Celebrating Success: The Loft’s Talented Writers and Their Recent Publications

At the Loft Literary Center, we are proud of the incredible achievements and publications of our talented students, teaching artists, and members. Last week, The Loft published our annual report, where we showcased some of the incredible contributions and achievements of the past year. Today, we are highlighting some recent publications and celebrating the accomplishments of these outstanding Loft Literary Center writers. From inspiring poetry collections to gripping memoirs, our community has been busy writing and publishing their works, showcasing their diverse voices and unique perspectives. 

A Treasure Trove of Novels

  • The War Ends At Four by Rosanna Staffa: This highly anticipated debut novel, set to be published by Regal House Publishing on May 10, 2023, follows the riveting story of love, loss, and resilience during wartime. Don't miss Rosanna Staffa's launch reading at Magers & Quinn Booksellers on May 17, where she'll be in conversation with Peter Geye.
  • A Gracious Neighbor by Chris Cander: Selected as an Amazon First Reads pick for June 2022, this captivating novel explores the complexities of human relationships and the power of forgiveness. This marks Chris Cander's fourth published novel and adds to his already impressive literary resume.
  • The Ski Jumpers by Peter Geye: Published in September 2022, this enthralling novel takes readers on an exhilarating journey through the world of ski jumping. With rich character development and vivid descriptions, Peter Geye's writing transports readers to the heart of this thrilling sport.
  • The Take-over Friend by Carol Dines: This engaging young adult novel was published in September 2022 by Fitzroy Press. Carol Dines, a long-time Loft student and teaching artist, has crafted a relatable and captivating coming-of-age story that will resonate with readers of all ages.

Poetic Masterpieces

  • Thoughts from the Oak by Audrey Colasanti: In her debut poetry collection, published in February 2023, Audrey Colasanti weaves together stunning imagery and evocative language. Shortlisted for the Sexton Prize for Poetry and a Semi-finalist for the Walt Whitman Award, this collection is not to be missed.
  • Mizna and Terrain.org poems by Sagirah Shahid: Sagirah Shahid's powerful poetry has been featured in the summer 2022 Etel Adnan tribute issue of Mizna and on Terrain.org. Her work explores themes of identity, love, and loss with a unique voice that captivates readers.
  • The Wet Hex by Sun Yung Shin: Published by Coffee House Press in June 2022, this collection marks Sun Yung Shin's fourth book of poems. A finalist for the 2023 Minnesota Book Awards in both poetry and children's literature categories, her work continues to inspire and enchant readers.

Memoirs That Move and Inspire

  • Half-Life of a Secret by Emily Strasser: In this gripping debut memoir, Emily Strasser takes readers on a journey to uncover her grandfather's secret work building nuclear weapons. 
  • Wild Things: A Trans-Glam-Punk-Rock Love Story by Lynette Reini-Grandell: Published in March 2023 by Minnesota Historical Society Press, this memoir explores the transformative power of love and self-acceptance in a world where societal norms are often challenged.
  • The Wisdom of the Sausage Sister by Cherie Peterson: Set for publication in 2023, this debut memoir explores the heartwarming and sometimes humorous journey of self-discovery and growth. Cherie Peterson crafted her story while participating in the Creative Nonfiction and Memoir Writing Project in 2020.
  • Lest We Forget by Fred Amram and Sandra Brick: A poignant visual memoir based on Fred Amram's experiences as a Holocaust survivor, published in April 2022 by Ram Innovation Publishing. The book is accompanied by a touring exhibit of the art and prose featured within its pages. Fred, who sadly passed away in February, was a fellow in the Loft's 2010 mentor series program.

Children's Literature That Charms and Educates

  • Moving and Grooving to Fillmore's Beat by Rachel Werner: Acquired by Capstone and slated for publication in fall 2023, this kidlit book dives into the inclusive culture and rich music history of the Fillmore District, highlighting the power of community and togetherness.
  • NOT ENOUGH LOLLIPOPS by Megan Maynor: Launched in February 2022 and illustrated by Micah Player, this delightful picture book has been named a Junior Library Guild Selection and earned a Kirkus starred review. Megan Maynor's heartwarming story will enchant kids and parents alike.

Flash Fiction and Short Stories That Captivate

  • Blindness by Mary Carroll Moore: This compelling flash story was a semi-finalist in American Short Fiction's short story contest. Mary Carroll Moore's engaging storytelling and rich characters bring this brief yet impactful tale to life.

Creative Nonfiction, Essays, and Anthologies That Inform and Inspire

  • Groundglass by Kathryn Savage: Published in August 2022 by Coffee House Press, this creative nonfiction work delves into the complexities of human emotion and the intricate connections between people and their environments.
  • Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives by Lyzette Wanzer: This thought-provoking essay anthology, published in November 2022 by Chicago Review Press, explores the deeply personal and cultural significance of hair through a diverse collection of narratives. It was selected as a Library Journal Top Ten Best Social Sciences Book of 2022.
  • Fear and Promise: Remembering the Year 2020 by Evelyn Klein: Published by Kirk House Publishers in March 2022, this reflective work looks back on the tumultuous year 2020, examining its challenges and exploring the lessons learned.

Historical Narrative That Transports and Educates

These outstanding publications are a testament to the dedication, creativity, and talent of the writers within the Loft Literary Center community. We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and look forward to celebrating more of their successes in the future. Make sure to support these wonderful authors by purchasing their books and attending their events. Happy reading!