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Literary Witnesses

Plymouth's Literary Witnesses program brings renowned authors, poets and journalists to the church for stimulating programs. Bill Moyers, Gary Snyder and Robert Bly have been recent presenters. The series is now in its 15th year.

James Lenfestey read from his memoir Seeking the Cave: A Pilgrimage to Cold Mountain, Sept. 22, 2014. Audio of the reading [MP3]

Pattiann Rogers, a rapturous voice of nature and theology, read from her poetry April 28, 2014. Audio of the reading [MP3]

Kim Stafford read from Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems by William Stafford, poetry by his father that he selected and edited, on Jan. 27, 2014. [MP3] recording of the reading.

Susan Deborah "Sam" King discussed and read from her newest book of poetry, Dropping into the Flower, on Nov. 17, 2013. [MP3] recording of the reading

Prize-winning Zen poet, translator and essayist Jane Hirshfield
read April 15, 2013.

Sherman Alexie, award-winning Native American poet and writer, spoke on Nov. 12, 2012.

Nature poet John Caddy
read on Oct. 22, 2012. Recording of his reading [MP3]

Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota's Poet Laureate, read her own works on Feb. 5, 2012.

Jim Lenfestey, "A View of Cold Mountain through Poetry and Film" Feb. 26, 2012
[MP3] audio of the reading

Marilyn Nelson, Frost Award winner, read at Plymouth May 21, 2012. [MP3] Recording of reading

Literary Witnesses' 10-year anthology

Literary Witnesses is a program of the Fine Arts Board.


Literary Witnesses
Willis and Aliki Barnstone
Oct. 13, 7 p.m.

Four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Willis Barnstone, and his daughter, award-winning poet Aliki Barnstone, will read together for Literary Witnesses on Monday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The free event is co-sponsored by The Loft Literary Center, Rain Taxi Review of Books and Birchbark Books. A reception follows the reading, and there is plenty of free parking.

Willis Barnstone is a poet and translator of astonishing skill and range. Of his latest poetry collection, Andrei Codrescu says, "Willis Barnstone’s new book is a magnetic miracle that draws the solar and lunar magic of his immense learning into the space of marvelous poems. His language joins the mysteries of the sky with the enigmas of the heart in a music unmistakably his own."

In addition, he is a famous translator of volumes ranging from the ancient Greek of Sappho to the works of his friend Jorge Luis Borges, to most recently, the New Testament from Aramaic, of which The Library Journal wrote in 2009, "In an achievement remarkable by almost any standard, and surely one of the events of the year in publishing, renowned poet and scholar Barnstone has created a new and lavish translation—almost transformation—of the canonical and noncanonical books associated with the New Testament."

Aliki Barnstone is also a prominent poet, translator and teacher. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, she is currently chair of the creative writing department at the University of Missouri. Her poetry collections include the The Real Tin Flower and Dear God, Dear Dr. Heartbreak: New and Selected Poems, and Bright Body.

Literary Witnesses is a program of the Fine Arts Board of Plymouth Congregational Church, bringing the nation’s finest poets to the Twin Cities for the past 15 years.





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