Emmanuel Ortiz Curates Farmworker/Food Justice Reading Jam This Week

Categories: Spoken Word
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For this month's Lowertown Reading Jam, put on by the Saint Paul Almanac at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, poet Emmanuel Ortiz curates a special evening of performances in honor of Cesar Chavez. Held on the eve of the anniversary of Chavez's death, the event includes performers whose backgrounds and art making intersect with workers' rights and food justice.

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Bedlam hosts Aquarius Cafe, a Celebration of Aquarians

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Molly Van Avery
It's the age of Aquarius. Well, the month of Aquarius anyway. Here's a fun fact: There's a bunch of Bedlam staff members who happen to be Aquarians, a.k.a. people born between January 21 and February 19. So they're having a party to celebrate the fact that Saturn is easing up on them for the first time since 2012. But don't worry, it'll be fun even if you're not a true believer. 


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Guante Attends U.N. Conference and Works with Young Poets

Categories: Spoken Word
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Guante teaching
Fresh from his trip to the United Nations, where he performed in the Barbershop Conference and tackled issues like gender inequality, Kyle Tran Myhre (Guante) is back in town working with youth as they vie for spots in the Be Heard MN Youth Poetry Slam.


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Crossing the Blue Wall Uses Poetry to Tackle the Police State

Categories: Spoken Word
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Photo by Andrew Ciscel
Poets, spoken-word artists, and activists take the stage at the Black Dog tonight for the latest edition of the Lowertown Reading Jam, a series put on by the Saint Paul Almanac. Curated by scholar and artist Jessica Lopez-Lyman, Crossing the Blue Wall examines the police state, finding connections between the Black Lives Matter movement and protests over the murder of 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa, Mexico.

"I think it's important to talk about how the police violence happening here is happening in other places," Lopez-Lyman says. "Also, it's important for the Latino community to talk about black racism. We need to be part of that [discussion] in our own communities."

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The Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards Honors Native Artists This Weekend

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Photo courtesy First Peoples Fund
Jody Naranjo Folwell-Turip
The Twin Cities award season continues this weekend at the Cowles Center with the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards, featuring a diverse range of American Indian artists practicing poetry, traditional dancing, music, hip hop, and more. Held at the Cowles Center for the second time, the celebration, presented by the First Peoples Fund has been going strong for 15 years, honoring Native artists, leaders, and teachers who work in their communities to preserve tradition. 


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River City Revue: Filth on the River launches tonight

Categories: Art, Spoken Word
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Following up on their previous paddle-boat ride, Purity on the Riverboat Trip, the River City Revue hosts a boat ride this evening, called River City Revue: Filth on the River. It's a ride aboard the Jonathan Padelford Riverboat with art, music, poetry, science, and history that takes on the dirtier side of the Mississippi River. 


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Live from the Ave offers poetry at All My Relations Gallery

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Courtesy All My Relations Gallery
From Maggie Thompson's "Where I Fit"
Closing out textile artist Maggie Thompson's show, "Where I Fit," at All My Relations Gallery will be a group of American Indian poets giving performances as part of Live from the Ave. The poetry jam is part of a new series, and is hosted by R. Vincent Moniz Jr. The poets, who all come from the Loft Literary Center's TGI Frybread writing group, which supports Native writers, will offer their literary and poetic responses to Thompson's work Saturday evening. 


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Five free reading series, and why you should check them out

Categories: Books, Spoken Word
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You may have heard about some of the local happenings for April's National Poetry Month. While that celebration is over, the written-word fun continues in the Twin Cities throughout the year with events that feature creative nonfiction, memoir, fiction, poetry, and more. Listed below are several stellar local reading series that are worth your time. All of these gatherings are free, hosted by accomplished writers, and are welcoming to anyone interested in literature.

See also:
Top 7 bookstores in the Twin Cities



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Climbing PoeTree stops by Intermedia Arts

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Photo by Pablo Aguilar
This weekend at Intermedia Arts, the New York-based multi-voice, spoken-word, and multimedia-arts duo Climbing PoeTree will be holding two performances as part of a national tour. Made up of Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman, the collective group uses spoken work, hip hop, and projections to muse on topics that include social justice issues, love, and human transcendence.


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Write Bloody Showcase at the Loft

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Tonight, the Loft Literary Center presents a selection of spoken-word artists associated with Write Bloody Publishing, an independent publishing house based in Austin, Texas, that has become one the preeminent presses for spoken-word poets. With a lineup that includes Khary Jackson, Sierra DeMulder, and Miles Walser, the evening also features Write Bloody author and special guest Franny Choi, whose book, Floating, Brilliant, Gone, has just been published by the press. 


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