Eyes deep as the sea and green like grass. Noses black like rain clouds and pink like erasers. Teeth sharp as sticks. Mouths black as ink. Skin slimy like fish and blue as the sky. During my week teaching at the Loft, I was lucky enough to witness the creation of a whole herd of unique monsters.
Grab a drink and crack open your notebook, it’s happy hour at the Loft! Our new Happy Hour Classes take place on Friday afternoons with a concurrent happy hour at the cafe downstairs from 3-6 p.m. Students can purchase a half-price beverage and bring it to the classroom. Start your Friday nights off right by mixing, mingling, and learning at the Loft!
Contrary to what you may have heard on the streets, the New Sh!t Show Minneapolis is NOT just a poetry show. “No,” producer and host Lewis Mundt quickly clarified, “it’s weird. It’s a weird thing.” Started in San Francisco by poets Sam Sax and Nic Alea, the New Sh!t Show is now a chain of performance series across the United States in which performers and audience members are treated to something they've never seen before: the new shit.
Black Table Arts first began as the Free Black Table Open Mic in January 2015. Free Black Table is a free-of-charge, all-ages open mic dedicated to the writings of black artists and people of color. The success of this initial open mic led founder Keno Evol to not only plan more, but to consider other ways he could expand the conversation. “Could we have a blog that goes beyond poetics and pays tribute to prose and politics? Could we have dialogue? Could we teach?” The answers were yes, and Black Table Arts was born.
'Tis the season to sign up for summer youth camps! If you have a child or young adult who has a love of writing and reading, the Loft is the place for them this summer.
Due to popular demand, we've moved to a new format for our summer youth offerings. With the exception of a few single Saturday offerings and an all-day, week-long camp, all summer youth offerings will be week-long, half-day offerings, with either a 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. start time. (This allows for back-to-back classes for those needing all-day options for their kids.)
Check out a sampling of classes below. There's something for every young writer!
I’ve always had a slight fascination with this intrepid Irishman who used his poetry and playwriting as a voice of dissent during Ireland’s tumultuous break from Great Britain in the early 1900s. Yeats’ poem, “Easter 1916” describes the change he sees in the Irish men and women no longer silenced as a terrible, fierce beauty during the Easter Uprising.
His relentless pursuit of painting the imagination of the not-yet-independent Ireland might be relevant for our artists in this political moment. In his critical essay “What is ‘Popular Poetry’?” Yeats writes, “...‘the imagination is the man himself,’ and that the world as imagination sees it is the durable world…”
Imagination as citizenship is how I’ve begun to think of this. Artists throughout history have been defining and redefining their roles as citizens, so I hand us over to their wisdom in exploring this idea.
“I’m the baby right now as far as reading series,” Kusunoki quickly admitted when we sat down to talk about his new reading series, Bridges. Kusunoki had hosted a National Poetry Month reading at the HarMar Mall Barnes & Noble last April, the success of which prompted the store to ask him to host a more regular reading series. Bridges officially began in September 2016, and now takes places on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
Block out some time and circle your calendars, spring classes are here! At the Loft, we believe stories and poems are now more important than ever, and with these classes we aim to connect readers and writers to conversations, ideas, networks, and methods that can make a difference.
Whether this is your first class at the Loft, or you're a regular returning for more, it can be hard to choose from the 100+ options available each season. Don’t worry: I’ve culled the depths of our catalog to create this condensed list of offerings. There really is something for everyone!
You would be hard pressed in this literary community to find someone who wasn’t involved in several different projects, and David Bayliss is no exception. After successfully launching and managing the monthly reading series Poets & Pints, Bayliss was approached by his friends at Troubadour Wine Bar - owner Phineas Fittipaldi and former bartender Adrian Lopez-Balbontin - to start a reading series at their venue. Bayliss was interested, but he knew that he wanted to do something a little different, “I didn’t just want to repeat exactly what we had [at Poets & Pints].”
It's a busy week for many writers in our nation: the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference & Book Fair is this week in Washington, D.C. Writers, readers, editors, agents, book artists, and literary arts administrators all gather for three days of panel discussions, readings, and book fair browsing. I remember my first time going to AWP, when I was the editor of my college's undergraduate literary magazine. The weekend could be summed up in three words: inspiring, thought-provoking, and OVERWHELMING. Whether it's your first time going, or you're an old pro, it can be hard to navigate the multitude of options happening simultaneously. Fret not: we've got your back. Here's a round-up of articles about AWP to help you navigate the amazing, exhausting world of AWP.