Good Thunder Reading returns virtually

Amanda Filreis ® Staff Writer |

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series will return this year in a virtual format, allowing users to tune in via their computer screens to nationally known and local authors.

Good Thunder began in 1982 to introduce students and members of the community to new and professional authors.

They sponsor three types of events. The first is the workshop, which offers mini-lessons on writing techniques and practices. The second is craft talks. This is where visiting authors talk about their creative process and answer questions during interactive Q&A sessions. Finally, there are readings where authors read samples of their works.

Although these events in the past were hosted in the Centennial Student Union, they will be held virtually this semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authors lined up to visit campus this semester include poets Ilya Kaminsky and Leila Chatti, fiction writer Kayla Lutes and essayist Erica Trabold. Kaminsky and Lutes are both scheduled to appear Sept. 24. Trabold will be on campus Oct. 15. Chatti will close out the semester Nov. 12.

Lutes, a graduate student at MNSU, is pursuing a master of fine arts degree. She teaches creative writing and co-manages MNSU’s literary magazine called Blue Earth Review.

Kaminsky is currently the editor of the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry and editor-in-chief of Poetry International. His works have received awards including the Whiting Writers Award, the American Academy of Arts; Letters/Metcalf Award and the Dorset Prize.

His other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Macdowel Colony.

Kaminsky will be taking part in a workshop and craft talk the same day as the reading.

The workshop is set to take place from 10-11 a.m. Following this, the craft talk will take place from 3-4 p.m. with the reading finishing the day at 7:30 p.m.

“The lineup is chosen at least a year in advance,” said Candace Black, a faculty member in MNSU’s English Department. “We try to always bring a diverse mix of contemporary writers to our audiences. I’m always on the lookout and consulting with my colleagues for writers with new books coming out. We try to have a mix of genres as well: poetry, short fiction, novels, essays, memoirs, and books for children or young adults.”

As always, Good Thunder events are free to attend. You can sign up for all events online through Google Meet. The links to this can be found on the Good Thunder website at gt.mnsu.edu/event-signup.

Header photo courtesy of Good Thunder Reading Series.

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