The 16th annual St. David’s Day Open Reading will be held February 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Teatro Zuccone in Downtown Duluth.
Named for the patron saint of Wales, and of poetry, the reading is open to all, free of charge. Former Duluth Poet Laureate Sheila Packa will host the evening, and she, Rachel Ford, Ryan Vine, Kat Mandeville, Michelle Matthees, Julie Gard, John McCormick and others will also read their work.
Members of the public are invited to bring one original poem to read aloud. Also, anyone can bring a favorite poem by another author to present. Sign up to read as you arrive — and yes, you can read both original work and a poem by someone else, as long as you limit your time to three minutes for each of the poems.
Door prizes will be awarded, and the author of the audience’s favorite original poem will receive the coveted Poetry Chair for a period of one year. The chair was created by the late artist Peter Weizenegger and features the symbol of St. David: the leek. Why the leek? During an ancient battle between the Welsh and the English, Welsh troops were able to distinguish their own fighters because they were wearing leeks pinned to their chests.
Spirit Lake Poetry Series will also sponsor two more events this spring: a reading by Duluth’s second Poet Laureate Jim Johnson, who will be joined by the co-Laureate of Madison, Wisconsin, Sarah Busse on March 28 at 7:30 p.m. Then on April 26, 2013, in honor of National Poetry Month, one of the nation’s most honored poets, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, C. K. Williams will present his poetry. These two events will be in Somers Lounge at the College of St. Scholastica.
Funding for the Spirit Lake Poetry Series is provided by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council with money in part from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the McKnight Foundation, and by The Manitou Fund. The Arrowhead Library System contribution is also the result of the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, thanks to a vote by the people of Minnesota in November, 2008.