Kathryn Kysar, that most generous of souls, had a book launch party in March for her latest poetry collection, "Pretend the World." It was at the Loft Literary Center, and instead of the usual book launch, with the serious and nervous writer alone on the stage, hoping for a warm response and a big crowd, Kysar opened up the stage, and the mike, to her friends.
Wang Ping, Stephanie Wilbur Ash, Sheila O'Connor, Katrina Vandenberg, Ka Vang, David Lawrence Grant, and many others -- all fine writers themselves -- came up, one by one, and read poems from "Pretend the World." Even Jim Perlman, Kysar's publisher (he of Holy Cow! Press up in Duluth) had his moment.
And now, for autumn, Kysar has found a new way to involve other artists. in what she is calling her "strange and wonderful" event, she has invited five artists to create pieces inspired by her poetry.
The result: Fabulous paintings, videos, installations, photographs and sculptures by Jan D. Elftmann, Peter L. Johnson, Jes Lee, Philip Noyed and David Malcolm Scott. The opening reception is next week, at 5 p.m. on Aug. 20, and the exhibit will remain on display for six weeks.
Kysar will read at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30, at the close of the exhibit. Everything is at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, 6666 E. River Road in Fridley.
In between, there will be other events: artist talks and demonstrations at 2 and 3 p.m. Sept.11, and a workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 24. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.