Posted at 8:25 AM on March 4, 2010
by Chris Roberts
Filed under: Art Hounds
This week's hounds will lead you to a cultural gem in Osseo, a pair of top flight teen film fests, and a local rock band that's been touched by the Irish.
(Want to be an art hound? Sign up here!)
Jessie Rae Rayle calls the Yellow Tree Theatre one of the best-kept secrets in the local theater scene. It's located in a former furniture warehouse in an old strip mall. Jessie, a Twin Cities actress, went to see two one-act plays at the Yellow Tree, "Lena Long Legs" and "August and Anna," and loved them. Both are on stage through March 14th.
Rie Gilsdorf chairs The Blake School's arts department. For an interesting, even eye-opening glimpse into the lives of today's teenagers, Rie recommends two local film fests. The Walker Art Center's annual "Girls in the Director's Chair Film Showcase" takes place Saturday, March 6th. "Being 15" features short documentaries, made by teens, on what the teen years were like for previous generations. "Being 15" happens on the evening of Tuesday, March 9 at the Minnesota History Center.
If you're interested in a little pre-St. Paddy's day Celtic flavor, Kathleen Berquist says to consider the Twin Cities-based rock/Celtic outfit, Wild Colonial Bhoys. Kathleen, a musician from Wyoming, MN, says the 'Bhoys' make you want to throw down in an Irish kind of way. Wild Colonial Bhoys will spread its Celtic cheer at the Dubliner Pub in St. Paul on Sunday, March 7th.
Posted at 3:50 PM on March 4, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Poetry
Poet Tony Hoagland is one of those joys to read, not because his work is particularly joyful, but because it is filled with moments of recognition. He deals with issues of race, class, and consumerism with a deft and witty pen, and reading his latest collection "Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty" had me both laughing outright and groaning in despair. Take "At the Galleria:"
At the Galleria
Just past the bin of pastel baby socks and underwear,
there are some 49-dollar Chinese-made TVs;
one of them singing news about a far-off war,
one comparing the breast size of an actress from Hollywood
to the breast size of an actress from Bollywood.
And here is my niece Lucinda,
who is nine and a true daughter of Texas,
who has developed the flounce of a pedigreed blonde
and declares that her favorite sport is shopping.
Today is the day she embarks upon her journey,
swinging a credit card like a scythe
through the meadows of golden merchandise.
Today is the day she stops looking at faces,
and starts assessing the labels of purses;
So let it begin. Let her be dipped in the dazzling bounty
and raised and wrung out again and again.
And let us watch.
As the gods in olden stories
turned mortals into laurel trees and crows
to teach them some kind of lesson,
so we were turned into Americans
to learn something about loneliness.
Hoagland will be reading at the Loft Literary Center tonight, and I spoke to him this morning, in particular about his thoughts on American life. Here's an excerpt:
Hoagland, who teaches at the University of Houston, is an advocate of making poetry accessible and relevant to young readers. He says that poets don't necessarily have extrasensory powers of perception, but that they simply are able to give voice to what we all feel with particular perception. He says it's when you are forced to slow down - due to crisis, or aging - that we are most likely to turn to poetry for solace.
Hoagland mused that America is home to great poetry in part because of our childlike, unrefined nature as a nation. But he sees an end to that innocence in our future. He imagines that, as we become increasingly lonely in our cultural solitude, we will be forced to decide what we are willing to live with (food courts? flat screen TVs?) and what we must change. Can we survive seeking comfort with a credit card? Or will we return to the balm of nature to find greater meaning in our lives?
Hoagland also read a few of his poems, which you can access below:
The Big Grab