November 2015 NorthWords

Nov 14 (Sat) 7:30pm
PrØve Gallery, 21 N. Lake Ave, Duluth
Free and open to the public

Join Spirit Lake Poetry Series on Saturday, November 14, 7:30pm, at PrØve Gallery to celebrate Julie Gard’s new book, Home Studies, published by New Rivers Press. Julie Gard specializes in prose poems of ekphrasis and found poetry— uncovering new perspectives for her readers on the various aspects that fill our days and make a life. Julie Gard teaches writing at UW-Superior.

Julie Gard received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota. Gard has published two chapbooks: Russia in 17 Objects, winner of the 2010 Tiger’s Eye Chapbook Contest and released in 2011; Obscura: The Daguerrotype Series was the runner up selected by Denise Duhamel in the 2006 Caketrain Chapbook Competition.  Gard is published widely in many literary journals. She is the recipient of grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.

Home Studies was the winner of the 2013 Many Voices Award from New Rivers Press. These prose poems portray queer Midwestern family life, illuminating the struggles and celebrations of adoptive parenting, love over time, and finding one’s place in a community.

Linda LeGarde Grover, author of The Road Back to Sweetgrass writes, “Julie Gard’s poetry evokes a weaver’s hands interlacing tangibles and physical place with the spirituality of time and space. Objects, people and settings line up in a series of linked and lyrical practicalities that shift and realign to reveal an intrinsic tenderness, in every sense of the word, in their relationships.”
6a00d8341c58f853ef0133ece61709970b-500wi-300x237COMING TO DULUTH IN 2016
First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare
LSW seeking people to help plan event(s) for First Folio Exhibit at UMD, Oct 3-26, 2016

We’re looking for a few people to help LSW plan some activities for writers around the exhibit of the Shakespeare First Folio, 1623, at the Tweed Museum, UMD Oct. 3 through 26, 2016.

The First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. Published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, it is one of the most valuable printed books in the world. The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring the First Folio to 50 states in 2016 in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. UMD was selected as Minnesota’s host site in February 2015.

Marty Sozansky, LSW board member, attended an early planning meeting this past summer, and learned that LSW and other arts organizations are invited to participate as programming partners. What might LSW do? So far, we plan to offer a poetry workshop focused on writing sonnets, taught by LSW member Cal Benson. We’re also hoping to arrange a field trip for LSW members to view the folio and get together for some socializing after. But we’re looking for more ideas (and help)! Please contact us at if you would like to be part of a planning group to create some great events for writers while the exhibit is here.


author photo-julie schumacherNov 5 (Thur) 5:30 pm
Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members
Reading at UW-Superior Fireside Lounge, Jim Dan Hill Library
Free and open to the public

The Writing and Library Science Department invites you to a fireside reading by the New York Times bestselling author Julie Schumacher. The reading will be followed by a Q&A session and booksigning. The public is also invited to a book discussion/brown bag with the author at noon on November 5 in room 2074, Swenson Hall.

Schumacher’s most recent novel, Dear Committee Members, was named “Laugh Out Loud Book of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune. This hilarious and acerbic look at contemporary higher education was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and Ann Beattie describes the novel as a “flawlessly written, highwire act of a book.”

Julie Schumacher grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was published by Soho Press in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Minnesota Book Award. It was published in translation in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Israel, Greece, and Korea. Her other books include An Explanation for Chaos, and five novels for younger readers, all from Delacorte. Ms. Schumacher lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.


LSW seeks facilitators for First Sunday Amazing Grace Prose Open Mic

Last winter and spring, LSW members facilitated an open mic at Amazing Grace in Duluth’s Canal Park on the first Sunday of each month. People were invited to gather at 6 pm, order dinner/snack and sign up for the reading, which began at 6:30. The program ended last summer, but we’d love to see it revived. Amazing Grace is also eager to see it restarted; all we need is a facilitator (or two people who could take turns) to commit to being there each month, sign up writers, and do a little introduction before the reading starts. Does this sound like you? Please send an email to if you’re interested.


Authors Day at the Duluth Public Library, Nov 21, 11-2 pm

Have you published a book and have copies available for sale? (Self-publishing qualifies.) The downtown Duluth Public Library will once again be holding Authors Day. Preference will be given to Minnesota authors or to authors with books set in northeastern Minnesota, especially Duluth. The library will provide table space: each 2.5′ x 6′ table will be shared by two authors. Tables will be located throughout the library, in the nonfiction/reference area, in the fiction area, and in Youth Services. The transport and arrangement of book promotional materials, displays, books to sell and payment options are the responsibility of the author. Visit to access the application form. Deadline to submit an application to participate is Nov. 13 (Friday). Space is limited so tables will be assigned on a first-come basis. Once all tables are reserved, applications will be placed on a waiting list. Authors will be contacted to confirm their participation.



Would you like to be a Mentor, Editor or Formatter? Would you like to make some money while sharing your skills to aid less experienced LSW writers? LSW is looking for qualified mentors (writing coaches) – $25 an hour; editors – $30 an hour, and those who can format manuscripts for publication – $20 an hour. If interested please contact Alice Marks at . You must be an LSW member to participate. Alice will send you an application form. If you are accepted into this program, you will receive guidelines and a contract for use between you and the person needing services. Those who need services will pay your fee.

Are you seeking a Mentor, Editor or Formatter? Over the past few years, LWS members have told us of their need for a mentor (writing coach) or editor; others are requesting assistance in formatting their manuscript for publication. LSW is in the process of re-establishing this popular program at the following rates: mentors (writing coaches) – $25/hour; editors – $30/hour, and formatters – $20/hour. If you could use one of these services, please contact Alice Marks at . As soon as she has a roster of those wishing to offer these services, you will have the opportunity to choose someone to help you. You will be responsible for paying the person who works with you.


You’ll know if you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month!

If you’re participating in this crazy and fun event, or even if you just want to work on your writing project in a social setting, the Duluth Public Library will be making the Gold Room available for writers during November at weekly “Write-Ins”:

Nov 7 (Sat) 10 am – 5 pm
Nov 14 (Sat) 10 am – 5 pm
Nov 16 (Mon) 2 – 8 pm
Nov 23 (Mon 2 – 8 pm

“Write-Ins” will include a quiet space with free Wi-Fi, coffee, and snacks. After 30 days of writing, authors can come to the library to celebrate for a ‘Thank God It’s Over Party’ on Thursday, December 3 at 6 pm in the Gold Room. These events are free and open to the Duluth community. For more information about these events or NaNoWriMo, call the Duluth Public Library’s Community Services office at 730-4236, or visit


Wisconsin People & Ideas 2016 Fiction and Poetry Contests

The Wisconsin People & Ideas 2016 Fiction and Poetry Contests shines is accepting submissions through Dec. 2015. Prizes include a cash prize of $500, publication in the best magazine of Wisconsin thought and culture, and a reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival. Open to all Wisconsin residents and students age 18 and older. New and emerging Wisconsin writers have a chance to win up to $500 and other prizes along with publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas, a slot at the 2015 contest reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival, even a one-week residency at Shake Rag Alley School for Arts and Crafts in Mineral Point. Lead 2016 fiction and poetry contest judges are author B.J Hollars (Eau Claire) and poet Kimberly Blaeser (Milwaukee). Visit for complete contest rules and submission guidelines.


KUDOS – News about our members

In September, Dale Botten’s screenplay, “Hate Storm” was given a Screenplay of Merit award as one of two runners up at the Catalina Film Festival in Avalon, Catalina Island, California. “Hate Storm” is based on Michael Fedo’s book, The Lynchings in Duluth which chronicles the events of June 15, 1920, when a mob of up to 10,000 rioters all but destroyed the Duluth city jail and lynched three innocent black circus workers suspected of raping a white girl. This is the script’s second major award. In 2010, the screenplay won Grand Prize at the Screenwriters Expo in Los Angeles, sponsored by Creative Screenwriting magazine. More information can be found at Dale’s website,

Sharon Chmielarz has a new book out this month – The Widow’s House, published by Bright Horse Books.

Austin Koepp’s book Valhalla Forever was published and is available at the UMD Bookstore and online at Austin’s website can be found at

In October, Alice Marks published her first novel, Missing, suspense fiction. The book is available in print and a Kindle version through Amazon, Nook through B&N, and for all other electronic devices on a myriad of online sites.

Sharon Moen’s new book, a biography of Athelstan Spilhaus, has just been released. With Tomorrow in Mind: How Athelstan Spilhaus Turned America Toward the Future is a profile of a man that some called a “gadfly” and others have called “the ocean community’s Michelangelo.” Sharon Moen is communications coordinator for the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program. Her biography spans a life … and an era … that encompassed WWII, the “Roswell Incident,” the space race and some of the United States’ most astonishing scientific advances. The biography is available through the University of Minnesota Bookstore, Minnesota Sea Grant and for $14.95 plus shipping.

Paulette (Pashibin) Warren will spend one week in Los Angeles as an apprentice to Jolino Beserra, master mosaic artist. Beserra specializes in architectural works. Warren will learn techniques for adding her poetry to mosaics, as well as assisting with installations.

Marie Zhuikov will be participating in the Duluth Library’s Authors Day from 11 am – 2 pm on Nov. 21.

Upcoming Events

Nov 2 (Mon) 6:30 pm – Francine Sterle, author of What Thread? will read and sign her book at the Lyric Center for the Arts, 514 Chestnut Street, Virginia.

Nov 5 (Thu) 6:30 pm – Please join Cathy LaForge Tonkin as she introduces her new book Leave ‘er Lay: A Family Memoir at The Bookstore at Fitgers, 600 East Superior Street, Duluth. Reading at 7 pm.

Nov 7 (Sat) 12:10 pm and 1:30 pm – Bart Sutter will read with Heid Erdrich, Marlais Brand, and Faith Sullivan at the first North Shore Readers and Writers Festival in Grand Marais. Bart will also present a craft talk called “Poetic Portraits” at 1:30 pm. See for more information.

Nov 11 (Wed) 7 pm – Bart Sutter will read from his new collection of haiku, Chester Creek Ravine, at Subtext Books in St. Paul. Bart’s brother Ross will provide complementary music for the event. Refreshments will be served. See for more information.

Nov 12 (Thur) 7 pm Mark Munger will be reading from and discussing his novel, Esther’s Race with the Fischer Book Club in West Duluth. The gathering will be profiled by Mike Creger in the Duluth News Tribune, but is not open to the public.

Nov 13-14 (Fri-Sat) Mark Munger will be signing and selling copies of all of his books at the Festival of Trees at the DECC in Duluth.

Nov 14 (Sat) 3 pm – Bart Sutter will read from his new collection of haiku, Chester Creek Ravine, at the opening of Cecilia Lieder’s solo exhibit, featuring woodcuts and lithographs, at the Northern Prints Gallery, 318 North 14th Ave. E. (across the street from Burrito Union) in Duluth. Cecilia Lieder provided the artwork for the cover of Chester Creek Ravine and also created the black-and-white woodcuts for the interior of the book. The opening of Leider’s show, called “Gratitude,” will run from 2 to 6 pm. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. Contact 218-724-5212 for more information.

Nov 15 (Sun) 2:30 pm – Presentation and poetry readings on an environmental theme at the UUC Church, 835 West College Avenue, Duluth. Free and open to the public. Features a presentation by Dave Severson (The Bonzai Guy) at 2:30 pm, followed by poetry readings at 3 pm from Al Hunter, Deborah Cooper, Lynette Reini-Grandell, and 2014-2016 Duluth Poet Laureate Jim Johnson. For additional information, please contact 218-724-1653.

Nov 18 (Wed) 6:30-8:30 pm – North Shore Poets and Writers will meet (3rd Wed. instead of 2nd Wed. due to Veterans Day). Bring work (any genre) to read for critique 6:30 – 8:30 at the Two Harbors Public Library. Call Shelley (612) 910-8496. Everyone is welcome!

Nov 21 (Sat) 2-5 pm – Cathy LaForge Tonkin book launch event for Leave ‘er Lay: A Family Memoir at the home of Mara Kirk Hart, 205 West Kent Road, Duluth.

Dec 12 (Sat) – Book launch of Jim Anderson’s Discovering America One Marathon at a Time, published by Badger Valley Publishing. At the age of 54, Anderson challenged himself to run a marathon in every state. His book is an exploration of our nation’s highways and byways through the eyes of an amateur runner. Anderson’s book launch will take place at Redbery Books in Cable.


Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference
Feb 20, 2016, 8:30 am-3 pm
University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis Campus)
1000 LaSalle Avenue, MOH 217; Minneapolis, MN 55403
$20 students; $60 general admission
(Buffet lunch, parking, and CEUs included in registration.)

Who should attend? Authors, illustrators, teachers, parents, storytellers, librarians, students—anyone interested in encouraging the use of quality children’s literature in homes, schools, and communities. Featured speakers KWAME ALEXANDER and CATHERINE THIMMESH will discuss their latest works and share their creative process. In addition to the featured speakers local authors and industry experts will share their knowledge on using mentor texts for nonfiction writing, serving as a member of the Caldecott Committee, and self-publishing. Learn more and register:


Call for Nominations: 28th Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards

UMD’s Library and Friends of the Duluth Public Library are seeking nominations for the 28th NEMBA. Books may be nominated in one of six categories. A nonrefundable $25 entry fee is required for each nominated title. Categories are Nonfiction, Fiction, Art/Photography, Children’s Literature, Poetry and Memoir.  The awards recognize books that are substantially representative of northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage or lifestyle. For the purposes of the awards, northeastern Minnesota includes the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis. Nominated books must have been originally released in 2015. The award prizes will include $200, 100 book seals, and a plaque for the winner in each category. Books receiving honorable mention in each category will be recognized with a plaque and 100 book seals. To nominate a book, visit the NEMBA website at For information, call 218-726-6843 or email Nominations must be postmarked by  Feb. 1, 2016.

LSW Writing Groups

Nov 15 (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.

Nov 18 (Wed) 6-8 pm – The 3rd Wednesday Writers Group will meet at the Marshall Professional building, 1301 Rice Lake Road, main conference room.

Nov 19 (Thur) 11:30 am – The Writer’s Square Table meets at the Sami Center: 4915 E. Superior Street, Ste. #205. This month we will continue a discussion on revision, with Alice Marks presenting her experience in revising prior to publishing her first novel. All are welcome.

The Ink Slingers will be meeting on Nov 12 (Thur) and Dec 10 (Thur). There will be no second Thursday meetings due to the holidays. Ink Slingers is a write, read and critique group and new members are always welcome. For more information about joining this group and directions to the meeting place, please contact Alice Marks at