...or scroll down for current dates and program details.
Minnesota Book Award Winners and Finalists Visit Bookstores and Libraries in Metro Area and Statewide
The Minnesota Book Awards seeks to connect readers with Minnesota books, authors, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and more - through programs and outreach activities year-round. Reading guides for the winning books from the past five years and DVDs of interviews with the winning authors can be accessed online and in public libraries. This summer, bookmarks and posters featuring the 2013 winning authors and books will be distributed to libraries, public schools and bookstores statewide. Meanwhile, meet some of the best authors in the state at free events throughout the 100+ metro-area libraries represented by MELSA. A partial list of author events can be found here, or for more information on metro area activities, visit MELSA.org and click on DATEbook.
Writers in Conversation
Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m.
420 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul
Join O’Shaughnessy Award winning Irish poet Leontia Flynn, research fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, in conversation with Minneapolis poet, Dobby Gibson.
Friday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
O’Shaughnessy Educational Center
University of Saint Thomas,
2115 Summit Ave, Saint Paul
Presented by The Friends and the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas.
Wednesday, June 5, 7 p.m.
Highland Park Library
1974 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul
Highly regarded Chinese-American poet Li-Young Lee has penned four critically acclaimed books of poetry, including Behind My Eyes and The City in Which I Love You, winner of the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection. His memoir, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance, was described as “a literary event… a work of memory and myth” by the Phoenix Gazette and received an American Book Award. Originally scheduled for March 18, but rescheduled due to author's illness.
Lee’s many honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Seating is first-come, first served. Doors open 6:15. Presented by The Friends and MELSA.
With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Amsterdam Bar and Hall every third Tuesday of the month. Kamin has taken the suburban book club tradition and put it in a public bar where people’s opinions flow freely with a little "liquid courage." Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” Are all welcome to try this reinvention of the book club.
Third Tuesdays of the month.
Social at 5:30 p.m. - Discussion begins at 6:15
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, 6 W. Sixth Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Tuesday, May 28
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a daughter’s unflinching love for her imperfect mother.
“The tightly constructed Where’d You Go, Bernadette is written in many formats — e-mails, letters, F.B.I. documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist and even an emergency-room bill for a run-in between Bernadette and Audrey. Yet these pieces are strung together so wittily that Ms. Semple’s storytelling is always front and center, in sharp focus. You could stop and pay attention to how apt each new format is, how rarely she repeats herself and how imaginatively she unveils every bit of information. But you would have to stop laughing first.” – New York Times book review
The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
Tuesday, June 18 - AUTHOR APPEARANCE
Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life–something like his old life–exists beyond the airport.
“Heller has written a stunning debut novel. In spare, poetic
prose, he portrays a soaring spirit of hope that triumphs over heartbreak,
trauma, and insurmountable struggles. A timely must-read.”
– Library Journal, Starred Review
post-apocalyptic love letter to things of beauty, big and small: a twitching
trout, a can of Sprite, empathy, sex, decency, and a good dog”
– Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
Books & Bars at Amsterdam Bar and Hall continues every third Tuesday. Visit www.booksandbars.com for more information. Follow on Twitter: @booksandbars. Call The Friends' office for more information at 651-222-3242. This event series is co-sponsored by The Friends.
1831 Marshall Avenue
Free and open to the public. A panel discussion moderated by David Gillette of TPT follows each of the films. Made possible through funds from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Presented by MELSA and The Friends.
“The Revolutionary Optimists”
Monday, May 13, 7 p.m.
Amlan Ganguly empowers children to become activists and educators using puppetry, dance and theater in Calcutta’s slums. “The Revolutionary Optimists” follows him as he attempts to replicate his work in the brick fields outside the city, where children live and work in unimaginable conditions.
“Love Free or Die”
Monday, June 3, 7 p.m.
This film follows bishop Gene Robinson—the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom—from small-town churches in the New Hampshire North Country to London’s Lambeth Palace, as he calls for all to stand for equality. His consecration in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir, and he has lived with death threats every day since.
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club
Monday, June 17, 7 p.m.
Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W Minnehaha Ave.
Join cast members of Park Square Theatre’s upcoming production of “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club” for an intimate discussion of their work on the play. Contact The Friends for information about a ½ price ticket deal in conjunction with the library program, good for any performance June 20 through July 14. 651-222-3242.
In the heart of London, in a windowless house, some of Europe’s most powerful men gather to play a game. The game is murder. This is The Suicide Club, and they have a new member: Sherlock Holmes—brilliant, perceptive, the greatest detective in the English-speaking world. Does Holmes wish to die? Will he have to kill? Can Dr. Watson save him?
Theater discussion programs are free and open to the public. As a regular benefit, members of The Friends receive a $5 discount on regular-price tickets at Park Square Theatre throughout the year (not available with website purchases). For more information on their other plays, please visit www.parksquaretheatre.org.
Find out more about these and other annual events:
For more detailed information on upcoming events at the Saint Paul Public Library, check out our program calendar, Events & Classes, jointly produced by The Friends and the Library. Events & Classes includes articles on upcoming programs and activities, highlights new services, and provides a complete monthly calendar of free programs for children and adults sponsored by the Library and The Friends. Copies of Events & Classes are available free at all Saint Paul Public Library branches, and are mailed to all Friends members. For a complimentary copy, please send a note with your address to email@example.com.