April, National Poetry Month, marked the launch of mnartists.org’s new series What Light, sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers, as well as the monthly literary feature Thinking Souls: Books in Minnesota.
What Light features poems by Minnesota poets selected by a jury. Every Monday a new poem is posted on mnartists.org along with a profile of the poet. Readings at Magers and Quinn present the poets to wider audiences. mnartists.org will publish a book featuring the 50 poets eventually selected.
Poet and critic Lightsey Darst is coordinating the program whose jurors will include notable writers, editors, publishers, and readers. The series launched with judges Wang Ping, Ray Gonzalez, and Cindra Halm. The next call for poems, issued quarterly, goes out in May. What Light seeks to find excellent work by Minnesota writers and make it known both to the publishing and poetry world and to the general public.
With What Light, mnartists.org’s radical democracy has opened another door for Minnesota writers, and offers readers a window onto the world of writers’ perceptions and insights.
Thinking Souls: Books in Minnesota will offer author profiles, book reviews, and an online book club and discussion group with authors. Fiction writer and journalist Shannon Gibney is searching out the best of Minnesota literature, from nonfiction to novels to poetry, for this regular monthly feature.
April’s edition includes a profile of choreographer Ananya Chatterjea and the review of her book Butting Out, a study of non-Western dance styles as a form of resistance. Chatterjea, the founder of Ananya Dance Theater, is a dancer, thinker, and University of Minnesota instructor. Her writing attempts to make explicit what is embodied in dance style.
In May Gibney will profile Ed Bok Lee and review his Real Karaoke People, nominated for the Minnesota Book Award in poetry. Peter C. Brown’s novel The Fugitive Wife (Norton, 2006) will be the subject of June’s online book club. Visitors to mnartists.org will be able to converse with selected authors in real time during this monthly book club.
mnartists.org is an online database of Minnesota artists and organizations from all disciplines developed and maintained in partnership with the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation.