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11/20/2014 7:00 pm
The Saint Paul Almanac celebrates and documents the city’s history and diversity; its creative forces; its residents’ memories and current experiences; and the ever-changing urban landscape. Through reading each other’s stories and poems we learn from and build new connections with each other. The Almanac combines a calendar of events with literary stories to encourage readers to use their books and read the stories and poems throughout the year.
Join us at Common Good Books to hear Almanac contributors Mike Hazard, Rachel Mortiz, Maryam Marne Zafar, Laurie Hertzel, Jude Wiesner, Margaret Hasse and Matt Rassmussen.
11/21/2014 7:00 pm
Sean Bishop’s poetry debut details the death of the speaker's father after brain surgery, confronting personal and political grief.
“This book is an essential, thrilling ride, which has the feeling of being inevitable. We enter into this book alert to possibility, and leave knowing how asleep we’ve been.”—Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City and The Reenactments
“The Night We’re Not Sleeping In is a collection of hauntings. From the companionship of black holes to the loss of a parent to the regenerative power of killing, old wounds are reconfigured, old griefs polished until they shine. Sean Bishop dredges up the light that lies hidden at the bottom of the void.”--Quan Barry, author of She Weeps Each Time You’re Born
Sean Bishop’s poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, jubilat, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. He has an MFA from the University of Houston and coordinates the programs in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin.
In Su Smallen’s newly expanded Buddha, Proof, Buddha befriends Barbie, shops at Target, rides roller coasters, considers a career change, and contemplates the complete perfection of toast. With this Minnesota Book Award Finalist collection, now containing twice as many poems, author Su Smallen honors the center, not-center of Buddhism with humor and gravity.
Su Smallen is the author of Buddha, Proof, a Minnesota Book Award Finalist, and Weight of Light, nominated for the Pushcart Press Editor’s Book Award. Other honors include the Jane Kenyon Prize and Poet in Residence for the Science Museum of Minnesota’s St. Croix Watershed Research Station. Su was a founding member of the Laurel Poetry Collective, publishing books and broadsides for ten years. Formerly a professional choreographer and dancer, Su and her poetry were featured in the documentary dance film Klatch. Currently, she is an editor at the University of Minnesota Law School Institute on Crime and Public Policy and director of the writing center at St. Olaf College. Visit www.susmallen.com for more information.
Spectator has a subversive heart: a series of poems about a Mexican and an American in love. These ravenous poems cross many emotional and aesthetic borders. They're surreal, tender, meta, political, impressionistic, and angry. Kara Candito has enlarged the contemporary love poem. This is vital and startling work."--Eduardo Corral
Kara Candito is a creative writing professor at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, and a cocurator of the Monsters of Poetry reading series in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the recipient of scholarships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony, and the Santa Fe Arts Institute. Her work has been published in numerous journals and her first poetry collection, "Taste of Cherry," won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry.
12/01/2014 7:00 pm
One of the finest critics gives us an altogether original history of rock 'n' roll.
Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock 'n' roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out--a new language, something new under the sun.
"Transmission" by Joy Division. "All I Could Do Was Cry" by Etta James and then Beyonce. "To Know Him Is to Love Him," first by the Teddy Bears and almost half a century later by Amy Winehouse. In Marcus's hands these and other songs tell the story of the music, which is, at bottom, the story of the desire for freedom in all its unruly and liberating glory. Slipping the constraints of chronology, Marcus braids together past and present, holding up to the light the ways that these striking songs fall through time and circumstance, gaining momentum and meaning, astonishing us by upending our presumptions and prejudices. This book, by a founder of contemporary rock criticism--and its most gifted and incisive practitioner--is destined to become an enduring classic.
Greil Marcus is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a much broader framework of culture and politics than is customary in pop music journalism. He writes for newspapers and magazines including Rolling Stone and The Village Voice.
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There's no shortage of sequels in the summertime. In fact, a few of our staff's favorite novels are soon to pick up right where they left off...
Enon (Now in Paperback), Paul Harding's follow-up novel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers, explores the grief of protagonist Charlie Crosby (grandson of Tinkers character George Crosby) over the loss of his daughter. Peter Recommends
10:04 (Available 9/2), a meta-sequel to Ben Lerner's breakout debut (winner of the 2012 Believer Book Award) Leaving the Atocha Station, finds our unnamed author/narrator under contract with a major publisher, but no more certain how to face the future and the prospect of fatherhood in a city that might soon be underwater. Colin Recommends
Lila (Available 10/7), the last of three novels by Marilynne Robinson set in the fictional plains town of Gilead, Iowa, tells the hardscrabble story of Lila, wife of minister John Ames. Robinson's preceding novels Gilead (2004) and Home (2008) received the Pulitzer and Orange Prizes, respectively. Jean Recommends
"Writing did give me a means to grieve publicly, to make others aware of my loss, in a way that wouldn’t have gone over so well if I had just randomly stood up in the middle of a cafe once a month and proclaimed, 'hello, strangers, allow me to tell you about my dead father and how sad I am about it!'"
Sean Bishop talks about life, death, and Carson Daly. Bishop reads from The Night We’re Not Sleeping In on Friday, November 21, with poets Su Smallen and Kara Condito. Click here for more information. Click here for the complete interview.
Common Good Books is pleased to unveil the first in a series of limited edition t-shirts, not available wherever books are sold.
Looking for that special gift?
Common Good Books has signed and personalized editions of Garrison Keillor's new poetry anthology, Good Poems, American Places. This collection is a splendid road trip across the USA with the perfect guide riding shotgun and a welcome addition to anyone's library.
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