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Attend Prairie Gate Literary Festival public events and workshops

Posted by Judy Korn on Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2011

The inaugural Prairie Gate Literary Festival at the University of Minnesota, Morris will be held on Friday, March 25 through Saturday, March 26, 2011. The festival will bring together literary enthusiasts, aspiring writers, published authors, editors, and other professionals through public readings, workshops, and panel discussions. Many events are free of charge, while a minimal registration fee will be charged for workshops.

Workshops registration underway for writers
at all stages of the journey

From novice to published author, all writers are invited to register for workshops, facilitated by guest writers, planned for Saturday, March 26. Cost is $20 for one session and $30 for two sessions, and includes lunch with the writers. University of Minnesota, Morris student may attend for $10 for one or $20 for two sessions.

From 9 until 10:30 a.m, participants may attend a poetry session or a nonfiction session. From 1 until 2:30 p.m., participants may attend a drama session or a fiction session. Registration prior to the festival is appreciated, but walk-ins will be welcomed. Register online or call 320-589-7002.

Featured writers are:
• Eric Gansworth, Onondaga Nation member and Canisius College professor of English, the author of Indian Summers Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon Smoke Dancing Mending Skins Breathing the Monster Alive Sovereign Bones (editor) A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function From the Western Door to the Lower West Side and Extra Indians

• Philip Bryant, a Chicago native and Gustavus Adolphus College professor of English,whose poems have been published in The Iowa Review, The Indiana Review, The American Poetry Review, and Nimrod, and author of Blue Island and Sermon on a Perfect Spring Day

• Kiese Laymon, a black southern writer, Vassar College assistant professor of English, and author of On Parole: Uncle Jimmy, Obama, Hip Hop and Me—The Mixtape and the forthcoming My Name is City and Long Division

• Tom Hennen, Morris native, poet with two published books, Looking into the Weather and Crawling Out the Window, and a new book forthcoming

• Mary Rose O’Reilley, author of Barn at the End of the World, Half Wild: Poems and Love of Impermanent Things: A Threshold Economy, three works of nonfiction, and recipient of a Bush Artist Grant and the McKnight Award of Distinction.

Free festival public events
On Friday, March 25, from 7 until 9 p.m. in the McGinnis Room, Hennen will read from his work and a discussion will follow. Hennen ran the Prairie Gate Press on campus for many years. The evening also includes a Prairie Gate Press display and reminiscing.

On Saturday, March 26, from 10:45 until 11:45 a.m. in Imholte Hall 109, Gansworth will read and discuss his work. From 3 until 4 p.m. at the Morris Public Library, 102 East 6th Street, O’Reilley will read from her writings. From 4 until 6 p.m., also at the Morris Public Library, the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance will host a book signing event and reception for the festival writers.

The festival continues with readings and music beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Humanities Fine Arts Recital Hall on campus. Novelist Kiese Laymon will read and talk about his work. The Meiningens student organization will provide a staged reading of the literary contest winner. Finally, Bryant will read, accompanied by Joe Carucci, jazz musician and assistant professor of music. A reception follows.

With support from the Lake Region Arts Council, this activity is funded by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. The University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association, Briggs Library Associates, Friends of the Morris Public Library, the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs, and the English Discipline have also generously supported the festival.