Jim, who edited the book, and Su, who is a contributor, took turns reading selections, which cover over 2000 years of poetry. From Sappho to Virgil, Emily Dickinson to Pablo Neruda, and Mary Oliver to Sherman Alexie, poets throughout human history have been inspired by our pollinator friends.
Jim and Su also talk about the danger bees face in the current climate, from hive collapse to extinction to simple loss of habitat. Portions of the proceeds from this anthology benefit the scientists and researchers at the Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota, who are working hard to save these essential insects.
Listen to this event below, or subscribe to the podcast by searching “Magers and Quinn Presents” in the iTunes store!
Recorded at Magers and Quinn Booksellers on October 28, 2016.
In February 2015, we welcomed David Treuer back to Minnesota for a reading of his novel Prudence.
In this episode, David discusses the origins of his novel – from a stray line in a Hemingway biography to a German prisoner of war camp near Leech Lake Reservation – and takes questions about his characters, the Ojibwe language, and a book’s conscious and unconscious “ancestors.”
On a sweltering day in August 1942, Frankie Washburn returns to his family’s rustic Minnesota resort for one last visit before he joins the war. Awaiting him are his hovering mother, his distant father, the Indian caretaker who’s been more of a father to him than his own, and Billy, the childhood friend who has become something much more intimate. But before the homecoming can be celebrated, the search for a German soldier, escaped from the POW camp across the river, explodes in a shocking act of violence, with consequences that will shape how each of them makes sense of their lives.
Prudence is a story of desire, loss, and the search for connection in a riven world; of race and class in a supposedly more innocent era. It’s about the secrets we choose to keep, the ones we can’t help telling, and whom – and how – we’re supposed to love.
Holly and B.J. talk about spark birds, extinction, famous last birds, and more in this unusual and fascinating evening of poetry and prose!
Recorded on September 4, 2016 at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.
About Holly J. Hughes’ poetry collection Passings:
In a timely, moving collection of elegies, Holly J. Hughes gives voice to these and other bird species that no longer fill our skies. If their names sound as a litany of the hundreds of species we’ve lost, these fifteen poems ring as a reminder that their stories are still with us. In clear, well-crafted poems, Hughes serves as witness to these birds’ stories, offering each a poignant account that acts as a cautionary tale for the many species whose habitats now face threats from climate change. In her preface, Hughes introduces us to the birds she first knew and loved, and her impassioned afterword reminds us that it’s not too late to learn from these birds’ extinction and take action to protect the species that remain. “Take note,” she writes. “These birds are singing to us. We must listen.”
About BJ Hollars’ forthcoming memoir Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds:
With the help of a supporting cast of ornithologists and experts, as well as a hermit, a painter of birds, and five billion extirpated passenger pigeons, B. J. Hollars delivers a finely crafted and often profound memoir, Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds. For his protagonist Hollars chooses a remarkable creature known as the Lord God Bird, and as the book’s narrator Hollars marries scientific rigor with wide-eyed wonder, letting readers enjoy both his command of and joy in his subject. Available February 2017.