August 2015 NorthWords

lake-poems-v2-1Publication Launch, Art Opening & Reading – Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior

Aug 23 (Sun) 3-5 pm
Zeitgeist Arts Café, 222 E. Superior St., Duluth

Don’t miss the publication launch, reading and art exhibit opening for Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior (Holy Cow! Press, 2015). Twenty-five of the anthology poets (many are LSW members — see below) will share their work from the anthology; Sara Thomsen will provide music, and there will be an opening of a two-month exhibit of Lake Superior visual art by North Shore artists. There will be a wine and cheese reception, books for sale, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Holy Cow! Press,, 218-724-1653.

Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior was edited by Jim Perlman, Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, Pamela Mittlefehldt and includes 70 poems by contemporary poets such as Heid E. Erdrich, Kimberly Blaeser, James Armstrong, and Sara Thomsen, et al. who live near and/or have been inspired by Lake Superior. Nineteen of the poets are members of Lake Superior Writers, including Samuel Black, Gary Boelhower, Sharon Chmielarz, Deborah Cooper, Teresa Boyle Falsani, Phil Fitzpatrick, Candace Ginsberg, Linda Glaser, Mara Kirk Hart, Susan Hawkinson, Jim Johnson, Meridel Kahl, Maggie Kazel, Susan Deborah King, Pamela Mittlefehldt, Susan Perala-Dewy, Yvonne Rutford, Ellie Shoenfeld and Amy Jo Swing!

A gallery of full color images of Lake Superior adds to this unique presentation of culturally rich writings.

“Gichigami. Sweet Water Sea. Shining Big-Sea Water. Lake Superior. It is scavenging gull and mystery. Agate and driftwood. Sea smoke, memory, desire. It sings to us ‘in syllables/of sapphire and silver,’ as Meridel Kahl writes. In its ancient language we hear legend and story. It thunders. It is mute. Jane Graham George observes that the ‘mind imprints what it loves.’ Lake Superior has been imprinted on mind and memory, in dreams and poems.”–from the Introduction by Pamela Mittlefehldt

“Lake Superior would devour prose that tries to contain it. Only concise droplets of poetry can survive upon its surface and reflect its true, multifaceted soul. Through many voices and styles, this anthology celebrates the Big Lake, its varied moods and individual meanings. For a true taste of the Sweetwater Sea, drink deeply of these verses relevant and real, frightful and fantastic, mischievous and mystic.”–Konnie LeMay, Editor, Lake Superior Magazine

“Place is story. Place holds histories, and the Big Water conducts, magnifies, and preserves. We walk its beaches, squat its rock ledges. Release. Absorb. Our ears open as caves. The poems gathered here are gifts of receiving. They will point you toward the mystery of the water, a mystery inseparable from your own slight self.”–Danielle Sosin, author of The Long-Shining Waters

$18.95, available from local bookstores,, or through Holy Cow! Press,


LSW Board News

The Board of Directors of Lake Superior Writers met on Monday, Aug. 1 and elected officers. Officers for the 2015-2016 fiscal year are:  Marion Gustafson, Chair; Marie Zhuikov, Co-Chair, John Sorensen, Treasurer, and Marty Sozansky, Recording Secretary. Over the summer, the Board welcomed Alice Marks and Sandi Johnson as new board members.


“Dialogue” Workshop Cancelled

The LSW workshop DIALOGUE: Elevating Your Writing from Good to Great for Aug 29, which we announced in July, has been cancelled; we are hoping to reschedule this workshop later in our 2015-2016 program year. Stay tuned!


Aug 20 (Thur) Naomi Cochran Poetry Reading in Cable
6:30 pm
Forest Lodge Library, Cable WI
With open mic

Wisconsin poet Naomi Cochran recently published a book titled Finding Ourselves in Alzheimers, a 21-poem collection. These poems chronicle the journey of one family who face Alzheimer’s together, finding grace and joy amid the struggles and pain. Cochran will be reading selections from this work at the Forest Lodge Library in Cable on Thursday, August 20th at 6:30.

Cochran has been writing poetry for over forty years and has been published in regional journals such as Dust & Fire, Free Verse Magazine and Red Cedar. Her work has also been featured in several annual calendars from the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, of which she is a member. She and her husband Bill live in Hayward.

After the featured reader, those attending are invited to share a poem or two of their own. Copies of the work will be available for sale.

The Forest Lodge Library is located at 13450 County Highway M in Downtown Cable. For more information, visit their website at or give them a call at 715-798-3189.


KUDOS – News about our members

James A. Brakken’s short story collection, The Moose & Wilbur P. Dilby plus 36 Fairly True Tales from Up North, is out. Moose contains 37 stories straight from the heart and the heart of the north. Meet the author and share some old-time-up-north tales at one of our events. Upcoming book signings, shows, & speaking engagements include: Fri Aug 7, Deep Water Grill, Ashland, 1-3 pm; Redbery Books, Cable, Sat. 8/8, 3-5 pm (live music); Fri & Sat Aug 14 & 15, UWBC U-Fest, Rice Lake.

The July edition of Northern Wilds included Eric Chandler’s stories on Homemade Root Beer and the Grand Avenue Nordic Center. The August edition of Northern Wilds includes his story on the Duluth Rowing Club: Back to the Future.

Jan Chronister has recent publications in The Great Gatsby Anthology (Silver Birch Press), The Way the Light Slants (Silly Tree Press), Embers and Flames (Outrider Press) and Pan’s Shadow. Two of her poems currently appear on A Quiet Courage website. She received an Honorable Mention for poetry in the forthcoming Talking Stick.

Shelley Getten’s Chapbook, Agates (Finishing Line Press) is now in its 2nd Printing. It is currently available at the publisher’s website and

Jim Johnson’s new book of poetry YOIK (Red Dragonfly Press) is out and available at The Bookstore at Fitgers.

Liz Minette has two poems published in Vending Machine Press, Issue #11,, an online audio/literary magazine. VMP Issue #11 is ‘live’ Saturday, August 1st, 2015.

Upcoming Events

Aug 12 (Wed) 6-8 pm (Every second Wednesday) North Shore Poets meet to read and critique poetry at the Two Harbors Public Library. This is an open group, we welcome newcomers, and it’s free. For more information contact Shelley at (612) 910-8496.

Aug 20 (Thur) 7-9 pm – Spoken Word Open Mic at Beaner’s Central, 324 N Central Ave, Duluth. (Held every third Thursday.) All genres welcome. Hosted by Jessica Himango. Featured Guest: Ed Newman. Half-priced wine, book exchange, trivia, and prizes.

Sept 24, 7-9 pm – New six-week class in creative writing begins at Lincoln Park Middle School. “Six Weeks to Better Writing” will be taught by LSW member Alice Marks. Look for a registration form in the Budgeteer.


Writing Residency in Nebraska 
Deadline to apply: Sept 1, 2015
$35 application fee

The next deadline for applications for writing residencies at The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE is Sept 1, 2015. The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts offers 2- to 8-week residencies year-round for writers, visual artists, and music composers. Housing, studio space, $100/week stipend are provided. Approximately 60 residencies are awarded per year. Two deadlines are offered each year, March 1 for the following July through December; or Sept 1 for the following January through June. Visit website for complete information, guidelines and the online application portal:


LSW Writing Groups

Aug 16 (Sun) 1:30 pm – The Memoir Group meets at Mara Hart’s home, 205 W. Kent Road, Duluth. Please call for directions: 218-728-1253 or 218-409-4108. All are welcome.

Aug 19 (Wed) 6-8 pm – The 3rd Wednesday Writers Group will meet in the upstairs room at Beaner’s Central, 324 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth.

Aug 20 (Thur) 11:30 am – The Writer’s Square Table meets at the Sami Center: 4915 E. Superior Street, Ste. #205. The topic: Sharing and discussing our favorite writing books. All are welcome.

Sept 8 (Thur) 10 am – 12 noon – The Inkslingers will resume meeting at the home of Alice Marks. A salad luncheon will follow the meeting. For more information, including directions, please email Alice at

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