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Celebrate National Poetry Month with Birchbark Books

The Birchbark Books Reading Series will host Twin Cities poets Cary Waterman, Linda Back McKay and Greg Watson.

National Poetry Month - April 2012

On Wednesday, Apr. 11, the Birchbark Books Reading Series will celebrate National Poetry Month with a reading by three Twin Cities poets.

Hosted by Michael Kiesow Moore, the event will feature Nodin Press poets Cary Waterman, Linda Back McKay and Greg Watson, reading from their 2011 collections.

Cary Waterman is the award-winning author of “The Book of Fire,” a collection about her travels to Iceland, the myth of Persephone, the luxuriousness of the Minnesota seasons and the difficult realities of a nation at war. Her poems cut close to the heart and pulse with reverence for all life.

Waterman’s previous poetry collections include Minnesota Book Award-finalist “When I Looked Back You Were Gone,” “The Salamander Migration,” “First Thaw” and “Dark Lights the Tiger’s Tail.” Her poems have appeared in “A Geography of Poets,” “Woman Poet: The Midwest,” “The Logan House Anthology of 21st-Century American Poetry,” “Poets Against the War” and countless poetry journals. She is also the co-editor of the anthology “Minnesota Writes: Poetry.” 

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Linda Back McKay is a writer and teaching artist whose latest poetry collection, “The Next Best Thing,” traverses the landscapes of love, time, grief, humanity and hope. The poems offer a rollicking range of styles and tones, from poignant lyricism to mordant prose, from somber honesty to wild speculation. 

McKay’s earlier poetry collections were “Ride that Full Tilt Boogie” and “The Cockeyed Precision of Time.” In addition to writing verse, McKay authored the groundbreaking nonfiction work, “Shadow Mothers: Stories of Adoption and Reunion,” which inspired the play “Watermelon Hill,” produced by the History Theatre in St. Paul.

Greg Watson is the author of the new collection “What Music Remains,” chronicling moments of poignancy and loss, and helping readers discover what might be in the next room by transforming the domestic usual into the universal extraordinary. The poems in this book begin in the silence of loss and disappointment and move toward music and light.

Watson’s other recent poetry collections include “The Distance Between Two Hands,” “Things You Will Never See Again” and “Pale Light from a Distant Room.” His verse has appeared in numerous literary journals — including The Seattle Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, Poetry East and Tulane Review — and been featured on Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac.”

To find inspiring ideas and activities to honor National Poetry month, visit 30 Ways to Celebrate at

Event: Birchbark Books reading – Cary Waterman, Linda Back McKay, Greg Watson
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2012
Place: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1917 Logan Ave. S., Mpls., MN 55403
Cost: Free