The Saint Paul Almanac is pleased to announce the second in its 2012–2013 season of acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams, which celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota’s capital city.

The “Three Artists, Three Themes” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, November 28th, 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 J. Otis Powell‽, features performances by Shá Cage, Tish Jones, and J. Otis Powell‽

Watch video from the event

About the “Three Artists, Three Themes” Lowertown Reading Jam

J. Otis Powell‽ will present work that addresses a theme of reclamation: How do we continue a conversation between ourselves and the world, between fact and friction, truth against mendacity, imagination confronting knowledge? How do we reclaim or claim for the first time what is ours from what was taken, squandered, and sold to the highest bidders? Wishes from the other’s world well up inside. There’s little isolation from weathered want; it’s piped in like air conditioning, creeps in like fog, hiding all but itself. The self is warped, watered down, withered.

Shá Cage will be presenting selections from her work-in-progress N.I.G.G.E.R. This provocative new work features over ten diverse characters and their related stories. It is an experimental examination of the residual impact of this word (through a female lens). Cage will showcase various segments from the developing script.

Tish Jones said what motivates her these days is the prominence (or was it permanence?) of how unpredictable and uncontrollable everything in life seems to be, so she is creating from a theme of “Chaos and Confusion.”

About the Performers

J. Otis Powell‽ says: I am alternatively using punctuations in my name that express my personal journey toward wholeness while using them less in my poetry. I work as a writer, performance artist, mentor, curator, consultant, philosopher, Open Space Technology facilitator, public speaker, and arts administrator. I keep finding new ways to describe who I am because I am a being in motion. I won’t settle for identity as a limitation or a box to die in. I sing horn lines to avant-garde music to remind myself that I came from somewhere original and bold and I’m going somewhere else. I am a founding curator for Bridges, a performance arts program with Pangea World Theater. I have been a recipient of a Loft Creative Nonfiction Award, a Jerome Travel and Study Grant, Jerome Mid-Career Artists Grants, and an Intermedia Arts’ Interdisciplinary McKnight Fellowship. I was a founding producer of Write On Radio!, the Twin Cities literary connection, at KFAI-FM while working as Communities’ Liaison and Program Director for Interdisciplinary Collaborations at The Loft Literary Center. The MN Spoken Word Association awarded me their Urban Griot Innovator Award and inducted me into the MN Spoken Word Association’s Hall Of Fame.

A Twin Cities native, Tish Jones is a spoken word artist, activist, educator, and organizer. Currently serving as the Community Engagement Director for the Saint Paul Almanac and an Artist in Residence at Plymouth Christian Youth Center, Jones is no stranger to the power of community and collaboration. A recipient of the MN Verve Grant in 2009 as well as the Urban Griot award for Female Spoken Word Artist of the Year, her work is dedicated to inspiring and creating social change, community, creativity, critical thought, and expression, in and through spoken word, Hip Hop, and the arts.

Shá Cage is an actor, playwright, and performance artist. Her work and activism have taken her all across the United States and to South Africa, England, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Mali, and Canada. She was featured recently at the Guthrie in Penumbra’s Amen Corner followed by Appomattox. Noted theater roles include: Agnes in Mixed Blood’s Agnes Under the Big Top, Helena in Frank Theatre’s Eclipsed, The Bride in Ten Thousand Things’ Blood Wedding, Venus in Frank Theatre’s Venus, Tonia in the Minnesota History Theatre’s Kirby Puckett Story, Hester in Frank Theatre’s F^cking A, and Josephine in Mixed Blood’s Ruined. She is a founder of Mama Mosaic Theater (for Women) and The MN Spoken Word Association. She teaches youth spoken word and performance throughout the community and at the University of Minnesota alongside E. G. Bailey.

About the Saint Paul Almanac

Now in its indispensable seventh edition, the 2013 Saint Paul Almanac is both a friendly guidebook to Minnesota’s capital city and Saint Paul’s eclectic community storytelling book of record, featuring essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, bars, restaurants, theaters, and other cultural venues within a datebook format. Buy it now.

Available in full color, the 416-page 2013 Saint Paul Almanac includes over 160 photos and illustrations; gorgeous, hand-drawn, poster-size pull-out maps of the City of Saint Paul and Downtown; and pull-out artwork by Ta-coumba Aiken!

A successful experiment in democratic publishing, the 2013 Almanac brought together a multigenerational group of 21 community editors to choose 132 pieces by 114 writers—without the editors knowing the authors’ identities—from hundreds of submissions.

High school students’ work appears alongside writing by grandparents, and first-time writers appear next to Saint Paul literary greats such as Garrison Keillor and Patricia Hampl.

Every person’s story is one unique part of a larger puzzle. When pieced together with all the other stories in the Saint Paul Almanac, the book transforms into a magical overview of Saint Paul’s interwoven cultures and communities, a tapestry of neighborhoods and favorite haunts.

The 2013 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), Minnesota State Arts Board, Lowertown Future Fund, Saint Paul Foundation, Mardag Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Traveler’s Employee Arts and Diversity Committee, Knight Foundation, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS), Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Black Dog Café, Clouds in Water Zen Center, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and KFAI.

Location & Directions

The “Three Artists, Three Themes” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul.

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