booking around the twin cities

minnesota authors, bookish tidbits and literary events

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What’s News at the State FairStop and smell the ink at the Minnesota State Fair. Book lovers can experience what printing was like before the digital age with a visit to the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at its new location in the 4-H Building. This living history museum has kept traditional printing techniques alive for 27 fair years, publishing the daily “Maynard News” with an old-time cylinder press and metal type from a vintage linotype machine. The museum celebrates the importance of newspapers in our communities. The state’s dynamic publishing industry began with a single press James Goodhue brought to St. Paul in 1849 to produce his newspaper, The Minnesota Pioneer. Today, Minnesota’s publishing industry is one one of the strongest in the country with three of the nation’s largest independently-owned children’s book publishers and a handful of well-respected literary publishing houses. Try to put that on a stick!

What’s News at the State Fair
Stop and smell the ink at the Minnesota State Fair. Book lovers can experience what printing was like before the digital age with a visit to the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at its new location in the 4-H Building. This living history museum has kept traditional printing techniques alive for 27 fair years, publishing the daily Maynard News with an old-time cylinder press and metal type from a vintage linotype machine. The museum celebrates the importance of newspapers in our communities. The states dynamic publishing industry began with a single press James Goodhue brought to St. Paul in 1849 to produce his newspaper, The Minnesota Pioneer. Today, Minnesotas publishing industry is one one of the strongest in the country with three of the nations largest independently-owned childrens book publishers and a handful of well-respected literary publishing houses. Try to put that on a stick!

Filed under Minnesota State Fair linotype letterpress St. Paul James Goodhue

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A Dickens of a StoreIf you think you might find Mr. Micawber behind the counter at the St. Paul bookstore that bears his name, think again. The store’s namesake is a character from David Copperfield, an eternal optimist doomed to debtor’s prison. For several decades, Micawber’s Books has made a cozy home in the century-old Milton Square complex nestled in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood. The current owner, Tom Bielenberg, and his former partner, Hans Weyandt, acquired the store in 2003 after working together at the legendary Hungry Mind bookstore. Favorite books are flagged with personal recommendations from the staff. Bielenberg stocks the shelves with fiction, poetry, biography, history and children’s literature. He also maintains a well-curated selection of bargain remainders that any micawber would appreciate.

A Dickens of a Store
If you think you might find Mr. Micawber behind the counter at the St. Paul bookstore that bears his name, think again. The store’s namesake is a character from David Copperfield, an eternal optimist doomed to debtor’s prison. For several decades, Micawber’s Books has made a cozy home in the century-old Milton Square complex nestled in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood. The current owner, Tom Bielenberg, and his former partner, Hans Weyandt, acquired the store in 2003 after working together at the legendary Hungry Mind bookstore. Favorite books are flagged with personal recommendations from the staff. Bielenberg stocks the shelves with fiction, poetry, biography, history and children’s literature. He also maintains a well-curated selection of bargain remainders that any micawber would appreciate.

Filed under Micawber's Books St. Paul bookstore

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Prairie Prophet of the AirwavesLutherans and lutefisk have created a cottage industry, of sorts, for Anoka native Garrison Keillor. For four decades, the author, storyteller and creator of A Prairie Home Companion has broadcast the news from Lake Wobegon into the homes of millions of radio listeners. The humor of the fictional community, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average,” contrasts with the serious support Keillor continues to give to the literary arts. His daily radio show for National Public Radio, The Writer’s Almanac, spotlights authors and features a daily poem. Keillor himself has edited several poetry compilations and has been a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. At a local level, Keillor runs Common Good Books and has championed efforts to keep the legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald alive, including the naming of the Fitzgerald Theater.
PHOTO: Garrison Keillor taking questions from the audience at the 40th anniversary celebration of A Prairie Home Companion at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

Prairie Prophet of the Airwaves
Lutherans and lutefisk have created a cottage industry, of sorts, for Anoka native Garrison Keillor. For four decades, the author, storyteller and creator of A Prairie Home Companion has broadcast the news from Lake Wobegon into the homes of millions of radio listeners. The humor of the fictional community, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average,” contrasts with the serious support Keillor continues to give to the literary arts. His daily radio show for National Public Radio, The Writer’s Almanac, spotlights authors and features a daily poem. Keillor himself has edited several poetry compilations and has been a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. At a local level, Keillor runs Common Good Books and has championed efforts to keep the legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald alive, including the naming of the Fitzgerald Theater.

PHOTO: Garrison Keillor taking questions from the audience at the 40th anniversary celebration of A Prairie Home Companion at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

Filed under Garrison Keillor A Prairie Home Companion St. Paul MN The New Yorker Minnesota Common Good Books F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Wilde in MinnesotaIf Oscar Wilde came back from the grave, he might feel at home at the Wilde Roast Café in Riverplace. The popular restaurant’s Victorian fireplace, sumptuous curtains and peacock motif are odes to Wilde’s taste. Wilde’s aesthetic philosophy was less popular in 1882 when he visited the Twin Cities to lecture on decorative art at the Academy of Music. Midwesterners didn’t know what to make of the 27-year old bodacious Irish wit who extolled the virtues of exposing America’s peasants to beauty in everyday life. His thick accent and monotone delivery didn’t help endure him in the hearts of Minneapolitans. Nor did his flamboyant velvet jacket, knee britches and silk stockings. Applause was more enthusiastic for Wilde in St. Paul on St. Patrick’s Day when he delivered an impromptu speech on Irish nationalism.

Wilde in Minnesota
If Oscar Wilde came back from the grave, he might feel at home at the Wilde Roast Café in Riverplace. The popular restaurant’s Victorian fireplace, sumptuous curtains and peacock motif are odes to Wilde’s taste. Wilde’s a
esthetic philosophy was less popular in 1882 when he visited the Twin Cities to lecture on decorative art at the Academy of Music. Midwesterners didn’t know what to make of the 27-year old bodacious Irish wit who extolled the virtues of exposing America’s peasants to beauty in everyday life. His thick accent and monotone delivery didn’t help endure him in the hearts of Minneapolitans. Nor did his flamboyant velvet jacket, knee britches and silk stockings. Applause was more enthusiastic for Wilde in St. Paul on St. Patrick’s Day when he delivered an impromptu speech on Irish nationalism.

Filed under Oscar Wilde Wilde Roast Cafe Minneapolis St. Paul

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Southern Fugitive in Minnesota
When Louisiana State University cut funding for the Southern Review in 1942, Robert Penn Warren left the South for good and headed north to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota. As the  journal’s co-founder and a former member of Vanderbilt’s Fugitives group, Warren was a rising Southern literary star. In Minnesota, Warren found the distance he needed to begin work in earnest on a novel about a Bible-Belt politician gone awry. The story, All the King’s Men, was based loosely on the rise to power of Louisiana governor Huey Long. Warren finished the book in the fall of 1945, the last chapter written in a nook nestled in the upper reaches of the U’s library. The novel would win a Pulitzer Prize and be adapted into a play, an opera, and an Academy Award-winning film.

Southern Fugitive in Minnesota
When Louisiana State University cut funding for the Southern Review in 1942, Robert Penn Warren left the South for good and headed north to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota. As the journal’s co-founder and a former member of Vanderbilt’s Fugitives group, Warren was a rising Southern literary star. In Minnesota, Warren found the distance he needed to begin work in earnest on a novel about a Bible-Belt politician gone awry. The story, All the King’s Men, was based loosely on the rise to power of Louisiana governor Huey Long. Warren finished the book in the fall of 1945, the last chapter written in a nook nestled in the upper reaches of the U’s library. The novel would win a Pulitzer Prize and be adapted into a play, an opera, and an Academy Award-winning film.

Filed under Robert Penn Warren University of Minnesota Louisiana State University Vanderbilt University Huey Long

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The Literary Tourist

(Source: bookingaroundtheusa)

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Booking it in Bloomington
When’s the last time you spent an afternoon discussing murder on the high seas, lake cabin love affairs and paranormal frontier adventures? Stories like these buzzed throughout the aisles of the 11th annual Writers Festival and Book Fair in Bloomington, Minn. on March 22. More than 75 published authors were on hand to discuss their work with potential readers. The event was a made-to-order literary cocktail of writing workshops, book fair, and networking fizz. Minnesota’s own children’s author and illustrator Nancy Carlson delivered the keynote speech, kicking off a day of workshops and panel discussions that covered the spectrum of a writer’s life from creative idea to published book. Missed the event? Check out some of the Fair’s authors online.

Booking it in Bloomington
When’s the last time you spent an afternoon discussing murder on the high seas, lake cabin love affairs and paranormal frontier adventures? Stories like these buzzed throughout the aisles of the 11th annual Writers Festival and Book Fair in Bloomington, Minn. on March 22. More than 75 published authors were on hand to discuss their work with potential readers. The event was a made-to-order literary cocktail of writing workshops, book fair, and networking fizz. Minnesota’s own children’s author and illustrator Nancy Carlson delivered the keynote speech, kicking off a day of workshops and panel discussions that covered the spectrum of a writer’s life from creative idea to published book. Missed the event? Check out some of the Fair’s authors online.

Filed under Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair Minnesota authors Nancy Carlson

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Revising Longfellow.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially if you’re Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A photo of Minnehaha Falls helped inspire his 1855 epic, “The Song of Hiawatha.” The storyline borrows from a mishmash of Native American legends, but its real roots are European romantic ideals. Although the poem is set in Minnesota Longfellow never visited the state or lived in the house near the falls that bears his name. A quarter century after his death, a Minneapolis businessman recreated the poet’s Massachusetts home in three-quarters scale. The Longfellow House Hospitality Center, operated by the Minneapolis Park Board, isn’t the only replica. In the early twentieth century, the Sears catalog sold blueprints reminiscent of the revered poet’s home and look-alike houses were constructed throughout the United States from Portland, Maine to Washington State.

Revising Longfellow.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially if you’re Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A photo of Minnehaha Falls helped inspire his 1855 epic, “The Song of Hiawatha.” The storyline borrows from a mishmash of Native American legends, but its real roots are European romantic ideals. Although the poem is set in Minnesota Longfellow never visited the state or lived in the house near the falls that bears his name. A quarter century after his death, a Minneapolis businessman recreated the poet’s Massachusetts home in three-quarters scale. The Longfellow House Hospitality Center, operated by the Minneapolis Park Board, isn’t the only replica. In the early twentieth century, the Sears catalog sold blueprints reminiscent of the revered poet’s home and look-alike houses were constructed throughout the United States from Portland, Maine to Washington State.

Filed under Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Minnehaha Falls Hiawatha Minnesota Minneapolis Massachusetts Minneapolis Park Board

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bookingaroundtheusa:

The Word on Main StreetThe presence of Sinclair Lewis is everywhere in Sauk Centre, Minnesota—in a small museum right off the highway, in street signs commemorating his legacy, in tours of the house where he grew up. The town embraces its native son with gusto but it wasn’t always that way. As a youth, his gawky demeanor often made him an outsider. The publication of his 1920 novel Main Street threw locals into a tizzy. Residents bristled at the book’s thinly-veiled scathing portrait of their hometown. Main Street was not Sinclair Lewis’s first novel, but it was the one that clinched his reputation. Lewis was on a roll throughout the Roaring Twenties, cranking out five more novels including Babbitt and Arrowsmith, and paving the way for a Nobel Prize in 1930. This feat brought honor not just to Sauk Centre but the entire country—Lewis was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

THE PLACE: Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home810 Sinclair Lewis AveSauk Centre, MN 56378Open May-Septemberhttp://www.sinclairlewisfoundation.com/boyhood_home/boyhood_home.htm

bookingaroundtheusa:

The Word on Main Street
The presence of Sinclair Lewis is everywhere in Sauk Centre, Minnesotain a small museum right off the highway, in street signs commemorating his legacy, in tours of the house where he grew up. The town embraces its native son with gusto but it wasnt always that way. As a youth, his gawky demeanor often made him an outsider. The publication of his 1920 novel Main Street threw locals into a tizzy. Residents bristled at the books thinly-veiled scathing portrait of their hometown. Main Street was not Sinclair Lewiss first novel, but it was the one that clinched his reputation. Lewis was on a roll throughout the Roaring Twenties, cranking out five more novels including Babbitt and Arrowsmith, and paving the way for a Nobel Prize in 1930. This feat brought honor not just to Sauk Centre but the entire countryLewis was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

THE PLACE:
Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home
810 Sinclair Lewis Ave
Sauk Centre, MN 56378
Open May-September
http://www.sinclairlewisfoundation.com/boyhood_home/boyhood_home.htm

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Literary Lodgings
The Commodore has had its share of notoriety—Ma Barker and John Dillinger can be counted among its past residents. Sinclair Lewis hung out at its bar. St. Paul’s most famous literary couple lived there, too. The brick building was brand spanking new when Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald breezed into town in the fall of 1921. The name had a familiar ring; they had honeymooned at the Commodore in New York. Although the St. Paul residence hotel was smaller, it boasted a tony address, a rooftop garden, dining room and other luxe conveniences. The couple stayed for a month as they awaited their daughter’s birth, then moved to more spacious digs on Goodrich Avenue. The family returned to the Commodore again in 1922, shortly before leaving Minnesota forever.

Literary Lodgings
The Commodore has had its share of notoriety—Ma Barker and John Dillinger can be counted among its past residents. Sinclair Lewis hung out at its bar. St. Paul’s most famous literary couple lived there, too. The brick building was brand spanking new when Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald breezed into town in the fall of 1921. The name had a familiar ring; they had honeymooned at the Commodore in New York. Although the St. Paul residence hotel was smaller, it boasted a tony address, a rooftop garden, dining room and other luxe conveniences. The couple stayed for a month as they awaited their daughter’s birth, then moved to more spacious digs on Goodrich Avenue. The family returned to the Commodore again in 1922, shortly before leaving Minnesota forever.

Filed under The Commodore St. Paul F. Scott Fitzgerald Sinclair Lewis Ma Barker John Dilinger John Dillinger Minnesota Minnesota History 1920s