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End your national poetry month with a bang, not a whimper!

April 26, 2011

Very proud to report that the Twin Ports sees the end of National Poetry Month out in grand fashion.

Friday, April 29th, 7pm| Jim Dan Hill Library UW-S: Reception & Booksigning by poet George Gott, Emeritus UW-S, for his new book The Willow Tree and Other Inclinations: Poems from the Lake

Saturday, April 30th, 7:30pm | Somers Lounge CSS: Spirit Lake Poetry Series reading by former national poet laureate, Ted Kooser.  Don’t miss this living legend of Midwestern Verse!

Monday, May 2nd, 6:30pm| Teatro Zuccone: as part of Duluth’s Homegrown Music Festival, there will be an evening dedicated to a Homegrown Poetry Showcase

These are all sure to be great events – make as many as you can; we look forward to seeing you there!


Ted Kooser on Saturday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m., in Somers Lounge at the College of St. Scholastica.

April 6, 2011

ted kooser poster final
Spirit Lake Poetry Series will host a reading by poet Ted Kooser on Saturday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m., in Somers Lounge at the College of St. Scholastica.

Ted KooserTwo-time United States Poet Laureate (2004-2006), the highly regarded Nebraskan poet Ted Kooser was the first poet from the Great Plains to hold the position. A professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he is the author of eleven full-length collections of poetry, including Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994) and Delights and Shadows, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. His book The Poetry Home Repair Manual (University of Nebraska Press, 2005), gives beginning poets tips for their writing. Kooser’s most recent book, a prose volume entitled Lights on a Ground of Darkness was recently released by University of Nebraska Press as well as a children’s book entitled Bag in the Wind, illustrated by Barry Root, from Candlewick Press. Also from Candlewick is The House Held Up by Trees, due for publication in 2011. Over the years his works have appeared in many periodicals including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Hudson Review, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and Antioch Review. He has received two NEA fellowships in poetry, the Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize, The James Boatwright Prize, and a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council.

Kooser’s writing is known for its clarity, precision, and accessibility and his poems are included in textbooks and anthologies used in both secondary schools and college classrooms across the country. In addition to poetry, Kooser has written in a variety of forms including plays, fiction, personal essays, and literary criticism.  His first book of prose, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003 and Third Place in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in Nonfiction for 2002. The book was chosen as the Best Book Written by a Midwestern Writer for 2002 by Friends of American Writers.  It also won the Gold Award for Autobiography in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards.

Admission to this event is free, and complimentary refreshments will be served.

Funding for the Spirit Lake Poetry Series is provided by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and the Arrowhead Library System with money in part from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, by Northern Lights Books and Gifts, and by the Manitou Fund.

SLPS Reading in Aitkin, Saturday 4/2 2-5pm @ Jacques Art Center

March 28, 2011

LouAnn Shepard Muhm, Margaret Olson Webster and Eileen Keen will be reading at the Jacques Art Center, Aitkin, MN on Saturday, April 2 at 2 pm as part of the Spirit Lake Poetry Series Outreach Readings. The readings will be followed by a Q & A session, and refreshments.

Kick off National Poetry Month with great poetry & discussions on writing, poetry & literature.  Then, end National Poetry Month back in Duluth with former National Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, at CSS Somers Lounge, Saturday 4/30 7:30pm

Michelle Matthees & Joyce Sutphen | Saturday 3/26 | 7:30pm | Teatro Zuccone 222 E.Superior St

March 23, 2011

Matthees and Sutphen at Teatro Zuccone 3.26 7:30pmSpirit Lake Poetry Series will host a joint reading by poets Michelle Matthees and Joyce Sutphen on Saturday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m., at Teatro Zuccone (222 E. Superior St., Duluth, MN).

Michelle Matthees is the author of three poetry collections, all recently published by Press This! Served is a prose poem meditation on working as a pizza delivery driver in Duluth, Outside is a collection about living in the woods of Northern Minnesota without electricity or running water, and Junket is an eclectic urban journey. All were published with guidance from the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts and with a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Artists Council. Additionally, Michelle has received grants, awards and fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and Associated Writing Programs, and she was also a 2009 Jerome/ SASE Emerging Writer. Her poems have appeared in The Bloomsbury Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, The Bellingham Review, and in numerous other journals.

Joyce Sutphen lives in Chaska, Minnesota and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She grew up on a farm near St. Joseph, Minnesota, and this is the foundation for her new book from Red Dragonfly Press: First Words (2010). She is also the author of Naming the Stars (2003), which won the Minnesota Book Award, Straight Out of View (Beacon Press, 1995), winner of the 1994 Barnard New Women Poets Prize, and Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press, 2000). Red Dragonfly Press published Fourteen Sonnets in 2005 in a letterpress edition, and in 2006 she co-edited To Sing Along the Way, an award winning anthology of Minnesota women poets from pre-Territorial days to the present. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Water~Stone, Hayden’s Ferry, Shenandoah, Luna, and many others, and her work has been widely anthologized. She has also been a guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Most recently, Joyce was a featured reader at this year’s Marshall Fest, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser featured two of her poems on American Life in Poetry.

Admission to this event is free and open to the public.

Funding for the Spirit Lake Poetry Series is provided by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and the Arrowhead Library System with money in part from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, by Northern Lights Books and Gifts, and by The Manitou Fund.

Spirit Lake Poetry Series – Virginia, Minnesota Monday March 7th

February 28, 2011

Words and Lyrics
Monday, March 7th
6:30 pm
$3.00 suggested donation
The First Stage
514 Chestnut Street, Virginia
We are pleased to present a Deborah Gordon Cooper, Ryan Vine and Francine Sterle for a session of reading, Q & A, and book signing. Come start your week off with the spoken word!
The writers are brought to us through the Spirit Lake Poetry Series.

more info –

St. David’s Day Reading *Note New Day & Place*

February 12, 2011

Join us at the Teatro Zuccone Thursday, February 24th at 7:30pm!

St. David’s Day Open Mic Reading has been around a long time – not as long as the tradition of wearing leeks and commemorating the poem that foretold Wales’ success against the Anglo-Saxons – but for over a decade rain, sleet, snow, sun or ice.

This year we’ll have leeks (humble reminder of St. David and great in soup) for all participants, a chair for the winner of best-recited original poem and a surprise award to the best-recited poem written by a different poet.  There will be a great group of readers, including Mayor Don Ness, Duluth Poet Laureate Sheila Packa, Yvonne Rutford, Bart Sutter, Moriah Erickson and many more.

Come share your favorite poem – whether it be one of your own or by another poet!

We look forward to seeing and hearing you there!

St. David's Day Reading Poster

Sister Nations reading at Fond du Lac

October 31, 2010

Sister Nations: A Celebration of Native American Women Writers looks like a fantastic reading. I just spent some time with Linda LeGarde Grover the other day, talking to her about her book, The Dance Boots. Sounds like aside from reading from the book which the event celebrates that those involved (Grover, Heid Erdrich, Dr. Pauline Danforth, and Marcie Rendon) will have time to share their own work too. Will be a powerful night tomorrow night, Nov. 1, 7 pm, Fond du Lac’s College Amphitheater