MN Reads

Join us Thursday mornings at 8:20 for Minnesota Reads on Northland Morning,  featuring Minnesota authors talking about their work.

Minnesota Reads is supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Bea Ojakangas has written a lot of cookbooks over the years ... and delivered a lot of talks about it.

In fact, one of those talks, called "Cooking Up A Book," prompted the University of Minnesota Press to ask for this new book: a memoir (with recipes).

The wave of grassroots feminist organizing that built beginning in the late '70s had its origin in some unlikely places.

Women who immigrated to America from Finland - some of whom came alone - had had the right to vote since 1906, and they got right to work organizing and publishing a feminist newspaper.

The Anishinaabe had a long woman-centric tradition until the advent of the boarding schools, where women were honored in the society.

And then there's the lake and the wilderness. "It draws certain kinds of people," says author Beth Bartlett.  "It's restorative."

Emily Bestler Books

Our guest on this episode of MN Reads is Mindy Mejia, the author the novel Everything You Want Me to Be, published by Emily Bestler Books in 2017.  

Writing a counting book for kids - how hard could it be?

Phyllis Root, though, had other ideas.  By the time she was done, she'd completed a down-counting book with each different habitat in Minnesota represented ... and with each verb used only once.

Phyllis Root's new book, One North Star, is illustrated by Betsy Bowen and artist/biologist Beckie Prange.

Maybe "prophet" is too strong a word to describe Larry Stillday.

Maybe "prescient" is a better one.

When Larry Stillday died in May of 2014, he left behind a legacy as a spiritual teacher.  Michael Meuers, a non-Native who worked for the Red Lake Band for over 20 years, found Stillday so poetic he just started writing down the things he said.

And at this time in history, Meuers says, Stillday's teachings, especially about the need to assimilate more with the "culture of the land," are even more important.

Twin Citian Daniel Lancaster and his family fell under the spell of John Beargrease over ten years ago when they began traveling north on vacations.

Anxious to learn more about the man behind the legend, Lancaster says he ended up writing the book he wanted to find, but couldn't.

Essayist and artist Andy Sturdevant joins us in the studio to weigh in on hotdish like a Rothko,  Ralph's Corner Bar and the poignance of the Minnesotan's long memory for the way things were.

Author Mary Casanova has spent 35 years looking at Rainy Lake and its iconic lift bridge to Canada out of her living room windows.

So it's not surprising that weather plays a central role in her novel Frozen, and it's new companion book, Ice-Out, nor is it surprising that ice-out itself is a metaphor for her central character.

Former St. Paul Pioneer Press outdoors reporter Chris Niskanen provides a playful, insightful, surprising guide to all things Minnesotan, the perfect read for newcomers and life-long residents alike.

(pg 114-155 have great ideas for Fun With 30 Below Wind Chills: everything from pounding a nail with a frozen banana to the ever-popular tossing-a-cup-of-boiling-water-in-the-air-to-watch-it-freeze)

MN Historical Society Press

Our guest on this episode of MN Reads is Duluth author Margi Preus, whose new picture book, Storm's Coming! (2016, Minnesota Historical Society Press, with illustrations by David Geister) tells of a young girl who reads nature's signs to tell of a change in the weather.

Minnesota Reads is produced at KUMD with funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The family affair that is author Lori Evert, National Geographic photographer Per Breiehagen and photogenic daughter Anja is back with a new adventure in board book form - just in time for little folks who will attend their first John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon next month!

Duluth's newly-minted poet laureate, Ellie Schoenfeld, reads from her work and talks poetry, pretension, community ... and the value of following an idea to see where it leads, without attaching to an outcome.

Wisconsin's poet laureate joins us this morning to read, among other things, the titular poem of Apprenticed to Justice:

Some will never laugh
as easily.
Will hide knives
silver as fish in their boots,
hoard names
as if they could be stolen
as easily as land,
will paper their walls
with maps and broken promises,
scar their flesh
with this badge
heavy as ashes.

Bob King is a photographer by day in his job at the Duluth News Tribune, so perhaps it came as a bit of a surprise when he was head-hunted to write a book.

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,

One clover and a bee.

And revery.

The revery alone will do

if bees are few.

~ Emily Dickinson

For more information on the work of Dr. Marla Spivak and the University of Minnesota's Bee Lab and Bee Squad, click here.

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