Words by local artists and poets take over Nicollet Mall January 30 – February 5 as part of The Great Northern. Presented by Northern Lights.mn, Living Banners by Piotr Szyhalski, and Words for Winter by 17 local poets make us think about this defining season of the bold North.
According to artist Piotr Szyhalski, this sweeping, poetry-inspired art installation “wrapping” Nicollet Mall between 5th and 12th streets.
“is simply about language. The malleability of it, the organic, living, evolving nature of words and meanings; of ideas occupying spaces between words. With regard to Nicollet Mall, I immediately thought of the construction site as a kind of grand metaphor for how we “work things out” in our heads when we attempt to express something complex, nuanced, or important. There is a kind of struggle that is taking place in constructing an idea.”
Click here to read more in Living Banners: A Conversation Between Piotr Szyhalski and Steve Dietz.
Piotr Szyhalski is the Polish-born, U.S.-based multimedia artist who established the Labor Camp—an ongoing art project that includes interactive components (digital and physical), original music, performances, videos, printed ephemera, texts, a blog, and an archive of online resources.
Words for Winter
Words for Winter, is collection of short poems by 17 local writers displayed on electronic road construction signs, all responding to the prompt, “what does winter mean to you?”
Brave Crow is a two-spirit Lakota poet enrolled on Standing Rock.
Heid E. Erdrich is a writer and interdisciplinary artist (Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain) who teaches in the Augsburg MFA program.
Sarah Fox is the author of Because Why and The First Flag, both from Coffee House Press.
Hassan Hussein is a writer, assistant professor, and business development director was born and raised in a rural village in Oromia, Ethiopia. He writes to gain a better understanding of himself and his surroundings.
Sarah Myers is a playwright from Chicago who teaches at Augsburg College.
Miss Brit is a Twin Cities based poet, TV/radio personality, actress, entrepreneur, creative consultant and community organizer.
Moheb Soliman is a poetry-based interdisciplinary artist whose work is oriented by issues of nature, modernity, identity, and belonging, recently culminating in projects about the Great Lakes borderland.
Lara Mimosa Montes is the author of The Somnambulist (Horse Less Press, 2016).
LianiRey is an Afro Taina Latina living in MN by way of The Caribbean and Washington Heights, New York.
Lula Saleh is a writer, singer-songwriter, organizer and poet of Eritrean and Ethiopian background, and a third culture kid who was born and raised between Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Addis Ababa, and London.
Sagirah Shahid is a Minneapolis based poet. You will be able to find three more of her poems shaped into giant metal lanterns along Nicollet Mall later this year.
Sun Yung Shin is the editor of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, the author of poetry/essay collections Unbearable Splendor; Rough, and Savage; and Skirt Full of Black (all from Coffee House Press), a co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, and the author of bilingual illustrated book for children Cooper’s Lesson.
Mary Austin Speaker is a poet & book designer.
Elle Thoni is a Mississippi River watershed based playwright, performance-maker and feminist producer.
Joel Turnipseed is the author of “Baghdad Express: A Gulf War Memoir” and “Zen Arcade: A Novel.” He lives in Northeast Minneapolis, where he is curator of the Cultivate Northeast project.
Elisabeth Workman is the author of ULTRAMEGAPRAIRIELAND and ENDLESSNESS IS NO DESOLATION; she teaches creative writing at MCAD.
Ahmed Ismail Yusuf is a local writer, who was born and raised in Somalia. His collection of short stories is set for publication in August 2017.