Join us in the store on Friday, June 9th at 7:00 PM to celebrate the paperback release of "Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers." This reading will feature contributing writers Carrie Pomeroy, Faith Sullivan, Taiyon Coleman, Morgan Grayce Willow, and guest reader Carolyn Holbrook and editor Kathryn Kysar. Book signing to follow!
In "Riding Shotgun," a group of America's celebrated literary women have come together to tackle a topic close to their hearts: Mom. These highly personal yet often universal stories offer windows into those influential mother-daughter moments that have forever shaped the lives and perspectives of the writers, powerful women—authors, spokespeople, scholars, teachers, and some mothers themselves. Jonis Agee’s mother haunts her daughter’s plumbing. Tai Coleman’s mother struggled to raise five children on her own wits and a single pay check. Heid Erdrich’s mother showed her daughter both the falsity and the truth in the cliché of the “Indian Princess.” Sheila O’Connor’s mother, who ran a road construction company, was not like other mothers. Ka Vang’s mother dodged the hand grenades that her husband’s first wife threw on her wedding day. Morgan Grayce Willow’s mother drove home late at night after selling cosmetics to farm wives as her daughter rode shotgun. In true tales of startling candor and rich insight, these and many other talented writers reflect on the women who raised them, revealing hard work and hardship, successes and failures, love and anger—mothers and daughters.
About the contributors/readers:
Kathryn Kysar is the author of two books of poetry, Dark Lake and Pretend the World, and she edited the anthology Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers. She has received fellowships and residencies from the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Oberholtzer Foundation. Her poems have been heard on A Writer’s Almanac and have appeared in anthologies such as To Sing Along the Way and Good Poems, American Places. Her latest project was a collaborative CD of poetry from Pretend the World. She lives with her family in Saint Paul.
Carrie Pomeroy's work has appeared in Literary Mama, CALYX, The Silent Film Quarterly, the Twin Cities Daily Planet, and The St. Paul Almanac and has been awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant. An excerpt from her current work-in-progress, a nonfiction book for teens about Charlie Chaplin, earned a Jerome Foundation Travel Study Grant in 2014.
Faith Sullivan was born and raised in southern Minnesota, and is the author of four novels set in the fictional town of Harvester, Minnesota: Gardenias (2005), What a Woman Must Do (2002), The Empress of One (1997) and The Cape Ann (1988). Before these, she published a contemporary fantasy, Mrs. Demming and The Mythical Beast (1988), a thriller, Watchdog (1983) and the humorous Repent, Lanny Merkel (1981, with deep debt, she says, to PG Wodehouse -- and now on Kindle), also all set in Minnesota. Devoted to her readers, Sullivan estimates that she has visited over 1,000 different book clubs to speak about her books. She lived twenty-some years in New York and Los Angeles, returning to Minnesota often to keep her roots planted in the prairie. A "demon gardener, flea marketer, and feeder of birds," she currently lives with her husband in Minneapolis. They have three grown children.
Although her first dream was to be a backup dancer for former hip-hop artist Heavy D, Taiyon J Coleman is a writer, educator and consultant, and her writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Taiyon lives in Minneapolis with her family.
Morgan Grayce Willow has received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2017 to complete her fourth poetry collection. Earlier titles include Dodge & Scramble, Between, Silk, The Maps are Words, Arpeggio of Appetite. An award-winning essayist, Morgan’s prose has appeared in Water~Stone Review, Imagination & Place: Cartography, and the anthology Riding Shotgun: Women Write about Their Mothers, recently re-released in paperback. Her interest in visual elements of poetry and book arts has led her to the Minnesota Center for Book Arts where she completed the core certificate and exhibited her one-of-a-kind artist’s book Collage for Mina Loy in 2016. Morgan teaches at The Loft Literary Center.
Carolyn Holbrook is a 2015 recipient of a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant and the 2010 MN Book Awards Kay Sexton Award. Her essays have been published widely, most recently in Blues Vision and A Good Time For The Truth. Her book, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Journeys was published in 2013 and 2015. She founded SASE: The Write Place in 1993 and spearheaded its merger with Intermedia Arts in 2006. She founded Twin Cities Black Women Writing. She was named one of 50 of the most inspiring and accomplished leaders in Minnesota over the age of 50 by AARP and Pollen Midwest.