BOOKS | Poet Joanna Rawson’s challenging but stimulating “Unrest” will make you feel just a little bit more alive

Joanna Rawson wants you to be frustrated. In her second book of poetry, Unrest (Graywolf Press), Rawson writes her personal manifesto, and she lets you in on her philosophy of life, the universe, and everything. What Rawson sees in this world is chaos in perpetuity, as described in her poem “Provisional Endings during Wartime”:
Tomorrow you’ll set all this chaos right.But the thought gets lost underneath, in the undertow. However, as chaotic as Rawson depicts the world to be, the Northfield poet’s book is more challenging than depressing. She tackles sociopolitical issues such as illegal Mexican immigration to the United States and the first female suicide bomber in the Middle East. Continue Reading

DANCE | Stuart Pimsler’s new production at the Guthrie leaves one “Longing” for coherence

Inspired by the poetry of Leonard Cohen and influenced by Marcel Proust’s musings on memory, Tales from the Book of Longing made its world premiere at the Guthrie Theater this weekend. Stuart Pimsler wrote, directed, and conceived this work with the help of his partner Suzanne Costello. Pimsler and Costello both perform in Tales, along with five members of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater: Brian Evans, Cade Holmseth, Kari Mosel, Laura Selle Virtucio, and Roxanne Wallace-Patterson.

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Take a shot for water resource management

“There is a stigma to the people who support environmental efforts—y’know, granola people, treehuggers, pick the name—and I wanted to bring another energy to the effort. Look, a vodka company is sponsoring an environmental trip—that’s cool,” said Kevin Lilly, founder of the nonprofit organization What About Blue?. He hopes to raise awareness about the importance of water as a global resource by kayaking the length of the Mississippi, from Lake Itasca to New Orleans, on a trip sponsored by Crystal Head Vodka.Lilly and his two guides, Danielle Katz and Brian Coggan, paddled into town last week to raise money during two events in Minneapolis: a low-key affair at Seven on Friday, August 21, and a party at the RocBar in the Ugly Mug on Augusts 22.“Kevin was in his element [at the events],” said Katz. The native Floridian more at home in a bar than a campground—Lilly had never been camping prior to the trip—will spend a good deal of time living and traveling with “granola people.”Katz may be an aspiring actress from L.A., but her eyes lit up at the mention of the bulk section at the Mississippi Market. Citing her inspiration to sign on, she seemed most excited about the journey itself. Continue Reading

Crime down in Minneapolis

Violent crime in Minneapolis has decreased by 38% since 2006, and property crimes have decreased by 23% since 2007, according to a panel of experts who gathered Friday, July 31, to talk about falling crime rates. The occasion was the monthly “Breakfast with Gary” community meeting with Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff. The panel included Minneapolis Chief of Police Tim Dolan, Deputy Chief of Police Rob Allen, Hennepin County District Court Judge Tanya Bransford, Minneapolis Police Department Head of the Juvenile Division Lieutenant Mike Sullivan, and Dallas Drake, co-founder of and Principal Researcher for the Center for Homicide Research. The panel talked to a group of about 10 citizens early in the morning in a brightly colored cafeteria in the Mercado Central. In a summary of his Mid Year Crime Report to Public Safety & Regulatory Committee (PDF), Deputy Police Chief Allen cited the switch to a predictive analysis model as one of the reasons for the drop in homicides. Continue Reading

Looking around the Twin Cities

Price of gas got you down? If you were planning a road trip this summer, but then thought better of it, fear not! There are plenty of beautiful vistas and scenes of historical import right here. Why not get to know your home state a little better by visiting the observation decks around the Twin Cities? University Avenue and the Minneapolis skyline seen from the State Capitol. Continue Reading

One Day in July

Minneapolis is under martial law. The police have opened fire on unarmed strikers, and the governor has called in the National Guard. What’s all the brouhaha about? Continue Reading

Harry Potter is back!

Midnight was the witching hour on Tuesday night as Harry Potter returned to the big screen in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth installment of an eight-part movie series featuring The Boy Who Lived. Things have changed, though, since the last movie premiered in 2007. J. K. Rowling’s seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series came out ten days after the fifth movie. (The final book will be brought to the screen in two parts.) Two years after all the mysteries were solved, were Harry’s fans still devoted enough to line up to see him? Caroline Regan as a Dementor standing in line at the concession stand “That’s kind of a weird question,” said Rachel Kowarski, 23, a decade-long Harry Potter fan. Continue Reading

A happy feeling: Summer music at the History Center

History is jammin’ this summer at the Minnesota History Center. The Minnesota Historical Society is hosting 9 Nights of Music—a free live outdoor music series—every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00. The series, which started June 30, continues through August 25. Admission to the museum is free on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., both during the concert series and year-round. The concerts feature a diverse mélange of music genres, from swing to klezmer, even ranging to Bangla/Hindustani fusion. Continue Reading