Writer's Block

Winter reading assignment: North Dakota’s geologic legacy

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 29th, 2017

John Bluemle’s new book, “North Dakota’s Geologic Legacy” (actually published in 2016 and now in its second printing), is the culmination of a career of more than 40 years he spent with the North Dakota Geological Survey, researching all facets of North Dakota’s geology, and carrying the title of State Geologist.

It’s his fourth in a series of books designed, as he says, “for physical and armchair travelers.” His earlier work, “The Face of North Dakota,” comprised…

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Reading, book signing: former ND poet laureate Mark Vinz

by Särah Nour | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 24th, 2017

On Sunday, Mark Vinz will be at Zandbroz Variety to read from and sign copies of his latest book of poetry, “Man of the House: Scenes from a ’50s Childhood.” This autobiographical collection was published by MSUM’s New Rivers Press, while the book cover was designed by intern Mandi Wahl, a graphic design major with a minor in art.

Vinz previously read from “Man of the House” at the latest New Rivers Press book launch on November 9th. This took place in the Livingston Lord…

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Poetry reading: Rag Talk

by Särah Nour | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 17th, 2017

This Friday will be the last chance to take part in a poetry reading hosted by The Poetry Rag and the Drumconrath Brewing Company in Mapleton. Rag Talk has been held every Friday since October 20 and is free and open to the public.

In addition to scheduled readers, there will be an open mic period for anyone wanting to participate. Participants are free to bring poetry, short stories, or works of creative nonfiction, and enjoy the varieties of craft beer.

The Poetry Rag has been in…

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​One book, one community

by Särah Nour | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 18th, 2017

The Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo Public Libraries have once again teamed up for the One Book, One Community Program. Last year’s selection was ‘The Latehomecomer,’ by St. Paul author Kao Kalia Yang. The selection prior was ‘Fractured Land: The Price of Inheriting Oil,’ by Minneapolis author Lisa Westberg Peters.

This year the book they’ve selected is ‘Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,’ winner of the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. On Tuesday…

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​Dark glasses darkly comedic

by Särah Nour | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 27th, 2017

Last week in the back room of Zandbroz Variety, local author Dan Hendrickson read from and signed copies of his latest book, Dark Glasses, a collection of short, absurdist, darkly comedic poems.

Prior to reading, Hendrickson gave his audience a preview of his self-deprecating sense of humor. Of his poems, he admitted, “Some of them will probably work, some will not. I like to say they’re kind of like bugs hitting a windshield, so if one splatters and doesn’t go anywhere, just hit…

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Review: “American Pain”

by Nanci Nelson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 20th, 2017

How a young felon and his ring of doctors unleashed America’s deadliest drug epidemic

Unless you have been living with that undocumented Amazonian tribe for the past ten years, you are aware of the opioid epidemic that is killing our people.

The number of kilograms of oxycodone manufactured in the United States in 2014 was 149,375 kg., up from the previous decade by over three times the amount. The opioid drugs manufactured for use in the U.S. must be approved by the DEA before they…

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​Laetitia Mizero Hellerud on ‘Being at Home in the World’

by Särah Nour | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 30th, 2017

On Tuesday of last week, Ecce Art Gallery hosted local author Laetitia Mizero Hellerud as she promoted her memoir, ‘Being at Home in the World: Cross-Cultural Leadership Lessons to Guide Your Journey.’ The book chronicles her experience fleeing her home country of Burundi as a child due to political unrest, and the subsequent challenges of adapting to new environments.

“It’s a highlight of the major life obstacles I’ve had,” Hellerud said, “including living in four…

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​Dead on Dead Mountain

by Nanci Nelson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 30th, 2017

Mysteries fascinate us, especially unsolved ones. Our curiosity is piqued and we investigate the available information and come to our own conclusions about what may have happened.

An unsolved mystery that has been consistently disturbing and inconclusive is the disappearance of nine Soviet hikers in 1959 in the Ural Mountains.

The Dyatlov Pass incident is fascinating because of all the theories about what may have happened, theories that range from aliens to rocket ships to political…

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​Murder on the Red River at Plains

by Särah Nour | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 16th, 2017

Next Thursday, the Plains Art Museum will host Fargo author Marcie Rendon of the White Earth Anishinaabe Nation for a public discussion of her novel, “Murder on the Red River,” which was published by Cinco Puntos Press back in April.

Rendon’s protagonist, Cash, is a 19-year-old Native American woman who grew up in foster care and makes a living as a farm laborer and pool shark. As a toddler, she was rescued by Sheriff Wheaton, who pulled her from the car wreck that killed her…

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​Out on the prairie: book reviews

by Kathleen Dixon | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 10th, 2017

“Prairie Silence: A Memoir.” By Melanie Hoffert. Boston: Beacon Press, 2013. 238 pp. $24.95 cloth

From the outside looking in, North Dakota is an exotic locale, never more than when the topic of LGBT arises. It is a black hole of a state, a place from which no trans or gay could ever emerge.

For those of us who live here, the experience is quite variable. If one lives near a university -- and North Dakota is nothing if not a university state -- one may feel as though the subject is…

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