I've never been to Duluth, but that's about to change. On Saturday, July 28 (the 209th day of 2012), Paper Darts is headed further north (yes, rest of the country, that's possible) to Duluth for the latest Zenith City Tales event at Teatro Zuccone, this time featuring a handful of (the best, duh) writers from the Twin Cities.
(Fact: Duluth is called "Zenith City" because in 1868 it was known as the "Zenith of the Unsalted Seas"—named so by a man called Thomas Foster. I assume that the "unsalted seas" refers to either just Lake Superior or all of the Great Lakes, but if I'm wrong, then both my high school and the internet have failed me. In nearly the same breath, Foster asserted that in the future, Duluth would be known as the "Chicago of Lake Superior," which I guess it is…having never been there, but only hearing good things about it—although, how's their deep-dish pizza? Way to call 'em, Thomas Foster!)
While you may know some of the readers, it's possible, but not probable, that you've seen them all perform (together, at least). Even if you have seen all of these readers say their snappy words on stage, why not do it in a new city, with new people, who have new hands to high-five, and butts to stare longingly at? Make the last 156 days of the year embarrassed that they have to follow July 28, 2012.
Reading for Duluth:
Heavy-hitting poet Louis Jenkins, whose poems have been published in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 1999, and Great American Prose Poems. His books of poetry include An Almost Human Gesture, All Tangled Up With the Living, Nice Fish: New and Selected Prose Poems, Just Above Water, The Winter Road, and Sea Smoke. His most recent books are North of the Cities (2007), European Shoes (2008), and Before You Know It: Prose Poems 1970-2005 (2009), all published by Will o' the Wisp Books. Mr. Jenkins was awarded two Bush Foundation Fellowships for poetry, a Loft-McKnight fellowship, and was the 2000 George Morrison Award winner. Louis Jenkins has read his poetry on A Prairie Home Companion and was a featured poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 1996 and at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Aldeburgh, England in 2007. Louis Jenkins is currently working with Mark Rylance, actor and former director of the Globe Theatre, London, on a stage production titled Nice Fish! based on Mr. Jenkins poems. There was a workshop performance of the work at Theatre Row, New York City, on December 15, 2008. The full play will premiere April 6, 2013 at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
Ryan Vine, whose honors include a Weldon Kees Award from the Backwaters Press, the Robert Watson Poetry Prize from the Greensboro Review, a Career Development Grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, and finalist nods for the Black Warrior Review Poetry Prize and the May Swenson Poetry Award from Utah State University Press. His poems and essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Writer’s Almanac, and the Star Tribune, among many other places. He’s the Rose Warner Assistant Professor of English at the College of St. Scholastica.
Andy Bennett, who has no business being featured in the same evening as the rest of these writers, is the Executive Director of Renegade Theater Company and the Booking Agent for the Teatro Zuccone, so he forced his way in. He's a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship Grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and in his spare time he throws screenplays against the impenetrable wall of Hollywood, where they are met with copious notes from his agent and various producers, all of whom Andy thinks should try writing their own damn screenplay, if they're so smart.
Lucie Amundsen, a full spectrum writer dallying in the high fluting world of literature at her graduate program while being an ad agency copywriter—the burlesque dancing of the writing craft. But she prefers the term wordy pole dancer.
Reading for the Twin Cities:
Courtney Algeo (hey! that's me!).
The ever lovely and magical Maggie Ryan Sandford, a writer, performer, and regular science and humor writer for ComedyCentral.com, mental_floss magazine, and MPR's All Things Considered. She has performed onstage at the Guthrie Theater, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and People's Improv Theatres, and as part of MPR's Storycraft showcase with Kevin Kling. Her fiction can be seen in Paper Darts and in McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals, in stores now.
The tall and mysterious Dennis Cass, a former journalist who has written for NY Times Magzine, Harper's, and GQ, who is currently rebooting his career as a science fiction author. His new book will help average, everyday people with their android problems.
And the one, the only, John Jodzio. Winner of the Loft-McKnight Fellowship, his stories have appeared in McSweeney's, One Story, Barrelhouse, Opium, and numerous other places in print and online. He’s the author of the short story collection, If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home (Replacement Press) and the recently released Get In If You Want To Live (Paper Darts Press).