2019 Annual Fireside Reading Series Line-up Announced

The series featuring Minnesota authors returns to Hamline Midway Library in January

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library will present the annual Fireside Reading Series, featuring six weeks of author readings, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings in January and February at the Hamline Midway Library, 1558 West Minnehaha Avenue, Saint Paul. The program annually highlights the work of some of Minnesota’s finest writers who have published a new work in the previous year.

New this season, in addition to their presentations, Fireside authors will be asked to talk about what “home” means to them. The goal is to complement the citywide conversation happening this winter as part of Read Brave Saint Paul, an intergenerational reading program whose 2019 theme is housing. The Fireside events are free and open to the public. Patrons can enjoy coffee, cider, cookies, and book signings. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided for all six events.

Wednesday, January 23

Laurentian Divide

Sarah Stonich, Laurentian Divide

The best-selling author of Vacationland returns to the remote town of Hatchet Inlet with a poignant portrayal of life on the edge in northern Minnesota border country. Stonich is also the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Ice Chorus and These Granite Islands, as well as Fishing with RayAnne (writing as Ava Finch) and her memoir, Shelter.

Wednesday, January 30

Life of Miracles Along the Yangtze and Mississippi

Wang Ping, Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi

In a memoir that spans two rivers, two continents, and two cultures, Wang Ping traces her journey from China to America through the stories of the people that carried her along her travels. Wang’s publications of poetry and prose include Aching for Beauty, The Magic Whip, and The Last Communist Virgin, winner of a Minnesota Book Award. She is professor of English at Macalester College.

Wednesday, February 6


Gary Eldon Peter, Oranges

Winner of the 2016 New Rivers Press Many Voices Project competition in prose, this debut short story collection traverses the life of Michael Dolin, a gay man from the Midwest who must find his own confusing path to adulthood after personal loss. Peter’s short stories have appeared in CallistoWater~Stone ReviewGreat River Review, and other publications. He is a professor at the University of Minnesota.

Wednesday, February 13

New Poets of Native Nations

Heid E. Erdrich & Gwen Westerman, New Poets of Native Nations

Edited by Heid E. Erdrich, this landmark anthology celebrates 21 poets of diverse ages, styles, languages, and tribal affiliations to present the extraordinary range and power of new Native poetry.
Erdrich is Ojibwe and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She is the author of five collections of poetry, including Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media, winner of a 2018 Minnesota Book Award.
Westerman is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She is the co-author of the Minnesota Book Award-winning Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota and a poetry collection, Follow the Blackbirds.

Wednesday, February 20

The Relentless Business of Treaties

Martin Case, The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property

The story of "western expansion" is a familiar one: U.S. government agents, through duplicity and force, persuaded Native Americans to sign treaties that gave away their rights to the land. But this framing, argues Case, hides a deeper story. Case is a freelance researcher and writer and was a key participant in the development of Why Treaties Matter, a collaboration of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian Institute.

Wednesday, February 27

All the Wild Hungers

Karen Babine, All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer

When her mother is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Babine can’t help but wonder: feed a fever, starve a cold, but what do we do for cancer? Generous and bittersweet, these essays chronicle one family’s experience of illness and a writer’s culinary attempt to make sense of the inexplicable. Babine is also the author of Water and What We Know: Following the Roots of a Northern Life, winner of a 2016 Minnesota Book Award. 

The Fireside Reading Series is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. For more information on the series, visit www.thefriends.org/fireside.

About The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library:
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library acts as a catalyst for libraries to strengthen and inspire their communities. An independent, nonprofit organization established in 1945, The Friends invests in the Library through fundraising, advocacy, and programming; as a result, the Saint Paul Public Library is a nationally-recognized leader in serving its community. The Friends also serves libraries across the country and internationally through its consulting services, Library Strategies, and promotes literacy, reading, and libraries statewide as the Minnesota Center for the Book. For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242 or visit thefriends.org.

Kim Horton, Director of Marketing and Communications
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

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