The Saint Paul Almanac is pleased to announce the sixth in its 2011–2012 season of acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams, which celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota’s capital city.

The “Routes to Roots: ‘Sankofa’ and uncovering our histories through our artistic journey” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul. This presentation of the popular and eclectic series, curated by M.anifest, features performances by poet and playwright Lisa Marie Brimmer, producer and community organizer Owen Duckworth, and M.anifest. RSVP on Facebook.

About “Routes to Roots”

Growing up in Ghana, elderly folk often reminded the younger generation about the potency of Sankofa, a life principle which means to move into the future you have to know and embrace your past.

My path as a writer of words and melody has led me to uncover many personal and cultural histories in ways that have emboldened my pen and furthered my work in and out of music.

From moving discoveries of poetry connections, between myself and my ninety year old grandfather, to knowing more about the music of my ancestors sometimes sparked by the process of “sampling.”

In this reading we will explore the routes we take to reach our roots: both personal histories and artistic histories. In this reading we will share how Sankofa happens in our artistic endeavors and the power it has in strengthening and inspiring us for the future.

About the Performers

M.anifest is a Ghanaian rapper and songwriter making waves with his brand of lyrical and socially mindful music. He migrated to the Twin Cities in 2001 to attend Macalester College from which he graduated in 2005 to become a staple in the Twin Cities music community, and has since toured nationally, in Europe, as well as in his native country Ghana.


BBC’s arts program The Strand tipped him as one of four artists to watch in 2012 and he also won City Pages songwriter of the year in 2008. M.anifest has recorded with the likes of Damon Albarn (Gorillaz), Flea (RHCP), Tony Allen, Erykah Badu, Brother Ali & more. He released his sophomore album “Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America” in 2011—named in the list of top ten albums of the year by the Star Tribune. M.anifest is also a co-founder of Giant Steps; a Twin Cities conference for creative entrepreneurs and entrepreurial creatives.

Lisa Brimmer

Lisa Brimmer lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Brimmer graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2008 with a degree in Sociology and English Literature. In 2009 she attended the Juniper Summer Writer’s Institute in Amherst, MA. She was a Givens Foundation for African American Literature Fellow in 2010 and completed a Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights’ Center in 2011.

Her play Dear Daughter was featured in Bedlam’s Annual Community Play Festival. She has participated in the Pillsbury House Theater’s Chicago Avenue Project twice as a Mentoring Playwright and her work has been featured in the Pillsbury House Theatre’s Late Nite Series, The Loft’s Equilibrium (EQ) series and Groove Theory at Elixir Lounge. Her poetry has appeared in the Summit Avenue Review and Ishmael Reed’s literary magazine Konch and Lulu’s Playground’s forthcoming CD.

Owen Duckworth is a Twin Cities based music producer and community organizer/activist. By day he works as an organizer at Transit for Livable Communities, a non-profit advocating for increased public transit investment in the region. By night, he operates as a music producer by the name of O-D. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI in a multi-racial family with one parent from England and the other from the Seychelles Islands, his diverse cultural background has informed his approach to both music and organizing work.

Owen Duckworth

As a music producer, Duckworth has worked with artists such as M.anifest, Blitz the Ambassador, I Self Divine, and Toki Wright. O-D is also part of the music production collective 4Shades and is a member of the band Galactic Soul Arkestra. He most recently released an instrumental project titled “Free Myself” in November 2011.

About the Saint Paul Almanac

Now in its sixth edition, the Saint Paul Almanac features essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, bars, restaurant, theaters, and other cultural venues within a datebook format. Available in full color for the first time and—another first—includes gorgeous, hand-drawn, poster-size, pull-out maps of the City of Saint Paul and Downtown!

The 2012 Almanac features 129 stories and 180+ photos. Contributors include literary giants, everyday residents, students, journalists, new Americans, and lovers of Saint Paul who live in other corners of the world. Information on upcoming events, how to make a submission, and other Saint Paul Almanac news is available at

The 2012 Saint Paul Almanac sells for $17.95 online (including S&H) at and is available for $14.95 in independent and mainstream bookstores everywhere, as well as at libraries and coffee houses throughout the city.

Saint Paul Almanac‘s generous partners and sponsors include the City of Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR program, McKnight Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), Lowertown Future Fund, Saint Paul Foundation, Mardag Foundation, F.R. Bigelow, Minnesota Humanities Center, Traveler’s Employee Arts and Diversity Committee, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, SPPS, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Black Dog Café, Clouds in Water Zen Center, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and KFAI.

Location & Directions

The “Routes to Roots: ‘Sankofa’ and uncovering our histories through our artistic journey” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul. RSVP on Facebook

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