Cracked Walnut- Bridges Reading

What a way to celebrate a new venue than to feature two visiting writers!” exclaims Stan Kusunoki, host/curator of the Bridges Reading series. “I hope this is the beginning of a great partnership with Next Chapter Booksellers, and the surrounding community.”


Bridges was formerly housed at Blue Harbor Center for the Arts, along with sister reading series, Literary Lights, hosted by Donna Isaac. When Kusunoki and Isaac found out last week that the building had been sold, there was a scramble to find a new home for both series. As luck would have it, the time was right for Next Chapter Booksellers to coordinate with the two.


The first Bridges  reading at Next Chapter features two familiar faces in the local writing scene and two visitors:


Tony Plocido is a Minneapolis-born poet who really got his start in Kansas City, MO.   He's got no degrees and frankly hates school. However he's got three books.  The first book, Sucker Punch Wisdom (2012), was done with two other KC Poets -- Jeremy O'Neal & William Peck.  The second book (and first solo project), Aging and Other Side Project (2016), was self published. His third book was released on 9/22/2018 (Spartan Press KC), Felt This so Many Times, has him exploring new types of poetry (for him).   He is the co-host of the Poets & Pints series at Sisyphus Brewery and will become the main host as of March 2019. He currently lives in the West Metro of the Twin Cities.


Jas Abramowitz is a writer, actor, and performance poet. He is originally from Kansas City, MO and spent seven years in Chicago, IL before moving to Jacksonville, Florida in 2015. His poetry performance credits include four years as part of OPUS, a memorized poetry performance group in Kansas City, and is a 3 time winner of Chicago's Green Mill Poetry Slam.


Jeremy O'Neal is a writer, father, Husband, chef and performance poet. He cut his teeth in Kansas City, MO as a musician before evolving into poetry. He was a grinder in the KC poetry scene before ultimately spending three years doing monthly memorized poetry shows with OPUS, a staple of the performance poetry scene. He shares a published book of poetry with Tony Plocido and William Peck titled "Sucker Punch Wisdom".


Lia Rivamonte is the author of the forthcoming poetry chapbook, “Tell Me When You Get There.” She has worked as an actor, an arts features editor, executive director (Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts), is a visual artist, and is doing her darndest to complete a novel for which she has received support from a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant and a MRAC Next Step grant. She currently serves as development manager for Mixed Blood Theatre.


The experience of growing up the daughter of Filipino immigrants in the S.F. Bay Area informs much of Lia’s writing. She is thankful to the Bayless Poets—Alice, Barbara, Carolyn, MaryAnn, Naomi, and Paige—for their support and wisdom. Lia lives in the Little Bohemia neighborhood of St. Paul with her husband, Matt Brown.




Bridges is intended to bring together writers across genres and cultural backgrounds to express themselves, but also build links to each other. The title comes from a performance piece, LANDBRIDGE: THE BERINGIA PROJECT, that Kusunoki did with Jamison Mahto, an Anishinabe performance poet/trickster coyote. Starting with conflicting creation myths, we came to a point where the readers, understood and connected with the commonalities of their histories and cultures. It is the hope of the series that participants will do the same between themselves and audience members.



For more information about events at Next Chapter Booksellers, please contact

Riley Davis--651/225-8989;


A complete schedule of our upcoming events is always available at


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Event date: 
Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
38 S Snelling Ave
Next Chapter Booksellers
Saint Paul, MN 55105