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Three Things: The Storefront Window Edition

2014 September 15

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Today I have storefront windows on my mind. The hustle and bustle during business hours is just as interesting to me as the romance of a dark window on a quiet night. Care to write a storefront window into your piece this week? Here are three to get you started.



Richard Estes, Central Savings, 1975. Oil on canvas. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.



André Kertész, Café, 1927. Photograph.



Norman Rockwell, Shuffleton’s Barbershop, 1950. Oil on canvas. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, April 29, 1950. Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


Fall Book Preview

2014 September 12

What We're ReadingFall came up in a hurry here in Minnesota. The last few days have brought temps in the 50s and gusts of wind that signal summer is over. Fall is one of those seasons where I want to wrap myself up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea (or maybe a pumpkin porter) and sit down with a good book. Today, in embracing the spirit of fall, we’ve pulled together a short list of upcoming fall book releases that have our tongues a-wagging, itching to carve aside some time to read.

baboonBaboon by Naja Marie Aidt (Two Lines Press, short fiction)
This is a book I am especially excited about, and you will see a full review soon from me. Aidt pulls back the layers to reveal a raw look at daily life of her different characters, and the darkness that lies there, brooding. These are stories of average people, but with an underbelly of desperation at the cusp of crisis: husbands cheating on wives, bizarre experiences, experimental sexuality and more. These moments of crisis are magnified to uncomfortable closeness, as we face truths all to familiar.

Best to Laugh by Lorna Landvik (University of Minnesota Press, fiction)
Minnesota author Landvik strikes again with a book about a young stand-up comedian who leaves the Midwest to make her big break in Hollywood. Landvik pulls from her own experiences (she has done stand-up shows herself), and woos the reader with her well-spun combination of humor and heart. This is sure to be a fun romp of a novel for those looking for something lighter after reading Baboon.

a girl is a half formed thingA Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Coffee House Press, fiction)
A young woman and her relationship with her brother are at the heart of this debut novel; family, violence, sex, and trauma are all subjects brought into play with the characters. McBride has the literary world a-buzz, having been called a “genius” with “uncompromising”, “shocking” and “incredibly original” style. Girl has already won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Kerry Group Irish Novel of the year award and the Goldsmiths Prize. This is a must-read.

Bone Map by Sara Eliza Johnson (Milkweed Editions, poetry)
Bone Map is the first collection from Johnson, and is a tightly wound, visceral force of a collection that has already won the 2013 National Poetry Series. Nature, animals, and the body collide with violence, raw intensity, and insight. It will be an exercise in imagery and physicality for the reader.


What new or forthcoming books have you excited for fall reading — what’s missing from our list? Do you have a favorite fall reading routine?



Huzzah! It’s Open Mic!

2014 September 10
by Hazel

Head on over to the Open Mic, read read read, and, most importantly, leave your feedback. Like something in particular about a piece? Or is there something about it that doesn’t quite work? Help your fellow writers workshop their works-in-progress by leaving constructive comments.

The feedback frenzy lasts 24 hours only, so make sure to head over NOW!


Three Things: The Traveler Edition

2014 September 8

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I don’t know about you, but September always makes my feet a little itchy and my legs a bit restless; echoes, I’m sure, of school years past and the brisk pace (and weather) that always came along with it.

This week I’m satisfying my wanderlust with some (long-)traveling characters. Join me?



Frederick Cayley Robinson, The Long Journey, 1923. Oil on canvas. Private collection.



Eric Joyner, The Weary Traveler, 2006. Oil on wood.



Michael Cook, Untitled, from Majority Rule series, 2014. Photograph.


Psst: Join in this month with Online Open Mic! Submit your work-in-progress prose or poetry piece today and tomorrow, and get feedback from your fellow writers on Wednesday. Go!