The Saint Paul Almanac is pleased to announce its 2014-2015 season of acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams, which celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota’s capital city. Events take place at the Black Dog Café, 308 Prince Street, 7:30-8:30 p.m., each with a featured curator. All ages are welcome, and there is no cover charge. The series is filmed by SPNN. Browse video here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015: Emmanuel Ortiz presents "Farmworkers and Food Justice" at the Lowertown Reading Jam

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On the eve of the anniversary of the death of Cesar Chavez, one of the most iconic figures in the fight for farmworker justice in the United States, we honor the lives and work of farmworkers, and celebrate the struggle for workers’ rights and food justice. The poets featured each have an organic relationship to the issues, some of them being descendants of farmworkers, some doing food justice work. All of them use art to tell the stories and change the world.

Lowertown Reading Jam 2014-2015: "Dakota Writers Speak to Presence: Honoring the 38+2"

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On the 152nd anniversary of the largest mass execution in the history of the United States: the hanging of thirty-eight Dakota men in Mankato for their role in the U.S. Dakota War, contemporary Dakota writers speak to Presence. We speak several generations after the U.S. Dakota War and the United States government’s expulsion of Dakota from Minnesota. We speak, even as we are often erased or misrepresented in mainstream media and culture. We are here. Please join us as we reflect, remember, and share.

June 25th 2014: Ben Weaver presents "Things we have given up, for what and why?" at the Lowertown Reading Jam

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The Saint Paul Almanac is pleased to announce the ninth in its 2013–2014 season of acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams, which celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota's capital city and the widely popular genre of spoken word. "In the face of progress we have given up many things. Those we have given up unconsciously are the most disturbing. So busy moving forward, we fail to see what we have dropped along the way. We have left the rivers, forests, and soil to fall into neglect. We have traded the night sky and stars—for what? Why? We have given up walking, knowing the names, stories, histories, and uses of places, animals, and plants. Other things, not all necessarily related to nature, have also been left behind." Featuring performances by Ben Weaver • Heid Erdrich • Kara Olson • Brad Zellar • with emcee Robert Karimi

May 28, 2014: David Mura presents "E/Merging Voices of the Twin Cities on Race & Identity" at the Lowertown Reading Jam

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Featuring performances by David Mura • Chantz Erolin • Nikko Sencer-Mura • Dorothy O’Berry • Malanda J. Simba • Dane Verrett • with emcee Robert Karimi. In recent years a whole new generation of poets, spoken-word artists, and rappers have appeared on the Twin Cities' art scene. Their work explores the issues of race and identity and the changing demographics of our area. Some of the young writers on this bill come from the Voices Merging program of the University of Minnesota. Some are connected with the independent local hip-hop scene and the rap producer Julian Fairbanks.