Twin Cities Book Festival Poetry Bus

Twin Cities Book Festival, Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Saturday, October 13, 2018: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Get on the bus! Each hour at the Book Festival, a different poetry workshop or activity will be taking place on the vehicle with various poets and you.  Drop in for just a few minutes or hang out longer—whatever you need, poetry has it.

Here’s our list of poetry happenings:

10:30: Songwriting Workshop

Aspiring songwriters are invited to join poet-troubadour Brian Laidlaw, author of the new poetry collection The Mirrormaker and an accomplished musician and recording artist, for some tips on how to craft lines and images into sturdy songs.

11:30: Poetry Divination

People with existential quandaries and life conundrums are invited to bring them on the bus; poet Heid E. Erdrich will provide "answers" from poems in her anthology New Poets of Native Nations and her collection Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media.

12:30: Writing on Race

David Mura, author of the new book A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity & Narrative Craft in Writing, will chat with bus visitors about writing on race, what to do about writers’ block, and revision in poetry and fiction. Handouts will be provided!

1:30: Hate Mail Catharsis

Join author Steve Almond for a peek at some of the hate mail he’s received over the years, drawn from his chapbook “Letters from People Who Hate Me” (which includes his answers to various haters as well). Bus visitors are encouraged to bring along hate mail they’ve received (if any) to share!

2:30: Corn Husks and Concrete

Cassie Williams and Saara Myrene Raappana, both transplants to rural southwestern Minnesota, will read poems that confront and celebrate the convergence of the rural + urban + world, and discuss how poetry helps facilitate dialogue among these spheres. The poets will be joined by artist Ashley Hanson, selected by the Obama Foundation as a 2018 Fellow for her work in using the arts to help rural communities connect across difference.

3:30: Spontaneous Typewriter Poems

Using his trusty manual typewriter, St. Cloud writer Bill Meissner (author of five books of poetry including the forthcoming The Mapmaker’s Dream) will write and type upbeat free verse poems on demand for bus visitors—stop by for a chat, and leave with a poem all your own!

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