Art Condition

Armatage author releases prize-winning book

"Where No Gods Came," a new novel written by Armatage resident Sheila O’Connor takes place on the hardscrabble streets of South Minneapolis. It’s the story of Faina McCoy, a young girl uprooted from her father’s home in San Diego and brought to Minneapolis to live with her mother, who once abandoned her.

"Where No Gods Came," published by University of Michigan Press, was the first winner of the Michigan Literary Prize for fiction, which is earmarked for second novels. O’Connor currently teaches writing in the Master’s of Fine Arts Department at St. Paul’s Hamline University.

The book is available at local bookstores.

Southwest grad debuts musical work Southwest High grad Carl Schroeder, currently a St. Olaf College music composition student, will premiere his new musical work, "The Minnesota Portraits," an 8-minute multimovement band piece, Thursday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. at Southwest High School auditorium, 3414 W. 47th St.

"Portraits" is based on the composer’s impressions of various Minnesota landmarks.

The Calhoun-Isles Community Band, a local community ensemble directed by Richard Raaen and which includes Schroeder’s trombonist father, will perform, along with the Minneapolis Southwest High School Wind Ensemble. The wind ensemble will also play many other selections.

Wide-ranging Indian dance Indian dancer and choreographer Ranee Ramaswamy performs "Kolam," which celebrates women’s self-expression through ritual, traditional decorative arts and folk-inspired dances from many Indian regions, at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S.

Ramaswamy, is co-founder and artistic director of Ragamala Music and Dance Theater. Since 1978, she has taught and performed Bharatanatyam, the oldest of all Indian classical dance forms, known for its form and grace.

"Kolam" runs Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 20-22, 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $5 for Intermedia Arts members and youth under 16.

A postshow reception will be held Saturday, Nov. 22 catered by Bombay Bistro Fine Indian Cuisine. For more information or to make reservations, call


‘Elijah’s Wake’ Open Eye Figure Theatre’s latest production is a visual poem with puppets, actors and the original score by Southwest composer Anthony Gatto.

Directed by Michael Sommers, "Elijah’s Wake" is part-sermon, part-Midwestern melodrama and part-science experiment gone awry. This dark, humorous story was inspired by the exploits of the Prophet Elijah, the Alchemic Arts and American folk performance traditions.

It opens on Thursday, Nov. 6 at Franklin Art Works located at 1021 Franklin Avenue E. and runs through Nov. 23. Tickets are $12-$20. For information, call 823-5162 or [email protected]

Book-award judges wanted The Minnesota Humanities Commission (MHC) is looking for volunteers to serve as judges for the 16th annual Minnesota Book Awards. Experienced reviewers, teachers and writers are encouraged to apply.

Judges, three in each category, read the books nominated by the selectors. This usually includes between three and five books per category. Judges engage in e-mail discussions about the books and, if necessary, meet at MHC to reach consensus on their decision.

Judging will begin Feb. 1 and finish by early April. Judges are given credit in book awards publications and are guests of MHC at the gala book awards event April 25 at St. Paul’s Landmark Center.

Interested? Apply at

Literature essay contest for 4th- to 12th-graders For the 2004 "Letters About Literature Essay Contest," students will write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre — fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic — explaining how the author’s work changed the student’s life or thoughts about the world.

There are three categories. Level one is for grades 4-6. Level two is for grades 7-8. Level three is grades 9-12. Entries will be judged on both a national and a state level.

The contest is co-sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Target Foundation. Winners will receive cash awards.

Entries must be postmarked by the Dec. 6. Competition entry guidelines are available at

Southwest thespians stage ‘Hamlet’ The South High Theater Program will stage William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about the Danish prince who seeks to placate his father’s ghost by avenging his death. Directed by Kingfield resident Mary Allette Davis, the play includes several young Southwest thespians attending South High, including Catrina Poor, Joe Pollock, Kasono Mwanza, Dan Hooker and Sam Westley. It will be performed Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 13-15, 7 p.m., at South High, 3131 19th Av. S. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and may be reserved by calling 673-4303.