- Myth and Storytelling West of the MississippiMinneapolis, Minnesota October 25–28, 2017
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Minnesota, the "Star of the North" and the eastern edge of "the West," is border country. It is the land of Manabozho and Nokomis, Paul Bunyan and his Babe, of Longfellow's Hiawatha and Minnehaha, of Keillor's Lake Woebegone and the Coen brothers' Fargo. Here one finds the headwaters of the Mississippi, the International Boundary Waters, and the celebrated Guthrie Theater. Held at the Marriott City Center in downtown Minneapolis, the conference will allow participants to take advantage of the Twin Cities' exciting theater, music, and food scenes.
Our conference's theme grew from the short story collection Sweet Land by Minnesota writer Will Weaver (made into a movie in 2005) and Minnesota's long heritage of nature and regional writing. The state is also known for its mythic figures and master storytellers, and the Twin Cities are a thriving theater center with an increasingly diverse ethnic population.
Our conference will celebrate the vital literary culture that makes Minnesota one of the nation's premier arts destinations. Our Distinguished Achievement Award Winner is playwright, director, and Asian American theater company founder Rick Shiomi, who will be bringing some of his actors to give stage readings. Rick will be joined by Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen and master storyteller Kevin Kling, Anishinaabe writers Linda LeGarde Grover and Heid Erdrich, and fiction writer Will Weaver. [End Page 240]
The Twin Cities are home to many fine art and historical museums, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Museum, the Minnesota History Center, the Mill City Museum, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Fort Snelling. We will check the arts and sports calendar for that weekend for the many outstanding theaters in the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis Symphony, professional sports, and the like.
For more information, see <westernlit.org/wla-conference-2017>. [End Page 241]