Join us on Wednesday, January 24th at 7:00 PM in the store for the second installment of Read & Response: An Open Mic. The first half of the evening will be open for anyone to share their work, followed by readings from the featured artists: Michael Kleber-Diggs, Anthony Ceballos, Chavonn Williams-Shen, and Mariela Lemus.
Any and all are welcome to read their work, or sit back and listen to wonderful local talent (don't worry, you won't be forced to participate). There will be time after the reading for audience members to give feedback to the authors as well. For those interested in participating in the open mic section, there will be a signup sheet at the event.
About the featured readers:
Originally from Rhode Island, Mariela Lemus is a first year MFA candidate at the University of
Minnesota in poetry. She received her BFA from Hamline University in Saint Paul where her
prose was recognized with a broadside award by the creative writing program. Currently, she
splits her time between school, reading poetry submissions for Midway Journal, and attempting to satisfy her cat’s endless need for attention.
Michael Kleber-Diggs is a 2018 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He is a past Fellow with the Givens Foundation for African-American Literature, a past winner of the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series in Poetry and a 2017 winner of the Saint Paul Almanac’s IMPRESSIONS contest (selected poems were showcased on Twin Cities trains and buses). His essay, “A Fundamental Human Yearning,” is included in How Dare We Write – a collection of essays on writing edited by Sherry Quan Lee. Two of his poems will appear in The Road by Heart, an anthology of poems about fatherhood forthcoming from Nodin Press. Michael’s work has also appeared or will soon appear in McSweeney’s, Poetry City, North Dakota Quarterly, Paper Darts, Water~Stone Review and elsewhere. He writes literary criticism for the Star Tribune, and teaches poetry through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Michael is husband to Karen, a horticulturist who makes art with flowers. Karen and Michael live in Saint Paul with their 16-year-old daughter, an accomplished dancer.
Chavonn Williams Shen is a Minneapolis native and an educator with a love of words. She was a first place winner for the 2017 Still I Rise grant for African American women hosted by Alternating Current Press and a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee. She was also a winner of the 2016-2017 Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose through the Loft Literary Center as well as a 2016 fellow through the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. She co-taught a class at the Loft titled, “Reclaiming Language Through Form: A Poet’s Guide,” focused on providing poetry by people of color using poetic form as an act of resistance. Outside of the classroom, she was a program coordinator for the Minneapolis Park and Rec's citywide poetry and spoken word program, Spoken Summer. Writing has shown Chavonn to use art to explore new worlds, build communities, and advocate for the marginalized. She is currently pursuing her MFA degree in creative writing at Hamline University.
Anthony Ceballos received his BFA from the Creative Writing program at Hamline University in 2015. He has been a guest on KFAI’s Write on Radio and Fresh Fruit radio programs and has read for Intermedia Arts Queer Voices Reading Series, Minneapolis Community and Technical College's Night of Native American Music and Poetry, The Many Faces of Two-Spirit People gallery show at Two Rivers Art Gallery, and the Five Writers, Five Minutes, Five Watt reading series at the Five Watt coffee shop in Minneapolis. In 2014 he won the George Henry Bridgeman Poetry Award from Hamline University. In 2016 he was selected to be a Loft Mentor Series mentee. His work has been featured in The Fulcrum and Yellow Medicine Review. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry.