Friday, October 31, 2008

Poetry Events this Weekend!

Just noticed this off the wire from Lake Superior Writers:
November 1st, 2008, Saturday, 2 to 4 pm., The Green Room at
the Duluth Public Library, 520 West Superior Street, Duluth,

Please join us for a panel discussion on "The Future of
Poetry" led by 2008-10 Duluth Poet Laureate Jim Johnson,
with Ryan Vine, Chris Godsay, Jennifer Derrick, Paul
Lundgren, and Cecilia Lieder. There will be discussion and
demonstration of different formats for presenting poetry:
via the internet, rap music, poetry slams, blogging, and
print publication of poetry chapbooks and books.

Sponsored by Lake Superior Writers and community
organizations. Free and open to the public, with
refreshments provided by The Friends of the Duluth Public

For additional information, contact Lake Superior Writers,, 218-722-3094.


Sunday, November 2nd, Poet Al Hunter will be reading 3-5 to release his new book of poetry at Amazing Grace Cafe in Canal Park. We'll have his books available at the event!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wolf / Moose Study of Isle Royale Celebration

"Duluth will be celebrating the 50 years of wolf moose research in a way that honors special wild places." Documentary screening on Thursday at the Marshall Performing Arts Center and presentations at the Library rotunda (afternoon) and the Marshall Performing Arts Center (evening).

If you follow the wolf/moose study (I believe it's the longest single predator/prey study ever conducted), if you love the mystique of Isle Royale (mining, fishing, ships, lighthouses, backpacking, wildlife, the possibility of visiting the largest island on the largest lake on the largest island on the largest freshwater lake in the world), or if you are interested by the outdoors - include these events in your plans!

Also include a visit down to the bookstore November 8th, Saturday morning at 10am to meet Carolyn Peterson. Carolyn Peterson will be in the store (I think she'll have her husband Rolf Peterson with her...) signing copies of her book A View from the Wolf's Eye, a memoir detailing her life on Isle Royale, including raising a family in the back country and other impressions of life on the magnificent island.

Carolyn will be in the store on Saturday 11/8 at 10am
Check the study's site for background information, photos, news, and even artistic impressions of the study

Is your pocket not fulfilling its full potential?

These Olive Editions from HarperCollins are a great concept - good size and durability and featuring recent classics (beating Penguin Classics to the punch?).

Next step: make books the new bling.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Read before the Election

Or before Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving's already passed), Or before the harsh winter. Actually I read it this summer and enjoyed it, so anytime in the spring would be good too...

The main thing is that you should read Sarah Vowell's new book, Wordy Shipmates. In it she examines the lives of the second-wave Puritans that have left their mark in so many ways through to today. She pays special attention to John Winthrop's "City on a Hill," beacon of Christian living idea. She shows how he came up with the idea, who liked it, when and why, at the time, and the ways in which he tried to carry it out. She also notes how it's carried through into current politics and mindsets.

Also addressed in the book: mean-spirited pamphlet wars; apologies out to the King of England; Puritans and their connections to the land, the natives, and the future site of Rhode Island; courtrooms and other forms of justice; and what we chose to remember -> the buckle hats, turkey and witch hunts.

Sarah Vowell shares her research and insights with dry humor and incredible wit, as always. Here's a link to several of her clips from This American Life, the pertinent one being "Turkey in Pilgrim's Clothing" examining modern pop culture's view of the puritans/pilgrims in situation comedies:"17th century New England is all situation. No Comedy."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Twin Cities Book Festival and National Book Award

Thanks, again, to M&Q for giving a heads up to Utne's vlog coverages of the Twin Cities Book Festival. It's a fantastic event put on by one of my favorite zines, Rain Taxi (available at the store for free!). We were lucky to come across many of these books and booksellers and publisher reps at MBA. Now you can experience it second hand and be aware of the event for next year.

The Milkweed and Coffeehouse books are on my to-read list, Once and Future Celt is on my table at home, and Graywolf's Refresh Refresh sounds right up my alley!

If none of these great books leap out at you, then check out these National Book Award nominees for 2008. We'll do our best to get them in/ keep them on stock at the store for you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So behind on posting!

Ok. Last few weeks in review:
Midwest Booksellers Association meeting in Minneapolis. It was my first trip and I enjoyed it greatly. Click here to see the article. I'm going to claim to be one of the blurs in the picture until proven wrong. (many thanks to David @ M&Q for the link that he posted to their great blog in a very timely and adept fashion!)

Interesting takes on Nobel Literature Award at the Poetry Foundation and Banned Books Week from a Banner of Books Bookbuyer.

Standing Ovation for Johnson and Family The Laureate Standing Behind His Publications
Duluth Poet Laureate Jim Johnson had his inaugural reading complete with music from the family! The Mayor popped in for a declaration full of "Whereas" statements to warm the heart!

Margi Preus brought in green tea for her book The Peace Bell. You can still see her in the store later on if you missed her, or check out her event at Harbor City.

Beatrice Ojakangas and her sister brought in a rosemary parmesan bread. It was very tasty and made the store smell wonderful. It's one of over 500 recipes for caseroles, which go by many names but can be just about anything baked and served in a single dish. (who says I don't pay attention?!)

Some ladies posed in a parking lot next to an old spring factory across the street. I guess too many people have the picture with the bridge in the background. Or the Lake. Or one of our more historic buildings. Or Rose Garden. Or public park.

And I'm way behind on my grading for school and blogging and store holiday cataloguing for the store.

We're on the tail end of our color peak, but it's still quite gorgeous out.

This weekend Duluth's own Cal Benson as he opens the twelfth season of the Spirit Lake Poetry Series with a reading on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m., in Somers Lounge at the College of St. Scholastica

more soon as I continue to catch up. Nary a dull moment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I want circumstances such as these in my future

Kash's Blog from Boulder, CO: wherein he details being fought over to go to dinner with John Hodgman and Chuck Klosterman. And the hilarity that ensues.

If you haven't checked out Downtown Owl, make sure you pick it up, or at least some of Klosterman's other works.

Push to shove, I have to say I'm a Hodgman fan through and through. He had me at 700 Hobo Names. As such, I'm looking very forward to the 21st, when More Information Than You Require hits the shelves with more made-up knowledge than any shelf could hope to hold!
Here is More Information than You Require

and while we're thinking about the end of the week...

here's a story that appeared in the The Duluth Budgeteer this past week about our very own blog and beloved store.
Read our fame before it's archived!

More Banned Books Thoughts as Banned Books Week Draws to a Close

Via Powell's Bookstore Blog another perspective on Banned Books Week that acknowledges the possible complacency through self-congratulatory posturing, a la "Good thing we saved Harry Potter from those barbarians!"

In a lot of ways, David Ulin's piece could be applied to many celebrations and memorials and the over-simplifications involved. His L.A. Times piece asks us to respect the responsibility of fighting censorship while acknowledging the full power of books (often at the root of people wanting to ban them - not to be dismissed as "simply" fanaticism). Read his full story here.

As Banned Books Week Comes to an End

I think the best part of this week is to reflect on the great literature out there that may have been ripped from the collective conscience because someone disagreed with the politics, the characters, the religion, the relationships and/or the author. To think that book bans are in the past is to open the door to those who would seek to stamp upon the discourse of ideas now and in the future.
This post says it all VERY well

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Say what?!

Nobel Judge dismisses US Literature.

I tend to agree with person who offers up a reading list to the callous judge. There is something to be said about Americans not having the availability of translations or seeking them out as much as we might, but the longer recorded histories of Europe and close proximities of cultures and languages do not automatically equate better writing.

I guess this means we won't be seeing any Flarf poets crowned on the Nobel stage for a few more years.