We at the Saint Paul Almanac were more than a little excited about the Minnesota Book Awards this year. Our very own community editor, board member and co-editor for the 2014 edition, Patricia Kirkpatrick won the award for poetry. Her book Odessa, published by Milkweed Editions, is a moving piece of work. It chronicles the painstaking reclamation of herself during a time that included some of the less than usual hardships that can knock one down in life. The book is an open heart, an invitation to be human and graceful just as we know Patricia to be.
Last night Parthenia and I made the rounds of poetry readings. After making the scene in Minneapolis, we shot over to Lowertown in St. Paul to attend the Saint Paul Almanac-sponsored Lowertown Reading Jam at the Black Dog Cafe. “Three Artists, Three Themes” was curated by J. Otis Powell‽. He was joined by Tish Jones and Shá Cage. The cafe was warm and full of friends as three very different artists took the small stage and brought their best and most beautiful voices to their stories.
"There were about 20 of us, seated at a long table inside AZ Gallery in Lowertown. This first evening, I am always aware of what a mixer this gathering is. Except for a few from last year, these are people I have not met before. The group is recruited and selected in a way that ensures diversity of age, gender, neighborhood, community and level of ability. Last night was the first meeting of the Saint Paul Almanac community editor group and my second season as an editor. When our work is done, we will have helped launch the 2014 (and eighth) edition. It will make its debut next year in September." Lisa Steinmann is a Saint Paul–based writer, teacher, and artist. Her work spans both sides of the Mississippi river and other divides as well.