Celebrate: Book Release Party for Grace Intoxicated

Grace Intoxicated by Kyle Elden
Visual Art by Kate Whittaker

Mark your calendars for a fabulous book release party!  If you can’t attend, buy this book.  Poet Kyle Elden and Visual Artist Kate Whittaker have created a beautiful volume of poetry and art, Grace Intoxicated.  You will love the luscious, inspired poems by Kyle Elden next to the gorgeous colors of Kate Whittaker.  It will make a beautiful keepsake and gift for yourself or anybody.

December 12, 2012 at Lake Avenue Cafe

4-6 social, wine & appetizers
8:30 reading, social & jazz with Strange Meeting

** 6 we invite you to enjoy dinner on your own at Lake Avenue Cafe




Jean Valentine at Spirit Lake Poetry, College of St. Scholastica, Somers Hall April 21 at 7:30 pm


April 21 Saturday 7:30 at Somers Hall College of St. Scholastica

Jean Valentine, author of 11 books of poetry and a recipient of the National Book Award, will be reading from her work.  Come and join the conversation.  Her most recent book is Break the Glass.  This poem is from her new book:

Ghost Elephants
In the elephant field
tall green ghost elephants
with your cargo of summer leaves

at night I heard you breathing at the window

Don't you ever think I'm not crying
since you're away from me
Don't ever think I went free

At first the goodbye had a lilt to it—
maybe just a couple of months—
but it was a beheading.

Ghost elephant,
reach down,
cross me over—

For more information about poetry and writing, visit Sheila Packa Poetry Blog at http://sheilapacka.blogspot.com


Workshop for Writers: Revision and the Body on Monday, Jan 23 at 6:30 pm Green Room Duluth Library

The Duluth Poet Laureate Sheila Packa facilitates this workshop. Welcome all poets and songwriters for a workshop on revising in ways that create strong vivid poems or lyrics. Good poems are written in the body. Some might say that poems are written with the body. The five senses are full engaged. The poem is connected to the body of the person and to the earth’s body. “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry,” says Emily Dickinson. Participants are encouraged to bring a work in progress. In a relaxed atmosphere, we will consider various strategies.




Wildwood River Press announces a new book, birdland by Kathy McTavish, just in time for her video and sound installation at the Duluth Art Institute. The opening is January 18, 2012. Composer, cellist and multimedia artist Kathy McTavish writes about her music and experimental film. This book features sequences of black and white photo images from the film birdland, photographs of cello performance and includes a long poem, or score, for her unique fusion form. McTavish has received Jerome Foundation, American Composers Forum commissions and several awards from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.

Available in bookstores.
ISBN: 978-0-9843777-5-6
Distributor: Ingram

Marrow, Muscle, Flight by Gary Boelhower

available in bookstores

Marrow, Muscle, Flight chronicles the everyday infinite affections of a gay man interacting with his children, creating a home with and grieving the death of his partner, and finding again how “the fierce river in the heart begins to flow.”

These poems celebrate the sacrament of the body and chant the rituals of longing and loss; they explore how each life is imprinted with family secrets, the journey of forgiveness, the “long sigh of belonging,” and hands that know each other by heart. Boelhower invites us to feel the “soft wind full of salt from the infinite sea,” hear the songs in our “bones, hollow flutes for a symphony of luster,” see “white gulls dance their feathered alleluias down wide aisles of jubilant dawn.” These poems evoke the courage to “fling yourself open toward the horizon.”

Gary Boelhower, PhD is professor of theology and religious studies at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, where he teaches courses in ethics, thanatology, spirituality, and leadership.  He is the co-founder of the Center for Spirituality and Leadership at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

ISBN: 978-0-9843777-4-9
Wildwood River Press
Distributor: Ingram

Hello world!

Migrations: Poetry & Prose for Life’s Transitions features of the work of 75 Lake Superior area writers. The book is edited by Sheila Packa, Duluth Poet Laureate 2010-2012. Included are many accomplished writers (Connie Wanek, Ellie Schoenfeld, Deb Cooper, Gary Boelhower, Linda LeGarde Grover, Jan Chronister, Ryan Vine) and excellent new writers. Each writing captures a moment of change. You will love the strong and beautiful collection that shows we are all birds in a larger pattern of migration traveling back and forth from memory to new beginnings.

available in book stores

Wildwood River Press

ISBN: 978-0-9843777-3-2
204 pages
available in bookstores

Performances and Readings:

Moosebrew Coffee, Tuesday, Oct 18, 6:30 pm

Two Harbors Library, Thursday, Oct 20, 6:30 pm
Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College, Thursday, Nov 3, 7 pm 
         (poetry, film, cello)
Lyric Theater in Virginia, Minnesota, Monday, Nov 7, 6:30 pm
Superior Phantom Gallery, Saturday, Nov 12, 3 pm (poetry, film, cello)
Macrostie Art Center, Grand Rapids, Thursday, Nov 17 at 7 pm (poetry, film, cello)

Praise for Migrations

“Sheila Packa’s Migrations is the product of a born writer’s craft nourished and shaped by immigrant work ethic and iron will, Finnish music, burning taconite pellets, long northern Minnesota winters, seeing deep patterns in nature and community and literature. With this potent collection of poems and prose she helps us connect with ourselves and one another as a community in the midst of change, movement and radical growth.”
Ann Wallin Harrington
Family Justice Center Facilitator
Monday  Healing Circle

Migrations is a marvelous collection of wide-ranging, in-depth reflections in poetry and prose on major existential transitions and reinventions. It conjures up colorful images of weather, flight, birds, water, air, associated with transformations triggered by experiences such as being trapped, going away, bewilderment, violence, aging, loss, death, trauma, emigration, and departures.”
Tineke Ritmeester, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She is a Dutch immigrant in transition.

“The Lake Superior area has either bred or attracted an amazing community of poets, and the best are featured in this diverse collection edited by Sheila Packa.  While the title Migrations implied any number of processes to me, I was struck by how many delightfully (or darkly) unexpected topics Ms. Packa had included.  Love, childbearing, opening, the creative process, Christmas, aging, divorce, the seasons, Paul Wellstone’s death, all and many more are examined in these luminous poems.  Open to any page for the gift of a glimpse into the poet’s mind and heart!”
Carol Orban, retired teacher, Ely, Minnesota

“In your hands, you hold a unique collection of high quality poetry and prose by favorite & by newer Lake Superior area writers. Don’t set it down! Turn the book over to examine the cover and lift it to smell this ink-and-paper presentation of singular ideas. And know that Migrations follows the primary rule of poetry, reframing details of your world in ways that jolt your consciousness.
Often the peppery poems end with zingers that vibrate painfully in the reader’s heart, like Jim Perlman’s “No one who lived here can ever come back again.” Or like Pamela Mittlefehldt’s poem, which advises:
It doesn’t have to be the ocean —
take the windruffed puddle
at the foot of the drive
stand on its shore,
and seek the horizon.

And Connie Wanek is here, as reliably wonderful as always, explaining how a cup left on the window sill is “half full of cold tea and half full of moonlight.” Wanek is followed by Deborah Cooper, who notes how the “trees toss the breeze to one another and toss the birds into the sky,” bringing morning. Poignant lines that sting the reader’s sternum!
OK, now carry this book to the counter and then to your favorite reading spot. Migrations will move you.”
Cal Benson, Author of Dakota Boy