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Two Rivers Reading Series
The Minnesota Writers Program

The English Department presents two exciting series: The Two Rivers Reading Series on the Coon Rapids Campus, and the Minnesota Writers Program on the Cambridge Campus.

Each semester these series bring acclaimed and award-winning local, regional, and nationally-known authors to campus. Students study these authors’ stories, novels, essays, plays, or poetry in their English or Reading courses. Students then attend the readings in person to meet the author, ask questions, and have their books signed. Readings are video recorded to enable online students access to these events.

The English Division is pleased to offer these events free to ARCC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the general public.  

We have been privileged to welcome the following writers to our campus for readings and discussions of their works and host the following events, all as part of the Two Rivers Reading Series on the Coon Rapids Campus:

Fall 2014

Two Rivers Reading Series at ARCC--Coon Rapids Campus
oet Matt Rasmussen will discuss his award-winning book, Black Aperture, which explores his brother’s suicide from various angles in poems that have been called "transformative" and an "exquisite labor of [. . .] witness." Rasmussen won the Walt Whitman Award and the Minnesota Book Award. He was also a finalist for the National Book Award.


Spring 2014

Two Rivers Reading Series at ARCC--Coon Rapids Campus
Graphic novelist Tyler Page read from and discussed Nothing Better.
Watch his presentation here:

Fall 2013

Two Rivers Reading Series at ARCC--Coon Rapids Campus
Poet Cary Waterman read from her collection, Book of Fire.
Watch her presentation at these two links:
Session 1
Session 2


Two Rivers Reading Series at ARCC--Coon Rapids Campus
Marya Hornbacher read from her memoir, Madness: A Bipolar Life, which discusses the challenges and hopes of living with mental illness.
Here are two videos of her presentation:

Session 1
Session 2

Spring 2013

Two Rivers Reading Series
at ARCC--Coon Rapids Campus
Scott Wrobel, ARCC professor, read from and discussed his short story collection Cul de Sac.
Watch the reading here:


Penumbra Theater Event at ARCC--Coon Rapids Campus
Penumbra Theater presented a reading and discussion of Spunk, a play based on three short stories by Zora Neale Hurston.
Here's the video of the presentation:

Fall 2012

Kate Kysar read from and discussed her poetry book Pretend the World.  The event was exceptionally well-attended, with nearly 200 students in the audience.
Watch Kate Kysar's two sessions at these links:
Session 1 http://youtu.be/s6cYIL7GlVE
Session 2 http://youtu.be/u647Q19eGs8

Diane Wilson discussed Spirit Car, her memoir, which combines fictional stories with historical facts.
Watch her two sessions at the College here:
Session 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re9B5zgRmY4&feature=youtu.be
Session 2:

Spring 2012

Swati Avasthi

Avasthi read from and discussed her new novel Split, a Minnesota Book Award nominee. One reviewer stated that Split is “a great novel, full of compelling characters and a knock-your-socks-off plot.” Split is a New Voices Pick, a Young Adult Fiction Winner (International Reading Association Award), and a Best Fiction for Young Adults Award Winner (YALSA).

Jim Moore

Jim Moore read from and discuss his seventh poetry collection, Invisible Strings. The Star Tribune said about Moore’s poetry, “With his simple poems that celebrate humanity and articulate pain, Jim Moore elevates economy of phrase to an art.” His poems have appeared in numerous publications and journals, including American Poetry Review, The Nation, The New Yorker, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology.


Spring 2011

Wang Ping, the award-winning writer of poetry, fiction, and essays, returns to ARCC to read from her book of short stories, The Last Communist Virgin, a Minnesota Book Award-winning story collection about modern China and the contemporary Chinese-American experience.  See the video of her talk here:

A Reading/Discussion of August Wilson’s play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with Penumbra Theater
Associate Director Dominic Taylor, Education Director Sarah Bellamy, and cast members from St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre Company lead a reading and discussion of this famous Wilson play. 
Additionally, students, alumni, faculty, and staff enjoyed ARCC Day at the Guthrie, where they watched a performance of Wilson’s play and participated in a post-play discussion.
Tracy Youngblom and Richard Broderick Poetry Reading
ARCC faculty Tracy Youngblom read from her collection of poetry titled Driving to Heaven.  Former ARCC faculty Richard Broderick read from his two books of poetry titled Woman Lake and Rain Dance.

Fall 2010

Wang Ping read from her book of short stories, The Last Communist Virgin, a Minnesota Book Award-winning story collection about modern China and the contemporary Chinese-American experience.

Presentation (WMV, 84.2 MB)

Patricia Smith read from her poetry collection, Blood Dazzler, a 2008 National Book Award finalist. Blood Dazzler chronicles the human, physical and emotional toll exacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Presentation (WMV, 135 MB)

Spring 2010

Fiction on a Stick: An Anthology of Minnesota Writers, edited by Daniel Slager.  Several writers
presented at this session:

John Reimringer, stories and upcoming novel.
Sarah Stonich, novels: These Granite Islands and The Ice Chorus.
Diane Wilson, essays and memoir.
Sean Hill, poetry: Blood Ties and Brown Liquor

1:00 PM Presentation (WMV, 87.4 MB)

2:00 PM Presentation (WMV, 84.6 MB)

Fall 2009

Penumbra Theatre Company, Radio Golf by August Wilson
1:00 PM Presentation (WMV, 158 MB

2:00 PM Presentation (WMV, 156 MB)

Sandra Benitez, The Weight of All Things

10:00 AM Presentation (WMV, 88.9 MB)

11:00 AM Presentation (WMV, 85.7 MB)

1:00 PM Presentation (WMV, 79.2 MB)

Geoff Herbach, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg

10:00 AM Presentation (WMV, 89.1 MB)

Spring 2009

Kao Kalia Yang, The Latehomecomer

Heid Erdrich, National Monuments

Single Presentation (WMV, 47.4 MB)

Fall 2008
Penumbra Theatre Company, Fences by August Wilson

Spring 2008
Penumbra Theatre Company, The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

Fall 2007
Lawrence Sutin, Jack and Rochelle

Spring 2007

Ed-Bok Lee, Real Karaoke People
Nicole Helget, The Summer of Ordinary Ways

Fall 2006

Jane Hamilton, Disobedience

Spring 2006

Susan Power, Roofwalker

Fall 2005

Deborah Keenan,
Good Heart 

Spring 2005

Sheila O’Connor, Where No Gods Came

Fall 2004

Anthony Bukoski, Time Between Trains

Spring 2004

Louise Erdrich, Tracks

Fall 2003

Lawrence Sutin, Jack and Rochelle

Spring 2003

Alison McGhee, Rainlight and Shadow Baby

Fall 2002

Diane Glancy, Pushing the Bear

Spring 2002

Mark Vinz, Late Night Calls: Prose Poems and Short Fiction and Minnesota Gothic and Affinities

Spring 2001

Robert Dana, Summer

Spring 2000
Robert Bly, Morning Poems and Collected Poems 

Fall 1999
David Haynes, Right By My Side and Heathens


© 1999 Anoka-Ramsey Community College English Division
Last Revised on 25 March 2014 09:38 AM by Catherine Bean
Please Address Comments to Catherine Bean.