Roots

Five stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series, featuring Minnesota Writers, all produced by Britt Aamodt.

1. National Novel Writing Month
National Novel Writing Month takes place every November around the world. It was initially set up by a group of San Franciscans who wanted to help themselves and other writers overcome that perennial affliction—writer’s block. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt caught up with two Twin Citians who attempted the 50,000-word challenge this past November.

2. Dorothy Cleveland
The Twin Cities has a thriving storytelling community, and Dorothy Cleveland has been part of it since the 1990s. This past November Cleveland emceed the preeminent Twin Cities storytelling event, Tellebration, and the last Tuesday of every month she hosts “Folktales Rising,” a venue for storytelling and listening at the Book House in Dinkytown.

3. Nan Montgomery
One of 13 children, Nan Montgomery was raised on Duluth’s North Shore. As a young writer, she drew inspiration from soap operas, but it wasn’t until much later in life than Nan became a poet.

4. Todd Boss
In the last of our December miniseries on Minnesota Writers, KFAI’s Britt Aamodt [AH-mit] introduces us to St. Paul poet Todd Boss, whose poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly and the Best American Poetry annual anthology. Boss reads from his 2008 collection Yellowrocket.

5. Jim Lenfestey
In the history of poetry, there have been odes to Grecian urns, canticles to Apollo and Whitman’s song of himself. But sonnets on sows? Pastorals on pigs? KFAI’s Britt Aamodt talks with Twin Cities poet Jim Lenfestey about “Low Down and Coming On: A Feast of Delicious and Dangerous Poems About Pigs,” the new anthology edited by Lenfestey.

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Today we listened to an interview with Ensemble Limousin. David Echelard and Suzanne Cooley play music for Hurdy gurdy and bagpipes.

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The 99ers are back!

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A compilation of some of the best vignettes from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series.

1. I Was a Sparkle Fish/Produced by Jessica Folker
The Holidazzle parade just finished its 2010 run down Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Producer Jessica Folker brings you a fresh perspective on the winter parade: inside a Sparkle Fish costume.

2. Flarf/Produced by Diane Richard
Since 2001, members of the Flarflist Collective have spread their poetry via the Internet and at readings held at places like the Walker Art Center. Flarf has even landed on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Yet there are only about 30 Flarfees in the country. We’ll meet the Twin Cities’ twin Flarfees: poet Elisabeth Workman and University of Minnesota English professor Maria Damon.

3. The Beatles: A One-Night Stand in the Heartland/Produced by Susan Gray
Photographer Bill Carlson was a high school teenager when he shot the Beatles at their press conference and Met Stadium concert in 1965. This year, his photo-documentary ‘The Beatles: A One-Night Stand in the Heartland’ was featured at the Minnesota Historical Society.

4. St. Paul’s Soapboxing Team/Produced by e.g. Bailey
The National Poetry Slam (NPS) is the largest team performance poetry event in the world. Teams from all over North America, and a few from other places converge in a different city every summer for a week of poetry, revelry and competition. This year St. Paul’s Soapboxing team took top honors, for the second year in a row.

5. Cornbread Harris/Produced by Michelle Bruch
Cornbread Harris performed on Minnesota’s first rock record 55 years ago, and at the age of 83, Cornbread Harris still gigs regularly in the Twin Cities. Recognized for his wit, soulful blues and signature style, he’s also known for his famous son—music producer Jimmy “Jam” Harris. Cornbread is currently the subject of a documentary titled, “Man, Blues and God – The Life of Cornbread Harris” by Thomas Zocher.

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