National Poetry Month
April marks National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world. Established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, the annual event will touch down in the Twin Cities through a series of public readings, poetry slams and parties throughout the month.
National Poetry Month Celebration with Milkweed Editions
Minneapolis-based publisher Milkweed Editions, which has published more than 350 books of literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry since its founding in 1980, hosts an evening honoring National Poetry Month, featuring a reception with poetry-themed drinks and hors d’oeuvres, followed by readings from the finalists for this year’s Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry.
Where: Open Book, 1011 S. Washington Ave.
When: Thursday, April 13 at 5:30 p.m. (ticketed reception) and 7 p.m. (free reading)
Cost: Reception: $25 general admission, $10 students, free for poets. Reading is free and open to the public
Poetry Readings at Magers & Quinn Booksellers
The locally owned bookseller hosts back-to-back evenings of poetry readings. On April 20, Minneapolis poet and Milkweed Editions co-founder Emilie Buchwald will read from her latest collection of poems, “The Moment’s Only Moment,” and St. Paul poet Margaret Hasse will read from her new poetry book, “Between Us.” On April 21, the store will host poets Lyle Daggett, Wang Ping and Morgan Grayce Willow as they read their contributions from new book, “Resist Much, Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance.”
Where: Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave.
When: Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. and Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m.
Minnesota Book Awards
Celebrate the best in local literature at the 29th-annual Minnesota Book Awards ceremony, which features emcee Tom Weber of MPR News, live music, complimentary wine and refreshments and an announcement of the award winners.
Where: InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, 11 E. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
When: Saturday, April 8 from 6:30 p.m.–10 p.m.
Artists Carolina Borja and Jesse Matthew Petersen share an affinity for fragmentation, manipulation and challenging perception in their artworks. Borja, who was born in San Diego and is now based in Mexico City, incorporates elements of traditional Mexican crafts into her work, merging these practices into a more contemporary art aesthetic. Her art in “Unflinching Facades” utilizes traditional Mexican printing techniques and collage, along with layers of oil and acrylic, to illustrate the contrast of cultures and explore what lies beneath cultural traditions. Similarly, Petersen’s series of digital collages explore what lies beneath cultural traditions — in his case, the modern fashion industry. His works are composed of sculptural, amorphous shapes, derived from found imagery of garments from fashion magazines. By removing the human face from the images, Petersen questions what’s beneath the attraction to artifice.
Where: Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 S. Bryant Ave. #101
When: April 8–May 20; opening reception Saturday, April 8 from 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
“Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz”
Although “Wicked” debuted more than a decade ago, Broadway’s runaway hit of the new millennium is still a must-see. Based on Gregory Maguire’s dark, subversive novel of the same name with music by Stephen Schwarz of “Godspell” fame, “Wicked” tells the story of how the green-skinned witch Elphaba becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West, long before Dorothy arrives in Oz. The narrative rests on a single premise: The story we thought we knew is actually better when viewed from the other side. The musical boasted sold-out runs during all four of its previous Minneapolis engagements, so grab your tickets now while you can.
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave.
When: April 12–May 14
Info: 800-982-2787 or hennepintheatretrust.org
Bacon and Beer Classic
The Nicollet Island Pavilion will be the stage for a day of a great pairing: beer and bacon. Think about it — the salty, caramelized sweetness of bacon is the ideal counterpart for malty, effervescent brews. In addition to beer and bacon pairings, this event will feature two and a half hours of bacon-infused dishes from local restaurants, all-you-can-eat bacon strips, giant Jenga, a bacon-eating contest and unlimited craft beer and cider samples from local and regional breweries.
Where: Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power St.
When: Saturday, April 15 from 8:30 p.m.–11 p.m. (8 p.m. entry for VIP)
Cost: $45 general admission, $55 VIP
“Lone Star Spirits”
Jungle Theater artistic director Sarah Rasmussen directs Josh Tobiessen’s newest comedy about a woman who finds herself stranded in a liquor store and troubled by a the ghosts of her past. (Tobiessen happens to be Rasmussen’s husband, a creative pairing that paid off when she directed his play, “Crashing the Party,” at Mixed Blood Theatre in 2012.) “Lone Star Spirits” premiered last June in New York City, earning a rave review from The New York Times, which called it “a rollicking good ghost story.” Expect well-drawn characters, strong performances by Jungle favorites Terry Hempleman and John Catron, and plenty of small-town charm.
Where: The Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S.
When: 7:30 p.m. April 8–May 7
American Craft Show
Since 1987, the American Craft Show has been showcasing the best in American crafts in St. Paul. This year’s show celebrates the American Craft Council’s 75th anniversary with goods from more than 250 top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture and home décor artisans and designers from across the country. The show’s newest program, “Style Slam,” demonstrates how to incorporate handmade fashions into attendees’ wardrobes with tips and tricks from local stylists. Another recent addition to the show is “Hip Pop,” a juried showcase of emerging artisans, and “Let’s Make,” a series of interactive demonstrations offering show-goers a chance to learn what goes into creating a handicraft. Also returning is “Make Room: Modern Design meets Craft,” which challenges four local interior designers to create a decade-inspired room that showcases handcrafted home décor. Where: St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
When: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Friday, April 7, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday, April 8, and 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, April 9; preview party Thursday, April 6 from 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
Cost: $11 for one-day pass; $85 for preview party