Laopocalypse Now: Fear, poetry, and the end of the world

This Wednesday, October 22nd will be the 170th anniversary of "The End of the World," as predicted by the adherents of Millerism in the 1830s. William Miller had predicted the Second Coming of Christ on October 22nd, 1844, That day came and went, and left a good number of people disillusioned. Some returned to their old congregations, others became Quakers or Shakers. In more recent years, the late Harold Camping predicted October 21st, 2011 was going to be the day to end all days.

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Kindness in chalk

You could still see the messages written three different languages chalked on the sidewalk in front of my daughter’s school earlier this week from the October 10th Kindness in Chalk event. The words were faded then, but they still have me hope.

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Should Southeast keep its library without a building?

Photos By: 
Bill Huntzicker

Should Southeast Minneapolis keep its library and, if so, should it remain near Dinkytown?

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TC Weekend | Twin Cities Film Fest, Fall Feast Food Truck Rally, Grow on Penn Pumpkin Patch & more!

It looks like the gorgeous weather will continue this weekend, with mild temps, plenty of sun and warm fall hues. Scroll down for this weekend’s roster of events, featuring more literary and film fun, tasty food truck festivities and pumpkins! See Pumpkins, caramel and more; Twin Cities fall fun for more fall ideas.

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Highlights from the Twin Cities Book Festival

It had been a few years since I had been to the Twin Cities Book Festival. Once it moved to St. Paul, I let the distance (and my non-driving status) keep me home. This year, I’m back behind the wheel of a car, so I thought I’d check out what I’d been missing.

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Artika Tyner's new book looks at lawyering for change

Teaching English led Artika Tyner to become a lawyer. “When I began student teaching,” she writes, “I witnessed firsthand the disparities in the school system influenced by factors such as race and poverty. This was a formative moment in my personal and professional development…. I became committed to shaping public policy and standing up for children. At this point, I also recognized that the law is a language of power and I wanted to learn this language in order to empower others in my community.”

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No matter the heat, think twice before banning books

MERCUTIO: ...I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,
By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
That in thy likeness thou appear to us!

That’s Mercutio summoning Romeo in Act II, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and deploying one of the less intense pieces of sexual innuendo scattered throughout the play. That one of the most commonly taught pieces of literature, from one of the most celebrated writers in the history of the English language, contains such themes and passages is worth keeping in mind as we observe Banned Books Week this year. Schools, naturally enough, are one of the centers of these controversies.

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What a difference

This time last year, there'd been Something I Said (Papyrus Publishing), Dues (Playscripts, Inc.), Shelter (Kindle/Amazon.com) and that's about it aside from Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and Twin Cities Daily Planet. Not that things hadn't gone reasonably well. Something I Said, a collection of controversial commentary, swiftly sold out in stores and at Amazon.com. Shelter, which was a hit - complete with fantastic reviews all over the place - depicting harsh life in a homeless shelter is available on Kindle. So is the short play, Dues, about paying a professional price for being politically incorrect. Between the three of them, am looking forward to a respectable royalty check from Amazon.com.

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New beginnings: RAWI's 5th national gathering with Mizna

September 18th through 20th brought the 5th National RAWI (Radius of Arab Writers, Inc.) Conference to Minneapolis. RAWI partnered with local nonprofit Mizna, an organization that promotes contemporary expressions of Arab American culture through the publication of Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America and the production of the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. The conference included panels often hosted by academic scholars of Arab American literature, and theater, writing workshops, and performances.

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Daybreak Bookstore brightens St. Paul's Grand Avenue

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.

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