Visitors filled the Depot Gallery at Red Wing Arts over the weekend to listen to some of their favorite poets. 

The last of the weekly poetry readings, as a part of the Poet Artist Collaboration, took place on Sunday. 

Poets that read from their collections included: Vicky Lettmann, Mim Kagol, Sara Dovre Wudali, Mary Junge, Suzanne Swanson, Annie Breitenbucher.

This reading also differed from the others, musician Kristen Ford performed her original composition that was featured in this year’s collaboration. 

Ford lives in Red Wing and has served on the Red Wing Arts board since 2017. 

Ford has been practicing as a cellest since she was 10 years old. She recently performed as a member of the St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra that is based in River Falls. 

According to her bio from the Poet Artist Collaboration, “Since 1991 she has owned and operated Focus Design, a creative design firm working with small businesses and nonprofits to elevate their branding and marketing.”

Ford was able to compose a song based on one of the poems featured in the Poet Artist Collaboration. 

“The poet artist collaboration offered her an opportunity to stretch her creativity beyond Adobe software into her first composition she named ‘Wild Calling’ based on Judith Feenstra's poem ‘The Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park,’” he bio states. 

The Poet Artist Collaboration has been a longstanding tradition, Red Wing Arts recently took on the collaboration in 2020. 

“Today, the event is as strong as ever and continues to give poets a much-needed opportunity to share their work,” Red Wing Arts stated in this year’s collaboration chapbook. 

“It’s a wonderful way for artists to connect with artists from different disciplines. Both minds are expanded: the poet who shares their words as art and the artist who uses their craft to interpret the words,” they continued to say. 

The exhibit is on display until June 18.

The Poets

Sara Dovre Wudali 

Wudali is from Sain Paul and grew up in southwest Minnesota. She has been a writer and editor for many years and her poems and essays have been published in many literary journals. Some include under the gum tree, Blood Tree Literature, North Dakota Quarterly, and the Saint Paul Almanac. Wudali is the co-editor of the hybrid anthology chapbook “All You Need Is One Avocado.”

Suzanne Swanson 

Swanson is involved in a variety of poetry projects. She is a retired perinatal psychologist. She is the winner of the loft Mentor Series and helped found the Laurel Poetry Collective. Swanson authored House of Music and the chapbook What OtherWorlds: Postpartum Poems and she is the co-editor of All You Need is One Avocado.

Annie Breitenbucher

Breitenbucher lives in Minneapolis. “In a former life her articles about running and triathlon appeared in the Star Tribune newspaper,” he bio states. Her work has been seen in online magazines and many anthologies. 

Vicky Lettmann 

Lettmann is from the coast of North Carolina. She is a writer and editor and has published three poetry collections: The Beach, What Can Be Saved, and Listening to Chopin Late at Night. She spent many years teaching college students and is now retired. She co-edited the anthology: “When Last on the Mountain: The View from Writers Over Fifty.” She and her husband John divide their time between Minneapolis and Sanibel, Florida. 

Mim Kagol

Kagol lives in Deephaven, which is a suburb of Minneapolis. “A placed with lots of beautiful old trees, a marsh or two and quiet privacy,” her bio states. “Visitations by animal life occur naturally, and are often considered from a window or doorway.” She hopes that readers will feel invited into her poems in the way she was at their start. 

Mary Junge

Junge lives in Eden Prairie. Her poems have been published and have appeared in journals and anthologies. Junge has two books of poetry:  Express Train, Pudding House Publications, and Pilgrim Eye, Laurel Poetry Collective. She has studied poetry at the Loft in Minneapolis and at the Key West Literary Seminar. 

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