Loft Themes

Loft Themes

Much like how an art museum might present a special exhibit, the Loft is introducing seasonal thematic programming. Our themes will help connect you across many of the Loft program offerings. We believe that poems and stories can be an important lens through which to view the world, and can be part of important issues and conversations in civic life. Loft themes will compel us all to look at the words we write and authors we read in new ways.

Sense of Adventure (Winter: Jan–Apr 2021)

Every time you open a book you are embarking on a new adventure. Many of us grew up loving stories of exploration into cold and treacherous places, on ships in distant seas, facing ferocious beasts and unknown destinations. Those pages were a safe way to take risks, go beyond normal boundaries, try new things, even to make terrible choices we’d never make off the page. There are also journeys more subtle and closer to home, explorations of new tastes or flavors. Every book is an invitation to walk in someone else’s shoes and see the world in a new way.

Through this theme, the Loft invites readers and writers to explore something (anything) from a new perspective with an unexpected outcome. Join us for a celebration of adventure and a chance to explore. We will present the work of explorers, adventurers, and guides.

Sense of Adventure Offerings

Here are the classes and events offered in the Sense of Adventure theme this winter.

Sense of Adventure Mishka Hoosen
ADULT CLASS: Reimagining the World—Crafting Compelling Nonfiction

Jan 20–Mar 17 | with Mishka Hoosen

This class will be an exploration of creative nonfiction, introducing students to a range of texts in the genre that explore topics as wide ranging as illness, travel, science, memoir, and more.

Sense of Adventure Patricia Hoolihan
ADULT CLASS: First Steps Into Writing

Jan 27–Mar 17 | with Patricia Hoolihan

This is a class for those who are ready for the adventure of claiming or reclaiming who you are as a writer. Find out what you have to say!

Sense of Adventure Soojin Pate
ADULT CLASS: Dreaming a New World—Lessons and Teachings from Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower

Jan 27–Apr 21 | with SooJin Pate

This reading seminar will focus around a deep reading and examination of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower.

Sense of Adventure Kelsey Daly
YOUTH CLASS: Wilderness Adventure Writing for Teens

Feb 3–17 | with Kelsey Daly

During three one-hour long sessions, we’ll explore writing about wilderness adventure, including outdoor sports, the natural world, and environmental justice.

Sense of Adenture Kristi Romo
YOUTH CLASS: Build your Own Hero & Villain for Adventure

Feb 4–25 | with Kristi Romo

In this class, we will focus on how to create interesting characters by examining some of our favorite heroes and villains to see what makes them so memorable; we will learn what essential qualities they possess as we work to create our own original characters.

Sense of Adventure Lisa McClintick
ADULT CLASS: Capture a Journey

Feb 6 | with Lisa Meyers McClintick

Join award-winning travel writer Lisa Meyers McClintick for this three-hour celebration of adventures both near and far. We’ll look at what elements come together for the most memorable and entertaining essays from some of the country’s best travel writers and authors.

Sense of Adventure Sarah Winn
ADULT CLASS: Natural Wonder—Poet as Scientist

Feb 10-Apr 7 | with Sarah Ann Winn

In this class, we'll consider the necessity of wonder and close observation to the poet and the scientist. We'll read and write poems of winged creatures and water dwellers, underwater volcanoes and melting glaciers.

Sense of Adventure Creatures Monsters
EVENT: Monsters and Creatures with Matthew Kessen

Feb 12, 7 p.m. | with Matthew Kessen

Monster expert Matthew Kessen, the writer and performer of "Reverend Matt's Monster Science," will begin this online session with a short talk and presentation. And then we will allow the audience to pick from a list of creatures and ask Kessen a series of hypothetical questions.

Sense of Adventure Aimee Nezhukumatathil
ADULT FEEDBACK CLASS: Writing the Outdoors

Feb 21 | with Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Using strategies inspired by birdwatching and gardening, this genre-blurring workshop is for all levels of electric writing about nature and the outdoors. Students will give and receive feedback on up to 3-5 pages of writing and leave the class with notes for revision, expansion, and improving their craft.

Sense of Adventure Big Ideas
Big Ideas: Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Carolyn Finney

March 5, 4 p.m. | with Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Carolyn Finney

Many of us in Minnesota revel in the joys of getting outside but the "great outdoors" isn't necessarily as transcendent, as universal, or as one-size-fits-all as it's often been portrayed. Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Carolyn Finney join us for this Big Ideas conversation on the ways our racial identities shape our relationships to the natural world.

Sense of Adventure Anne Elliott
ADULT CLASS: Gallery View—Experiments in Narrative Ekphrasis

Mar 10–Apr 21 | with Anne Elliott

Ekphrasis—the literary response to visual art—often takes the form of poetry, but this class will be geared toward generating narrative prose and/or hybrid texts. All levels of experience are welcome; the goal is to think like a beginner, take risks, and discover new approaches to the page.

Sense of Adventure Aegor Ray
ADULT CLASS: Crafting Poetry from Nature and Space Documentaries

Mar 13 | with Aegor Ray

In this class, we will generate poetry using nature and space documentaries including selections from Blue Planet, The Planets, and Planet Earth. This class will expand your sense of lyrical and conceptual adventure without leaving the comfort of your home.

Sense of Adventure Emily Wolahan
ADULT CLASS: Surprise! How Taking Chances Can Invigorate Your Poems

Mar 19–Apr 23 | with Emily Wolahan

Taking chances, common in experimental writing and art, has a lot to offer writers—even non-experimental ones. Experimentation doesn’t mean changing how you write—it means finding a more full understanding of who you are as a writer and where you can go.

Upcoming Themes

Winter 2021 (Jan–Apr 2021): A Sense of Adventure

Fall 2021 (Sep-Dec 2021): Outside My Window

Winter 2022 (Jan-Apr 2022): Reemergence/Renewal

Fall 2022 (Sep-Dec 2022): Fellowship

Winter 2023 (Jan-Apr 2023): Homage/Tribute

Previous Themes

Fall 2017 (Sep–Nov 2017): Vigilance

Winter 2018 (Jan–Mar 2018): True North

Spring 2018 (Mar–May 2018): To Be Honest

Fall 2018 (Sep–Dec 2018): Fairy Tales

Winter 2019 (Jan-Apr 2019): Needs

Fall 2019 (Sep-Dec 2019): If

Fall 2020 (Sep-Dec 2020): Choice and Chance

Not Finding What You're Looking For?

The Loft has dozens of other classes, events, and opportunities. Find out below.