April 2018 NorthWords

Writers Cafe
Sat April 14, 9-11 am
Perk Place, 1336 W. Arrowhead Road, Duluth

Join us on Saturday, April 14 from 9-11 am at Perk Place, 1336 West Arrowhead, Duluth for a chance to meet up with other writers and talk about writing. The Writers Cafe meets the second Saturday of each month. It’s a great way to meet fellow LSW members, network, find critique partners for that unwieldy manuscript, and find members for your writing group. It’s casual and friendly (and Perk Place has really good coffee).

Check out LSW’s latest podcast! 

Brooks Johnson interviews Duluth Poet Laureate Ellie Schoenfeld, who reads a few poems and talks about her inspiration as we celebrate National Poetry Month in April. (Find the link to the podcast at right)

“Spring Cleaning for Your Poems”
Poetry workshop with Jan Chronister
April 21 (Sat)
10 am-2 pm
Art on the Planet, Superior

What better time than National Poetry Month to spend some time revising/reworking your poems and cleaning up drafts? Participants in this workshop will share poems with the group and engage in structured, focused critiques. This workshop is suitable for both new and published poets. Various submission opportunities and how to maximize your chances of acceptance will also be discussed. Workshop facilitator Jan Chronister has taught poetry basics as well as advanced revision techniques for many years.

Participants should bring a lunch and be prepared for a working lunch. Coffee and water will be provided. Cost to Lake Superior Writers Members: $25. Cost to non-members: $35. To register, contact Chris Pascone at cpascone@mail.ru.

Directions and parking: Art on the Planet is located at 1413 Tower Ave., Superior. There’s no street parking in front, but there is a large, free parking lot behind the shop, off of Banks Ave.

LSW Panel: “Get that Grant!”
April 24 (Tues)
6-7 pm: Meet and Greet
7-8:30 pm: Panel
Bent Paddle Taproom, Duluth

Join Lake Superior Writers in the new Bent Paddle Taproom for our third and final panel of this year’s season – Get that Grant!  You’ll learn from the experiences of four writers who have earned grant funding for their artistic projects: Gary Boelhower, Judy Budreau, Tina Higgins, and Danielle Sosin. Ashley Kolka from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council will be on hand to talk about grants available to writers in our area. Bent Paddle’s taproom is located at 1832 West Michigan Street in Duluth.

The space is generously donated by Bent Paddle, so please come early and grab a beer before we start – and remember to tip your beertenders! The event is free and open to the public.

LSW Annual Contest Reading & Member Celebration
May 19 (Sat), 3-5 pm
Estuarium, 3 Marina Drive, Barker’s Island, Superior

Margi Preus

Join us for a reading by our 2018 contest winners, featuring Newberry Award-winning author Margi Preus as our keynote speaker. Enjoy refreshments, connect with writers, and be inspired. This event is free for our current members and their guests; $35 for anyone who would like to attend (admission includes one year’s membership in LSW).

William Kent Krueger Workshop
“Narrative and Plot: The Heart and Bones of a Story”
May 24 (Thur) 2-4 pm
Northland Country Club, Duluth

William Kent Krueger, award-winning Minnesota writer of the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series, will lead a Lake Superior Writers workshop, “Narrative and Plot: The Heart and Bones of a Story,” from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at Northland Country Club, 3901 East Superior Street, Duluth.

Krueger is the featured speaker for the thirtieth annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) the evening of May 24, also at Northland Country Club (see Literary events in our region below). In the workshop, Krueger will speak with participants about elements that create a compelling plot—the skeleton of a story—and then about the story’s narrative elements, which give the story its emotion and humanity. Participants should bring paper and pen for two brief writing exercises during the workshop.

Cost for the workshop is $25 for LSW members and $35 for non-members, which includes membership in Lake Superior Writers. To register, please email Marty Sozansky at msozansk@d.umn.edu. The workshop is limited to 20 participants.

Literary events in our region

April 2 (Mon) 6:30 pm – Words and Lyrics, a monthly spoken word event will be an open mic on Monday, April 2nd at 6:30 pm. This monthly tradition takes place at the Lyric Annex, 516 Chestnut St., Downtown Virginia, MN. It’s free and open to the public.  Sit back and listen to the Spoken Word!  Free and open to the public.

April 4 (Wed) 7 pm – To celebrate the start of National Poetry Month, Zenith Bookstore hosts James Lenfestey, who will discuss and read from his recent collection A Marriage Book. James will be introduced by Duluth Poet Laureate Ellie Schoenfeld. Writing love poems fifty years into a marriage is no easy task: “If he exaggerates his love, she’ll know . . . And if his desire for her is undiminished, / who would believe?” But in A Marriage Book, Lenfestey meets his own challenge with aplomb. These poems drop readers into the rich, textured world of one couple’s enduring intimacy, from the warmth of a bedroom occupied by two to squabbles over miscommunications and crumbs in the kitchen. Zenith Bookstore, 318 N. Central Ave., Duluth.

Denise Sweet

April 6 (Fri) 5:30 pm – Publication launch and reading by poet Denise Sweet from her new collection Palominos Near Tuba City: New & Selected Poems, published by Duluth’s Holy Cow! Press, at the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center, 212 West Second Street, Duluth. Publication of the book was made possible in part by a grant from the Anishinabe Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. Denise Sweet is faculty emerita, having taught Humanistic Studies, Creative Writing, and First Nations Studies for the UW-Green Bay. In 1998, her collection Songs for Discharming won both the Wisconsin Posner Award for Poetry, and the Diane Deborah Award, given by the North American Indigenous Writers Circle of the Americas. She is Anishinabe (White Earth). In 2004, Governor James Doyle reappointed Sweet as Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate (4-year term); the second laureate for the state. There will be books available for purchase and refreshments; a $10 donation is suggested. For more information, please contact Holy Cow! Press, 218-724-1653, http://www.holycowpress.org.

April 11 (Wed) 6-8 pm – North Shore Poets and Writers welcomes writers of all genres and ages to its monthly critique group (second Wednesdays) at the Two Harbors Public Library. For information email shelleygetten@gmail.com

April 12 (Thurs) 4 pm – Thunderbird Review Release Party and Reading at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in the Campus Commons.Join us for refreshments at 4 pm and a reading showcasing contributors beginning at 4:30 pm. Copies of the journal will be available for purchase.

April 15 (Sun) 1 pm – “Homefront/Battlefront” – Join poets Peggy Trojan and Jan Chronister as they read poems about growing up in Brule during WWII and poems about war and the Holocaust. Reading takes place at Douglas County Historical Society (1101 John Avenue in Superior). Event is free and refreshments will be served.

April 17 (Tue) 6:30 pm – North Shore Poets and Writers and the Two Harbors Library host “A Celebration of Poetry.”  Everyone is invited to bring a poem you wrote, or simply a poem you love, to read in a round-robin style reading. There will also be a panel of poets to answer questions about writing, reading and publishing poetry. Panelists include Pat Eller, Micky McGilligan, Shelley Getten, Malcolm Stuhlmiller, and Helen Hartley.  For information: shelleygetten@gmail.com.

April 21 (Sat) 2 pm – Author Event: Alice Marks. Join Duluth author Alice Marks to celebrate the launch of her new book Breaks, sequel to the suspense novel Missing. Alice Marks has lived in Duluth for over three years, after an eight-year stay in Port Aransas, Texas, near Corpus Christi. Alice is a member of Lake Superior Writers and is a former board member of that organization. She leads a writing group, teaches writing classes, conducts workshops and attends LSW’s Writers Café. Zenith Bookstore, 318 N. Central Ave., Duluth.

April 21 (Sat) 2-6 pm – Dale R. Botten’s book launch party for his novel A Nice Relaxing Sea Cruise at the New Norshor Lights on Duluth Gallery (at the new Norshor Theater, downtown Duluth).

April 25 (Wed) 6:30 pm – North Shore Poets and Writers and the Two Harbors Public Library host local poets Shelley Getten, Pat Eller, and Micky McGilligan, followed by the music of Erik Berry of Trampled by Turtles, with his mandolin. The event will make for a lively evening, so come and join in the fun. For information: shelleygetten@gmail.com.

April 26 (Thurs) 7 pm – Author Event: Maya Rao. Maya Rao presents her book Great American Outpost: Dreamers, Mavericks, and the Making of an Oil Frontier. This is the story of a 21st century American frontier — where the free market reigns supreme as profiteers rush to develop a massive new oilfield. Part Barbara Ehrenreich, part Upton Sinclair, this is an on-the-ground narrative of capitalism and industrialization as a rural, insular community transformed into a colony of outsiders hustling for profit-a sobering exploration of twenty-first century America that reads like a frontier novel. Maya Rao is a staff writer in the Washington D.C. bureau of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Awl, Philadelphia Inquirer, Longreads, and more.

May 1 (Tues) Noon – Zenith Bookstore hosts best-selling mystery writer Brian Freeman, who will be here to launch his new Jonathan Stride thriller Alter Ego. Meet Brian, and get an autographed copy of this exciting new thriller, set in Duluth. Chicago native and longtime resident of the Twin Cities Brian Freeman is an international bestselling author of psychological suspense novels. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 20 languages and have appeared as Main Selections in the Literary Guild and the Book of the Month Club. Zenith Bookstore, 318 N. Central Ave., Duluth.

May 5 (Sat) 3-5 pm – Sheila Packa will be leading a writing class for women veterans at Giant’s Ridge Resort near Biwabik. The retreat also offers support for PTSD, yoga, art classes, and pampering at the spa. Registration is required here.

May 19 (Sat) 7:30 pm – The Duluth book launch for Bart Sutter’s new book Nordic Accordion: Poems in a Scandinavian Mood will take place at the Quaker Meeting House, 1802 East First Street, on Saturday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m., when Bart is joined by his musical brother, Ross, in a special Sutter Brothers performance. Admission: $10 Adults / $5 Students. Refreshments will be served. Warning: The show will include accordion music.

May 24 (Thurs) – 30th Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) book fair, reception, featured Speaker, and awards presentation at Northland Country Club. The awards will honor books published in 2017. (Lake Superior Writers’ anthology Going Coastal is one of the nominated books.) The ​book fair and reception ​will ​st​art​ at 5​ p.m.​, with the ​speaker and ​awards presentation at 6:30​. This year’s speaker, William Kent Krueger, writes the New York Times best-selling Cork O’Connor mystery series, which is set in the north woods of Minnesota. His work has received many awards, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned by Hollywood. His 2013 novel Ordinary Grace was honored with almost every award possible in the mystery genre, including the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award. Desolation Mountain, the 17th novel in the Cork O’Connor series, will be released this August.

KUDOS – News about our members

Carol Dunbar’s short story ‘Last Gleaming” will be published in the South Carolina Review.

Teresa Falsani will read from “Work of Water” at the Cultural Arts Festival: A Celebration of the Arts on April 18 at the Charlotte Campus of Florida Southwestern State College. Terry is one of the featured authors in Three Poets: Three Journeys recently published by Peace River Press.

Crystal S. Gibbins’ poetry collection NOW/HERE (Holy Cow! Press) received Honorable Mention for the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, judged by Sean Thomas Dougherty. The Honorable Mention award is accompanied by a prize of $50 and a one week residency at the Painted Forest in Valton, Wisconsin.

Three poems by Rilla DeBot Opelt have been accepted by the Thunderbird Review and appear in the current issue.

Bart Sutter’s new book of poetry, Nordic Accordion: Poems in a Scandinavian Mood, will be released in April by Nodin Press. All of Sutter’s grandparents spoke Swedish, and he grew up among Norwegians, Finns, Danes, and Icelanders. Nordic Accordion fulfills the covenant he made with his elders long ago–to dramatize, critique, and honor their struggles, their culture, their peculiar ways. The poems, cast in a variety of forms, explore the experience of Scandinavian immigrants, their ancestors, and their descendants.

“Milton’s Hell,” Multi-media events and arts exhibit based on Paradise Lost at Karpeles Museum

April 3 (Tues) “Milton’s Hell: A Prequel to Genesis” multimedia art and video exhibit opens at Karpeles Museum, Duluth. Twelve original paintings by Duluth artist Kathryn Lenz were inspired by scenes described in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, along with a dramatic video, help contemporary audiences experience the beauty and impact of Milton’s poetry in the spirit of early readers.

April 3 (Tues) 7 pm – English Professor Karmen Lenz, Middle Georgia State University, will give an introductory gallery talk followed by a showing of the video “Milton’s Hell in Voice and Image.”  The video merges Kathryn Lenz’s paintings with dramatic reading of Milton’s vivid language describing the origins of humankind’s epic struggle between good and evil.  Through Satan’s rebellion and ambitious plans to drag humankind down with him, Milton dramatizes obedience to God’s will as a human choice, a central teaching in the Christian imagination of Puritans and the founding fathers. The video presents these scenes to match a reading of powerful passages from the poem.

April 8 (Sun) 2:30 pm – The video will be shown again, followed by a chamber concert as part of Karpeles’ Coffee, Cake, and Chamber Music Series. Sam Black and Friends will play music inspired by Milton’s epic.

These activities are made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to appropriations from The McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota State Legislature’s general and arts and cultural heritage funds.


Split Rock Review seeks poetry that celebrates and emphasizes the beauty, uniqueness, diversity, history, ecology, geological wonders, and importance of the Great Lakes and the communities surrounding them for publication in Waters Deep: A Great Lakes Poetry Anthology.

Do you have poems that explore the history of transportation, migration, shipping and trade of the Great Lakes? Poems about the species that inhabit the mysterious waters? Poems that capture the awe-inspiring storms born from the lakes? If so, submit your best poetry to Split Rock Review! Submissions for the anthology are open May 1- June 30, 2018. No submission fee. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology upon publication. For submission guidelines, visit Split Rock Review.


Make a Mobile Story Workshops. Create & share an interactive story for iPhones and iPads! No tech experience needed! No mobile device needed for workshop! Choose one of these workshop sessions:

Sat. April 7 or Sat. May 5
10 am – 3 pm plus optional work time with help, 3 – 5 pm
Marshall School computer lab, 1215 Rice Lake Road, Duluth MN
Fee: $30 Open to adults age 18 and up.

In this one-day workshop you’ll be guided from start to finish to make your own mobile story or poem using the free Aris authoring tool. You can choose how your reader or viewer will access your pages or scenes, including GPS location, QR codes, a story map, or the Continue button. Besides text, you can easily add: photos, videos, music, or spoken words. Registration in advance is required. Go to duluthworkshops.wordpress.com to register and for further details and sample stories. Contact lisa@lilalearningdesigns.com with questions or to discuss your ideas. Made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

Lisa Larson used Aris Editor to develop new learning game modules with augmented reality for the Minnesota Historical Society for a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. See https://duluthworkshops.wordpress.com/  for details and contact info.

This workshop series was made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.


Bridging the Gap Writing Workshop coming to Duluth June 2-3, 2018. Bridging the Gap is a writing workshop for both civilian and veteran writers designed to improve their skills in telling stories about military life. Writers will be offered classes in the craft of writing, motivation, networking, and lessons in how to get published. This workshop is open to writers of any background that want to improve their skills at storytelling about military life. Anyone is welcome: civilians, family members, and/or veterans. On Saturday night, 2 June, from 7-9 pm in the Northern Lights Theater there will be a free Public Reading + Panel Discussion with Dave Chrisinger, Randy Brown, Mary Doyle, Andria Williams, and LSW member Eric Chandler (Director, Bridging the Gap). This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. For details visit the Bridging the Gap website


2018 Pizza Farm Thursdays with Spoken Word Performances
Thursdays May 31 through August 30, 6-8 pm
Farmstead Creamery & Café

We’ve been exercising creativity all winter at Farmstead with a Creativity Workshop, now it’s time to put those words into performance and celebrate the writers of the Northwoods! If you are interested in being a guest artist, please call John Adler at 715-699-6023 to get your name on the schedule. Reserved artists will be asked to submit a performance photo and a one-to-two sentence descriptor of the type of work to be performed for publicity purposes. If you’d like to be an audience participant (more informal and still very fun), you can give us a shout or just come to one of the events!  All ages welcome. Please let us know in advance if your performance requires use of more than one microphone. Here’s to an awesome summer of spoken word!

Perks for Performers:  Please understand that this is only our second season for the project, which we hope will catch on and grow the potential for spoken word and interested audiences to gather.  Farmstead Creamery offers a pizza and gelato to the booked guest artists in compensation, and our famous chicken tip jar will be available.  Please feel free to bring materials that help spread the word about what you do (brochures, business cards, etc.) and any merchandise you have for your work (CDs, books, etc.).  Farmstead Creamery may be interested in carrying some of this work on consignment in our shop after the performance.


August 10-15 – Writers Retreat at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin. Facilitator: Julia Walsh, FSPA. Find focus and get in touch with your creative spirit among a supportive Christian community at this writing retreat. Enjoy time away from your daily distractions to concentrate on your writing projects, plus input from experienced authors, shared contemplative prayer, opportunities for socials, writing workshops, and recreation such as kayaking and hiking in the Northwoods. Marywood is located just north of Minocqua on Hwy 51 on Trout Lake. We offer on-site programs and retreats in our center and lakeside cabins and travel throughout the region to present workshops and programs. $495 for a shared room and all needs. $595.00 for a private room in a shared cabin and all needs. $50 cabin discount if you register and pay in full by June 15. $100 deposit with registration, please. Commuters $275. Call 715-385-3750 or email marywood.center@gmail.com to register by Friday, July 13th. Space is limited. Register early!

Open LSW writing groups

April 19 (third Thursday) 11 am – Writers’ Square Table will meet at the Sami Center of North America, 4915 E. Superior St., Suite 205 (Enter from Pitt St.) Topic: Elements of a Story. All are welcome.

April 25 (third Sunday) 1:30 pm – The LSW Memoir Group is scheduled to meet on the third Sunday of April, which is April 25 (Income Tax Day) at the home of Ray Allard, 210 West Kent Road. Participants are encouraged to bring something to read. The meeting will begin at 1:30 pm.