2012 Spoken Word Series

Great Twin Cities Poetry Road Show

Watermark presents the “Great Twin Cities Poetry Road Show” as a  part of the 2012 Spoken Word Series, held May 11 and 12 at Headwaters Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in downtown Bemidji.  Join us on Friday May 11 from 5:30 to 7 pm for an artist reception and reading featuring Matt Mauch, Paula Cisewski, Sean Hill, and LouAnn Muhm.  Reception with refreshments start at 5:30, reading begins at 6:00pm with Q&A and book signing to follow.  The artists will be reading their own work including selections from “Poetry City, USA Vol. 2”

Workshops on Saturday, May 12 to be hosted at Bemidji Public Library Conference Room.  Workshop is $45 for one, $80 for both (students $20 per session with student ID).  Limit 20 per session, early registration recommended.  To register for the workshops or for more information call the Watermark at 218-444-7570.

Morning Workshop – 9 am to 12-noon – Poets Matt Mauch and Paula Cisewski  The poetic axiom “No discovery for the writer, no discovery for the reader” relies on the surprises that language, freed of the shackles of intention, can deliver. This kind of poem-and-poet changing discovery oftentimes requires that a poet be forced to take the sorts of risks with language that aren’t undertaken in solitude by the poet at home writing alone.  Participants will play surrealist parlor games, generate some collaborative work, and bring poems-in-progress to the workshop to rediscover. Via various exercises, we will direct poems to walk the diving board of language, wringing new discoveries out of original work pushed to the edge.

Afternoon Workshop – 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm – Poets Sean Hill and LouAnn Muhm“Past Inspiration: Using Historical Research in Poetry and Creating Found Poems from Historical Documents.”  Finding inspiration for new poems is often a challenge for the poet.  In this workshop, we will delve into history through poetry and vice versa.   Hill will discuss his and other poets’ strategies for creating poetry with the materials provided by history—from the odd language of primary sources to the blunt facts about events and lives lived before us, the lives that made us. These strategies include textual and visual prompts aimed at helping writers to focus on concrete, detail-oriented writing. He will also discuss techniques for exploring local histories to keep the writing relevant and necessary for the writer. Muhm will walk the workshop through working with the elements of found poetry, looking to historical documents for nuggets of inspiration we can turn into our own, original poems. Her exercises will include erasures, cut-ups, and chance operations.


 Muddy Jungle Rivers with author Wendell Affield

Wendell AffieldAuthor Wendell Affield will celebrate the release of his memoir, Muddy Jungle Rivers, June 16, 2012 at Bemidji’s Headwaters School of Music and the Arts from 4:30 pm to 6pm.

Refreshments start at 4:30 pm, reading begins at 5pm with Q&A and book signing to follow.

In Praise of Muddy Jungle Rivers……

“In Muddy Jungle Rivers, Wendell Affield transports us to the Vietnam war and returns us home. He is a trustworthy and insightful guide. Take his hand and let him lead you.”   – Susan Carol Hauser

“I could speak at length here about the merits of Muddy Jungle Rivers: its eloquence, its emotional generosity, its urgent and haunting prose. But the book’s enduring virtue is that it records, with utmost fidelity, the unspeakable horrors of the author himself, as a young man adrift in the moral chaos of war.”
– From the Foreword by Steve Almond, author of “God Bless America: Stories”


Workshop and reading with novelist Kevin McColley

Join us October 5-6 as a part of the First Friday Art Walk for a reading by critically acclaimed author Kevin McColley.  Along with reading excerpts from his novels, Kevin will discuss his beginnings as a writer, as well as the origins of several his novels.  Reading will be hosted at Watermark.

Opening reception and social from 5:30 to 6 pm with reading to begin at 6pm.  Q&A and book signing to follow.  Mature content:  the reading is intended for adult audiences.  Guests should be 18 and older

Workshop to be hosted on Saturday October 6th – 9am to Noon and is titled “How to Write a Great Novel in Only Three Hours.” Not really. But it will cover how to come up with a workable idea for a marketable novel, how to develop that idea into a workable story line, and how to develop that story line, step by step, into a marketable manuscript. We’ll also discuss the things to look for and avoid in writing a marketable manuscript, the differences between writing a literary novel and a genre novel, and how to market the finished manuscript. Participants will leave the workshop with a novel idea that is both marketable and workable, as well as good working draft of the beginning of the novel and a good idea of where to take it from there. Space is limited. Workshop will be in lower level of Carnegie Building (not handicap accessible)  For more information contact the art center at 218-444-7570. Fee $40 for Adults / $20 for Students

About the author: Kevin McColley has worked as a farm-hand, a printing press operator, a postal clerk, an educational training coordinator, a health club manager, and a nuclear reactor operator. During the six years that he spent in the navy, he traveled throughout the Caribbean and patrolled the coasts of Haiti, Nicaragua, and Guatemala pursuing drug runners. He spent eight months in the Mediterranean recovering downed U.S. pilots, both dead and alive. He also patrolled Qaddafi’s “Line of Death.”

He is the author of six published novels. Both “Praying to a Laughing God” and “The Other Side” were nominated for the National Book Award. Praying to a Laughing God was also a finalist for the Dashiell Hammett Prize for best crime novel published in North America. He is the recipient of both a Bush Artist Fellowship and a fellowship in literature from the McKnight Foundation.  He lives in the woods outside of Bemidji, where he writes and runs a sled dog team. For more on Kevin and his work go to his website: http://kevinmccolley.webplus.net/

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