Now in its fourth year, the Saint Paul Almanac, published by Arcata Press, offers an eclectic and often quirky mix of evocative essays, history, reviews and profiles, alongside poems, limericks and photography by both critically acclaimed and new, unseasoned writers. The Almanac is the only guidebook to Minnesota’s capital city—Saint Paul—as well as an experiment in democratic publishing.
Led by managing editor, Kimberly Nightingale, the Saint Paul Almanac mentors a group of community editors who collect stories in their communities—both written and oral—and together decide which essays and poems to include in the Saint Paul Almanac. This collaborative and democratic approach with a cross-cultural and cross-generational team strengthens the relationship of the Saint Paul Almanac to the community it serves. For 2010, the community editors reviewed over 400 submissions and ultimately included 135 works by 110 writers.
Often described as “a literary campfire around which the diverse Saint Paul community gathers to share its stories,” the Saint Paul Almanac provides entertainment, photography, maps and listings of events, restaurants, theaters and other cultural venues within a datebook format. By combining the calendar aspects of an almanac with literary stories, the Almanac encourages readers to use their books and read the stories and poems throughout the year. It’s a way to bring good writing into the daily life of the city.
Contributors to the 2010 Saint Paul Almanac include literary giants, everyday residents, students, journalists, new Americans, and lovers of Saint Paul who live in other corners of the world. Every story has a unique, individual voice that, when combined in the Saint Paul Almanac, become a chorus reflecting the energy of Saint Paul today. Publishing work by new writers alongside the likes of Garrison Keillor, Meridel LeSueur, Greg Watson, David Mura, Katie Ka Vang and other acclaimed Saint Paul writers uplifts and influences the artistic identity of the entire community.
The 2010 Saint Paul Almanac sells for $11.95 online at saintpaulalmanac.org, and will be available in independent and mainstream bookstores, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com after September 1, 2009.
To support and celebrate the work of Saint Paul writers in the Saint Paul literary community, the Saint Paul Almanac is sponsoring for the first time ever monthly Lowertown Reading Jams at the Black Dog Café in Lowertown, Saint Paul the first Monday of every month. Each reading will be curated by a different Saint Paul writer who invites other writers (established and emerging) to join them for a 1-1/2 hour performance centered around a theme of the curators choosing.
We intentionally expand language/communication experiences with a visual artist rendering each reading visually, and an interpreter signing each event.
Come check it out and support the literary arts in Saint Paul.