Zenith Bookstore, 318 N. Central Ave., offers these book clubs. Call 218-606-1777 or go to

  • Poetry Book Club meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 to discuss "Deaf Republic" by Ilya Kaminsky. Email to register.
  • Queering Pleasure group meets at 5:30 p.m. May 19 to discuss "Kink" edited by R. O. Kwon. Email and type queering pleasure in the subject line. to register.
  • Chapter & Verse group meets at 6:30 p.m. May 20 to discuss "Some Places More Than Others" by Renee Watson and "Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away" by Meg Medina. Email and type Chapter & Verse in the subject line to register.


  • Lake Superior Writers hosts Superior Shares, a virtual open mic from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 12. If you wish to read, ten 5-minute reading slots are available on a first come, first served basis, priority given to members of LSW. Participants are notified ahead of time if they've been selected to read. Readers are asked to limit adult content and language. Graphic violent or sexual content if prohibited. It's free and open to members and nonmembers. To register, email A zoom link will be sent the day of the event.
  • Book launch for "Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress," via Zoom, 7 p.m. May 18. The author, Ranae Lenor Hanson, in conversation with Ruthanne Crapo Kim, Stephen Healey, Amina Keinan and moderator Ulla Nilsen. Hosted by the University of Minnesota Press, and co-sponsored by, the Science & Environmental Health Network, and Transition Town–All St. Anthony Park. Register at
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News of Note

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announced the winners of the 33rd annual Minnesota Book Awards, presented this year by sponsor Education Minnesota.:

Award for Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa: "Big Papa and the Time Machine" by Daniel Bernstrom, illustrated by Shane Evans (HarperCollins Publishers). Big Papa’s grandson is not feeling like going to school. He’s feeling scared, so they hop in Big Papa’s time machine to learn about all the ways a person can be brave. In dreamlike images from Big Papa’s life, Bernstrom and Evans explore crucial moments of African American history – happy and sad – inviting the young and old to share their stories of courage across time.

Award for General Nonfiction: "Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl" by Jonathan C. Slaght (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan Publishers). As a fledgling birdwatcher, Slaght had a chance encounter with one of the most mysterious birds on Earth, the Blakiston’s fish owl. His five-year journey searching for this enormous, enigmatic creature in the remote forests of eastern Russia provides a rare glimpse into the everyday life of a field scientist and conservationist and serves as a reminder of the beauty, strength, and vulnerability of the natural world.

Award for Genre Fiction, sponsored by Macalester College: "The Deep, Deep Snow" by Brian Freeman (Blackstone Publishing).

Deputy Shelby Lake was abandoned as a baby, saved by a stranger who found her in the freezing cold. Now, years later, Shelby is the one who must rescue a missing child, but the case is growing cold. When a tantalizing clue comes to light, Shelby must confront a dark lie that will leave no one’s life untouched – including her own.

Award for Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by Bradshaw Celebration of Life Centers: "Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify: Essays" by Carolyn Holbrook (University of Minnesota Press*). Holbrook’s life is peopled with ghosts – of the girl she was, the selves she shed and those who have caught up to her, the spirits she’s encountered, and also the beloved souls she’s lost and those she never knew. Holbrook has heeded the call to tell the story of her life, and to find among its chapters the lessons and necessary truths of those who have come before.

Award for Middle Grade Literature, sponsored by Education Minnesota: "What if a Fish" by Anika Fajardo (Simon & Schuster). Half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never really felt Colombian. Especially after Papa died. As if by magic, Eddie – who has never left Minnesota – is invited to spend the summer in Colombia with his older half-brother. But as his adventure unfolds, he feels more and more like a fish out of water. Will Eddie ever figure out how to be a true colombiano?

Emilie Buchwald Award for Minnesota Nonfiction, sponsored by Bookmobile Craft Digital: "Minnesota's Geologist: The Life of Newton Horace Winchell" by Sue Leaf (University of Minnesota Press*). Tracing Newton Horace Winchell’s path to becoming a leading light of an emerging scientific field, Minnesota’s Geologist recreates the early days of scientific inquiry in Minnesota, when one man’s passion for learning could unlock secrets of the state’s distant past and present landscape. This first telling of Winchell’s life story is set against a backdrop of Minnesota’s geological complexity and splendor.

Award for Novel & Short Story, sponsored by College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University: "Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel" by Kawai Strong Washburn (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan Publishers). In Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores falls overboard a cruise ship into the Pacific Ocean. When a shiver of sharks appears in the water, everyone fears for the worst. Instead, Noa is delivered to his mother in the jaws of a shark, marking his story the stuff of legends. Folding tales of Hawaiian gods into a family saga, this is a story of exile and the pursuit of salvation.

Award for Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.: "Homie: Poems" by Danez Smith (Graywolf Press*). "Homie" is a bright elegy, a friendship diary, a war cry. It comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. Smith acknowledges that in this country, in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, but the collection is an ode to the friendships that offer salvation.

Award for Young Adult Literature, sponsored by United Educators Credit Union: "My Eyes Are Up Here" by Laura Zimmermann (Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House). If Greer Walsh could only live inside her head, life would be easier. She’d be able to focus on math or volleyball or her best friend. She wouldn’t spend time worrying about being the only Kennedy High student whose breasts are bigger than her head. Greer’s story is of a girl finding her way out of her oversized sweatshirt and back into the real world.

* Indicates a Minnesota-based publisher.

Special Award Presented at the Ceremony: Alexs Pate received the previously announced Kay Sexton Award, sponsored by St. Catherine’s University. Pate is an author, teacher, mentor, artist, and leader in the Twin Cities literary community. He currently serves as President and CEO of Innocent Technologies and is the creator of the Innocent Classroom, a program for K–12 educators that aims to transform U.S. public education and end disparities by closing the relationship gap between educators and students of color.

Books written by a Minnesotan and first published in 2020 were eligible for the 33rd annual Minnesota Book Awards. A total of 224 books were submitted for awards this year, and 36 books were selected as finalists. The winners were chosen by panels of judges from around the state. Submissions for next year’s awards will open in August 2021. For more information on the Book Awards process, and a list of finalists and winners since 1988, visit


  • The Arrowhead Library System (ALS) joins libraries throughout the state in announcing the call for entries in this year’s Minnesota Author Project statewide contest for independently-published Young Adult and Adult Fiction. This is the contest’s fourth year. The Minnesota Author Project Communities Create category, introduced last year, is also inviting entries for its second year. Communities Create seeks creative written work by Minnesota organizations and communities. Deadline for all categories: May 31.

Each book that is submitted to the contest must be:

  • Indie-published

  • In an adult fiction or young adult fiction genre

  • Written by a Minnesota resident

  • Available in either ePUB or PDF file

Each book that is submitted to the Communities Create contest must be:

  • Created by a Minnesota-based organization or group

  • A recommended minimum length of 10,000 words or 20 pages

  • Available in either ePub or PDF format

For more information go to for the Adult and Young Adult categories or for the Communities Create category. For free resources to get started and for a link to the Indie Minnesota Collection, visit


Title: "Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress"

Author: Ranae Lenor Hanson

Synopsis: Beginning with memories from a childhood nurtured among the waters of Minnesota, the book follows the streams and tributaries that connect us to our world and to each other, as revealed in the life stories of Hanson’s students, Minnesotans driven from their faraway homelands by climate disruption. The book’s currents carry us to threatened mangrove swamps in Saudi Arabia, to drought-stricken Ethiopia, to rocks bearing ancient messages above crooked rivers in northern Minnesota, to a diabetic crisis in an ICU bed at a St. Paul hospital. With the benefit of gentle insight and a broad worldview, Hanson encourages us at every turn to find our own way, to discover how the health of our bodies and the health of the world they inhabit are inextricably linked and how attending, and tending, to their shared distress can lead to a genuine, grounded wellbeing. When, in the grip of a global pandemic, humans drastically change their behavior to preserve human life, we also see how the earth breathes more freely as a result. In light of that lesson, the book helps us to consider our place and our part in the health and healing of the world around us.

Cost: $19.95

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Contact info: