Your next read

Northland, as of right now you are reading “The Cellist of Sarajevo” by Steven Galloway.

The 2008 novel is based on the true story of a cello player who continued to play in bombed-out buildings during the siege of Sarajevo, and it is this year’s pick for the community-wide reading project One Book, One Community.

The read-along, brought to you by the Duluth Public library and other local organizations, will include a handful of book-themed events:

*There will be an author visit and book signing on April 15 at the Spirit of the North Theater at Fitger’s.

* A readers theater adaptation of the novel, directed by Cheryl Skafte, will be performed at 7 p.m. April 26 at Teatro Zuccone.

* Eight photographs by Vesna Pavolvic will be exhibited April 21-24 at the Depot.

* Former state representative Mike Jaros, who grew up in Bosnia and returned to Sarajevo after the siege, will give a first-person account and Alexis Pogorelskin of the University of Minnesota Duluth will provide historical background at 7 p.m. April 7 at the Duluth Public Library.

* Sam Black will direct a string ensemble in a selection of music related thematically to the siege of Sarajevo on March 30 in Virginia and April 13 in Cloquet and Duluth.

* The Virginia, Cloquet and Duluth public libraries will hold tambourine-making events for kids on March 25 and April 8.

Love at the library

So, maybe your Valentine is an artist or a bunch of artists or just art in general.

The Superior Public Library is hosting its fourth annual Love Your Local Artist from 5:30-8 p.m. Friday. This free event features more than 20 local artists — including photographers, quilters, painters, jewelry makers and wood carvers — who will display, talk about and sell their work.

The night includes music, wine, an adopt-a-book fundraiser and a silent auction with proceeds going to the Superior Public Library.

Join Creativity Tank artists at the library

The West Duluth branch of the public library is inviting kids and families to join the Creativity Tank artists for a hands-on art project.

The art teachers from Grand Rapids will be in town at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at 5830 Grand Ave.

Students will make a polymer coloring project based on their own stories, poems and drawings.

The program is free and open to the public.

Fiction: How to

Three lessons this Eh? fill-in writer learned about fiction writing in college: Don’t kill off your main character at the end of the story; don’t claim it was all a dream; break all the rules.

Looking to build on your own personal “It was a dark and stormy night”? Lake Superior Writers is hosting four sessions of “Introduction to Fiction Writing: A Beginners Workshop” from 6-8 p.m. Thursdays, starting Feb. 6, and ending Feb. 27, at Marshall Professional Building conference room, 1301 Rice Lake Road.

Sessions are taught by Felicia Schneiderhan, who has an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and has taught fiction writing at colleges and universities in Duluth and Chicago.
The class is $65 for members and $100 for nonmembers, which includes a membership. Students pay $50.

Contact Gail Trowbridge at gailwill@chartermi.net to register.

Once upon a workshop

The Lake Superior Writers Workshop will hold an introduction to fiction workshop starting Feb. 6.

The workshop will run from 6-8:30 p.m. and will run each Thursday in February, with workshops Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27. It will be in the Marshall Professional Building Conference Room, 1301 Rice Lake Road, and will be taught by Felicia Schneiderhan.

The cost of the workshop for Lake Superior Writers members is $65, $100 for nonmembers (which includes membership), and $50 for students. The number of participants is limited to 18.

For more information or to register, email Gail Trowbridge at gailwill@chartermi.net.

Indispensable America?

A political journalist is set to speak about “The Hazards of Global Ambition” at the College of St. Scholastica on Jan. 30.

Robert Merry, editor of “The National Interest,” will give the talk as part of a series called “Is America Still ‘Indispensible’?” sponsored by the Alworth Center for the Study of Peace and Justice. The series examines America as the “indispensable nation” on the world stage as proclaimed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Merry has spent about three decades in Washington, D.C. as a reporter and editor for various publications, including Congressional Quarterly and the Wall Street Journal. He also has written several books, the most recent of which is “Where They Stand,” a look at U.S. presidents as seen by voters and historians.

For more information on this free event, go to spotlight.css.edu or call (218) 723-7000.

Let’s talk coffee

Coffee is, in the opinion of Eh?, more essential than perhaps any other beverage — outside of water. So naturally, Eh? is curious how it is produced, from bean to cup.

Alakef Coffee Co. is planning a talk at the Duluth Public Library’s Green Room, 520 W. Superior St., at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The free presentation will discuss in detail how a seed turns into the greatest liquid awesomeness ever.

Samples of coffee varieties will be available while supplies last, so wear your coffee-drinking cap.

Lego my library

Does your daughter or son have enough Lego bricks to recreate the Eiffel Tower? Or so many that you keep stepping on them and need a great way to get rid of them? The Duluth Public Library has a solution for you.

The library is calling on the community to donate new or gently used Lego and Duplo bricks and sets to be used in programs for kids and teens.

Especially needed items include Lego and Duplo blocks, people, boards or building platforms (no whole tables please). Sets that are missing pieces are just as welcome. Let’s face it, we’re all missing pieces somewhere.

The library asks that those generous enough to donate bring their gift to the youth services desk at the main library, 520 W. Superior St., or to the circulation desks at the Mount Royal branch, 105 Mount Royal Shopping Circle, or the West Duluth Branch, 5830 Grand Ave.
The library’s first Lego program is set to debut this spring.

Write it up, writers

Lake Superior Writers is looking for writing that addresses the theme “apart/together.” The contest is open to adult-aged fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction writers. Entry is free to group members.

One writer in each category will win $250 and the chance to read during the Lake Superior Writers’ annual spring meeting.

The complete guidelines are available at lakesuperiorwriters.org.

Local history book makes its debut

A committee-driven historical account of Esko and Thomson Township is ready to go.

The 400-page book, “Esko’s Corner, An Illustrated History of Esko and Thomson Township,” began in 2008 as a project organized by the historical society. It was researched and written by a volunteer committee.

The book includes about 70 stories and 160 photos, including nine maps. There are stories about geology, railroads and trails, logging and sawmills, first settlers and dairy farming.

“It was a labor of love for nearly everyone involved,” said Davis Helberg, project chairman and editor.

To pay for the historical effort, more than $35,000 was raised by a fundraising committee headed by Dr. Jack Bergstedt, a retired dentist, and Peter Radosevich, local restaurateur and attorney. The fundraising effort allowed the historical society to keep the price of the book at $25.

The book will be sold by businesses in the area, including Eskomo Pizza Pies, Esko Self-Service, Finn & Feather Hair Designs, Kamari Gift Shop in Cloquet, Hair Designs by Sherri and at Wirtz Service.

Books may be ordered online by going to eskohistory.com or by calling (218) 879-9267.