By Sarv Mithaqiyan
We are excited to announce the official release of Simples by KateLynn Hibbard, winner of the 2018 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize, with an event at the Twin Cities Book Festival, October 13, 2018, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Hibbard will read poems, engage in a Q and A, and sign books at 10:30 a.m. on the Rain Stage in the Fine Arts Center on the Fairgrounds.
Hibbard, a professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, based Simples on extensive research into the history of women’s experiences on the American prairie during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Simples uses free verse and poetic form and persona to examine the lives of women against the backdrop of the Great Plains, with close attention to flora and fauna as well as the goods and materials of daily life. This unblinking look at a historical moment examines hardships both endured and inflicted.
Poet and Augsburg MFA Mentor Heid Erdrich has praised Simples as “a book of remedy and release on the prairies of old. Poems in the voices of women who survive the requirements of their lives as subservient wives, daughters, laborers reveal another life of the settler colonial era. These women code their communications to liberate one another from despair, abuse, unwanted pregnancy, and the heartbreak of lovelessness or longing for love that cannot be. This is not the pioneer woman claiming the prairie, but the prairie claiming the women it teaches to survive.”
Come celebrate the publication of our annual prizewinner at this debut event! Hibbard’s reading and signing also includes a dialogue with Augsburg MFA Mentor Karen Babine, author of Water and What We Know: Following the Roots of a Northern Life and All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer.
The Twin Cities Book Festival is the preeminent annual conference for book lovers in Minnesota. It runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, in the Progress Center and the Fine Arts Center of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. It is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Rain Taxi Review of Books, the festival draws 6,000 attendees and features 100 presenters and exhibitors. According to Rain Taxi, this “is not only the largest, most adventurous literary event in the Upper Midwest; it is THE annual get-together for devoted book lovers from the Twin Cities and beyond!” Howling Bird Press and Augsburg University’s MFA in Creative Writing are proud sponsors of this year’s festival. For more information, including the full line-up of speakers, a map, and directions, see: http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival/