Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Emily Johnson is a City Pages Artist of the Year!

Birchbark Books - Wednesday, January 05, 2011

By Alec Soth
We are so excited!

Birchbark bookseller and extraordinary choreographer, dancer, director, writer, etc  Emily Johnson graces the cover of the 2010 edition of the City Pages Artists of the Year. Emily says she is flattered and honored to be selected alongside such locally and internationally recognized artists as Marina Abramovic, Ryan Olson, M.I.A., Alec Soth, Robyn, and Banksy. Alec Soth, world-renown photographer whose work was recently featured at the Walker Art Center, took the cover photo. Emily's latest work, The Thank-you Bar (recently performed at the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis) has been receiving the acclaim of audiences and critics alike. Emily is of Native Alaskan (Yup'ik) descent, which richly informs her creative work.

Find out all about Emily by visiting her website at catalystdance.com.

Have a look at her Press page to read about her selection as a City Pages Artist of the Year, her experience shooting with Alec Soth, and to see some of the alternate cover images.

Check out the Productions page to see video excerpts of The Thank-you Bar, her current work-in-progress Niicugni, and her many previous works (don't miss the video Wingspan 5' 2").

See the Catalyst Presents and Collaborations pages to find out about Emily's collaborations with painter Carolyn Lee Anderson (also a Birchbark Staffer!) and the musical duo BLACKFISH.

Finally, make sure you visit Emily's Facebook page, where you will quickly decide that you Like her. 

Congratulations, Emily! We are so proud of you!

Victim of Narrative

Louise Erdrich - Sunday, January 31, 2010
Our first book and supper club selection was Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro.  I chose the book because I am a great admirer of Alice Munro and because I love short stories.  She never lets me down.  Mordant, ordinary, strange, funny, offhandedly sublime.  The two nights of book club discussion were so much better than I'd feared (as an introvert).  The people who came were tremendous and they had loads to say so I didn't have to carry the conversation at all.  Elation!  And I must say that the dinner by Kenwood Cafe was utterly delicious and left me warm and happy.  But was there too much happiness?  Well, the title is found in the last story of the book -- possibly the last words of a female mathematics genius.   Too much happiness, indeed.

Yet my distress over my addiction continues, and I seek some affirmation that will free me from the endless Aubrey/Maturin series of sea novels about The British Navy, a series well known as the tar baby of narrative (too much boredom?  Alas, no, vertiginous sea battles!  Utterly compelling characters, both male and female)  I've known relationships to founder on these rocks.  Marriages to beat against the lee shore of these novels and succumb.  Once you've started, with Master and Commander (forget the movie), you'll be keel hauled right in and there goes your winter.  You'll be a victim of narrative.

Coming up in May: the publication of Mohamed's Ghosts, by the young old-school prize-winning journalist Stephan Salisbury.  His book is about all of us -- victims of narrative following 9/11.  He cared to think about what was happening to the ordinary people who belong to a mosque, struggle to be American and to follow their beliefs as well.  This is a wrenching and outrageous story of our own shadow country conjured out of fear.

If I can unstick myself from Patrick O'Brian I will let you know how I did it.  I'm going to check out a 12 step sea novel program . . .  

Too Loud A Solitude

Louise Erdrich - Sunday, July 12, 2009
I have trouble writing this blog post because I take it all so seriously.  I still write by hand in art paper notebooks, and am thinking of getting out my old typewriter because I miss typed manuscripts.  Then again . . . I am also thinking of writing  a whole book on birchbark with my teeth.  I do have news of a terrific read.  If you like Borges, Saramago, Kafka, Angela Carter, or writers born in Brno in 1914, who died in Prague in 1987, if you liked Bohumil Hrabal's Closely Watched Trains, or if you have never heard of Hrabal and you love books -- this is your book. 

Too Loud a Solitude, by Bohumil Hrabal.  I read it a month ago.  Then I read it again last night.  Maybe I'll read it again today.  The book is about a man whose job is crushing books.  It is a book about loving books and destroying books, about love and destruction, the crushing of ideas, the drinking of beer.  It is not a long book, but you will read it again and again.  It is a perfect book, I think. 

Besides reading this one book again and again, I've been reading newspapers.  I have been reading lots of newspapers with the awful feeling that the wonderful feel of print under my fingers, the dry snap as you unfold a newspaper, the paging back and forth, the tactile reality of the newspaper, is going to vanish.  So I've suddenly subscribed to several newspapers that I casually picked up every other day at the grocery store.  And all I give people for birthdays now is newspaper subscriptions.  I am doing this not only for the integrity of the news and the selfish feeling of joy I get when unfolding a newspaper, but for the many people I know who rely on completing the puzzles on newspaper pages -- for the lovely Finnish-American-Upper Peninsula Geology Professor I met on the airplane.  He was in his late eighties and had a folded crossword puzzle in his hand.  He was stuck but did not want me to brainstorm on an answer.  He enjoyed looking at his puzzle last thing before he went to sleep, and waking with the answer.  His was too loud a solitude, and puzzles are a friendly noise.

Buy a newspaper today.  Or Too Loud A Solitude.

Louise   

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

Minnesota favorite dog The Transition Handbook British Navy bill mckibben Aubrey/Maturin More Remarkable Trees Unnatural Disasters Botany Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive favorite book Ha Jin President Obama The Game of Silence photography Vic Glover State Troopers incarnation Up Late Again book and dinner club The Blue Sky show your love cafe Remarkable Trees Alan Weisman leaves and snow thanks the most romantic city in the world trees north dakota Czech Writer friends joy Aza monkey in a dryer Catalyst ptsd Mankato Powwow gardens NACDI:All My Relations Hilary Mantel post holiday china euphoria Dartmouth Population Hillary Clinton support Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge 2666 Anishinabe The Wealth of Nature The Ojibwe Victory Gardens knowledge france The Royal Prussian Library devoted customers Birchbark Books aquifer Collective Denial Gryphon Press 350.org World on the Edge Patrick O'Brian twins Nero National Book Award Jim Harrison neighborhood School Gardens language revitalization Keystone XL Easter Island italy Native Arts Philip Roth Green Team favorite tree Fireworks Magers and Quinn graphix This Green World The Resilient Gardener spring Light in August Islam Interview how good looking you are anniversary Wastepaper Keepers of the Trees Anishinabemowin tree books japan Love E.L. Doctorow Brown Dog Small Bookstores as Commons Book Review pilgrims Peak Oil fresh water Afghanistan Gary Clement Too Much Happiness coyote green solstice, Thomas King Peak Water Louise plants Minneapolis Mohamed's Ghosts boarding school adventure Canada post holiday reads ependent The Farmer's Daughter Ojibwemowin Wolf Hall Michael Jackson Nemesis mississippi Education birchbark house series cafe closing William Trevor Crushing Books Poetry Gail Caldwell Ice customers Rare Books Roberto Bolano Alice Munro Climate Change Stephen Salisbury Greenland Let's Take the Long Way Home H2Oil The Porcupine Year thank you friends Beth Dooley Bleak House Anton Treuer local economy Tar Sands Too Loud A Solitude Ojibwe Bill Moyers Journal gratitude buffalo Bohumil Hrabal sweden Native People Dogs The Birchbark House Makoons Pembina Milkweed Press Wendy Makoons Geniusz Chitra Divakaruni ireland Kabul Video city of books Women and Trees Tree Houses germany Empire of the Summer Moon Zombies Chickadee Emily Johnson health care reform peculiar touches of green and gold S.C. Gwynne Kenwood Gardens Kate DiCamillo

Archive