August 2018 NorthWords

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

Join us on Saturday 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, and find members for your writing group. It’s casual and friendly (and Perk Place has really good coffee).



Leaves of Grass – Illuminated
A solo performance by Patrick Scully
Celebrating Walt Whitman
Wed Sept 12, 7 pm
Teatro Zuccone, Downtown Duluth
Tickets $10; at and at the box office

Patrick Scully as Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is considered to be America’s great poet, but his work was very controversial for its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass (1855). Leaves of Grass was described as obscene for its overt sexuality, while it received praised from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In Leaves of Grass—Illuminated, Patrick Scully embodies Whitman in his “multitudes,” exploring his inclusiveness and embrace of all humankind.

PATRICK SCULLY is a Minneapolis-based performing artist. Leaves of Grass–Illuminated has premiered in New York City and Minneapolis, and will be performed July 12-14, 2019, at the Guthrie Theater, shortly after the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth.

This activity is made possible by the voters of MN through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and is sponsored by Lake Superior Writers. The performance includes video projections depicting nudity. 

Author Michael Fedo
Writing Workshop & Book Release Party
Sept 16 (Sun)
Workshop: 2-3:30 pm
Reading and book signing: 4 pm

Lake Superior Writers and Holy Cow! Press present a writing workshop and book release party celebrating Michael Fedo’s new memoir, Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author on Sunday, September 16, 2018, at the August Fitger Room in the Fitger’s Complex, 600 E. Superior St., Duluth. The workshop will take place from 2-3:30 PM, followed by the reading and book signing at 4 PM.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author recounts the five-decade writing career of Michael Fedo. This book should engage general readers curious about the literary life of a workaday writer, as well as aspiring authors-in-waiting.

Fedo’s writing workshop will focus on crafting publishable op-ed essays. His op-ed pieces have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, and the Providence Journal, among others. Fedo will discuss types of op-ed essays and publications. For the first ten enrollees, Fedo will read and critique individual op-ed pieces. Submissions should run 600-800 words. The workshop costs $10 for Lake Superior Writers members; $20 for non-members. To register, contact

Michael Fedo has published hundreds of articles and essays in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, and elsewhere. Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author is his tenth book.

Duluth Poet Laureate Project seeks applications for
2018-2010 Duluth Poet Laureate

The Duluth Poet Laureate Project announces its search for the 2018-2020 Duluth Poet Laureate. Founded in 2005, the project seeks to honor local poets and increase the public’s appreciation of poetry.  Minnesota poets who live within thirty miles of Duluth in the past five of ten years are eligible to apply. Once selected, the Duluth Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term and organize five public events, an inaugural reading, and attend monthly committee meetings. The Duluth Poet Laureate will receive an honorarium of $3,000.

Application guidelines are available at the Circulation Desk of the main Duluth Public Library, are downloadable at, and are also available by e-mail from

The Duluth Poet Laureate Project is co-sponsored by area literary organizations, college and university English departments, and by donations from local businesses. The Zeitgeist Arts Center is the fiscal agent of the Duluth Poet Laureate Project. Application deadline is September 4, 2018. Please contact 218-724-1653 for further information.

Writing for Beginners
Workshop with Alice Marks
4 sessions Saturdays in October

Alice Marks

This class is for the beginning writer; someone who has always wanted to write. Writers will be encouraged to write in their prefered genre as they learn some of the “tricks of the trade.” Each class will provide timed writing opportunities, including exercises and personal creating. Participants will learn the art of gentle critiquing as each reads and asks for critiques. While not denying that writing can be hard work, this class will stress the joy and therapeutic value of writing and strive to make the writing fun, rather than daunting, for each new writer.

This is a four-session class, and will take place every Saturday morning in October 2018 (Oct 6, 13, 20, 27) from 10am-12pm at Duluth Sister Cities (the Lake Superior Writer’s office).

Cost: $50/LSW members, $85/non-LSW members (includes one-year Lake Superior Writers membership).

Scholarships are available. To sign up, please email Jenna at

LSW Manuscript Swap 

The Manuscript Swap is for authors with completed, unpublished novel-length manuscripts who are willing to review someone else’s novel-length manuscript in exchange for feedback on their own. It’s peer-to-peer feedback, hosted by LSW. This program is designed to connect local authors with serious, positive feedback from another local writer on an unpublished manuscript. Note that this program is not a good fit for authors seeking professional editing or proofreading services. Please visit Manuscript Swap for full information.

Call for Writers Cafe Hosts

We’ve been thrilled with the regular attendance of LSW members at the Writer’s Cafe at Perk Place the second Saturday of every month. To continue it’s ongoing success, we are looking for LSW members to volunteer to be hosts. We’re looking for six people to volunteer to host two Writer’s Cafes a year (about a 4-6 hour commitment a year, total).

As a host, you’ll be responsible for calling a week ahead to ensure the table is reserved at Perk Place, welcoming people at the beginning of the session, ensuring people feel welcome and introduce themselves, and facilitate meaningful conversations around writing. No experience or expert-level writing expertise is required; just a passion for writing and helping writers network in the northland! For training, we’ll have you co-host with someone so you can get a feel for it before you host solo. Couples and two-person host teams are also encouraged to apply.

If you’re interested in hosting, please email Jenna at

Call for volunteers to plan writers conference

LSW is exploring the possibility of hosting a Writers Conference in 2020! We’re looking for people who would in interested in joining a sub-committee to start planning this great event.

The first meeting will be Thursday, August 23, 7 pm at the Starbucks in Woodland (1002 Woodland Ave, Duluth, MN 55812). This is a first meeting to start brainstorming what this event could be and to start planning.

We hope to see you there! If you’re interested in helping with planning, but can’t make the initial meeting, or if you have questions about helping to plan this event, please email Jenna at

An Evening With Billy Collins
Sept 7 Central Lakes College, Brainerd

Poet Billy Collins

Verse Like Water: the visiting poet program of Central Lakes College presents An Evening with Billy Collins, September 7th, at 7:00 in the Tornstrom Auditorium in the Washington Education Center in Brainerd. America’s most beloved poet will read, sign books, and then greet the public at Prairie Bay Restaurant. This kicks off the seventh year of Verse Like Water programming, and Mary Szybist (October 15th) and Peter Balakian (November 7th) will follow. Tickets for Billy’s reading will be available online beginning July 9th here.

Literary events in our region

Aug 6 (Mon) 6:30 pm – Words and Lyrics monthly spoken word event at the Lyric Annex, 516 Chestnut St., Virginia. Bring your prose and poetry to share, or sit back, listen and enjoy the spoken word.

Aug 8 (Wed) Noon-2 pm – Cary J. Griffith will be signing books, including Gunflint Burning, his new book about the Ham Lake fire in 2007 in the BWCA Wilderness, at the Mid-Trail Auction benefit for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department (GTVFD) at the GTVFD Station #1 – Poplar Lake.

Aug 9 (Thur) 6-8 pm – Cary J. Griffith will be doing a reading at Voyageurs Brewing Company in Grand Marais. His new book Gunflint Burning is about the 2007 Ham Lake fire in in the BWCA Wilderness.

Aug 10 (Fri) 7 pm – Faith Sullivan will read from her forthcoming Harvester novel and take questions from the audience. Drury Lane Books, East Bay in Grand Marais. 218-387-3370.

Aug 24 (Fri) 7-9 pm – Heid E. Erdrich presents New Poets of Native Nations, a landmark anthology celebrating Native poets first published in the 21st century. Gathering poets of diverse ages, styles, languages, and tribal affiliations, editor Heid E. Erdrich presents an extraordinary range of new Native poetry. The result is a contemporary, singular, and essential anthology. Heid will be introduced at this evening’s event by Duluth author Linda LeGarde Grover, whose most recent work Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year received the 2018 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five collections of poetry, including Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media, which received the 2018 Minnesota Book Award in poetry. She has been named a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Fellow in Literature. She is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain, and lives and teaches in Minneapolis. Zenith Bookstore, Duluth.

Aug 25 (Sat) 7 pm – Brenda Child and Jonathan Thunder will read from their new English/Ojibwe children’s book, Powwow Bowwow, and discuss the process with the audience. Drury Lane Books, East Bay in Grand Marais. 218-387-3370.

Aug 26 (Sun) 7:30 pm – Full Moon Reading – Children’s Books Read-Aloud! Bring your favorite children’s books to share around the bonfire. Drury Lane Books, East Bay in Grand Marais. 218-387-3370.

Aug 30 (Thur) 6-7:30 pm – Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA) winners and honorable mention reading, 4th Floor Rotunda at the UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library. Some of the authors of the Lake Superior Writers anthology Going Coastal will be there to read their short stories.

KUDOS – News about our members

Jan Chronister has poems in Stars (Outrider Press), Twig Magazine, and the Greed and Gluttony anthologies (second and third in a series by Pure Slush Books).

Eric Chandler’s poem “Henge” was selected to be included in Waters Deep: A Great Lakes Poetry Anthology coming out in Winter 2018 by Split Rock Review.

Katharine Johnson’s new children’s picture book The Mukluk Ball will be in bookstores soon. She and illustrator Alicia Schwab will be presenting and signing their book at the Red Wing Children’s Book Festival on September 15.


Ariel Anthology seeks poetry submissions

Submissions are now open for the Ariel Anthology, Issue 5. The theme is journeys. Open to Wisconsin poets over 18. Deadline is September 16. For complete details and guidelines, please email

REWILD Writing Workshop
Sept 7-9, Gunflint Trail

REWILD is an immersive workshop where you spend a weekend “on assignment” as a nature writer. The inaugural workshop will be held at a historic camp on the edge of the Boundary Waters.

REWILD 2018 will take place in northern Minnesota. You’ll venture out on a day trip to a hidden waterfall in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Take time to journal, swim, practice your photography, or simply relax. Immerse yourself in seminars, practicums, and creative experiences. At a comfortable lakeside lodge, a working professional writer will guide you step by step through the process of writing your own nature vignette—a miniature version of the kind of story you see featured on magazine covers.

At the end of the workshop, you’ll have a chance to give a reading and be applauded for your work. You may also choose to have your story published on the forthcoming Wildhaus Studio blog.  Before and after the in-person workshop, you’ll enjoy three private mini-workshops delivered live online (and recorded for your convenience) to jumpstart your writing practice for 2019. For curious writers of all levels, REWILD is a weekend to develop as a writer and inspire new possibilities for your creative life.

INSTRUCTOR: Shelby Gonzalez is a senior writer for REI Co-op and founder of Wildhaus, an independent writing studio. Her background includes an adventure column (Miss Guided), hundreds of published stories, and a managing editor role at Northern Wilds magazine. Her most recent feature is about volcanoes and the search for alien life.

TUITION: $597 – For more information:

2018 Pizza Farm Thursdays with Spoken Word Performances
Thursdays 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.

Open LSW writing groups

Aug 15 (Wed) 6 pm – The Third Wednesday Writers Group is planning to hold their July 18 meeting at Enger Park.  At 5:00 pm we will have a picnic and social hour followed by our regular meeting at 6:00 pm. In the case of stormy weather and/or rain we will meet at our regular time and place at the Miller Hill Perkins at 6:00 pm. The group is facilitated by Rodney Savary, 218-464-7701,

Aug 19 (Sun) – 1:30 pm – The LSW Memoir Group will meet at the home of Ray Allard, 210 West Kent Road. We solicit the participation of those who are working on memoirs. Please bring something to read.

A note from Ray Allard: “This is an open invitation to any Lake Superior Writers members who are working on memoirs: the LSW Memoir Group meets the third Sunday of every month at 210 West Kent Road, Duluth, near the UMD campus. You are invited to join us, and are asked to bring samples of your work to read. We offer friendly support and positive criticism. All attending receive respect and a friendly forum in which to read. You can reach me at”

Writers’ Square Table discussion group meets at the Sami Center of North America, 4915 E. Superior St., Suite 205 (Enter from Pitt St.) Please contact for date and time of meeting.