Norita Dittberner-Jax and Jill Breckenridge read from "Stopping for Breath" and "Sometimes"
Two award-winning Minnesotans read from their fourth books of poems.
Norita Dittberner-Jax is an award-winning poet and essayist whose work has been widely published in small presses. “These are the poems of a woman who has learned that ordinariness is the stuff of most lives and that a poet's difficult task is to illuminate that ordinariness without distorting it,” says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Stopping For Breath is Dittberner-Jax’s fourth book of poems. Her earlier collections of poetry include The Watch (Whistling Shade Press) and What They Always Were (New Rivers Press) which won the Minnesota Voices Competition and was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award. Pudding House published her chapbook of poetry, Longing for Home. Dittberner-Jax is featured in the anthology 33 Minnesota Poets, as well as To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-territorial Days to the Present. Her long essay, “The Power of Stone,” was published in 2012, in the national magazine of spirituality and art, Stone Voices.
Norita is a native of Saint Paul. She taught in the Writers-in-the-Schools program, the Perpich Center for the Arts and, until recently, worked as a literacy consultant for Saint Paul Public Schools.
Hailed by William Stafford as a poet whose work “loads the reader with… truly trenchant emotional epiphanies,” Jill Breckenridge has published three books of poetry: How To Be Lucky won the Bluestem Award, judged by William Stafford; Civil Blood was nominated for the American Library Association’s Notable Books of the year. Her third collection, The Gravity of Flesh, won a 2009 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. Jill’s memoir, Miss Priss and the Con Man, was published in the fall of 2011. Her latest collection of poems, Sometimes, will be published in October, 2014.