This February 14th, the Saint Paul Almanac welcomes Dr. Goddess to Saint Paul at 6:30 p.m. at Arnellia’s at 1183 University Avenue West, Saint Paul. Dr. Goddess (Kimberly C. Ellis) will star in a 15 character, one-woman show about a young urban woman’s journey into academia. A comedy, grounded in engaging social commentary, this witty show uses dramatic monologues, poetry, music, and African, jazz, Hip Hop dance and sketch comedy. If her uncle, August Wilson, were in the audience, he’d be as proud as the Saint Paul Almanac to sponsor this community-building event.
I learned a few sparse details about the tragedy of September 11 at Lutsen’s Bar on Lake Superior. I waited in the lounge for my turn to use the pay phone and watched as the television silently showed strangers holding hands and jumping from the burning towers. I felt like I was returning to a changed world. My friend Jane Sevald was also entering a whole new world. At age forty-five, she was taking on her high school classroom teaching English and writing at Como High School to students from Ethiopia, Somalia, Laos and Iraq.
Much of her life, my friend Ruthy lived in Saint Paul. She’s passed on now, yet every spring I think of her as the time for planting approaches. I know that when I get down close to the earth and feel the soil with my hands, there’s a sense of connectedness to the living universe that opens my heart as nothing else can.
"I have this flame of hope that does not go out. I believe I can make the world a better place, I believe it, I believe it, I believe it, and I'm going to keep pushing," she says. Contreras Edin is the executive director of Centro Legal, a nonprofit legal agency that has been providing legal services to the Latino community in Minnesota for over twenty-five years.
Carol Bly wrote short stories that had weight, complexity, and wit. She was also a prolific writer of essays, a cultural critic, an ethicist, and, in her own terms, "a gadfly." Being that outspoken and opinionated can startle Minnesotans. She was also a teacher of writing at universities, summer programs, the Loft, in her own dining room, and by e-mail. Before I met her in a summer class, I was vaguely aware that some people found her intimidating, even alarming. What I found was a dedicated teacher, very kind, and tremendous fun.