BELL MUSEUM LAUNCH: “A natural curiosity: the history of the bell museum,” a book celebrating the 150-year history of the St. Paul-based University of Minnesota museum, will launch virtually at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20. Presented by University of Minnesota Press and moderated by the museum’s scientific director, Dr. George Soon, the event will feature presentations by authors Don Luce and Barbra Coffin. Co-authors Lansing Shepard and Gwen Schagrin will join the program during the Q&A portion. Register on Eventbrite at: z.umn.edu/042022. A Zoom link will be sent to registered participants.
BRIT BENNETT: The author of ‘The Mothers’ and best-selling ‘The Vanishing Half’ talks about her work on the state of Minnesota’s Write Like Us series which focuses on and celebrates the work of Black, Indigenous and people of color. In conversation with Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Minnesota children’s book author best known for her award-winning play “Kung Fu Zombies Vs Cannibals.” In person. Free, open to the public. 2 p.m. Thursday, April 21. Anoka-Ramsey Community College Performing Arts Center, 11200 Mississippi Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids Campus. Information: WriteLikeUs@Minnstate.edu.
ABBY JIMENEZ: The award-winning Minnesota bestselling novelist and founder of Nadia Cakes debuts her new novel, “Part of Your World,” in conversation with Dylann Crush. In person. 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, Granada Theater, 3022 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. Paid event, presented by Magers & Quinn. Information: magersandquinn.com/events.
LORNA LANDVIK: The popular Minnesota author of novels such as ‘Patty Jane’s House of Curl’ and ‘Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons’ discusses her latest, ‘Chronicles of a Radical Hag’ hosted by the Women’s Book Club of St. Pascal. 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, St. Pascal’s Church, 1757 Conway St., St. Paul. Free and open to the public, but reservations are required by calling the parish office, 651-774-1585, or emailing email@example.com.
DESIGNED TO FIT: Panel discussion on the “We are Meant to Rise” anthology, with contributors Arleta M. Little, Shannon Gibney, Ricardo Levins Morales, Mona Susan Power and Sun Yung Shin. In person. Presented in partnership with More than a Single Story and University of Minnesota Press. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24, Common Ground Meditation Center, 2700 E. 26th St., Mpls. Information: commongroundmeditation.org/calendar/.
READINGS BY THE WRITERS: With poets Roy G. Guzman, Leslie Adrienne Miller and Jim Moore. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, University Club, 420 Summit Ave., St. Paul.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENS
Baker / poet of Saint-Paul (or poet / baker) Danny Klecko headlined what he believes to be the first post-pandemic bookstore event in Washington, D.C. The reading took place on April 1, presented by Solid state books. Klecko was supposed to read excerpts from his Midwest Book Award-winning book “Hitman-Baker-Casketmaker – Aftermath of an American clash with ICE” two years ago but the confinement stopped everything.
When the bookstore was ready to reopen, store manager Gwen Hunter contacted Klecko’s St. Paul publisher, Julie Pfitzinger of Paris Morning Publications, and invited him to read at their rooftop celebration at the resort. luxury Apollo attached to the bookstore. Klecko has read with poets Dwayne Lawson-Brown, Phil Goldstein and Teri Ellen Cross Davis. He says “it was a diverse audience happy to be back in each other’s company.”
On August 13, Klecko will launch his book “The Dead Fitzgeralds” at the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, Ala.
For all the subversives who make a point of reading forbidden books, thThe American Library Association offers assistance. The ALA kicked off National Library Week on April 4 by releasing its State of America’s Libraries report, highlighting the challenges America’s libraries have faced in the second year of the pandemic.
the 10 most disputed books of 2021 have been:
- “Queer Gender”
- “Not All Boys Are Blue”
- “Out of Darkness”
- “The Hate You Give”
- “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”
- “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”
- The bluest eye”
- “This book is gay”
- “Beyond Magenta”
Reasons for challenges: LGBTQ+ content, considered sexually explicit, profanity.
The ALA also reports that recent polls show seven in 10 voters oppose efforts to remove books from public libraries, including majorities of voters from all parties.
In response to rising book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, the ALA has launched united against Book bans, a nationwide initiative to empower readers to unite in the fight against censorship. More information at uniteagainstbookbans.org.