July 2021 NorthWords

Photo credit Jeni Torgerson

Lake Superior Writers

June NorthWords includes:

Book Club for Writers

Ever wish you could include a book’s author in your book club discussions?  Now you can!

In this new Book Club for Writers series, we bring the author to the table to talk about craft, what it took to write the book, or life as a writer for 30 minutes.  Then we allow 60 minutes for a Q&A and book discussion.

You do not need to be a member to attend.

We encourage you to support your local independent bookstores, who will be happy to order these books for you.

Linda LeGarde Grover – In the Night of Memory

July 20, 6:30-8:00 pm by Zoom

Linda LeGarde Grover is professor emeritus of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth and author of novels, short stories, poetry and memoir. A member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, she writes stories of the lives of Native American people set against the backdrop of histories and federal Indian policies. Her work has received the Flannery O’Connor Award, Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, Northeastern Minnesota Book Award and the Minnesota Book Award. Her memoir Gichigami Hearts: Stories and Histories of Misaabekong will be released in October, 2021 by the University of Minnesota Press.

When their mother goes missing, two small Ojibwe sisters enter the foster care system in northeastern Minnesota. In the Night of Memory follows their childhood and coming of age intertwined with the collective experience of their family, community and fictional tribe, Mozhay Point.

Danielle Sosin – The Long-Shining Waters

November 16 – 6:30-8:00 pm by Zoom

Danielle Sosin is the author of The Long-Shining Waters, a novel from Milkweed Editions. The Long-Shining Waters won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, was chosen as the 2013 One Book South Dakota state read, and in 2016, as Minnesota’s representative for the Great Lakes Reads series. The novel was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, as well as  The Midwest Independent Bookseller’s Choice Award. Her first book, Garden Primitives a collection of short stories, was published by Coffee House Press. Her nonfiction has appeared in BOMB Magazine. Sosin is a recipient of many awards and fellowships. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Frigid. Lethal. Wildly beautiful. Lake Superior is as alluring as it is dangerous. Featuring three stories in three different centuries, all set on the Lake’s shores, this novel illuminates the haunting powers of the greatest of the Great Lakes.
In 1622, Grey Rabbit—an Ojibwe woman, mother and wife—struggles to understand a dream-life that takes on fearful dimensions. Berit and Gunner, a Norwegian couple, fish the North Shore in 1902. Though the lake anchors Berit’s isolated life, those same waters ultimately test her endurance and spirit. And then in 2000, Nora, a seasoned bar owner, finds her life unraveling and is drawn inexplicably into a journey around the lake. As these narratives unfold with the mesmerizing rhythm of waves, a fourth mysterious voice slowly manifests.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Lake Superior Writers 2021 Contest “Lockdown” winners!

Visit https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/2021-writing-contest-winners/ to read the winning entries! We are already looking forward to next year’s contest and thank everyone who participated this year.

Superior Shares – Open Mic Night

Note: We are pausing these Open Mic nights for the summer – to let everyone enjoy our short season of warmth and beautiful weather! They will resume in September.

Held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 6-7pm.  Upcoming dates:

  • September 8
  • October 13

Are you eager to share your latest piece of writing? 

          Yearning to read it to an audience of readers and writers?

Lake Superior Writers presents Superior Shares, our inaugural virtual open mic for local writers to share their work in progress, and for anyone else who appreciates the creative writing process.

This event is free to participants and audience, and membership is not required.

Readers are asked to please limit adult content and language. Graphic content that is violent or sexual in nature is prohibited.

Attendees will be encouraged to use the Chat function to share feedback.

There will be 10 five-minute slots available on a first come first served basis, with priority given to Lake Superior Writer members. Time limits will be strictly enforced.  Participants will be notified ahead of time if they have been selected to read.

To register, email writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org. Please indicate if you would like to read.

A Zoom link will be sent out the day of the event.

Literary events in our region

July 5, 12, 19, 26 1:00 pm Weekly Poetry Workshops

A meet-and-greet and discussion of published poems to read, workshop poems in progress, and free write sessions with given prompts and subjects. Past successful, productive Zoom meetings through the pandemic. Dovetail Cafe 1917 West Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55806.

July 10 (Sat) 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Wolf Kill book signing Cary Griffith

Cary Griffith will be signing his book Wolf Kill at The Bookstore at Fitgers. 600 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802. Wolf Kill is a recommended summer read by the Pioneer Press.


Aug 3 (Tues) 7:00 pm – Helene Wecker will discuss her new book The Hidden Palace, the sequel to her award-winning and beloved novel The Golem and the Jinni. Signed copies of Wecker’s books are available at zenithbookstore.com/palace. This Crowdcast virtual event is free, but requires registration at crowdcast.io/e/hwecker. Wecker’s books are magical, historical, and interweave Jewish/Yiddish and Arabic folklore taking place in lower Manhattan at the turn of the 20th century.


Submissions for Ariel Anthology Vol. 8 are open July 1-31. Please email arielanthology@gmail.com for complete guidelines.

Brian Malloy author talk and workshop. Tuesday, October 5, 2021 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Fitger’s Brewery Complex. Lake Superior Writers welcomes author Brian Malloy as he launches his new book, After Francesco.  Join us for a literary evening, as Brian reads from his book, answers questions and conducts a writing workshop. Visit the event page at: https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/events/author-talk-and-workshop/ for more details and to register for the writing workshop. This event is made possible by the Minnesota State Arts Board.

KUDOS – News about our members

Gary Boelhower A Common Thirst authored by Gary Boelhower and illustrated by Sarah Brokke was named a finalist for the Book Excellence Awards, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and the National Indie Excellence Awards. It is available from Zenith Bookstore, the Bookstore at Fitgers and other national sources.

Sharon Chmielarz South Dakota Poetry Society selected Sharon Chmielarz as one of two 2021 Poets of Merit. The other, a posthumous award, is for Leo Dangel. Sharon is glad for this award and to be alive to see it!! You can check it out www.sharonchmielarz.com

Cary Griffith “Why Wilderness Mystery Books Rivet Us” for Mystery & Suspense Magazine (05/26/21). https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/wilderness-mystery-books/

Liz Minette’s poem ‘Pandemic Poem’ is published in the Summer 2021 issue of Chiron Review, http://www.chironreview.com Liz Minette’s poem ‘listening to lucille’ is published in the anthology ‘Remembering Lucille Clifton,’ Moonstone Center for the Arts, https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/virtual-poetry-reading-remembering-lucille-clifton/

Tim Moder’s poem “The Patron Saint of Helpless Bugs” was published in the June Dwelling Literary ezine https://www.dwellingliterary.com/25. His poem “Under The Sky” was published in Issue 4 of the Pittsburgh Poetry Journal http://pittsburghpoetryjournal.com/issue4/4_moder_1.html

Marcia Neely’s memoir Single Yellow Rose: Living with a teenage son facing death, was recently published. The book will benefit anyone who has cared for a loved one with a serious illness as well as anyone facing their own death — all of us! Check out marcianeelybooks.com for more information.

Ruth M. Schmidt-Baeumler will have the poem “Remember” and the Creative Non Fiction piece “Process of Elimination” published in Volume 30 of The Talking Stick sponsored by The Jackpine Writers’ Block of Park Rapids/Menahga MN.

Victoria Lynn Smith had a “Dear Minnesota” letter published on “Moving Lives Minnesota: Stories of Origin & Immigration.” This project is sponsored by the PBS Stations of Minnesota. Her piece about Malene Fylling can be read at https://www.movinglivesmn.org/dear-minnesota-victoria-lynn-smith-2/

Malene Fylling

Writing Groups

A North Carolina-based poet (and Lake Superior Writers member) is hoping to meet one or two other poets interested in creating an informal online poetry workshop. The group would meet on Zoom for about an hour every two or three weeks–the schedule is TBD.

While the overall focus would be to support and constructively critique each other’s work, it’s entirely reasonable to expect conversation to include any number of other subjects related to craft, to what’s worth reading, to publishing opportunities and so on. If you are an experienced poet interested in sharing what you know about poetry and in learning new things, please contact Mark MacAllister via email at mark@redtailhawk.us.

Lake Superior Writers Blog

Lake Superior Writers invites members to submit guest posts for possible inclusion on our blog. Please visit our blog information page for more details: https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/blog/blog-submission-guidelines/

Our blog currently features students at UMD who completed a project interviewing regional authors as part of David Beard’s Theories of Writings course.