Literature 7-10-2006

What Light: This Weeks Poem: Series Two

The second in’s new series “What Light: This Week's Poem” sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers begins Monday, July 17.

John Colburn
Alex Lemon
Lorena Duarte

“What Light” selects and publishes poems from all over Minnesota. Every Monday we’ll post a new poem on the website along with a profile of the poet. Readings at Magers and Quinn will present the poets to wider audiences, and we’ll publish a book featuring the 50 poets eventually selected.

Poet and critic Lightsey Darst is coordinating the program, and jurors will include many notable writers, editors, publishers, and readers, such as Wang Ping, Ray Gonzalez, and Cindra Halm. Calls for poems go out quarterly; the second round of poems has been chosen, and the third call will go out in September. The program seeks to find excellent work and make it known both to the publishing and poetry world and to the general public.’s radical democracy has opened, through “What Light,” another door for Minnesota writers, and for readers, a window onto the world of writers’ perceptions and insights.

Series Two Jurors

John Colburn is originally from Mantorville, MN, and is an editor and co-publisher at Spout Press. His poetry chapbook, Kissing, was published by Fuori Editions in 2002. His poems have also appeared in such journals as Jubilat, Black Warrior Review, Spinning Jenny, Columbia Poetry Review, Forklift, OH., and Swerve. He received an mfa degree from the University of Minnesota in 1996 and works as a writing teacher at the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

Alex Lemon’s first collection of poems, Mosquito, will be published by Tin House Books in September of 2006. He is also the author of the chapbook, At Last Unfolding Congo (Burning Chair Books). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Denver Quarterly, New England Review, Pleiades, Post Road, Gulf Coast and Swink, among a number of other journals. Among his awards are a 2005 Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2006 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Currently, he teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lorena Duarte was born in El Salvador and raised in Minnesota. Poetry, education and social justice are her passions and she loves helping youth develop their own paths to self-expression. She holds a degree in Hispanic Studies/Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University and now lives in Minneapolis where she is the Associate Editor of La Prensa de Minnesota, a bilingual Latino newspaper. She contributed to and co-edited “¿Under What Bandera? Anti-War Ofrendas from Minnesota y Califas” and performs her work regularly, sharing the stage with performers such as Jimmy Santiago Baca and Amalia Ortiz and performing for universities, organizations and institutions ranging from the Loft to First Avenue.