Jun 3 2017 - 9:00am to 1:00pm
SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2016
Some of the varieties that may be available:
Jun 11 2017 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
What: Poetry Reading with Cindy Hunter Morgan
Harborless, a collection of poems informed by Great Lakes shipwrecks, is part history and part reinvention. The poems explore tragic wrecks in rivers and lakes, finding and forming artistic meaning from destruction and death. Each poem begins in a real, historical moment that Cindy Hunter Morgan transforms into an imagined truth. The imaginative element is essential to this work as it provides a previously unseen glimpse into the lives affected by shipwrecks. The poems in Harborless confront the mysteries surrounding the objects that cover the floor of the Great Lakes by both deepening our understanding of the unknown and teaching great empathy for a life most of us will never know.
Most of the poems are titled after the name of a ship, the year of the wreck, and the lake in which the ship met disaster. The book’s time frame spans from wrecks that precede the Civil War to those involving modern ore carriers. Throughout this collection are six "Deckhand" poems, which give face to a fully imagined deckhand and offer a character for the reader to follow, someone who appears and reappears, surfacing even after others have drowned. Who and what is left behind in this collection speaks to finality and death and "things made for dying." Very little is known when a ship sinks other than the obvious: there was a collision, a fire, a storm, or an explosion. Hunter works to fill in these gaps and to keep these stories alive with profound thoughtfulness and insight.
Jun 24 2017 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
What: Book Reading & Signing with author Dennis McCann
Travel down the mighty upper half of the Mississippi River, from its headwaters in Minnesota, with longtime travel journalist Dennis McCann. Far more than a travel guide, McCann takes readers on an intimate journey through the colorful history, and scenery, of the river that shaped not only the Midwest but the nation. McCann explores the legends and lore of people and places in the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Each chapter also includes a short list of must-see sites for the modern-day explorer.
Dennis McCann has written often about Mississippi River events in his twenty-five years at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In 1994, he spent four days on paddleboats slowly making their way from the Quad Cities to La Crosse as part of the re-creation of the 1854 Grand Excursion, the first government-led effort to get the Upper Mississippi opened for commerce, farming, and other uses. He is the author of the Wisconsin Historical Society Press books This Superior Place and Badger Boneyards.
Jun 29 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
What: Reading & Signing with authors Keith Lesmeister and Peter Geye
In his first collection of short fiction, Keith Lesmeister plows out a distinctive vision of the contemporary Midwest. A recovering addict chases down a herd of runaway cows with a girl the same age as his estranged daughter. A middle-aged couple rediscovers their love for one another through the unlikely circumstance of robbing a bank. A drunken grandmother goads her grandson into bartering his leftover booze for a kayak. The daughter of a deployed soldier wages a bloody war on the rabbits ravaging her family’s farm.
These stories peer into the lives of those at the margins–the broken, the resigned, the misunderstood. At turns hopeful and humorous, tender and tragic, We Could’ve Been Happy Here illuminates how we are shaped and buoyed by our intimate connections with others—both those close to us, and those we hardly know.
One of our best sellers in 2016 has finally arrived in paperback! Continuing the saga of the Eide family introduced in his second novel, The Lighthouse Road, Geye’s powerful third outing journeys to the frozen places in the American landscape and the human heart. One November, the elderly Harry Eide, who is suffering from dementia, vanishes into the unforgiving backcountry surrounding his home in the tiny Minnesota town of Gunflint. When his son, Gus, comes to tell Harry’s longtime love, Berit Lovig, the news, Gus also begins recounting another defining trip Harry took into the wilderness three decades earlier. In fall 1963, Harry persuaded then-18-year-old Gus to postpone college and join him on a lengthy two-man journey north into the maze of waterways at the Canadian border, where they planned to winter over like the “voyageurs of yore.” By the time the first snow fell, Gus had come to understand that the maps Harry had brought were useless and that a showdown with Charlie Aas, Gunflint’s corrupt mayor and Harry’s longtime nemesis, might be dead ahead. As Gus recalls his tale, Berit looks back to her own past, most notably with Rebekah Grimm, a Gunflint icon whose history links her to the Eides. Capturing the strength and mystery of characters who seem inextricable from the landscape, Geye’s novel is an unsentimental testament to the healing that’s possible when we confront our bleakest places.