Volume 11: On a Collected Path (2017)

Organized around chapters of “Family,” “Love,” “Remembrance,” “Community,” and more, Volume 11 brings the Saint Paul community together to reflect on who we are, who we have been, and who we are challenged to become.

Jump to: Selected Stories · Purchase the Book · Contributors & Community Editors

Selected Stories

Evelyn, Aging

By Christina Joyce ● 2017

AUNT EVELYN AND I HEAD TO CALVARY CEMETERY, as we do every June, to place flowers on Uncle Jerry’s grave. Along Front Street in Saint Paul, this Catho­lic cemetery is…

of a time

By M. Wright ● 2017

damp hours dried by coexistence these trumpet calls reverberate through century-old buildings but not everyone can follow the horns. so a few of us linger in the empty square, dry…

Art by Immanuel Bratzel

Tell me again

By Julia Klatt Singer ● 2017

about the man with the pear tree who lost his wife after fifty-six years of marriage and how he had that old gnarled tree in his backyard, and that that…

Art by Patricia Olson

Where I Belong

By Joan Maeda Trygg ● 2017

SAINT PAUL IS MY HOME. I am made of the water and air of this place. I am accustomed to the short urban horizon, to the slant of sun that…

Contributors & Community Editors

Ta-coumba Aiken is a collaborative artist, educator, and community activist who has participated in the creation of more than three hundred murals and public art sculptures since 1975. His public artworks have given a visual voice to urban, rural, corporate, and nonprofit clients. He says, “I create my art to heal the hearts and souls of people and their communities by evoking a positive spirit.” Ta-coumba lives in Lowertown Saint Paul.

Cami Applequist is a Saint Paul writer and artist working in a variety of media. She draws, paints, collages, photographs, and works in 3D. Her main goal as an artist is to tell stories and work with others by leading workshops and collaborating on projects.

Colleen Casey is a writer, artist, historian, editor, teacher, and community organizer. Of mixed Mdewakanton Dakota and European American heritages, she sees herself as a person of crosscurrents and confluences. She believes we are all related.

Carol Connolly holds the distinction of being Saint Paul’s first poet laureate, appointed in 2006 by Mayor Chris Coleman. For twenty years, she hosted the monthly Reading by Writers series at the University Club of Saint Paul. Throughout her life, Carol has been a political activist. She served on the Saint Paul Human Rights Commission for nine years, co-chaired the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus, and coordinated the Wonder Woman Foundation, an organization that recognized women over forty for heroic accomplishments. For many years she was a popular magazine columnist. She is the author of two books of poetry, All This and More (2009) and Payments Due (1985).

Deborah Cooper is retired from thirty years of corporate communications and public relations for Twin Cities area corporations. Now a freelance marketing manager, she has served as a board member and secretary for the nonprofit Rondo Avenue, Inc., which produces the annual Rondo Days Festival. Deborah is writing a series of short stories depicting the people, places, and history of the former Rondo community.

Mary Beth McCarthy Yarrow is a producer of social and political documentary films that serve as witness to the circumstance, history, and character of people. Beginning in 1980 with The Willmar 8, she has used this art form of storytelling to create lasting and tangible profiles of remarkable, inspirational, transformative lives. www.mccarthyfilm.com

James Zimmerman lives in the West Seventh neighborhood with his wife and children. His writings have appeared in numerous periodicals and books, including past volumes of this Almanac. He is the author of the memoir Deliverance at Hand!

C. X. Yang lives in Saint Paul.

Aegean Yang writes, “I used to live in California, in a small farming town called Fresno. I moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota in August 08, 2008. I am a musician. I play the electric guitar. In my free time, I like to write songs, short stories, and poetry.”

M. Wright is an educator and poet living with his wife, Dylan, in Minnesota. He is the 2016 winner of the Atlantis Award in poetry and his poems have appeared in The Penn Review, Saint Paul Almanac, Glass Poetry, UCity Review, Wildness, and Jet Fuel Review. Find out more at wrightm.com.

Mary Virginia Winstead is a Twin Cities–based writer. She earned her BA in English from St. Catherine University, and her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. Her memoir, Back to Mississippi: A Personal Journal Through the Events that Changed America in 1964, won the 2003 Minnesota Book Award for nonfiction. She lives in Apple Valley.

Jim Winstead is a photographer originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota, and is currently living in Los Angeles.

Diane Barott Windham is a writer who lives in Woodbury.

Jay Wilson is a resident of Saint Paul who has a heart for community and photography.

Sid Carlson White is a senior at Mounds Park Academy. Despite constant pressure from 99.9 percent of the people around him, he continues to maintain his belief that Saint Paul is better than Minneapolis and that baseball is the greatest game ever invented. He does not write as much as he should and is more at home at the ballpark or playing quiz bowl.

Linda White is a writer, reader, editor, reviewer, blogger, promoter, and teacher. Her writing has appeared on Writer’s Block, MNReads, Book Riot, and most recently in the anthology Upon Waking. She runs BookMania and the Publishing Bones, teaches at the Loft Literary Center, and helps people bring their stories to life. She is a member of the League of Minnesota Poets. She is putting finishing touches on a novel and a chapbook of poems. A University of St. Thomas alum, Linda is in love with Saint Paul.

Clarence White is a writer, editor, and publicist living in Saint Paul. He is a master of the personal letter and too many emails for which “send” has been hit with too much haste. He has worked as a writer for the National Farmers Union in Washington, D.C., the international organization Nonviolent Peaceforce, and several Twin Cities nonprofits. He is a 2011–2012 Givens Foundation for African American Literature Retreat fellow and was a finalist for the mnartists.org miniStories flash fiction competition in 2008. He is the primary author of The Clarence White Blog and is a veteran of the Central Minnesota Writers’ Workshop.

Tony Webster is a professional Twin Cities photojournalist who specializes in dance, live theater, and documentary photography. You can find his work at tonywebsterphoto.com.

Frankie Weaver is a thirteen-year-old from Saint Paul who attends Open World Learning Community School. In his free time he likes to skateboard, draw, and play ultimate frisbee.

Greg Watson ’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. His most recent collection is All the World at Once: New and Selected Poems. He is also co-editor with Richard Broderick of The Road by Heart: Poems of Fatherhood, published by Nodin Press.

Meyer Warren is the man. St. Paul Slim is the emcee. #TheW8OnEmptySpace is the painter. In the tradition of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Warren is his own artistic invention. In the past two years, Warren has had three solo art shows, been featured as an artist for the Made Here series #Represent, and is one of only ten artists featured on the 2016 Summer Arts Discovery Series at the Landmark Center in Saint Paul. www.StPaulSlim.com

Xiaolu Wang is a filmmaker based in Minneapolis. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, writes everything down while she can, looks at the clouds instead of her feet, and keeps the camera on at all times.

Beth L. Voigt Whether keeping track of her beloved baseball team’s progress in her middle school diary or reflecting on family life in her essays today, Beth has always had a passion for writing. Growing up in Saint Paul in a family of two hard-working parents, nine fun-loving siblings, and numerous friends and relatives who came for an afternoon visit or stayed for a few years, she has much to write about—always. She has published her work in national and local publications, including two editions of the Saint Paul Almanac.

Jens Vange has lived variously on both sides of the river for over thirty years. When not practicing architecture, he collects moments in words and pictures.

Nell Morningstar Ubbelohde writes in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. She teaches writing to college students, in community settings, and in the Minnesota state prisons. She has been published in a variety of local and national publications, and is hard at work completing a novel.

Joan Maeda Trygg would rather tell you about herself through the essays she writes, but, when pressed, will say she is a creative nonfiction writer, bookseller, and grandmother of four. She has published essays in Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women and the Journal of the Asian American Renaissance. She has an MFA from Hamline University and is, most adamantly, from Saint Paul.

Steve Trimble lives in Dayton’s Bluff on Saint Paul’s East Side and can easily walk to Indian Mounds Park. He is a trained urban historian and has published several articles and books. In the summer you can often find him tending his heirloom tomatoes.

Judith Treise grew up on the East Side of Saint Paul and now lives in Minneapolis. She is a part-time designer and editor. There is much to say in favor of our lives in 2016, but she is thankful that she grew up where and when she did. It was a marvelous beginning.

Diane Thayer teaches junior high vocal music in Iowa City, Iowa. She became acquainted with Saint Paul when her son and daughter attended two different colleges in the city. She now considers Saint Paul her adopted city and her favorite place to visit.

Justin Terlecki is an artist living and working in Saint Paul. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, he exhibits his work regularly in the Twin Cities and is represented by Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis. He is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Printmakers, which funded a series of prints inspired by his travels to India and Spain. His work appears in the permanent collection of the McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown. Justin lives in the Lowertown Lofts Artist Cooperative.

Michael Teffera , currently working at U.S. Bank as a financial management analyst, graduated with an MBA degree in finance at Hamline University School of Business. Michael is a member of Toastmasters. He has completed the Competent Communication, the Advance Communicator Bronze, and Competent Leadership Award in less than three years. He was a president of Energy Park Toastmaster Club for the term 2013–2014. He won first place in the Area 11 and third place in the Eastern Division Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contests. He also won second place in Area 11 Toastmasters Tall Tales. Two years ago he was nominated as U.S. Bank’s Toastmaster of the Year. Michael likes to make people laugh and he has a way to make the most ordinary things funny.

Chholing Taha is a certified Cree (nêhiyaw) First Nations artisan. Solitude and wilderness have been loyal companions throughout her lifetime. Some of her artworks are stories; these narratives find themselves with one hand holding the past, bringing new insights toward the hand holding the future. Chholing’s art is exhibited in numerous public and private collections in the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, England, Brazil, and Canada.

Johnna Suihkonen teaches sixth and seventh grade language arts in Ely, outside of the BWCAW. In her free time, she enjoys rockhounding, the North Shore, traveling, live music, reading, hiking, and photography.

Mike Strand sustained a severe brain injury in 1989 in a motor vehicle accident. He has been writing the “Here and Now” column in the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance’s quarterly publication, Mind Matters, since 1999.

Debra J. Stone is a short story writer, essayist, and poet. She is co-founder and co-facilitator of the Northside Writers Group in North Minneapolis, a community-based writing group that has been meeting for ten years.

Patti Storm writes, “I moved to Saint Paul in January 2015 and have made this city my own. I have created so many great memories and started several new traditions. I look forward to all the exciting activities Saint Paul has to offer every month.”

Ronald Craig Spong spent his formative years in Saint Paul before his family moved to Rochester. His hometown lured him back after college, military service, and marriage, when he and Katie embarked upon raising four children in Merriam Park. Retired after forty years in public health, he writes about his experiences.

Susan Spindler has been writing poetry for many years, often using writing to understand, reflect, protest, and be in awe of the world in which we live. She is a nurse, an educator, and an avid golfer, biker, and swimmer. Her family includes two grown children and her dog, Annie.

Susan Solomon is a freelance paintress living in beautiful Saint Paul. She is the editor and founder of Sleet Magazine, an online literary journal. Susan’s first book, The Pond, a collaboration with poet Richard Jarrette, was published in 2019 with Green Writers Press.

Julia Klatt Singer is the poet in residence at Grace Neighborhood Nursery School and a rostered artist for COMPAS. She is the co-author of Twelve Branches: Stories from St. Paul and the author of four books of poetry: In the Dreamed of Places, A Tangled Path to Heaven, Untranslatable, and Elemental. She has co-written more than two dozen songs with composers Tim Takach and Jocelyn Hagen. Ms. Singer’s son likes to describe her as a long-haired, sweater-wearing poet and thief.

Grant Singer is a freshman in high school. He enjoys taking pictures.

Gordon Shumaker was born and raised in Saint Paul and went to grade school, college, and law school all on the same street. He majored in English, taught high school English, and then went to law school. He worked as a Ramsey County District Court Judge and a Court of Appeals Judge, and is now retired.

Linda Shaw grew up near Saint Paul and spent lots of time there when she was young. Married with two teens and an adorable but anxiety-ridden dog, she works for a nonprofit and spends her free time at Saint Paul coffee shops, with friends, or at concerts.

Gregory Scott Chef Gregory Scott has been working in food service for nearly twenty years. He spent eleven years working in fine dining establishments before coming to the Dorothy Day Center, where he is now head chef. He manages the menus, donations, and volunteers to feed the people of Saint Paul.

Kenneth Schweiger is a Saint Paul artist who paints still life, portraits, figures, and landscapes.

Adrian Daniel Schramm has been writing and illustrating since the day his mother handed him his first crayon. He has written for publications both online and in print all across the United States. His true passion lies in fiction, and he spends most of his time toiling away tirelessly on the Great American Novel.

Eddy Samara writes, “For as long as I can remember I have been a poet, spinning lines like a web to hold myself together, to find a thread of connection with those around me. Today, I meditate with my eyes wide open, hear poetry in whispering leaves, and still believe that words can change the world. I love facilitating and participating in transformative spaces that open opportunities for people to really look at each other—to really listen—to see each other through stories and hear ourselves echo in each unique voice. I write poetry as an embodied prayer to the universe that we as a species wake up, connect, heal, remember, and love.”

Deb Runyon , carnie in the summertime, criss-crosses the Deep South in the wintertime with her sweetheart and their heirloom teardrop trailer in pursuit of excellent adventures.

Mary Kay Rummel grew up in the West Seventh area of Saint Paul and lived in the city for many years. Her most recent book of poetry is The Lifeline Trembles, which won the Blue Light Press Book prize.

Ernesto Ruiz was born in Puerto Rico and attended the graduate program at the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. He has lived in the Twin Cities since 1996, where he practiced architecture and taught design studios at the University of Minnesota. His other hobbies include reading, ballroom and salsa dancing, and boating on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.

Sherry Roberts is the author of Down Dog Diary, a Minnesota mystery with a yoga spin, and Book of Mercy, a funny story about a serious issue: book banning. She spends way too much time watching eagles, crows, and any wildlife that crosses her backyard or online path.

Janice Quick remembers a wonderfully sunny day in 1960 when she and a playmate purchased their first-ever blue popsicles at a Phalen Park refreshment stand. She leads cemetery art tours and local history hikes.

Yvonne Pearson ‘s poetry has appeared previously in the Saint Paul Almanac, as well as in other journals and magazines, including Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior, Main Street Rag, Chrysalis Reader, Wolf Head Quarterly, Open to Interpretation, Sidewalks, Literary Mama, and Sing Heavenly Muse! Transformations. She is the recipient of a Loft Creative Nonfiction Award, the Shabo Award in children’s literature, and a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.

DeAnne L Parks is a visual artist living and working in Saint Paul. She is a painter, sculptor, and speaker, and she builds the occasional giant puppet. Her work is published and collected internationally. In 2018 DeAnne was commissioned to paint a mural on the front doors of Christ on Capitol Hill, commemorating the church’s 150th anniversary.

Gordy Palzer is a lifelong resident of Saint Paul who grew up in the West Seventh area and now lives in Highland Park. His lifelong writing odyssey has taught him that the older he gets, the more clearly he sees the extraordinary in the ordinary!

Marty Owings has been drawing pictures for as long as he can remember and took up painting during the twentieth century. He draws and paints all kinds of subject matter, including architecture, landscapes, and portraits. His work has been featured in many galleries in Minnesota, from the Edina Art Center to the Stillwater Art Gallery.

Patricia Olson was born in Minneapolis and earned a BA in studio art at Macalester College (1973), where she studied with painter Jerry Rudquist. She received an MFA in Visual Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1998). She is a founding member of WARM, the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota (1975).

Michael E. Murphy is retired after a thirty-year career in international business law at Medtronic and the Faegre law firm in Minneapolis. Before he became a lawyer, Mr. Murphy taught English at St. Olaf and Macalester colleges. In retirement, he has been teaching a seminar on The Law in Literature at the University of St. Thomas Law School and writing poetry.

Sandy’Ci Moua , according to the Pioneer Press, “wears many hats.” A community organizer, actor, shaman-in-limbo, and aunt to over twenty-five nieces and nephews, she enjoys creating her neighborhood toy library where kids can use jump ropes, chalk, games, and more. She loves being a Frogtown and Eastside girl and enjoys pho noodle soup on ninety-eight-degree summer days.

Patrick Moran says he and his wife moved to Minnesota four years ago and have absolutely fallen in love with the state and the Twin Cities!

Michael Kiesow Moore is the author of the poetry collection What to Pray For. His work has appeared in several books and journals, including Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience, Water~Stone Review, and the Saint Paul Almanac. He serves as cocurator of the Birchbark Books Reading Series and lives in Saint Paul.

David Mendez is from Saint Paul’s West Side community. His work reflects upon his blue collar roots and ChicanX identity. Through the tools of education and activism, David works to help others find their voice and share their stories.

Marianne McNamara , Saint Paul native is a proud grandmother of two and can usually be found hanging out with one or both of her little grand-girls. She loves learning something new every day and, if asked, will tell you grandchildren and discovery make her days rewarding!

Sean McLaughlin , MFA Columbia, is a Lowertown artist and writer who journals his devotion to myth and the common object in intimate drawings, large-scale paintings, amulets, essays, and short stories. He has shown with John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Paul Rotterdam, and Sue Coe.

 

Ethna McKiernan is a Minnesota poet with Irish roots. Her most recent book is Swimming with Shadows (2019), published by Salmon Poetry in Ireland. Her first book, Caravan, was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award. McKiernan holds an MFA in writing from Warren Wilson College and has received two Minnesota State Arts Board poetry grants. She works for a nonprofit serving the Minneapolis homeless population.

Linda Back McKay is a poet, author, teaching artist, and writing coach who grew up talking to oak trees. She lives with David McKay between two bridges in Minneapolis where she can gaze across the river to her homeland in Saint Paul.

David Mather is a writer, archaeologist, and gardener. He and his family enjoy life on Saint Paul’s West Side. His illustrated picture book, Frog in the House, takes place in Saint Paul and received the 2016 Giverny Award for science writing for children.

Peter J. Markham says he works as a system engineer by day, but “by night I’m a husband, a father, a photography lover, and a lover of animals.” He lives in Loretto, Minnesota. www.minnesotageek.net

David Lyndale grew up in Michigan, where at a young age he began writing about the world around him. He eventually left snowy Michigan for the warmer sunny climate of Minneapolis. He is the author of the novel Watertown Fires.

Brittany “Miss Brit” Lynch is a Twin Cities–based poet, TV/radio personality, actress, entrepreneur, creative consultant, and community organizer. Working interdependently between media, art, curation, and social justice, she has emerged as a tastemaker for the local entertainment scene. For more info, visit HeyMissBrit.com.

Paisley Luna is a high school student at Visitation School. She loves taking photos of Saint Paul for her photography class.

Melody Luepke no longer considers herself a newcomer to Minnesota, having weathered numerous seasons and adopted the long Minnesota “o” in her speech. She is a grandmother, a newlywed, and a consummate consumer of words.

Chia “Chilli” Lor is Saint Paul raised and graduated from St. Catherine University. She sees herself as an artist organizer, with writing themes revolving around identity, racial justice, and youth empowerment. She has been invited to perform at open mics, reading series, rallies, conferences, and a variety of community events.

Amanda Linder dislikes the scrutiny of strangers.

Rachel Limon writes, “My artwork is very diverse, and I utilize a multitude of mediums such as photography, jewelry, pottery, beadwork, sewing, watercolor and acrylic painting to express my inner creativity. The focus of my work is on the beauty and intrigue of the present moment. I try to capture rare moments in time as they unveil themselves with the hope to share and enlighten these reflective moments. My work is influenced by my love of family and nature.”

Abe Levine is a community-based chef and gardener who is both strange and full of flavor, like an eggplant. His kitchen is his dojo, and you’re invited to judo chop!

Annika Leiknes works in an intuitive yet strategic manner so her geodesic abstract paintings come to life. She uses acrylic, mixed media, and bold watercolor. The focal point of her paintings lies in the movement. Radial loops of outgoing color emerge from dark surfaces intentionally leading the eye through its path and back again. These are emotions and experiences expelled, something she believes we can all see, remember, and feel.

Ashley Lee is twenty-one years old, born and raised on the East Side of Saint Paul. Recently she moved to Oakdale, but it’s a thirty-second drive to Saint Paul from her new home. She enjoys writing and eating!

Hlee Lee-Kron is a Twin Cities entrepreneur, photographer, communications professional, and organizational guru with a zeal for telling community-based stories with a global twist. She launched the other media group (omg) out of community need. Hlee has a passion for bringing people of all backgrounds together and celebrating our lives through storytelling.

Christopher David Lear is a writer, storyteller, and zen clown. Anxious by birth and mirthful by practice, Christopher writes and performs to show folks the joy in life and convince them (and himself) that no trouble exists that cannot be overcome with a sufficient amount of imagination.

Kevin Lariva has always moved around and never quite liked writing. His girlfriend, Leilani, has always had this idea that one thing or person can be your inspiration, and she’s his inspiration. He feels like he’s home with her and enjoys writing with her in mind.

Sarah J. K. Koper writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her poem “Moonwalker” is engraved on a sculpture located at St. Cloud State University. “Baseball Bits #2” was published in A View from the Loft (2001). “Searching for Answers” was selected for Hazelden’s Conference on Arts and Healing. Her first book is Potholes: A Collection of Poems, Quotes & Cameos, (2008). the-liberal-prude.com

Susan Koefod lives across the street from Saint Paul. She is the author of a mystery series and a young adult novel, and she has widely published poetry and prose in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Revolver, Talking Stick, Saint Paul Almanac, Minnetonka Review, Midway Journal, Tattoo Highway, Lief Magazine, and other online and print literary journals. She is a
McKnight Fellowship for Writers recipient.

Barry Kleider is a teaching artist and photographer. He uses art and art making to build self-awareness and strengthen communities. He lives and works in Minneapolis. On a good day, we get to see ourselves and the world in a new light.

Danny Klecko (McGleno) has been baking bread for Saint Paul for three decades. The CEO of Saint Agnes Bakery, he lives with Russian supermodel Sue McGleno in stately Klecko Manor on Summit Avenue. He has over eighty tattoos and loves Saint Paul’s people with all his heart and soul.

Patricia Kirkpatrick is the author of Century’s Road and Odessa, awarded a 2013 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. She works as an editor and has taught writing at Hamline University, Macalester, the University of Minnesota, and Saint Paul Public Schools. Her new poetry book, Blood Moon, will be published by Milkweed in 2019.

Ismail Khadar Community editor + raised on the East Side + aspiring anthropologist + devilishly handsome face + a humorous personality + a sweater vest, not vest + a pet turtle named Hidalgo = priceless.

Jamie Kalvestran an accomplished product designer, published illustrator, with three design patents to her name, brings her inspirational designs into textile, quilting, home fashions, sporting goods, and personal accessories. She is also a painter and former resident of Saint Paul’s Lowertown Lofts Artist Cooperative.

Christina Joyce often seeks writing inspiration in other parts of the world but finds her richest material comes from right here in Saint Paul, where she grew up.

Barbara Jones was born in Saint Paul sixty-three years ago and lives there still. A graduate of the University of Minnesota and William Mitchell College of Law, she is the editor of Minnesota Lawyer newspaper.

Paul Jackson writes, “My ancestors came from Sweden to Minnesota between 1852 and 1889. When I walk to Como Park and around the lake, I imagine my great-great-grandparents, my great-grandparents, my grandparents, and my parents once walking there and enjoying the lily ponds.”

Donna Isaac is a poet and teacher who has published a poetry book, Footfalls (Pocahontas Press), and two chapbooks, Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press) and Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks). Her poetry appears in various literary magazines. She works as a teaching artist throughout the Twin Cities and helps organize community poetry readings. Find out more at donnaisaacpoet.com.

Kai Hsu is an aspiring writer. When he is not writing, he can be found playing basketball or reading one of many books he has started but not finished.

Sunny Hilden is a singer, musician, and songwriter who has written for Ray Charles, Sting, Patti LaBelle, The Temptations, Yolanda Adams, David Archuleta, Disney, TV, and film. She visits her childhood’s beloved Mac-Groveland neighborhood often to see family and friends, and to marvel at the snow and lilacs. sunnyhilden.com

Kevin Hershey is a Saint Paul native and former community editor with the Saint Paul Almanac. He lives in New York City, where he works in Early Childhood Education.

Judy Hawkinson lives in Saint Paul’s Merriam Park neighborhood, where she and her husband raised their three (now grown) children. Judy enjoys capturing moments with poetry and photography. Her photos have been shown at Dunn Brothers Coffee and other public spaces.

Margaret Hasse is a fan of Saint Paul, a gorgeous river city with a lively variety of people, green space, neighborhoods, and charm. She believes everyone should be able to recite at least one poem by heart. Between Us is her fifth and most recent book.

Janet Lunder Hanafin grew up on a South Dakota farm, transplanted herself to Saint Paul for college, and grew deep roots. Her writing has appeared in local and metro-wide publications. She and her husband have two children and five grandchildren (all above average) and enjoy the companionship of two very fine cats.

Chad Hambright is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in painting and illustration. He lives and works out of his artist loft near CHS Field.

Carla Hagen ’s debut novel, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane, won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association award for Best Historical Fiction and Best Literary Fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives with her husband in Saint Paul.

Peg Guilfoyle lives in downtown Saint Paul. She is the author of several theater books, including a Guthrie Theater history, and two volumes of genealogy, and she is working on a new book for 2020. Her company, Peg Projects, produces books on commission for private and corporate clients. Peg has been a stage and production manager and an arts manager, and she has an active civic and church volunteer life.

Isadora Gruye is a writer and photographer living in Saint Paul. She believes in cartography and beekeepers but has little need for maps or honey. She frequently reads her work at the Barbaric Yawp, and she is a past participant of the Loft Mentor Series

Meg Grove is the daughter and granddaughter of Saint Paul natives who found her way to town nearly thirty years ago. She lives in the MacGroveland neighborhood, where, finally, she is no longer considered the newcomer.

Georgia Greeley lives and works in Saint Paul. Her passion for combining words and images shows up as fine press broadsides, handmade artist’s books, and limited-edition fine press books. She has an MFA in writing from Hamline University and a BA in English and Art from St. Catherine University.

Willis Gilliard is a photographer born and raised in Saint Paul.

Josephine Geiger lives in Saint Paul with her dog and a pond full of (sometimes frozen) goldfish. She creates geometric and slightly abstract landscape mosaics crafted in traditional leaded stained glass with copper and sometimes fused elements.

Michael K. Gause has taught German, sold men’s clothes, and stocked diapers at midnight. His writing can be found online and in print. Originally from Tennessee, he now lives in Minnesota, where he is trying to write a memoir and be happy.

Marla Gamble is best known as a custom jeweler who creates one-of-a-kind pieces in gold and gemstones. Working with individuals to create their most powerful jewelry has been an extremely rewarding business for her for over thirty-five years. To balance the technical aspects of jewelry design, Marla paints in both oil and watercolor. She has taught all three mediums both in schools and privately.

Pierre Fulford , aka Pierre The Poet, not only seeks to promote peace for himself but for all of humanity, and art is his weapon of choice. A native of Saint Paul, he is greatly inspired by the life and works of Jesus Christ, Tupac, and Malcolm X.

Tom French Poet of County Meath, Ireland, received the twentieth annual Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies.

Mary Helen McHugh Franze is from Minnesota, lived out West, and has traveled three continents. Her first official “reject letter” for a writing submission was from the New York Times. Additional passions: singing, music, dancing, cooking, gardening, biking, swimming, skiing, nature, youth advocacy, being a mom, and friends.

Barbara Evan is a Saint Paul artist with a BA in Fine Art from the University of Minnesota and a BA in English from the University of South Dakota. She specializes in painting and drawing.

Adalinda Estrada drives a motorcycle as old as she is, and she has a dog named Batman and a daughter that has more energy than all three put together. She works as a school-based therapist and writes to remind herself that the healing lies in the stories we hold.

Mike Elliott grew up in West Saint Paul and has had homes on Saint Paul’s West Side and in Maplewood. He now resides “Up North” on the lake near Jacobson, Minnesota, where he is planning his twenty-eighth annual canoe trip to the BWCAW. In the summer, he enjoys teaching his young grandchildren how to jump off the dock, paddle his canoe, and catch bluegills. The only ashes under his big cedar are from his former dog Scooter.

Diane Edwards treads water (and snow) in the land of 10,000 lakes. She loves libraries and kids and dogs and books and walleye and people who can riff. She lives in a tragically old house that needs repairs approximately every ten minutes. The people that know her best report that her brain is a cartoon. She talks about anvils too much.

Anita Dualeh is a freelance writer, educational consultant, and coordinator of the Alphabet Forest at the Minnesota State Fair. She lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two sons. She blogs at 1stteacher.wordpress.com.

Aria Dominguez was born and grew up in Saint Paul and now lives in Minneapolis with her family. She loves the arts scene, the miles of good biking, the library systems, the parks, and many other things about the Twin Cities, but she abhors subzero temperatures.

Norita Dittberner-Jax has lived in Saint Paul most of her life. She taught at Johnson High School and Highland Senior High, as well as the Perpich Center for the Arts. She is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Crossing the Waters, which won the Midwest Book Award in Poetry in 2018.

Louis DiSanto is a retired keeper from Como Zoo who enjoys classical music, old movies, sudoku, and writing children’s stories. He currently has two e-books listed on Amazon—What if a Gorilla Escaped? and Gustav the Great—inspired by experiences at the zoo. Along with being published in the Almanac, Louis is especially honored to be one of the winners of the 2011 Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest.

John Dingley After years of adventures and collecting stories, has taken up writing between the many forays into executing his other trade, stonemasonry. He is well on his way into a series of at least five books for children, actually for all ages, called The Timeless Cavern. He will also be publishing shortly a nonfiction work, “Hard Work in Paradise—When all Our Food and Lives Were Organic.

Brittany Dexter is a writer and photographer who currently lives across the river (gasp!) in Minneapolis but misses the character and quiet of Saint Paul nearly every day.

Sharon DeMark fell in love with Saint Paul the first time she visited Minnesota. She now lives and works in the city. Sharon’s works have been exhibited as part of Poetry in the Park in the Dark, at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and in the 2017 Saint Paul Almanac.

Juliette Cuzey is a photographer currently residing in Toulouse, France.

Angela Davis is a local artist born and raised in Minneapolis. She is mainly an acrylic painter but loves taking photos too.

Tessa Danielson is a soon-to-be-graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From Saint Paul, Tessa says all of her best memories from childhood are rooted in the Saint Paul culture.

Athena Currier is a book designer by day, cartoonist and illustrator by night. However, the one thing she really likes to draw is maps! Her comics and essays appear regularly on her website, The Marjorie. Athena’s work has appeared in various publications, including City Pages, Sunoikisis, the Daily Cross Hatch, and Broken Pencil Magazine. She has an MFA in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she was a Dean’s Fellowship recipient.

Dean Croshere is a photographer who is currently living in Thailand.

Nancy Cox is a singer and teacher of singing. She has traveled widely on concert tours and performs as a soloist throughout the Twin Cities. Her poems have appeared in a number of small press publications, including Milkweed Editions, Loonfeather, Sidewalks, and Kansas Quarterly. She lives in Minneapolis.

Deborah Costandine loves Saint Paul and all its nooks and crannies.

Bill Cosgrove is a dedicated reader and writer, retired year-round biker, avid if not fanatical tennis player, and incorrigible do-it-yourselfer. He remains unrepentant in these commitments. He also conducts origami workshops as Professor Origami and is a longtime impersonator of Mark Twain in his one-man show “An Evening with Mark Twain: The Trouble Begins at Eight.”

Maryann Corbett spent almost thirty-five years working for the Minnesota Legislature. She is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Street View. Her work is widely published. One of her poems appears in Best American Poetry 2018.

Jermain Cooper is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of T.R.U.T.H. Academy and has extensive corporate, nonprofit, and government experience. Jermain obtained a bachelor of arts in sociology and a bachelor of arts in criminology from Johnson C. Smith University. He also holds a master of science in human behavior from Capella University. Currently, Jermain is finishing courses to obtain his doctor of education (EdD) in leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he also serves as an adjunct in the Graduate School of Business and Technology.

Tom Collins writes, “Yes, I am aware that there is a drink with my name on it. My story is real. No need for exaggeration. This is my first submission and I hope it leads to more.”

Amy Clark – mom, artist, teacher, biker, and lover of craft beer.

Doug Champeau lives in the Mounds Park neighborhood of Saint Paul. After a forty-five-plus-year professional career, he says the most satisfying job he ever had was as a dishwasher. His passions are pizza, IPAs, cigarettes, Wanda, Betty—their hound dog—and fresh eggs from their chickens. He loves to write; he hates writing; he should write more. Photography nipped him in high school. His two photography maxims: It has to have a human, and it has to be printed.

Greg Brick works for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and is responsible for documenting and mapping Minnesota’s springs. He has previously been published by the Almanac.

Immanuel Bratzel is an artist who lives and works in Lowertown in Saint Paul.

Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde is a contemplative writer, teacher, and spiritual director residing in the Lex-Ham neighborhood of Saint Paul. She is happily married to Francois, a bread baker from Burkina Faso, West Africa, and they are the proud parents of Marguerite and Gabby. You can read her work at VisitationMonasteryMinneapolis.org.

Betty Bonson is a labor and delivery nurse who is passionate about caring for women of many different cultures and circumstances. She is honored to work in the “hinge moments” of people’s lives as they step through the metaphoric door of the birth or death of a baby.

Constance Beutel was born in Saint Paul, graduating from Archbishop Murray Memorial High School (’64) and the University of Minnesota (’67). He is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and, after many years in a career in high tech and higher education, is happily retired and living in the little town of Benicia, California.

A. Everett Beek is a scholar of Latin and Greek poetry. She has a PhD from the University of Minnesota and a BA from Macalester College, and she has taught at the University of St. Thomas. Beyond her academic publications, she has published a poem in Saint Paul’s Sidewalk Poetry Contest.

Scott Bade is an educator for Saint Paul Public Schools and resides in North Saint Paul with his darling wife, Erika; his adorable children, Audrey (1) and Oliver (4) and his very supportive brother, Dan.

Polyxeni Angelis emigrated from Greece to Saint Paul with her family in 1967. She holds a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Minnesota. She has her dream job of buying books for people to enjoy. She lives with her son, two cats, and one spoiled Pekingese.

Kristin D. Anderson is a former stay-at-home mom, high school teacher, and counselor, as well as a retired pastor.

Leilani Andrews is a twenty-year-old woman who is currently going to school and discovering who she is meant to be. She enjoys writing and  photography in her spare time.

Wendy Brown-Báez is the author of the novel Catch a Dream and two poetry books. Her poetry and prose appear widely in literary journals and anthologies such as Mizna, Poets & Writers, Talking Writing, Water~Stone Review, Duende, Peregrine, and Tiferet. Wendy teaches creative writing and memoir in community spaces such as schools, libraries, cafes, prisons, healing centers, churches, and yoga studios. Visit her online at wendybrownbaez.com.

Colleen Casey is a writer, artist, historian, editor, teacher, and community organizer. Of mixed Mdewakanton Dakota and European American heritages, she sees herself as a person of crosscurrents and confluences. She believes we are all related.

Abby Cooper is a children’s book author living in the Lowertown neighborhood of Saint Paul. When she’s not working on her novels (Sticks & Stones, 2016, Macmillan; Bubbles, 2017, Macmillan), she loves walking her dog along the river and discovering new coffee shops and restaurants. Visit Abby online at www.AbbyCooperAuthor.com.

Deborah Cooper is retired from thirty years of corporate communications and public relations for Twin Cities area corporations. Now a freelance marketing manager, she has served as a board member and secretary for the nonprofit Rondo Avenue, Inc., which produces the annual Rondo Days Festival. Deborah is writing a series of short stories depicting the people, places, and history of the former Rondo community.

Pamela Fletcher Bush works as a writer, editor, teacher, and scholar. She is executive editor for the Saint Paul Almanac and a contributing editor for Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (2015), The Way We See It: A Fresh Look at Vision Loss (2014), and Transforming a Rape Culture (2005). Her prose and poetry appear in various other publications, and she has earned several literary awards and grants, including a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and the Loft’s Creative Nonfiction Residency Award.

IBé is a son of Africans and a father to Americans. He was born somewhere between Guinea and Sierra Leone, and raised somewhere between there and St. Cloud, Minnesota. He is a writer, of many things: essays, poems, short stories, notes, and project status reports. Some of those he likes; some he does because he has to. Such is life, you win some, you deal with others. Like living through the bitter winters of Minnesnowta so he can appreciate the wonderful summers that much more.

Kemet Egypt Imhotep was born in Saint Paul and raised by his aunt Willia, who was born on a plantation in Arkansas in 1918 and had great faith in the Creator. Kemet says the school system failed him. He was in the class of 1990 at Central High School and finished at the Area Learning Center in Uni-Dale Mall. Kemet says, “Growing in this hostile environment, writing down what I observe and experience as I grow daily, words have become one of my best companions in my journey to becoming a greater person.”

Ismail Khadar Community editor + raised on the East Side + aspiring anthropologist + devilishly handsome face + a humorous personality + a sweater vest, not vest + a pet turtle named Hidalgo = priceless.

Abe Levine is a community-based chef and gardener who is both strange and full of flavor, like an eggplant. His kitchen is his dojo, and you’re invited to judo chop!

Melody Luepke no longer considers herself a newcomer to Minnesota, having weathered numerous seasons and adopted the long Minnesota “o” in her speech. She is a grandmother, a newlywed, and a consummate consumer of words.

Damien Mills is a young Trans writer of color. She says, “Being a part of the Saint Paul Almanac is a great honor. This experience has taught me that there are all kinds of different ways to interpret a piece of writing and ways to write it. It is a wonderful experience that I thoroughly enjoy.”

Abdirazaq Mohamed is a high school student and first-time community editor.

Mohamed Mohamed is a student at Higher Ground Academy in Saint Paul. He first took interest in writing and mastered the arts of grammar at the age of eight. He enjoyed writing then and still does as a tenth grader. Currently, he takes English courses and exceeds very well at them.

Dr. Sheronda Orridge is a writer, spoken word artist, certified facilitator, motivational speaker, certified doula, curriculum developer, and community organizer. She is the recipient of the 2012 Leap Forward African American Award, the 2012 National Parent Leadership Award, and the 2011 Community Honor Roll Award. Dr. Orridge uses her talents and strengths as tools to organize communities around education, poverty, and foreclosure and to promote holistic healing.

Kathryn Pulley gravitates between two planets: motherhood and teaching. At times there is little space for the hobby moons of reading, writing, or playing Dungeons & Dragons, not to mention navigating the asteroid belt of marriage. But she’ll never stop exploring life’s great possibilities as she roves the universe.

Deb Runyon , carnie in the summertime, criss-crosses the Deep South in the wintertime with her sweetheart and their heirloom teardrop trailer in pursuit of excellent adventures.

Sagirah Shahid is a Black Muslim writer from Minneapolis.

Ben Weaver is a songwriter and poet who travels by bicycle. He uses his music as a tool to strengthen relationships between people and their local ecosystems. Ben’s most recent project, Music for Free, saw him riding three thousand miles from Canada to Mexico along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with his guitar and banjo, making stops to offer free performances to communities along the way. Ben has completed many wilderness music-by-bike tours and released nine studio albums and five books of poetry. Given the choice, he will side with the animals, lakes, rivers, and trees.

Clarence White is a writer, editor, and publicist living in Saint Paul. He is a master of the personal letter and too many emails for which “send” has been hit with too much haste. He has worked as a writer for the National Farmers Union in Washington, D.C., the international organization Nonviolent Peaceforce, and several Twin Cities nonprofits. He is a 2011–2012 Givens Foundation for African American Literature Retreat fellow and was a finalist for the mnartists.org miniStories flash fiction competition in 2008. He is the primary author of The Clarence White Blog and is a veteran of the Central Minnesota Writers’ Workshop.

Linda White is a writer, reader, editor, reviewer, blogger, promoter, and teacher. Her writing has appeared on Writer’s Block, MNReads, Book Riot, and most recently in the anthology Upon Waking. She runs BookMania and the Publishing Bones, teaches at the Loft Literary Center, and helps people bring their stories to life. She is a member of the League of Minnesota Poets. She is putting finishing touches on a novel and a chapbook of poems. A University of St. Thomas alum, Linda is in love with Saint Paul.

Sid Carlson White is a senior at Mounds Park Academy. Despite constant pressure from 99.9 percent of the people around him, he continues to maintain his belief that Saint Paul is better than Minneapolis and that baseball is the greatest game ever invented. He does not write as much as he should and is more at home at the ballpark or playing quiz bowl.

Alexa Yankton is a member of the Spirit Lake Dakota. She is in the twelfth grade at her high school. She delights in hiking nature trails, visiting museums, traveling, and being with her family. Alexa is a Pow Wow Princess and water carrier at ceremonials.

Lisa Yankton , a member of the Spirit Lake Dakota, is a community organizer, educator, writer, and mother. At night, she can be found stargazing. Instead of wishing on a star, she wishes she knew their names. Her community activities include serving as a juror for the Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest, blogging for the Minnesota Book Awards, teaching at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, coordinating the Dakota Nationwide Conference, leading the Brooklyn Historical Society, and serving on The Circle newspaper board. During the Dakota War of 1862, her grandmother fled from Minnesota to North Dakota.