Literary Bridges Reading series
“May Day is a day of many meanings,” says Stan Kusunoki, Co-host/curator of the Literary Bridges Reading Series. “International Workers Day, an ancient European festival marking the first day of Summer, and the international distress call (after the French “M’Aide”)—Expect a bit of all the above in our reading for May.
The roster includes:
Athena Kildegaard sixth book of poems, Prairie Midden, is called "part excavation, part elegy" by Tess Taylor. Kildegaard's poems have recently appeared in or are forthcoming in Ecotone, Colorado Review, North American Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Interim, and elsewhere. She's been nominated for a Pushcart several times and has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Lake Region Arts Council. She teaches at the University of Minnesota Morris.
Peuo Thuy is a 1.5 generation Khmer-American spoken word poet and educator from Lowell, Massachusetts and New York, New York. Her poetry collection, Khmer Girl (2014), is inspired by the traumas of her life, including her family escaping the killing fields of their native Cambodia and enduring the inequities of life as refugees in the United States of America. Peuo is a recipient of the Long Beach Arts Council grant, the 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee for her poem Hasbro Neon Light Brights, and is a founding member of the Cambodian American Literary Arts Association. Peuo was also selected for the Florida Literary Arts Coalition Writers’ Circuit 2018-2019 book tour, and awarded the Critical Refugees Studies Collective grant (2019). Her work has appeared in several online publications, anthologies and magazines. She has also appeared at Harvard Law School, Massachusetts State House, The Big Read/Miami Book Fair, the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival, New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as various junior high schools and high schools in the east coast. She received her Master of Arts degree in Education and is currently an English Language Learner teacher at an elementary school in Minnesota. During her free time she loves to swim, travel, watch movies and television shows, and devour dark chocolate cakes.
Tu the Judoka (Eric Tu) is a spoken word artist living in Midtown Minneapolis. A first-generation Asian-American of Cantonese ethnicity, his family came to the United States after escaping the Vietnam War. He represented MN at the 2017 and 2019 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slams. Tu holds the rank shodan in judo and also a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He speaks four languages (Cantonese, Vietnamese, English, and Dutch) and studied abroad in the Netherlands during his undergrad. His favorite foods are sushi and poke bowls. He loves Sega Dreamcast and lays the smackdown on Jet Grind Radio.
An independent scholar, creative writing instructor and writer, Michael Walsh is currently a Lambda Gay Poetry Award finalist for his latest poetry collection Creep Love, published by Autumn House Press, and is anticipating the upcoming release of Queer Nature, the first ecoqueer poetry anthology, which he has been editing since 2015. His awards include a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship in Poetry, a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship, The Miller Williams Prize in Poetry and The Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. Connect with him at michaeltwalsh.com.
Lee Kisling was born in Iowa which is a place that recurs in his poems frequently. Spent 35 years as an engineer of railroad signal systems, then got a BA degree from Hamline University in creative writing. Has raised two families; dresses badly; plays guitar and violin; writes almost every day in his messy office near Hudson, Wisconsin; has a not very useful but strong belief in destiny; his poems walk that narrow line between large grief and head-shaking comedy. Favorite line from Rainier Rilke: “Who among the host of angels will hear me when I cry out?”