Monday, January 16, 2017

New Publication: An Essay on Susan Glaspell (Ploughshares)

The current (Winter 2016-2017) issue of Ploughshares includes my essay "'We Live Close Together and We Live far Apart: A Look2 Essay on Susan Glaspell." Susan Glaspell was born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1876. With her husband, she founded the Provincetown Players, the pioneering experimental theater that launched the career of Eugene O'Neill. Her own plays for the Provincetown Players, including the classic Trifles, established her as one of the leading playwright of her day, and one of the founders of modern American theater. In 1931, she became only the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. She's less well-known as a novelist. Fidelity (1915) and Brook Evans (1928), reissued by Persephone Books in London, are the only two of her nine novels currently in print. Ploughshares' "Look2" series features essay about neglected authors like Glaspell who deserve a second look. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Literary Events in Northfield: January 13-28

Friday, January 13: Arts for Martin.
The annual celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Arcadia Charter School. This year's event features art and poetry by Northfield sculptor Mac Gimse. More information here. 7pm. Arcadia Charter School, 1719 Cannon Rd., Northfield.

Sunday, January 15: Writers Resist: Hope is Greater Than Fear.

Thirteen local writers will participate in a “Writers Resist” event on Sunday, Jan. 15, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The “Northfield Writers Resist: Hope is Greater Than Fear” event is scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Cannon Valley Friends Meetinghouse, 512 Washington St.
Participating writers are Northfield Poet Laureate Rob Hardy, Beth Breiland, Bella Callery, Florence Dacey, Adriana Estill, Doug Green, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Rich Larson, Harmony Neal, Orick Peterson, Joy Riggs, Kaethe Schwehn, and Vicki Scott. The readings will address issues of social justice, freedom of expression, and the preservation of democratic ideals. The event is free and open to the public. A coffee and cookie reception will follow. 
More information about the national organization is available at http://www.writersresist.org/

Monday, January 16: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration: "Building Bridges of Understanding." 

Northfield Human Rights Commission invites the community to join in a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of the work he did, and the work he continues to inspire us to do in this country.  This year’s celebration will take place on Monday, January 16, 7:00-8:15 pm, at Emmaus Church, 712 Linden Street North.  This event is free and open to everyone in the community.
The program will include poetry by Delina Haileab and Rob Hardy (Northfield Poet Laureate), music by St. Olaf Gospel Choir, thoughts from Lisa Moore, St. Olaf Professor of Social Work, and an open microphone time for the community.
This annual event is also the time when Northfield recognizes work that is being done in the community in the area of human rights.  In 2017 the award is being presented to Father Dennis Dempsey of the Church of St. Dominic.  Fr. Denny is being honored for the caring and support he has provided to our growing Latino community.  In addition we celebrate the numerous individuals and organizations that are involved with supporting the Latino community in so many ways.  Further, with this award we are recognizing the important contributions and vitality the Latinos have added to life in Northfield. 

Thursday, January 19: Project Ghostlight (Northfield Arts Guild Theater)

On Thursday, January 19, 5:30 to 6:15pm, the Northfield Arts Guild Theater will be joining artists and community members across the country in the tradition of leaving a "ghostlight" on in a darkened theater. When theaters go dark at the end of the night, the ghostlight offers visibility and safety for all who might enter. Please JOIN US for a brief program of poetry and monologues as both students and adults reflect on the Arts Guild's mission to inspire our community by developing, supporting, and providing quality inclusive artistic opportunities. Goodies will be served. All are welcome.

Thursday, January 19: Writers Night: A Sense of Place.
The Northfield Poet Laureate is pleased to present “Writers Night: A Sense of Place,” a carefully selected program of poetry and prose by local writers in the new atrium of the Northfield Public Library at 7pm on Thursday, January 19.
Ten writers from Northfield, Faribault, and Webster will read selections on the theme of “a sense of place.” The selections were submitted during the month of December. In early January, a panel of judges made selections from thirty separate poems and short prose pieces in a blind screening process.
Writers included on the program are Sherry Anderson, Becky Boling, Florence Dacey, Bret Farley, Larry Gavin, Doug Green, Margit Johnson, Christine Kallman, Hannah Pahs, Joy Riggs, Julie Ryan, and Leslie Schultz.
Writers Nights were first held in the Northfield Arts Guild beginning in 2003. This revival of Writers Night is sponsored by the Northfield Public Library, with funding from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota.
Saturday, January 28: Sidewalk Poetry Kick-Off.

Starting at 2pm at the Northfield Public Library, last year's sidewalk poetry winners will read their poems in an event to launch the 2017 Northfield Sidewalk Poetry Competition.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Poem for the First Northfield City Council Meeting of 2017

I thought it would be appropriate to start the year here in the Northfield City Council chambers with a poem in memory of one of the first women elected to public office in Rice County, Molly Woerhlin, who passed away on December 23. Molly was a woman of tough, practical kindness, who left a legacy that enriches all of us in Northfield. As I remember her, and reflect on what she did with her life, I think about how much good we can do with the one life we are given, and how much more good we can do when we join that life with the lives of others.

Northfield, Minnesota
January 3, 2017


Molly’s Daisies
  
Another year is gone,
taking with it so many cherished lives,
so many dreams that seemed so possible at the start.
It was common in the last days of the year to count our losses,
to share the tally of the year’s cruel subtractions,
as if the only solidarity we could find was in our grief.
Each December day was filled with a little more darkness.
But sometimes we have to make our own light.
Not long after the longest night of the year, I found myself
remembering that unmowed strip of lawn
in front of Molly’s house on Maple Street,
where every summer the daisies bloomed,
and all those common flowers massed together seemed
like a table laid for some kind of sacrament.
I remembered how, in the solitary summers of childhood,
I used to pluck the white petals—she loves me not,
she loves me—as if those petals tallied losses that were the condition of love.
But thinking of Molly and her daisies, I know that love
is what happens when we add our one blossom to the blossoming all around us.