U Minnesota Prospectives Weekend

Here's a bad photo I took of one of the Dinkytown murals.

So far I've been too busy to write about my visit to Minneapolis, but I had a great time. I got there on Thursday, and met another incoming student at the airport---we rode the lightrail into the city together, and then split up for a bit (she went to meet her host, I went to the department.)

I met Julie Schumacher (fiction faculty and the current Program Director), and Kathleen Glasgow (the Program Coordinator.) I was nervous, but they were both really friendly, and I was so happy to be there, so I managed to keep it together.

I sat in on a poetry seminar taught by Maria Damon (poetry faculty), called "Poetry: Bodies and Knowing." It seemed like a reading/lit course with a little bit of workshop thrown in. I was lucky, because the current students happened to be reading their work that day.

Some other prospectives showed up and Kathleen took us out for dinner at a little diner in Dinkytown, an area right next to campus. (I love that name, it's so unabashedly ridiculous. And a little research shows that there's an actual Armenian restaurant, which makes me very very happy.)

I was STARVING. It was maybe 6 pm by now, and I hadn't eaten anything yet, just coffee. I ordered a grilled buffalo chicken sandwich, which was actually really tough, but I didn't care. And I had a nice cider beer. Kathleen and my future fellow students (?) were delightful dinner companions.

Next, we went to this event (from the Minnesota MFA site):

First Books

An evening of readings with debut authors Salvatore Scibona, Nicole Johns and Kao Kali Yang.

Thursday, March 26, 2009, 7:30 pm reading, followed by a panel discussion with the authors and editors from Graywolf Press and Coffee House Press. AI Johnson Great Room, McNamara Alumni Center.

Salvatore Scibona is the author of The End, nominated for the National Book Award. The novel takes place in one day during the lives of six carnival workers. Nicole Johns is the author of the raw and engaging memoir, Purge: Rehab Diaries. Kao Kalia Yang's details the trials of her family's journey from Laos to Saint Paul, Minnesota in The Latehomecomer.

After that we walked over to the Kitty Cat Klub, a bar in Dinkytown. I thought the name was borderline creepy---why not avoid the unnecessary k, if you're going to have three words with a k sound in the name of your establishment? I'm just saying.

It was loud and crowded, but the beer was cheap (they had cider on tap!), the decor was funky, and there were sofas at the back. Good times.

I don't think people smoke in Minneapolis? And the streets are all eerily clean. The Mississippi runs right through campus, separating Minneapolis and St. Paul. There were huge chunks of ice in the river. It was sunny, and the snow looked like dust motes, or ashes, when it snowed.

Here's a really bad picture of me in an incredibly un-picturesque spot. It's the only one I got, but take my word for it---most of Minneapolis was lovely.

More soon.


Ms. Sushi said...

Dinkytown? I love it! It's almost too cute.

Karla said...

"Won't you take me DOWN/To DinkyTOWN..." Oh, quit lookin' at me like that. You know you were thinking the same thing. :)

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