Friday, January 2, 2009

Terrible News for Local Readers

Dan Bergeson sent this email out today to members of the Carleton community:

Carleton is announcing today that it is closing River City Books, the College-owned bookstore located at 306 Division Street in downtown Northfield.

River City Books opened in March 2002 as a service and benefit to the Northfield community, but the lack of a positive bottom line ultimately led to the decision to close the store. The store has not met its financial goals, and after 6 ½ years of operation and in light of the economic downturn, it doesn’t appear that it will anytime soon. Despite the best efforts of our terrific staff and the generous support of our landlords, the store has not achieved the sales volume necessary to generate positive net income.

The store, featuring more than 10,000 volumes, two levels and meeting space for book clubs and author appearances, is one of only a handful in Minnesota to earn designation in the “McSweeney’s 100” which identifies top independent bookstores.

We’ve had tremendous literary interaction between the staff and the communities, including things like the River City book clubs, countless author appearances, fundraisers for education, the Harry Potter parties, our ‘By the Book’ literary page in the Northfield News, and the Northfield Reads! Community Book program (a collaboration between local booksellers and the Northfield Public Library).

While the closing doesn’t affect Carleton’s on-campus bookstore, River City Bookstore employees’ status will depend on whether they are part time or full time and on their length of service with the College.

The College anticipates closing the River City location sometime in the first half of 2009. If you have any questions or concerns about this announcement, please contact me (

New Poem: "Phrasebook"

My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .