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This City Could Be Your Poet: Minneapolis
As Xenophobic as we Portlanders can be, we know our city is not alone when it comes to having a vibrant and eclectic and wild poetry community. In an effort to discover these territories, we have reached out to some of our favorite poets, asking them for an introduction to the city in which they write, read, and live in.
Sarah Fox gives us a tour of The City of Lakes from a poetic perspective.
Tin House: Where do you live?
Sarah Fox: I live in Minneapolis.
TH: Are you from there?
SF: I am from Milwaukee.
TH: Describe the poetry scene of your city in one line.
SF: Among its denizens, the poetry scene in Minneapolis is known, interchangeably, as “The Golden Age,” “The Death of Poetry,” and “My Other Poem is a Revolution.”
TH: What are a few of your favorite collections or poems to come out of Minneapolis?
SF: Bob Dylan (Bob Dylan). Collected Alex (A.T. Grant). Psychedelic Norway (John Colburn). 10 Mississippi (Steve Healey). UltraMegaPrairieLand (Elisabeth Workman). Adventures in the Lost Interiors of America (William D. Waltz). Ghost Fargo (Paula Cisewski). It Becomes You (Dobby Gibson). Rough, and Savage (Sun-Yung Shin). Wetland (Lucas de Lima). Dance (Lightsey Darst). Butcher’s Tree (Feng Sun Chen). Whorled (Ed Bok Lee).
TH: What local poets are you most excited for the rest of the country to read?
SF: John Colburn (his first collection Psychedelic Norway just released from Coffee House).
TH: Is there a poem that best describes your city?
SF: John Colburn’s “The Golden Age of Dobby Gibson,” in Psychedelic Norway.
TH: Do you have a favorite local press?
SF: Coffee House Press.
TH: If we were visiting, what reading series would you take us to?
SF: I’d take you to Our Flow is Hard, Maeve’s, Banfill-Locke, Rain Taxi, Equilibrium, Talking Image Connection at the Soap Factory, Salon-Saloon, and Bosso Poetry Co.
TH: Where would you like to see more of a poetry presence in your city?
SF: I would like to see more poetry in any place, including Poetry. But for example on, in, or nearby the Mississippi River, in nightclubs, warehouses, peoples’ homes, puppet theaters, movie theaters, bars, bridges, schools, yoga studios, breweries, botanical gardens, caves, parks, jails, parties, pontoon boats, skypes, treehouses, farms, and medicinal marijuana dispensaries (when applicable).
TH: If you could choose one poet to move to your city, who would it be?
SF: It would be impossible for me to choose one poet. What if the poet has a partner? Would the partner automatically be allowed to come too? (Do they have to be alive?) I might choose Cecilia Vicuña, or Dale Pendell, or John Zorn; I would love to choose Daniel Borzutzky, or Kevin Carollo, well obviously it would be great if Alice Notley lived here, and while I would love to think of Bernadette Mayer living here I’m not sure how that would be overall; maybe Nick Demske, maybe Hoa Nguyen, maybe if Lara Glenum lived here we would finally bond; Matthew Zapruder has already lived here; maybe Regina José Gallnda, Guillermo Goméz Peña, Bhanu Kapil, oh for sure Peter Richards; maybe if I had to choose one I’d choose you, Matthew Dickman—will you move to my city?
Sarah Fox co-imagines the Center for Visionary Poetics, serves as a doula, and is a teacher of poetry and creative writing. She contributes posts on feminism, mysticism, astrology, and poetics to the blog Montevidayo and has won grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board, among others. Coffee House Press published her debut collection, Because Why, in 2006. Her most recent book is The First Flag.