Bridges Reading series Featuring writers from the Southern Minnesota Poets Society
“April is National Poetry Month, so it is fitting to feature a writing collective for this month’s Bridges reading,” says Host/Curator Stan Kusunoki. “It also gives us a chance to hear writers outside of the Twin Cities Metro area as the focus will be on the Southern Minnesota Poets Society.”
Featured poets include:
Derek Liebertz writes poetry to counterbalance his work in website development; he wants "Software Poet" on all future business cards. He is a 16-year member and current president of the Southern Minnesota Poets Society. From 2015-19 he sat on the board of Mankato's arts cultivation council. For 9 years he curated an ekphrastic photo/poem exhibit called "Image and the Word". His latest focus is the Mankato Poetry Walk & Ride, which starts with an annual poetry contest and ends with winning entries printed on metal signs and installed along local bike trails.
Jana Bouma’s poems have appeared in journals including Natural Bridge, The 2River View, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and San Pedro River Review, as a text in David Kassler’s Choral Song Cycle on Texts of Minnesota Poets, and on sign posts as part of the Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride project. She lives in southern Minnesota and works as an academic advisor for first-generation community college students. Previously, she taught English at the University of Nebraska.
River Place Press published Susan Chambers manuscript "Good Thunder, Blue Earth" in 2016. “Family Law” received Honorable Mention in the 2010 NFSPS Stevens Manuscript Competition. She won NFSPS Grand Prize twice ($1,500 and $1,000), 2nd place ($500) in 2019, and second places in the Blackberry Peach Performance Poetry Award in 2017 and 2018
Deborah A. Goschy is a member of Southern Minnesota Poets and the League of Minnesota Poets. She has had work published in Encore: Prize Poems 2020, The Martin Lake Journal, and The Moccasin. She recently had a poem accepted by the Poet-Artist Collaboration at Red Wing Arts, and that exhibit runs from April 30th through June 19th.
Ben Unseth loves poetry and has recently moved from Southern California to Mankato, Minnesota. He has made a living by teaching and by leading nonprofit organizations. His books—not poetry—include Wisdom, Courage, John Paton, The One-Minute Bible, and The Big Book of Games and Activities for Young Children.
Ronda Redmond lives and works in St. Peter Minnesota. She is a writer, mother, activist, and community arts advocate. Her work has appeared in Permafrost, Red Rock Review, New Delta Review, and other journals. Her first collection of poems, Said the Old Widow to the New, was published in 2020
Henry Panowitsch has won poetry awards in the League of Minnesota Poets Competition, National Federation of State Poetry Society Competition and has poems placed on the Poetry Walk and Ride in the Mankato. He also has had two poems selected in "Crossings" for a Poetry Artist Collaboration.
Bridges is co-sponsored by Cracked Walnut and Next Chapter Booksellers. According to Kusunoki, the idea of Bridges is to make connections between cultures, sexual identity, gender and age; and to generate interaction between writers of all communities.