May 2019 NorthWords

May art

Lake Superior Writers Annual Member Celebration

Keynote Speaker: Julie Buckles

May 18 (Saturday), 9:00 am – 11:00 am

The Estuarium, 3 Marina Drive, Superior, WI

Julie Buckles

Julie Buckles

At this year’s annual member celebration, come hear keynote speaker Julie Buckles, author of Paddling to Winter, and organizer of Northland College’s annual WritersRead event. You’ll also get to hear this year’s contest winners read their work and learn about all the happenings of LSW in the past year. We’ll have plenty of time to meet fellow writers and enjoy a continental breakfast. A great way to spend a Saturday morning!


Writers’ Cafe

May 11 (Saturday), 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Perk Place, 1336 West Arrowhead Road, Duluth

Join us on Saturday, May 11 at Perk Place 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. Casual, friendly, and fun – join us!


important-noteLake Superior Writers Conference – Important Update

The LSW board recently decided to halt plans for the Lake Superior Writers Conference, planned for August 2020.

After months of careful research and planning, we’ve concluded that the conference would put too large of a strain on our organization’s resources – both financially and in volunteer hours.

Through this process, however, the board has reconnected with LSW members and gleaned valuable insights into the classes, workshops, and opportunities our community is looking for. We plan to implement many of these ideas in our programming over the next few years.


The Lake Superior Writers Board


Literary events in our region

May 2 (Thurs) 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Local author Thomas Peacock will present, read from, and sign his new children’s book Forever Sky. The book, illustrated by Annette Lee, tells the story of two Ojibwe boys who are missing their nooko (grandmother). The story is about the Ojibwe sky, grieving and the afterlife. Zenith Bookstore, 318 North Central Avenue, Duluth, MN 55807.

May 4 (Sat) 2:00 pm – Author Phyllis Root and illustrator Betsy Bowen will read from and sign copies of their new children’s book The Lost Forest. Zenith Bookstore, 318 North Central Avenue, Duluth, MN 55807.

May 6 (Mon) 7:00 pm – Local author Pamela Fish Carlson and illustrator Tessa Carlson will launch their new children’s book Emma Bee. After the event at Zenith Bookstore, Pam and Tessa will have a reception at Beaner’s Central Coffeeshop next door, where Tessa will present drawings and images from the book. Zenith Bookstore, 318 North Central Avenue, Duluth, MN 55807.

May 7 (Tues) 7:00 pm – Translator Barbara Sjoholm to discuss and sign copies of her new book By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends. Spirit of the North Theatre, Fitger’s, 600 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802.

May 8 (Wed) 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Poetry Book Club, this month’s reading “The Beauty” by Jane Hirshfield. Zenith Bookstore, 318 North Central Avenue, Duluth, MN 55807.

May 10 (Fri) 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Minneapolis musician Mark Mallman will be signing copies of his new book The Happiness Playlist. The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802.

gboelhower 2017 (1)May 11 (Sat) 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Duluth Poet Laureate Gary Boelhower will offer a poetry writing workshop, “Weaving the Threads of Good Poetry” which will explore essential elements of good poetry–imagery, metaphor, sound, and rhythm. The workshop will analyze examples of these elements to deepen our appreciation and understanding of how they work together in the poem. Participants will play with language, walk around in metaphor, and practice centering attention. Several writing prompts will be offered along with time to write and the opportunity to share for those who wish. Writers at all levels are welcome. Registration is limited to 20 participants. Registration fee: $25.00 (scholarships are available). If you have questions or to register, please email or call Gary at 218-724-4985. Peace Church Fireside Room, 1111 North 11th Avenue East, Duluth, MN 55805.

May 17 (Fri) 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Adult Story Time. Sit back and relax, with the lights turned low, and enjoy short stories, essays, and book excerpts read to you by bookstore staff and friends. Zenith Bookstore, 318 North Central Avenue, Duluth, MN 55807.

May 18 (Sat) 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Jill Kalz, author of The Winter Bees will hold a book signing at The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802.

tucker lake.jpgMay 18 (Sat) 7:00 pm – Author Joan Crosby will read from her new memoir, Tucker Lake Chronicle: Thirteen Months in the North Woods, discuss her writing process, and sign books. Drury Lane Books, 12 East Wisconsin Street, Grand Marais, MN 55604.


May 19 (Sun) 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Kirstin Cronn-Mills presents “Wreck.” Set on the shores of Lake Superior, “Wreck” follows high school junior Tobin Oliver as she navigates her father’s diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Respecting her father’s decision is the ultimate act of love. Zenith Bookstore, 318 North Central Avenue, Duluth, MN 55807.

May 22 (Wed) 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Cary Griffith will be giving a talk and signing his latest book, Gunflint Burning at The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802.

May 22 (Wed) 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm – 2019 Community Foundation Annual Celebration will feature special StoryCorps’ guest Emily Janssen. StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. Limited seating. Greysolon Ballroom, 231 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802. Please RSVP at


Margi Preus

May 23 (Thurs) 5:00 pm – 31st Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards, NEMBA, with keynote speaker Margi Preus will be held at Northland Country Club. The awards will honor books published in 2018. NEMBA was created to showcase and honor authors and books that capture the spirit of the Northland and substantially represent northeastern Minnesota. The program and awards ceremony is free and open to the public. Details can be found at

May 25 (Sat) 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Minnesota photographer and author David Barthel will be holding a book talk and signing for his new book. Spirit of the North Theatre, Fitger’s, 600 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802.

May 31 (Fri) 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Organized by Duluth Poet Laureate Gary Boelhower, the event “Walt Whitman at 200: A Birthday Party with Poetry Readings, Presentations, and Cake” will feature readings by Duluth Poets Laureate Bart Sutter, Deborah Cooper, Sheila Packa, Ellie Schoenfeld, and Gary Boelhower; presentations by Mara Hart, Professors John D. Schwetman, and Chris Johnson; and booksales of recently published anthologies. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.  For additional information, please contact Gary Boelhower,  Hartley Nature Center, 3001 Woodland Avenue, Duluth, MN 55803.

May 31 (Fri) 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Nickolas Butler, author of Little Faith and Hearts of Men will be holding a book talk and signing. The Bookstore at Fitger’s, 600 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802.

sutter.jpgMay (various dates) – The Sutter Brothers–Bart and Ross–will tour their poetry-and-music show “Sons and Daughters of the Northern Lights” to 26 public libraries in the Arrowhead region. This 50-minute program of music and stories, poetry and song explores the experience of Scandinavian immigrants, their ancestors, and their descendants. The show is designed to evoke memories and provoke curiosity about regional history, ethnic culture, and the presence of the past in our contemporary lives. The tour kicks off with performances in Carlton and Moose Lake on April 29 and will conclude in Babbitt on May 30. Duluth performances include West Duluth Branch Library on April 30 at 6:30 p.m.; Mount Royal Branch Library on May 6, 3:30 p.m.; and Main Duluth Library on May 11 at 3:30 p.m. For multiple other dates and venues, check the calendar at

Jun 6 (Thurs) 7:00 pm – Best-selling author and renowned humorist David Sedaris will
speak at Zenith Bookstore, reading from and signing copies of his recent number one book Calypso. Calypso – deeply personal and darkly hilarious – was named a New
York Times Notable Book of 2018, and is being released in paperback on June 4, two days
before the author event. For more information, visit



Split Rock Review seeks submissions of poetry, short creative nonfiction (1,000 words or less), hybrids, graphic narratives, comics, artwork, and photography for Issue 13, scheduled to be released in September. For more information and guidelines visit:

Minnesota Author Project – This contest recognizes self-published authors in the genres of young adult and adult fiction. Hosted by the Arrowhead Library System and other libraries across the state, the contest is accepting submissions from April 1 through May 31, 2019. Details can be found here: Minnesota Author Project

Ashland Writing Workshops – Four evening writing workshops will be offered in Ashland on: 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20 for writers interested in creating new works or advancing works-in-progress. The workshops offer positive, craft-driven conversations on writing drafts, as well as discussions of techniques and currents in the publishing market. Opportunities for submission, education, and collaboration are also explored. For more information contact Parker at 715.292.6532 or

9th annual Nonfiction Writers Conference May 8-10, 2019. Learn more about the event:

Superior Writing Workshop – A writing workshop for anyone interested in exploring family history through poetry and other genres will be held at the Douglas County Historical Museum (1101 John Avenue, Superior) at 2:00 pm (doors open at 1:00 pm) on Sunday, May 19. Bring old family photos/meaningful artifacts. Workshop facilitators are Jan Chronister and Peggy Trojan. Cost is $2 (free to DCHS members). Call 715-392-8449 for more information.

African American Voices in Children’s Literature writing contest is open to authors of African American heritage currently residing in Minnesota. Deadline for entries is June 30, 2019 and winners will be notified in September 2019. First place receives $1000 and a meeting with Mary Taris, founder of Strive, and an editor at Free Spirit, to discuss his or her project. Second place: $500 cash prize. Third place: $250 cash prize. Guidelines, judging criteria, and submission information can be found at Free Spirit Contest

Writer’s Retreat at Marywoods, Arbor Vitae, WI on July 21-27 (Sun-Sat). Beautiful lake cabin location. Excellent speakers. Great time to concentrate on your writing projects. Contact, (715) 385-3750.

University of New Orleans Press – Call for submissions for the fifth annual UNO Publishing Lab Prize is now open for full-length fiction manuscripts, either novels or short story collections. The selected author will receive a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) advance on royalties and a contract to publish their winning manuscript with UNO Press. The work does not have to be regionally focused and there is no word limit, nor limit on subjects covered. Submissions are open until August 31st. More information can be found at:

LoonSong Retreat on Elbow Lake – Create, connect, and discover in a serene setting just north of Cook, MN. September 5-9, 2019. Website:


KUDOS – News about our members

waltHoly Cow! Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, Third edition, edited by Jim Perlman, Ed Folsom, and Dan Campion. First published to wide critical acclaim in 1981, now re-issued as an expanded and updated third edition to celebrate Whitman’s 200th birthday, this monumental anthology charts the ongoing American and international response to the legacy of the seminal poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Beginning with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous 1855 letter (“I greet you at the beginning of a great career…”), this edition contains responses from H. D. Thoreau, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, Pablo Neruda, Allen Ginsberg, June Jordan, Robert Duncan, Meridel LeSueur, Adrienne Rich, Gary Snyder, C. K. Williams, Martin Espada, Mark Doty, Meena Alexander, Julia Alvarez, among many others.


Jan CJan-Chronister-231x300hronister has poems appearing or forthcoming in Bramble, Red Cedar, Your Daily Poem, The Milwaukee Anthology, The Green Light Literary Magazine,and Poets to Come (Walt Whitman anthology). 



thunderbird review

Mark Munger was recently awarded a grant from the Finlandia National Foundation for the completion of the final installment in his Finnish American historical trilogy, Kotimaa: Homeland, a historical novel and present-day thriller chronicling the issues of migration, immigration, religion, and race. The book’s anticipated publication date is September 1, 2019. In addition, Mark’s short story “Isle Royale” was selected for inclusion in Fond du Lac College’s anthology, The Thunderbird Review.

Rilla Anne DeBot Opelt had poems published in 2019 Thunderbird Review and 2019 Springthaw, Itasca Community College.

mistNaomi Musch’s novel Mist O’er the Voyageur has been named a finalist for a national Selah Award. Musch writes from Douglas County, Wisconsin. Her novel of romance and adventure journeys back to the days of the Great Lakes voyageurs of the North West Company, as a young Métis woman searches for her fur-trader father.



Marcia NeelyMarcia Neely‘s novel Deep Grass Roots, published by Beaver’s Pond Press last August, took first place in historical fiction in the Independent Book Publishers Association contest. Winners were announced at a ceremony in Chicago on April 5.




Open LSW Writing Groups

Apr 10 (second Wed) 6:00 pm – Monthly critique group hosted by North Shore Poets and Writers and Two Harbors Public Library. Writers of all genres (and ages 14 and up) are welcome to this monthly gathering, meeting every second Wednesday of the month. Share your writing for gentle critique, in-depth critique, or merely an audience, or just come and listen to stories and poems by local writers. See or contact our Facebook page for more information. This is a free event held monthly at Two Harbors Public Library, 320 Waterfront Drive, Two Harbors, MN.

May 15 (third Wed) 6:00 pm – The Third Wednesday Writer’s Group, an open genre group for all writing venues (poetry, memoir, long prose, short prose, fiction/nonfiction, etc.), will meet at Perkins restaurant at the Miller Hill Mall, 1302 Miller Trunk Highway, Duluth, MN. For more information, contact facilitator Rodney Savary, 218-464-7701,

Apr 21 (third Sun) 1:30 pm – Lake Superior Writers’ Memoir Group meets at the home of facilitator Ray Allard, 210 West Kent Road, Duluth, MN.