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Voices of Northeast Minneapolis, 2014-16


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Sarah Stonich is the best-selling author of These Granite Islands, translated into seven languages and shortlisted for France’s Gran Prix de Lectrices de Elle; the critically acclaimed novel The Ice Chorus; and a memoir, Shelter. The founder of WordStalkers.com, she lives in Minneapolis and spends summers in northeastern Minnesota. Her most recent book is Vacationland (2013, U of M Press). 7/29/14


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Michelle Filkins is Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University, and a founder of Spout Press, “the longest running and most stable literary journal in the Twin Cities area”. 7/28/14


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Joe Gergen is author of Methane Wars: A Fable and Lear’s Fool. He maintains two blogs, here and here. 7/28/14


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The late Jerry Blue was a senior librarian for Hennepin County and a renowned storyteller. He died in October 2014. In this interview, he talks about how he came to tell stories and how he helped others to tell their own.

Storyteller Mattie Clark is mentioned in this interview; Peter Shea has done several interviews with her husband, Danny Robinson Clark. 8/11/14


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Christopher Fischbach is Publisher at Coffee House Press. In this interview, he talks to Peter Shea about how he became involved with Coffee House, the publication decisions he makes, his relationship to the authors of published works, and the Press’s commitment to experimental writing and diverse writers. 8/11/14


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Perry Price joined the American Craft Council Minneapolis staff in June 2012. He most recently served as curator of exhibitions and collections at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. Perry holds a master’s degree in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (a partnership of the State University of New York College at Oneonta and the New York State Historical Association) and a BA in the history of art from Johns Hopkins University, and is a scholar of American craft, design, and material culture. 8/28/15


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With a background in arts librarianship and archives management, Jessica Shaykett came to the American Craft Council in October 2010 after working as Catalog Librarian then later Head of Technical Services at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) Jen Library. Prior to SCAD, Jessica worked at the corporate archives for Microsoft and with the King County Library System, both in the Seattle area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, where she studied comparative religion with a focus in Eastern traditions, Buddhist art/architecture, and Hindi. Jessica also received her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Washington. As an active member of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), she currently serves on the ARLIS/NA Mentoring SubCommittee and as chair of the ARLIS Twin Cities Chapter. Her favorite part about working in the ACC Library is assisting artists, scholars and curators in contemporary craft history research. 8/28/15


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Carolyn Halliday is a textile and sculpture artist based in Northeast Minneapolis, who manipulates natural materials using fiber techniques to create work centered around the themes of nature, the body, ecology, and evolution. In Sep-Oct 2015 her work is on display at the American Craft Council. 9/18/15


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Scott VanKoughnett is a former corporate attorney and now owner of Eat My Words bookstore in Northeast Minneapolis. 9/4/15


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John Jodzio‘s work has been featured in a variety of places including This American Life, McSweeney’s, and One Story. He’s the author of the short story collections Get In If You Want To Live and If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home and the forthcoming Knockout (Soft Skull Press, Spring 2016). 9/11/15


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Larry Johnson is a storyteller, educator, and business owner who has managed outdoor education programs, directed CCTV and community cable operations, and produced numerous radio and TV shows, mainly around issues and local storytellers. He started the “teller-friendly” participatory patient TV channel at Mpls. Children’s Hospital in the mid 70s and then taught storytelling and video in the Mpls. schools for over 20 years. Much of his work engages themes of environmental awareness, social justice, and conflict resolution. 9/18/15


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John Akre is an animator, videomaker and teaching artist who lives in Minneapolis. He creates public animation work with his animation station and a variety of other animation techniques, makes video documentaries, and empowers youth to create media. His films have shown at festivals around the planet. 9/25/15


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Mary Cassidy is the owner of Maeve’s Cafe in Northeast Minneapolis. In this interview, she discusses her business. 10/9/15


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In this interview, she discusses her literary interests. 11/20/15


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Holly Day‘s writing has appeared in over 3,500 publications internationally, including Computer Music Journal, ROCKRGRL, Music Alive!, Guitar One, Brutarian Magazine, Interface Technology, and Mixdown Magazine. Over the past couple of decades, her writing has received an Isaac Asimov Award, a National Magazine Award, and two Midwest Writer’s Grants. Her books include The Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities (3rd, 4th, and 5th editions, Globe-Pequot) Shakira (Lucent Books), and Music Theory for Dummies (Wiley). Her poetry and fiction is currently on display at Starwood/LeMeridien hotel restaurants around the world.

Sherman Wick is a native of the Twin Cities. Since receiving his history degree at the University of Minnesota, he’s worked as a freelance writer and photographer, focusing on music, film, and Minnesota’s rich cultural and historical offerings. Holly and Sherman started writing their first book together, The Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, one week after being married.

Their latest book is Nordeast Minneapolis (A History), a modern survey of the former city of St. Anthony, annexed into Minneapolis in 1872. Nov. 2015


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Jaime Gjerdingen is the founder of the Twin Cities nonprofit LitKnit, which connects neighbors through craft and literature. Nov. 2015


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Brenda Kayzar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Society at the University of Minnesota. Her areas of expertise include downtown revitalization, housing provision, and environmental justice. 1/15/16


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Rich Horton is Facilitator, Writer, and Editor of Rift Magazine, an online and sometimes print magazine featuring local music and art from Minneapolis. 1/29/16


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Barbara Draper’s poems have been or are pending publication in The Talking Stick, The Aurorean, and Passagers where her poem received an honorable mention. She’s a long time Michigander, now living in Minneapolis. For fun she enjoys downhill skiing and playing with her granddaughters. 2/5/16


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Janaya Martin has been published in Oddball Magazine and The Grief Diaries and blogs at janayamartin.wordpress.com. She also hosts a monthly reading series at The Coffee Shop Northeast in NE Minneapolis. Her debut book is Tiptoe and Whisper. 2/12/16


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Samantha Bohrman is a writer based in Northeast Minneapolis: “Shortly after graduating from law school, I had three children and began writing novels. I have never looked back, though I suspect my husband has. When I’m not writing you can probably find me at Target forgetting to buy broccoli and shopping for scarves I don’t need. If it’s a good day, I’ll be clutching a latte and wearing clean clothes. If it’s not, try not to stare.” 2/19/16


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Kristi Belcamino is a Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Award-nominated author of four crime fiction books, a newspaper cops reporter, and an Italian mama who makes a tasty biscotti. Her first novel, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD, was inspired by her dealings with a serial killer during her life as a Bay Area crime reporter. As an award-winning crime reporter at newspapers in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca and watched autopsies. Her first YA novel, CITY OF ANGELS (Polis Books) is slated for 2017.

Belcamino has written and reported about many high-profile cases including the Laci Peterson murder and Chandra Levy’s disappearance. She has appeared on Inside Edition and her work has appeared in the Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News, and Chicago Tribune. Kristi now works part-time as a police reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and her two fierce daughters. 2/26/16


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Tressa Sularz is a fiber artist living and working in her home studio in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work reflects movement and transitions – from curving forms suggesting movement, embellished with earthly stones suggesting timelessness to cocoons reflecting on a time of stillness and inwardness with eventual rejuvenation. This current body of work is very personal, reflecting on a year of serious health issues, and making her way through it creatively. She enjoys the challenge of manipulating these soft materials into a form, as shaping has always been a strength in various artwork she’s created. She has over 36 published designs reflecting her own unique style. 3/4/16


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Rita Deyo is a writer and community volunteer in Northeast Minneapolis. 3/11/16


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Morgan Grayce Willow holds an M.A. in creative writing from Colorado State University. Her awards include: a SASE/Jerome Fellowship, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships in both poetry and prose, and a Loft-McKnight in poetry. Morgan’s chapbook Arpeggio of Appetite was published by Finishing Line Press in 2005. Her poems have also appeared in a chapbook entitled Spinnerets and a variety of publications including: Northeast, Sidewalks, The Tactile Mind, 100 Words, Malachite & Agate, The Bloomsbury Review, Sing Heavenly Muse!, Negative Capability, Hurricane Alice, Ache, and others. Formerly an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, Morgan received a translation grant from The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry and published a guide for making literary events accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences entitled Crossing That Bridge. For this, and other efforts to make the literary arts accessible to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing audiences, VSA Arts of Minnesota selected Morgan for their Arts Access Award in 2002. She has also been instrumental in bringing poetry to new Twin Cities audiences through Poetry in Motion®, a program that places poetry posters in Metro Transit buses and light rail cars. 3/25/16


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Sarah Whiting is a photographer based in Northeast Minneapolis. April 2016


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Cristina Pippa completed her B.A. at Columbia University and her M.F.A. at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where she received the Iowa Fellowship for the Arts and the Norman Felton Fellowship to participate in Sundance Theatre Lab. Cristina is one of the first Artists in Residence at the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, NY, as part of the Center for the Arts at the University of Buffalo Arts in Healthcare Initiative. She currently teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and is community faculty in the Screenwriting (BA) program at Metropolitan State University. 4/15/16

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5 Comments

  1. American Craft Council Library issues open invitation to Salon Series | Poking Around with MaryNovember 6, 2016 at 12:25 pmReply

    […] Voices of Northeast Minneapolis, 2014-16 […]

  2. Independent thinker? Think independent bookseller! | Poking Around with MaryApril 24, 2016 at 11:28 amReply

    […] One of my most frequent bookish haunts is Corner Books (http://www.cornerbooksmn.com, in the St. Anthony Village mall.  This past week proprietor Carol Urness celebrated her rich life of books with a most wonderful event.  In a three day celebration of eighty years of life Carol  shared a wealth of treasures – etchings, atlases, objects d’art and other fun stuff – with long-time friends, customers, scholars, birders, writers, and librarian colleagues. I couldn’t resist dropping in each of the three days of this unique tribute to the life of the mind.  I will happily share more about Carol and Corner Books when I can corner this unique dynamo for a long conversation and, as soon as she recuperates from the celebration, she will find an hour to guest star on Voices of Northeast. (http://ias.umn.edu/2014/07/29/northeast/) […]

  3. Club Status | Janaya MartinFebruary 15, 2016 at 2:24 pmReply

    […] on Friday, I had my interview with the host of The Bat of Minerva as part of this project. I was told not to prepare, that it would be an informal chat about me, my work, etc. I know […]

  4. Prologue to Possibilities – New Years Eve Post 2015 | Poking Around with MaryDecember 31, 2015 at 11:05 amReply

    […] In recent months Peter and I have collaborated to initiate a series of interviews with a range of creative people who, in various and sometimes invisible ways, reflect and support the literary arts as essential and enriching players in a vibrant arts community in Northeast Minneapolis. The videos are accessible on the IAS website (http://ias.umn.edu/2014/07/29/northeast/) […]

  5. Voices of Northeast Minneapolis Captured and Shared on Video | Poking Around with MaryOctober 9, 2015 at 7:36 amReply

    […] Though some of us worry that NE is becoming just too trendy we are pleased that the writer included the neighborhood’s bookish gems among the treasures. In fact, bibliophiles and their ken can actually take a virtual trip to a growing number of Northeast’s gems literary via a video project with which I am engaged. The project-sine-nomine aims to shine a light on the breadth and depth, and invisibility, of Northeast’s broadly defined “community of the book” and the diverse voices of the community.  (http://ias.umn.edu/2014/07/29/book/) […]

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