Bosso Poetry Company celebrates its third anniversary at Dusty's Bar

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Photo courtesy Bosso Poetry Company
Kevin Brixius
Bosso Poetry Company is the exact opposite of a high-brow, snooty poetry reading. The monthly series takes place at Dusty's Bar in northeast Minneapolis, an old-school, blue-collar dive where the beer is cheap and the sandwiches are to die for.

On Thursday, Bosso is celebrating its third anniversary. The event, started by Kevin Brixius, had a short spout of shows at the Cedar in 2000. However, Jeffrey Skemp, who does a lot of the organizing for the group, says that Bosso started doing its monthly gig at Dusty's at the suggestion of one of the bartenders.

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Photo courtes Bosso Poetry Company
Karen Townsend
The servers have been hugely supportive of the group. "The whole place has been really great. They made us feel really comfortable there," says Skemp.

Bosso feels more like a party than a performance space, according to Skemp. "I like the informality. Performing there is pretty intense because it is so close to the audience." 

There are about eight core members to Bosso, a mix of musicians, spoken-word artists, and poets who are all friends. "We're all pretty honest with each other," he says, "but we don't feel obligated to critique. There's just this aspect of performing something you've written and hearing yourself speak that is quite enlightening. It's a good place to try out new material." 

Besides the core group, there are other artists that perform as well, but Skemp says it's not really what you would call an open mic. Bosso invites guests to perform, but they're also open to new poets. 

On Thursday, you'll get to see some of the regulars, like Lynn Gray, a visual artist and professor at the University who sings a lot of his poems; and Kevin Brixius, who's a singer, songwriter, and satirical poet. There's also Venus DeMars, from All the Pretty Horses; Lynette Reini-Grandell, who performs around town as well; Scott Vetsch; Michael Hall (who goes by Spam); Karen Townsend, who plays her own music on the accordion; Paula Cisewski; and Skemp.
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Photo courtesy Bosso Poetry Company
Venus DeMars
Guests performing on Thursday include comedian Mary Mack, Laura Brandenburg, and Paul Dickinson (of Riot Act fame). 

IF YOU GO:

The Bosso Poetry Company's Third Anniversary Bash
Dusty's Bar
1319 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis
612.378.2118
8 p.m. Thursday, November 10
Come early for a set by the Cactus Blossoms

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