Melvin Giles

The Saint Paul Almanac presents an evening of “Nurturing the Soil of the Soul: Intentional Acts of Kindness and Peace Are the Seeds of Liberation and Peace,” the season finale of the Saint Paul Almanac’s Lowertown Reading Jam series.

Hosted by Melvin Giles, the Monday, July 5 Reading Jam takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince Street, located across the street from the Saint Paul Farmer’s Market. The evening includes readings and expressions from a local cast of gifted and talented multi-cultural artists including the godmother of peace, Ms. Bertha Givins; KFAI radio show co-host Andy Driscoll of Truth to Tell; spoken word artist Tish Jones, executive and artistic director of TruArtSpeaks; Yer Kong of Paj Ntuab Voice; community activist and urban farmer, Metric Giles I; and performing artists of Saint Paul Central’s Synergy.

Melvin Giles is a peacemaker. He describes himself as a cheerful, anti-racist, peaceful love warrior. Giles serves as a regional peace representative for the World Peace Prayer Society, sits on the board of World Citizen Inc., and is the current vice president of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers. His passions are promoting international peace pole plantings and working and playing in gardens and urban farms. Giles is a member of AfroEco and is on the leadership team of Minnesota Food and Justice Alliance.

Free hors d’oeuvres are served at the Reading Jams, and the Black Dog Cafe offers its “Monday Madness” special featuring a large pizza and bottle of wine or a large pizza and four Summit beer taps for just $20. Saint Paul artist Lara Hanson interprets the readings through drawings using Japanese ink brushes. All Reading Jams are American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted. The first Monday of the month Lowertown Reading Jam series will resume on October 11, 2010.

Coming up on its fifth edition, the Saint Paul Almanac features essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, bars, restaurant, theaters, and other cultural venues within a datebook format. The 2011 Saint Paul Almanac will be released in September of this year and will be celebrated with a release party at the Black Dog Cafe on Thursday, September 16, 6-8:30 p.m. The 2011 Almanac will feature 127 works by 116 writers. These writers include literary giants, everyday residents, students, journalists, new Americans, and lovers of Saint Paul who live in other corners of the world. Information on upcoming events and other Saint Paul Almanac news is available at

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