes a new poem "Being Here," which will be included in his next book with Milkweed.

"Muriel's Red Sweater," a picture book by Dara Sanders Dokas, will be published next month by Dutton. The story is about a duck who is rushing to deliver invitations to her birthday party, when. ... A publication party will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 7, at Micawber's Books in St. Anthony Park. There will be cake!

• Poet Elizabeth Alexander's poem "Praise Song for the Day," which she wrote for President Barack Obama's inauguration, will be published as a chapbook on Feb. 6 by Graywolf Press. An initial print run of 100,000 copies is planned.