Coffee House Press, Words for Winter 2
Words for Winter
For Illuminate South Loop, Coffee House Press commissioned 10 poets to write original work about winter.
ILLUMINATE SOUTH LOOP
Riding on the Blue Line METRO train near the airport, it’s hard to miss a giant LED board sign that flashes the familiar message of transportation warning: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Motivated by the possibility of message boards like this to inspire a more poetic public language, we’re bringing back Words for Winter – an installation of short poems about winter on electronic road signs placed throughout Bloomington Central Park. This project first appeared on Nicollet Mall in winter 2017, and this time we’ve brought award-winning Coffee House Press on board.
Coffee House Press has long recognized that there are many possibilities for reader/writer exchange beyond (and even without) the page. Through their Books in Action publications and programs, they’ve become interdisciplinary collaborators and incubators for new work and audience experiences—not just with CHP authors, but with visual, performing, and social practice artists, and others whose ideas and work engage and inspire. CHP’s vision for the future is one where a publisher is more than a company that packages books.
Our collective hope for Words for Winter is to highlight the literary brilliance of the Twin Cities, while providing surprise moments of delight, curiosity and inspiration to Bloomington’s workers, residents and visitors.
Michael Kleber-Diggs is a Givens Foundation Fellow, a 2018 Minnesota State Arts Board grant recipient, and a winner of the Loft’s Mentor Series, whose writing has been featured in various literary publications including two anthologies. Michael currently writes for the Star Tribune and teaches through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.
Su Hwang is a recipient of the 2017 Minnesota Emerging Writers Grant, a Coffee House Press In the Stacks Fellowship, the Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship, and the James Wright Prize. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Minnesota, teaches with the Minnesota Prison Writers Workshop, and contributes to the Twin Cities Daily Planet.
Lara Mimosa Montes is the author of The Somnambulist (Horse Less Press, 2016). Her writing has previously appeared in BOMB, Fence, The Third Rail, and elsewhere. She was born in the Bronx.
Bao Phi is a Minnesota Grand Slam poetry champ and National Poetry Slam finalist who has been on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and was included in Best American Poetry 2006. He is the author of Sông I Sing, Thousand Star Hotel, and A Different Pond and is currently the program director of the Loft Literary Center.
Valerie Deus’s work has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, The BeZine, aforemention productions, and the St. Paul Almanac. She is the co-creator of We/Here, an art journal that highlights local artists. She also hosts Project 35, a local radio show where she plays Haitian oldies and talks art.
Greg Hewett is the author of Blindsight, darkacre, The Eros Conspiracy, Red Suburb, and To Collect the Flesh—poetry collections that have received a Publishing Triangle Award, two Minnesota Book Award nominations, and a Lambda Book Award nomination. He has received two Fulbright fellowships and a Camargo Foundation fellowship and currently teaches at Carleton College.
Moheb Soliman is an interdisciplinary poet from Egypt and the Midwest whose work explores nature, modernity, identity, and belonging, in recent years focusing on the Great Lakes region through installation, performance, and public art. For 2018 he’s at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship developing a region-wide project and completing his first poetry manuscript.
Heid E. Erdrich authored five poetry collections including Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media. She is editor of New Poets of Native Nations from Graywolf Press. Heid creates poem videos with an all-indigenous collaborative. She is Ojibwe, enrolled at Turtle Mountain. Heid teaches in the Augsburg College MFA Program.