7 p.m.–9 p.m.
Mentor Series Reading with Jennine Capó Crucet and Junauda Petrus
The Loft Literary Center Presents a 2019-2020 Loft Mentor Series Reading with mentors Jennine Capó Crucet and Junauda Petrus and fellows Nicola Koh, Rachel Castro, Jennifer Hildebrandt, and Tara McDaniel.
Nicola Koh (nonfiction) is a Malaysian Eurasian twelve years in the American Midwest, a Christian apostate with degrees from a Calvinist seminary. They hold an MFA from Hamline University and were a 2018 VONA/Voices fellow in fiction. Their work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Sweet: A Literary Confection, Minnesota Women's Press, Southwest Review, the Brown Orient, and others. See nicolakoh.com for more.
Rachel Virginia Castro (poetry) is a Minneapolis-based essayist and poet. She holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her writing has received support from the Ox-Bow School of Art, the Anderson Center at Tower View as a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist-in-Residence, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. She works for the public library.
In 2009, Jennifer Hildebrandt (nonfiction) started a blog when her husband, Bob, was diagnosed with a rare bone tumor at age 42. In the wake of Bob's unexpected death in 2011, eyeballs-deep in grief, Jennifer was accepted to Hamline University's MFA in Creative Writing program. One of her essays, "Jacket," received Honorable Mention in Bellevue Literary Review’s 2017 prize for nonfiction and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2018, Jennifer graduated from Hamline and was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant. Jennifer is also a Pilates teacher and Restorative Exercise Specialist. Currently, she entwines her two passions—writing and movement—into essays that explore the relationships between health, wellness, movement, modern medicine, the natural (and unnatural) world, death and how all is connected. As difficult as it is to write about the death of her husband, Jennifer acknowledges the immense power of art in the healing process, as well as its power to connect and transcend an intensely personal experience to a larger audience and purpose.
Tara McDaniel (poetry) is a poetry teacher and writing coach residing in Minneapolis. Her poetry is forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review, Cutthroat A Journal of the Arts, and RHINO Poetry, and has been featured in Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere. Her prose has been featured in William Paterson University’s Contemporary Writing Blog and The Loft Literary Center’s Writer’s Block Blog. She is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars’ MFA program in Literature and Writing. Her work grapples with trauma, illness, poverty, sexuality, and the female body. She currently judges for the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenges.
Junauda Petrus (fiction) is a writer, pleasure activist, filmmaker and performance artist of Black-Caribbean descent, born on Dakota land. Her work centers around wildness, queerness, Black-diasporic-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, shimmer and liberation. She lives in Minneapolis with her family and is the co-founder with Erin Sharkey of Free Black Dirt, an experimental arts production company. She is currently writing and directing, "Sweetness of Wild" a poetic episodic film series. Her first YA novel, The Stars and The Blackness Between Them, debuted in 2019 on Dutton Children's.
Jennine Capó Crucet (fiction) is the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, winner of the International Latino Book Award and cited as a best book of the year by NBC Latino, the Guardian, and the Miami Herald; and of How to Leave Hialeah, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the John Gardner Book Prize. A Contributing Opinion Writer for The New York Times and a recipient of an O. Henry Prize, she is currently an associate professor at the University of Nebraska. Her essay collection, My Time Among the Whites, was published in 2019 by Picador/FSG.