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Northfield Poet Laureate: Home

The Northfield Poet Laureate is sponsored by the City of Northfield and funded by the Northfield Public Library and the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), in partnership with the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission.

Upcoming Poetry Events

Thursday, March 14. Poetry Night: Emily Oliver. Northfield Public Library. 7pm.

Poetry Night

Poetry Night is held each month at either the Northfield Public Library or Content Bookstore in Northfield. Poetry Nights start at 7pm. There are no Poetry Nights in the summer months (June-September). 

2018-2019 Poetry Nights 

September 13: Kai Carlson-Wee (Content). September 29-October 1: Northfield Poetry Festival (featuring Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen). October 1: Bao Phi (Content). October 11: Nicole Borg (Northfield Public Library). November 15: Michael Kleber-Diggs (Northfield Public Library). December: Mary Moore Easter and Lisa Dordal (Content). January: Faribault Poets Larry Gavin, Audrey Helbling, John Reinhard, Peter Allen, and Kristen Twitchell.  February 2019: Christopher Bakken. March: Emily Oliver. April 4: Justin Watkins. May: Daniel Dietrich.

Previous Poetry Nights

2017-2018. October 5, 2017: Leila Chatti (Northfield Public Library). November 2, 2017: Anders Carlson-Wee (Content Bookstore). December 2017: no reading (Winter Walk). February 15: "Civic Poetics" Festival at Carleton: Heid Erdrich, Matt Rasmussen, Anders Carlson-Wee, Gretchen Marquette, Michael Torres, Sun Yung Shin. March 29: Jim Lenfestey (Content). April 5: Andrea Een (poetry and hardanger fiddle at Northfield Public Library). April 23: Rachel Moritz (Content).  April 30: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs (Content). May 7: Danez Smith (Northfield Public Library). May 21: Leslie Schultz (Northfield Public Library). May 31: Mary Moore Easter (Content). 

2016-2017. Freya Manfred (October 2016). Greg Hewett (November 2016). Ken McCullough (December 2016). Richard Broderick (January 2017). Kathleen Roberts (February 2017). Youth Poetry Night: Anna Kochever, Bella Callery, Alondra Pérez, Hannah Pahs (March 2017). Riki Kölbl Nelson and Karen Herseth Wee (April 13, 2017).

2015-2016. Lost Poems of Neruda: a bilingual reading by Cecilia Cornejo and Fritz Bogott (June 2016). Leslie Schultz (May 2016). Kaethe Schwehn (April 2016). Youth Poetry Night: Alondra Pérez, Chris Lazaro, Bella Callery, Anna Kochever (March 2016). Greg Hewett and students (February 2016). Susan Jaret McKinstry (January 2016). D.E. Green (December 2015). Diane LeBlanc (November 2015). Brenda Hellen and Rob Hardy (October 2015).

Poetry Night

Writers Night

Writers Night is an occasional series of juried readings featuring authors from Northfield and the surrounding area. Writers are invited to submit work—up to 3 poems (no more than 3 pages) or up to 750 words of prose—for selection by a blind judging process. Writers whose work is selected are invited to read at the public Writers Night event. Selections from each Writers Night are included in a downloadable (.pdf) journal. From 2004 to 2007, Writers Night and the Writers Night journal were sponsored by the Northfield Arts Guild.

Writers Night Journals

Social Media and Contact Information

Call for Submissions: Writers' Night

Writers Night: Resilience and Sustainability

One of the goals of the City of Northfield’s 2018-2020 strategic plan was to create a “resilient and sustainable” community through the adoption of a Climate Action Plan. To help promote awareness of this effort, writers of both poetry and prose are invited to submit work on the themes of RESILIENCE and SUSTAINABILITY for the next Writers Night sponsored by the Northfield Poet Laureate. Writers are invited to interpret these themes as broadly and creatively as they wish, but special consideration will be given to work that addresses climate change and the environment.

All work will be judged and selected by a panel of local writers. Submissions of up to three poems or 750 words or prose will be accepted through Friday, February 15, 2019. Please send your work as a Word document (.doc or .docx) or in the body of an email to:

poet.laureate@ci.northfield.mn.us

Writers whose work has been selected will be invited to read their work at the Writers Night reading at Content Bookstore at 7pm on Friday, March 1, 2019, as part of First Friday Art Night.

Coming in March 2019 from Michigan State University Press: a new anthology including poems by Northfield Poet Laureate Rob Hardy, Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen, and current and former Poets Laureate from Duluth and Winona, along with other Poets Laureate from the Great Lakes region. 

Undocumented cover
Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice

Focusing on contemporary issues, this text showcases a large collection of regional poets laureate writing on subjects critical to understanding social justice as it relates to the Great Lakes region. Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice includes writing by seventy-eight poets who truly represent the diversity of the Great Lakes region, including Rita Dove, Marvin Bell, Crystal Valentine, Kimberly Blaeser, Mary Weems, Karen Kovacik, Wendy Vardaman, Zora Howard, Carla Christopher, Meredith Holmes, Karla Huston, Joyce Sutphen, and Laren McClung, among others. City, state, and national poets laureate with ties to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin appear in these pages, organized around themes from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide,” calling on readers to act on behalf of victims of social injustice.

Event Photos

Click the image below for the Northfield Poet Laureate 2016-2019 Photo Album