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Archive for June, 2010

Truly Original

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

UAP Projection Site/Photograph copyright Wing Young Huie. All rights reserved.

Have you seen TPT’s intriguing new arts show MN Original? It airs Thursdays on channel tpt2-Twin Cities Public Television at 7:30 p.m.  This Thursday, July 1, the show features photographer Wing Young Huie (along with O’Se Irish dance and indie rock band Small Cities) and the University Avenue Project. (It will repeat Saturday, July 3rd, at 6:30 p.m. on the Statewide MN channel and Sunday, July 4, at 6 p.m. on tptLIFE.)

Go behind the scenes with Huie as he and the UAP team celebrate the neighborhood through this extraordinary public exhibit–six miles of photographs and a nightly projection show as urban gallery along University Avenue in St. Paul–and a two-volume book of the same name (MHS Press). For a sneak preview of Thursday’s show, click here. Or visit MNOriginal on Facebook to learn more.

Oh, fer cute!

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Bunnies!Ever wonder what it would be like to quit your day job and devote your time to raising a lively menagerie of llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, and angora rabbits? That’s just what Kathy Sletto did. Her tales of full-time shepherding on her farm near Alexandria are collected in Keeping Watch: 30 Sheep, 24 Rabbits, 2 Llamas, 1 Alpaca, and a Shepherdess with a Day Job.

Keeping Watch book cover

Kathy and these two adorable bunnies will be at the Mill City Farmers Market this Saturday, July 3. Kathy will be signing and selling books; you can coo over the bunnies for free.

Click through to read an excerpt about Emma the Rabbit and the Star Tribune  and MinnPost book reviews.

Russell W. Fridley

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Russell Fridley, 1957We note the passing last week of Russell W. Fridley, former director of the Minnesota Historical Society, who headed the institution during a period of immense growth, as described in the obituary published in the Star Tribune.

With Fridley’s support, the Minnesota Historical Society Press, under directors June Holmquist and Jean Brookins, shared in that growth. In 1955, when he became director, the Press’s staff of three published Minnesota History journal and a book every year or two. By 1986, at the end of his tenure, the Press had become an energetic and respected regional publisher with a staff of twelve producing eight to ten titles a year; the journal was larger, longer, and included color; and the program included a research department that regranted state funds and oversaw special projects for publication.

Press staff are sometimes asked why Minnesota has such a successful publishing program. That skinny kid at the top, shown in 1957, was one of the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

Ann Regan, MHS Press Editor in Chief

Minnesota Center for Book Arts Celebrates 25 Years

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

MN Center for Book ArtsMCBA is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with a free open house this Saturday, June 25, from 10 am through 4 pm at 11011 Washington Ave. S. Sure to be fun for the whole family.

Per the MCBA website:

Drop-in activities, ongoing throughout the day:

Make a commemorative “pressure print” on the Vandercook press celebrating MCBA’s 25th. Then use the print as the cover of your own pamphlet-stitch book! (all ages)

Make your own sheet of handmade paper, in fun shapes like a fish, a lizard, or even your own hand! (all ages)

Print your own commemorative bookmark with wood and metal type on the Vandercook letterpress (all ages)

Check out professional artists demonstrating some of the fun things you can learn to make in MCBA’s studios, like handmade marbled paper! (all ages)

Take a guided tour of MCBA’s home, the beautiful Open Book building — a century-old warehouse with many secrets and surprises still intact!

Scheduled events:

10am-12:30pm: Read a birthday story together, then construct a birthday cake book! (for preschoolers and families)

10am-12:45pm: Learn about book repair and conservation of books and family documents (for adults)

1-4pm: Make your own mini-comic with artists from the International Cartoonist Conspiracy, and get a personalized caricature! (for tweens and teens)

3pm: Join MCBA Artistic Director Jeff Rathermel for a trip back in time — 25 Years of MCBA Publications, a hands-on look at publications and artists’ books created at MCBA. The presentation will include Winter Books, collaborative broadsides, work by past Jerome artists and other treasures from the archives.

Ojibwe Language Camp Opens Thursday

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Jim NorthrupAuthor and columnist, Jim Northrup, is the organizer of the second annual Nagaajiwanaang Ojibwe Language Immersion Camp in Sawyer, MN on the Fond du Lac Reservation. The camp begins this Thursday. The number of  native speakers participating in this year’s camp is double that of last year’s according to an article in the Duluth News Tribune.

To learn more about Ojibwe language and tradition, check out Living Our Language and Ojibwe in Minnesota, both by Anton Treuer.

 Also–check out our Fall 2010 catalog for a sneak peek at our forthcoming books, including a biography of Ojibwe leader, Hole in the Day also by Anton Treuer.

Strawberry Season Is Here!

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Cooks Tour of Minnesota Book CoverTake a virtual stroll over to Minnesota Grown and find a farm. Pick-your-own strawberry locations in central and southern Minnesota are now open for business!

For a change of pace from strawberry shortcake or strawberry jam, try this cool Strawberry Chantilly Soup recipe from Ann Burckhardt’s book, A Cook’s Tour of MInnesota.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Minnesota Weather AlmanacJune is typically the wettest month in Minnesota, but after days of gray skies we’d like some SUN, please! At least a tornado isn’t in store for us today as it was in 1981:

“Around 4:50 p.m. on June 14, 1981, an F3 (158-206 mph) touched down near Edina in Hennepin County and traveled for 15 miles through portions of Minneapolis and Roseville until it dissipated near Lake Owasso in Ramsey County. It damaged residences in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood near the historic Gibbs Farm as well as the Har-Mar Shopping Center in Roseville, where most of the 83 injuries occurred. Total damages were estimated at $47 million.”

From Minnesota Weather Almanac by Mark W. Seeley (p. 195)

What to read next?

Friday, June 11th, 2010

We love summer reading lists! Here are our Press staff picks for your summer pleasure.

A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts book coverA Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts: Stories  by N. M. Kelby: Ten perfect stories to guide your trip through the dark (and often funny) side of love.—Anne Kaplan, editor

Food Will Win the War: Minnesota Crops, Cooks, and Conservation during World War I by Rae Katherine Eighmey: Meet the Minnesotans at home who planned, gardened, canned, and cooked their way through a massive conservation effort that fueled the war abroad. Recipes included!—AK

The Days of Rondo  by Evelyn Fairbanks:  A warmhearted coming-of-age story that pictures life in St. Paul’s now-vanished African American community.—AK

The Summer of Ordinary Ways: A Memoir by Nicole Lea Helget: I gave this book to my mother as a birthday gift. She couldn’t put it down. “Beautifully written,” she said.—Erica Hartmann, editor

Keeping Watch: 30 Sheep, 24 Rabbits, 2 Llamas, 1 Alpaca, and a Shepherdess with a Day Job by Kathryn A. Sletto: After reading it myself, I purchased a copy for my mother and strongly recommended it to a friend. Good read; funny stories.—Jennifer Wagner, Press volunteer
Damn Good Food: 157 Recipes from Hell’s Kitchen by Mitch Omer and Ann Bauer: The first cookbook I actually read cover to cover. I enjoyed learning about Mitch’s life and how he developed many of his recipes, and I loved the comments on some of the recipes.—JW

Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past by Diane Wilson: Wilson starts to ask her mother questions about her past and suddenly finds her family’s direct connection to the Dakota War of 1862, the most painful event in Minnesota’s history. In this beautifully written and deeply personal story, she demonstrates my favorite aspect of regional history: we are surrounded by stories about ourselves that we just haven’t yet uncovered. –Ann Regan, editor in chief
The Fires of Autumn: The Cloquet-Moose Lake Disaster of 1918 by Francis Carroll and Franklin Raiter: Half disaster book, half critical history, and fully a compelling story of what happens when government doesn’t own up to its responsibilities. Read this on a hot day, and it will give you chills.—AR
While the Locust Slept: A Memoir by Peter Razor: An Ojibwe boy grows up at the state orphanage in Owatonna in the 1930s and survives an indenture with an abusive farmer. Teen years you’re glad you didn’t live.—AR

Lost in the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods by Cary J. Griffith: If you’re an adventurer you may be fascinated with the solo, round-the-world journey of sixteen-year-old sailor Abby Sunderland and her stranding in the Indian Ocean. Now transfer that danger and excitement to our northern wilderness. Lost in the Wild is a suspenseful read—a survival odyssey—for those who embrace that wilderness full on. Hikers, kayakers, and canoeists love this book!—Pam McClanahan, director

Canoeing with the Cree: A 2,250-mile voyage from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay by Eric Sevareid, with a foreword by Ann Bancroft: I reread this book before my first Boundary Waters long canoe trip and have taken it back on trail again since, sharing segments each night with my paddling partners. Written over forty years ago and with nearly 50,000 copies sold to date, this narrative of the novice journey by young Eric and Walter never fails to inspire me.—PM

A People’s History of the Hmong by Paul Hillmer: A riveting exploration of the tragedies and triumphs of the Hmong, many of whom fought on the American side during the Vietnam War, whose children and grandchildren today are my neighbors—and maybe also yours.—Shannon Pennefeather, managing editor

AIA Guide to Downtown Minneapolis by Larry Millett: With the brand-new draw of Target Field, what better place to be outside this summer than the Mill City? This lightweight guidebook answers your questions about who, what, and where as you explore Minneapolis’s urban neighborhoods.—SP

 Happy reading!

A New Minnesota State Park

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Prairie, Lake, ForestAs of Tuesday, Minnesota has a new state park on Lake Vermilion outside of Ely and adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park. The Duluth News Tribune reports, “Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Holsten said some public tours will be allowed in the park this summer, and limited trails should be ready by fall. Boaters already may explore the lakeshore.”

Per Chris Niskanen, Pioneer Press writer and co-author of Prairie, Lake, Forest: Minnesota’s State Parks:

“Lake Vermilion State Park will be a wonderful addition to the state park system because of its access to undeveloped shoreline along Lake Vermilion, one of the state’s best fishing lakes. I have visited the site and know Minnesotans will be impressed with the area’s forests, marshes, geology and wildlife. It is destined to rank among our top 5 favorite state parks.”

For more information about and gorgeous images of Minnesota’s impressive state parks system, check out Prairie, Lake, Forest by photographer Doug Ohman and writer Chris Niskanen, available at a fine bookstore near you.

Great Southwestern Minnesota Potluck Paradise Book Tour

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Rae Katherine Eighmey and Debbie MillerThe dynamic duo behind Potluck Paradise: Favorite Fare from Church and Community Cookbooks, Rae Katherine Eighmey and Debbie Miller, will be on the road in southwestern Minnesota June 15 to 19. They will share their winning summer potluck ideas at the public libraries listed below.  

For starters, how about a refreshing cucumber salad?

June 15 — 2 pm Heron Lake Library
June 15 — 7 pm Slayton Public Library
June 16 — 7 pm Tyler Public Library
June 17 — 2 pm Dawson Public Library
June 17 — 7 pm Lake Lillian Public Library
June 18 — 7 pm Maynard Public Library
June 19 — 1 pm Graceville Public Library

For details, click on our calendar of events and type “potluck” in the calendar search field.