at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, 612.822.4611, www.magersandquinn.com
- Monday, March 7, 7:30 p.m. — Ron Tanner will discuss the new book Kiss Me, Stranger. He will be joined by local graphic artist Lars Martinson, author of Tonoharu. Featuring over fifty illustrations by the author, Kiss Me, Stranger is a comical and tragic commentary on war, violence and consumerism. Set in an unnamed country sometime in the past, present or future, Kiss Me, Stranger is the story of one woman’s attempts to keep her family together while a civil war rages around her. Ron Tanner’s awards for fiction include a Faulkner Society gold medal, a Pushcart Prize, a New Letters Award first prize, a Best of the Web Award, and many others. His stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including The Iowa Review, West Branch, and the Quarterly. His collection of stories, A Bed of Nails, won both the G.S. Sharat Chandra award and the Towson Prize for Literature. He teaches writing at Loyola University in Baltimore, MD, and directs the Marshall Islands Story Project (mistories.org).Lars Martinson’s Tonoharu (Parts One and Two) tell the story of Dan Wells, an assistant junior high school teacher in the rural Japanese village of Tonoharu. Isolated from those around him by language and cultural barriers, he leads a solitary existence, until the day an unrequited crush extends him a dinner invitation. What follows shakes up Dan’s quiet life and expands his social circle into unexpected quarters. But do these new associates exert an influence that is beneficial, or detrimental? Lars Martinson was born on Mother’s Day, 1977. He has met a princess, seen a five-legged cow, and eaten raw octopus eggs. From 2003 to 2006 he taught English in Fukuoka, Japan through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. In 2007 he received the prestigious Xeric Grant for his graphic novel Tonoharu: Part One. He lives in Minneapolis. You can learn more at www.larsmartinson.com.
- Sunday, March 13, 4 p.m. — Sharon Chmielarz & Dylan Garcia-Wahl read from their new poetry. Sharon Chmielarz’s fifth collection poetry is a cornucopia of small, lyric poems on various topics, encompassing Chopin and Pushkin, dolphins and cows, zippers and gourds, bar scenes and garden scenes. Dylan Garcia-Wahl’s poetry weds romanticism with a thoroughly modern sensibility. In Becoming, the poet travels from jazz bars to the Ganges, from the Boundary Waters to the boudoir, subtly tracing the outlines of the human condition.
- Tuesday, March 15, 7:30 p.m. — Peter Grandbois reads from his novelÂ Nahoonkara. Set simultaneously in the farm country of Wisconsin and a small mining town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado during the 19th century, the new novel by Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” and Border’s “Original Voices” author Peter Grandbois follows the lives of three brothers as each strives to re-create himself despite the forces that work to determine his identity. Though told from the point-of-view of many characters, the novel revolves around Killian, the oldest of the three, as he attempts to recapture a childhood as ephemeral as a dream. While Killian’s brother Henry strives to make the town prosperous and his brother Eli prays to maintain the town’s spiritual center, it becomes clear as the novel progresses that the center will not hold. Violence, lust and greed tear at the fabric of the town until the only possibility for healing arrives in the form of a snowfall that lasts for three months, burying the town. Peter Grandbois is the author of The Gravedigger (Chronicle Books, 2006), a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” and Borders “Original Voices” selection as well as the hybrid memoir, The Arsenic Lobster (Spuyten Duyvil, 2009). His essays and short fiction have appeared in magazines such as: Boulevard, Narrative, Post Road, Gargoyle, Zone 3, Eleven Eleven, The Denver Quarterly, Word Riot, Pindeldyboz, and The Writer’s Chronicle, among others, and have been short listed for the Pushcart Prize. He serves as associate editor for Narrative magazine and is an assistant professor at Denison University in Ohio.
- Thursday, March 24, 7:30 p.m. — Joshua Foer discusses Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Joshua Foer tells how he changed from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion. On average, people squander 40 days annually compensating for things they’ve forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget: In every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories. Moonwalking with Einstein draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of memory, and venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade to transform our understanding of human remembering. Under the tutelage of top “mental athletes,” he learns ancient techniques once employed by Cicero to memorize his speeches and by medieval scholars to memorize entire books. Using methods that have been largely forgotten, Foer discovers that we can all dramatically improve our memories. Joshua Foer has written for National Geographic, Esquire, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Slate.
- Saturday, March 26, 7:30 p.m. — Steve Healey and Matthew Zapruder read from their poetry. Fluid, lively, and referential, 10 Mississippi samples language from many cultural tributaries, performing sequels of celebrated 20th-century poems, riffing on advertising slogans, tongue twisters, formulaic news reports, and everyone’s favorite twenty-six-letter sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Like the proverbial river that is never the same twice, Steve Healey’s poems channel the constant transformation of the modern world and embrace the human drama in a way that makes them a joy to read and revisit. Steve Healey is the author of Earthling and most recently 10 Mississippi. His essays and criticism have appeared in the Writer’s Chronicle and Rain Taxi, and his poems have appeared in the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century and the journals American Poetry Review, Boston Review, jubilat, and others. He currently divides his time between Minneapolis, and East Lansing, MI, where he teaches creative writing and literature at Michigan State University.Come On All You Ghosts, Matthew Zapruder’s third book, mixes humor and invention with love and loss, as when the breath of a lover is compared to “a field of titanium gravestones / growing warmer in the sun.” The title poem is an elegy for the heroes and mentors in the poet’s life — from David Foster Wallace to the poet’s father. Zapruder’s poems are direct and surprising, and throughout the book he wrestles with the desire to do well, to make art, and to face the vast events of the day. Matthew Zapruder is the author of two previous books, including The Pajamaist, which won the William Carlos Williams Award and was honored by Library Journal with a “Best Poetry Book of the Year” listing. He lives in San Francisco and is an editor at Wave Books.