Local readings you won’t want to miss

The first two weeks of September are jam-packed with exciting, free literary events in the Twin Cities. Highlighted here are some of the author appearances you won’t want to miss. Don’t blink!

Nathan Everett
Nathan Everett

Book signing: Nathan Everett

Magers & Quinn welcomes Nathan Everett, formerly from the neighborhood, to read from his new thriller, “The Gutenberg Rubric,” and discuss the “black art” of printing.

Time: 7:30-8 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011
Place: Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., MN 55408

A 2010 award-winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Competition, “The Gutenberg Rubric” is a modern mystery linked to the historical story of Johannes Gutenberg, who revolutionized the literary world with the invention of mecahnical, moveable type.

Just months before the famous Bible that bears his name was finished, Gutenberg was sued by his business partner for misappropriating funds for a private enterprise.

When Gutenberg refused to share the secret project, the court awarded the entire Bible-printing operation to Johan Fust, leaving Gutenberg with nothing but his secret.

Was it an alchemical formula? A heretical treatise? A new technology? Or something far more dangerous? Why would Gutenberg risk everything?

Brilliant, eccentric professor Keith Drucker and rare-books librarian Madeline Zayne are reluctant heroes in a centuries-old search for Gutenberg’s secret.

John Reimringer
John Reimringer

“Vestments” paperback launch

Celebrate the release of the paperback edition of John Reimringer’s novel, “Vestments.”

Time: 7-8 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Place: Micawber’s Books, 2238 Carter Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108

Winner of the 2011 Minnesota Book Award for fiction and named one of the best books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly, John Reimringer’s debut novel, “Vestments,” is a rich, captivating story about a wayward yet devout young priest who struggles to reconcile his faith with longings of the flesh.

Originally drawn to the priesthood by the mystery, purity and sensual fabric of the Church, as well as by its promise of a safe harbor from his violent father, James Dressler, finds himself — just a few years after his ordination — attracted again to his first love, Betty García.

Torn between these competing loves, and haunted by his heritage, James finds himself at a crossroads.

Exploring age-old yet urgently contemporary issues in the Catholic Church, and infused throughout by a rich sense of the history and vibrant texture of St. Paul, “Vestments” is an utterly honest and subtly lyrical novel.

Denise Low
Denise Low

Birchbark Books Reading Series 2011-2012 season opener

Along with host Michael Kiesow Moore, poets Denise Low and Kathryn Kysar open the 2011-2012 season of the Birchbark Books Reading Series, which features new, emerging and established writers monthly, September-May.

Time: 7-8 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Place: Kenwood Café, 2115 21st St. W., Mpls., MN 55405

Kansas Poet Laureate from 2007 to 2009 and current board president of the AWWP, Denise Low has published more than 20 books of poetry and essays.

Her latest collection of poetry, “Ghost Stories of the New West: From Einstein’s Brain to Geronimo’s Boots,” was named one of the best Native American Books of 2010 by The Circle of Minneapolis and a Notable Book by the Kansas State Library & Center for the Book.

The collection explores the colliding cultures, shifting winds and legendary figures who still populate the Great Plains region.

Author Kevin Rabas writes, “In a smooth mixture of poetry and prose, Denise Low explores European and Native approaches towards ghosts, pondering the past and the present, life and the afterlife — and the land to which we are all held.”

Kathryn Kysar
Kathryn Kysar

Kathryn Kysar is the author of two books of poetry — “Dark Lake” and “Pretend the World” — and the editor of a collection of essays, “Riding Shotgun: Women Writing About Their Mothers.”

Her poems have been heard on “A Writer’s Almanac” and published in literary magazines, including Great River Review, Midland Review, Mizna, Painted Bride Quarterly and The Talking Stick.

Author Dorianne Laux says Kysar’s “spirited poems radiate a lyric vitality as they explore the world of nature, motherhood and sexuality.”

Bonnie Jo Campbell
Bonnie Jo Campbell

Publication reading: Bonnie Jo Campbell

Bonnie Jo Campbell reads from her new novel, “Once Upon a River.”

Time: 7-8 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Place: The Loft Literary Center, Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., MN 55415

A finalist for the National Book Award and the NBCC Award, and the winner of ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Award in Fiction for her critically acclaimed short story collection “American Salvage,” Bonnie Jo Campbell is one of the most compelling new voices in American fiction.

With keen insight, Campbell takes her trademark storytelling wit to new heights in the luminous novel “Once Upon a River.”

Masterfully evoking the sublime American wilderness favored by Annie Proulx and Wallace Stegner, this richly layered tale of love, hardship, self-exploration and fortitude introduces the truly unforgettable character of Margo Crane and her river odyssey through rural Michigan.

Author bios and book synopses culled from publisher descriptions, press releases, event listings and author websites.

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