MN Reads

Join us Thursday mornings at 8:20 for Minnesota Reads on Northland Morning,  featuring Minnesota authors talking about their work.

Funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

Craft beer exploded on the scene a few years back and Duluth proudly claimed it's place front and center.

Even if we weren't facing a winter indoors, staring at (or climbing) the same four walls, we'd probably appreciate Patrice Johnson's new Land of 10,000 Plates, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. 

Chances are the two or three wolves who wandered over the ice from Minnesota or Canada to Isle Royale 60-some years ago were just looking for something to eat.

It's not likely they knew they and the moose that would make up their primary diet would become the subjects of decades of research.  And chances are they didn't realize that by becoming the lone predator on an island with essentially one prey species, they were creating the perfect "laboratory."

While Indigenous children in Minnesota learn plenty of English language, most don't have a lot of chances to learn the languages of the people who were here first.

Mindy Greiling thought she knew quite a bit about mental illness.

After all, she'd minored in psychology both as an undergrad and in grad school.

But that was before the voices in her then-21 year old son's head told him he needed to kill her.

The longtime member of Minnesota's House of Representatives founded and chaired the Mental Health Caucus, a bipartisan committee formed from the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate, and after her retirement from the legislature in 2012, continues to advocate for mental health parity and Medicare for all.

A common trope in fiction pits siblings against one another in some form; maybe they're vying for the attention of a parent, maybe they're both in a similar job and struggling for success or control of a company ...

But alas, the story of Lin Enger and his brother, novelist Leif Enger, is nowhere near that dramatic.

Bea Ojakangas' mother always said you could never go wrong ordering soup.

Author Peter Geye talks about his most recent novel, Northernmost, the challenges of writing about Scandinavians ("I'm drawn to characters who live quiet, introspective lives), the surprising ease of creating authentic voices for characters from the 1890s ("Go to Ingebretson's Market on Lake Street before Christmas and look at how the husbands and wives talk to each other") and the unexpected bonus - in the form of another new novel - born of a little more time at home.

Margi Preus was disappointed when her books, Village of Scoundrels and The Littlest Voyageur, came out last spring at the same time the pandemic was shutting everything down.

KUMD's Chris Harwood talks with musician, songwriter, and producer BrownMark about his memoir, My Life in the Purple Kingdom, published 2020 by University of Minnesota Press.  Within a couple months in the summer of 1981, he went from being Mark Brown, a nineteen year-old 7-Eleven employee struggling to broaden the sound of his Minneapolis band Fantasy, to becoming BrownMark, playing bass with Prince and The Revolution in Los Angeles as the opening act for The Rolling Stones.

The repercussions on society from the pandemic are usually pretty grim.

But Duluth's poet laureate, Gary Boelhower, says poetry reading began a resurgence a couple of years ago, and while no one has surveyed it since the start of the year, he thinks more and more people are finding it an accessible art form that can express the depth of our experience.

After all, Gary says "poetry saved my life."

A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota was published back in 2016, but it's enjoyed a renaissance of sorts this summer.

The collection of essays features 16 diverse voices of people of color, talking about the Minnesota in which they live.

Thank heavens for Chico Bon Bon.

The irrepressible monkey with a tool belt embarks upon his sixth picture book adventure with calm, confidence, and the Right Tools.

Author and illustrator Chris Monroe talks about the book, and creativity in the time of pandemic.

Former Minnesotan Linda Norlander calls Tacoma, Washington home these days, but she's still deeply tied to her roots in Pelican Rapids and memories of family trips to the North Shore and the BWCA.

She joins us to talk about the first in her series of "Cabin in the Lake" mysteries, and how she came to grips with some modern-day controversies in the process.