U of M Writers Series to Feature Rankine-Robinson Chat; Bike Night at Mia

By Espeland, Pamela | MinnPost.com, July 21, 2016 | Go to article overview

U of M Writers Series to Feature Rankine-Robinson Chat; Bike Night at Mia


Espeland, Pamela, MinnPost.com


Hoping to build understanding at a time when it's sorely needed, many individuals and groups have compiled reading lists, sometimes called Black Lives Matter reading lists and sometimes not. One title that appears on every list we've seen is Claudia Rankine's "Citizen: An American Lyric," published by Graywolf in 2014. Rankine was set to appear in the most recent NOMMO African American Authors Series but had to cancel twice. Let's hope her third scheduled date in the Twin Cities - Oct. 19 at Ted Mann Concert Hall - is the charm.

Rankine has been booked for the Fall UMN English Writers Series, announced this week by the Department of English. But she won't be here alone. She'll be in conversation with novelist Marilynne Robinson, and we can't imagine a chat we'd rather listen in on. Two great writers, two profound thinkers, with many prizes, honors, awards, and medals between them. This is a big deal, it's free and we should all go. Mark your calendar now for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Also on this always excellent, open-to-the-public series: Sept. 28: Korean-American novelist and short story writer Nami Mun, whose first novel focuses on a Korean immigrant teenager who becomes homeless in the Bronx of the 1980s. Oct. 5: Poet Simone Muench, whose latest, "Wolf Centos," uses a poetic form in which all the language is taken from poems by other poets. The literary equivalent of sampling? Nov. 9: Fiction and nonfiction writer Mark Slouka, who will probably read from his memoir, "Nobody's Son," since it comes out in October.

All events but the Rankine-Sullivan talk will take place in the Weisman Art Museum with 7 p.m. start times.

Zeitgeist announces 2016-17 season

Founded at Macalester College in 1977, St. Paul's Zeitgeist is one of the longest-established new music groups in the U.S. The current configuration - two percussion, woodwinds and piano - also makes it one of the most unique in terms of sound. Deeply committed to the music of our time, the group has commissioned and/or premiered many new works by composers including John Cage, Terry Riley, Harold Budd and Mary Ellen Childs.

The new season begins Sept. 8-10 with the release of Zeitgeist's latest recording, "For the Birds," a combination of musical performance, songs and storytelling with humorist Kevin Kling and composer Victor Zupanc. Oct. 6-8 brings the St. Paul Food Opera, a Knight Arts Challenge winner where new music by composer Ben Houge will be paired with dishes prepared by St. Paul chefs. (We attended a "first taste" preview earlier this year and it was fascinating. Maybe some of the super-noisy restaurants - you know who you are - would like to try something like this.) From Nov. 10-13, Zeitgeist will join forces with Cleveland-based new music ensemble NO EXIT to perform music by Minnesota and Ohio composers.

Feb. 17-18 is Zeitgeist's annual "Playing It Close to Home" concert, with winning songs from the group's Eric Stokes Song Contest (an amateur competition) and music by Childs. April 6-9 is its Early Music Festival, this time spotlighting composer Lou Harrison. The season ends May 4-6, when Zeitgeist teams up with Twin Cities composer collective Spitting Image to present new commissions by Katherine Bergman, Joshua Clausen and Daniel Ness and reprise Cambodian American composer Chinary Ung's "Spiral XIV 'Nimitta,' " a 2012 Zeitgeist commission.

All events will take place in Zeitgeist's own Studio Z performance space, an intimate listening room in Lowertown. FMI and tickets (prices vary).

Lang Lang in Winona in 2017

Way to be on top of things. Having just wrapped its 10th season, Winona's Minnesota Beethoven Festival announced its 2017 lineup and headliner: the celebrated (and celebrity) Chinese pianist Lang Lang. He'll play the final concert on July 26 (remember, we're talking 2017), preceded by the Minnesota Orchestra, Dale Warland and Festival Chorale, Anderson & Roe, Boston Brass and other artists, many making their festival debuts. …

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