Thursday, May 26, 2016

2016 Duluth Dylan Fest Day 5 -- Blood on the Track Express

Poets of the North Country @ The Underground
It's been a great week of Dylan-inspired music, art, poetry and activities here during Duluth Dylan Fest 2016. Tonight is another event for the highlight reels, the Blood on the Tracks Express, from Duluth to Two Harbors and back. Here's a Throwback Thursday peek into what the ride is about.... music, friends, dancing and music. This is one of the most memorable and talked about events each year during Dylan Fest, no matter what the weather.

VERY IMPORTANT REMINDER: The train will board at the Depot this year. Do not stand in line in the rain behind Fitgers.

HERE'S ANOTHER TIP: There is an opening reception at the Duluth Art Institute for Naomi Christenson's exhibition Pattern Conspiracy from 5 - 7 p.m.  Of course if you stay too long you will miss the train. Don't worry though, it takes a little time to board 300 people. The DAI reception is free and looks to be an exceptionally interesting show. Here's Naomi's statement about her work:

Woven into the fabric of reality is pattern. It’s written in our DNA … in fact our DNA is delicate, undulating pattern of information, an amazing combination of form and function. Everywhere you look, whether through a microscope or a telescope, there's pattern. Conspiracy? Maybe. You see it, feel it and live it every day. Pattern gives poetry it’s meter, music it’s rhythm. It dazzles our eyes and moves our hearts. My obsession with this conspiracy leads me to respond in kind, celebrating the patterns I love most and allowing that celebration to move through me and into new expressions of pattern. In the process of observing and creating, I'm able to explore the conspirators and see the beautiful connections we all share.

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Current Duluth Poet Laureate Jim Johnson
Last night's Poets of the North Country event at the Underground was well attended and much enjoyed. Our featured readers were Barton Sutter, Ellie Schoenfeld, Jim Johnson and David Pichaske, each of whom spoke for twenty minutes. Each had stories to share and read from their work. After a short intermission local poets shared briefly, most being the familiar to us who follow this region's rich poetry scene, though as Bart noted beforehand it was not always so. He shared how in the early 80's he and Louis Jenkins would meet somewhere to share their work with one another. How diverse and broad the Northland poetry landscape has become.

The local poets who shared were Gary Boelhower, Jan Chronister, Don Dass, Steve Downing, Phil Fitzpatrick, Julie Gard, Michelle Mathees, Liz Minette, Nicholas Nelson, and myself. Master of Ceremonies Jeffrey Woolverton, who graciously organized the event, closed the evening with a reading of his own.

Phil Fitzpatrick is always a favorite of mine.
The colorful setting made a visually interesting environment. The Playhouse has been performing Chris Monroe's Some Sneaky Sheep and Other Tales. Anyone who knows Chris Monroe's picture books knows that this has been a fun week of shows here in The Underground.

I took lots of notes and there were many great moments, some that made us laugh out loud and some, like Boelhower's "Listen to the Canary" and Nelson's "I Don't Have a Definition," that made us reflective. As time permits I hope to gather a few more thoughts related to this event.

Big thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, and to the writers who enriched us with their sharing. And an additional thanks to Cowboy Angel Blue who entertained us at the afterparty at Karpeles.

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Tonight it's the Blood on the Tracks Express, boarding at 5:30 from the Depot, but there are more events coming that you will want to be aware of. Thank you to the Duluth News Tribune for helping get the word out. Here's a summary of the next three days. We do hope you will join us somewhere along the way.

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ONE MORE REMINDER: Fast on the heels of Duluth Dylan Fest is the annual DuSu Film Festival. Richard Hansen, who hosted the 48-Hour Dylan Fest Film Contest showing Tuesday is exceedingly enthusiastic about this year's offering of films. If you go you will find links to the full schedule from June 1-5. Richard is, by nature, exuberant about film but this year seems especially so. Note: the entire film fest is free, a true love offering to the Twin Ports community.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it!

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