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November events offer a novel (writing) idea and plenty of visiting authors

Amazing writers are coming to town every week, and an evening in their company is well worth going out in the dark.

In November, darkness is settling upon us, and that hibernation instinct could tell you to stay home every night — preferably with a good book. But don’t succumb to isolation; there are warm people gathering to talk about books all over the Twin Cities.

Amazing writers are coming to town every week in November, and an evening in their company is well worth going out in the dark.

There is one good reason to stay home, however: It’s National Novel Writing month. If you’ve been sitting on a good story idea, this is your chance to come away with a working rough draft. Solidarity always helps: A couple of hundred thousand other people have done it, and some have even sold their books.


Wednesday, Nov. 7

What: Birchbark Reading Series
Where: Birchbark Books, Minneapolis
When: 7 p.m.

This month’s installment of the monthly reading series features poets Leslie Adrienne Miller, Sharon Suzuki-Martinez, and Heid E. Erdrich.

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Wednesday, Nov. 7

What: Christopher Kennedy reading
Where: Weisman Art Museum
When: 7:30 p.m.

Christopher Kennedy’s poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, Threepenny Review, and McSweeney’s, among other publications. His latest collection is “Ennui Prophet.”

Friday, Nov. 9

What: Talking Volumes: Erin Morgenstern
Where: Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul
When: 7 p.m.

Erin Morgenstern is the author of the highly acclaimed fantasy novel “The Night Circus,” which she began writing during National Novel Writing Month in 2005.

Katrina Vandenburg
Katrina Vandenberg

Friday, Nov. 9

What: Katrina Vandenberg
Where: Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Minneapolis
When: 7:30 p.m.

Katrina Vandenberg will read from her poetry collection “The Alphabet Not Unlike the World.” Vandenberg is the recipient of a Bush Artist Fellowship, a Loft-McKnight Award and a Fulbright Fellowship for her poetry.

Saturday, Nov. 10

What: Carrie Newman
Where: Micawber’s Books, St. Paul
When: 2 p.m.

Carrie Newman is a St. Paul history teacher. Her new young adult book, “War on the Prairie,” takes place during the War of 1862.

Monday, Nov. 12

What: Literary Witness: Sherman Alexie
Where: Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis
When: 7 p.m.

Sherman Alexie will read from his new collection of stories, “Blasphemy!” Alexie is a Seattle-based writer, filmmaker and comedian and a member of the Spokane Indian tribe. His young adult novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” won the National Book Award.

Wednesday, Nov. 14

What: Lia Purpura reading
Where: Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis
When: 7:30 p.m.

Lia Purpura is the author of three collections of essays, including “On Looking,” finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her latest, “Rough Likeness.”

Thursday, Nov. 15

What: Story City
Where: Honey, Minneapolis
When: 7 p.m.

Story City is an oral storytelling experience in which five writers get seven minutes to tell a true story that centers on a set theme. November’s theme is “haunted.” If you’d like to participate, send your story to by Nov. 8 to be considered.

Thursday, Nov. 15

What: Dramatic Details: Sasha Aslanian, Steve Marsh, David Hanners, Boyd Huppert
Where: Open Book, Minneapolis
When: 7 p.m.

What decisions does a journalist make when they set out to write “the truth”? The Society of Professional Journalists sponsors this discussion of writing and observation in the world of reporting.

Patricia Kirkpatrick
Patricia Kirkpatrick

Thursday, Nov. 28

What: Patricia Kirkpatrick, book launch party
Where: Open Book, Minneapolis
When: 6 p.m.

Longtime Twin Cities writing teacher and poet Patricia Kirkpatrick celebrates the publication of her latest collection, “Odessa: Poems.” Refreshments and a poetry swap precede a reading.