The Saint Paul Almanac is pleased to announce the fourth in its 2012–2013 season of acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams, which celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota’s capital city.

The “Nuevo Mestizos” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul. This presentation of the popular and eclectic series, curated by Louis Alemayehu, features performances by Emmanuel Ortiz, Leo Lara, and Louis Alemayehu.

Watch SPNN’s video

About the “Nuevo Mestizos” Lowertown Reading Jam

We will explore through song, story and spoken word some of the ideas of Gloria Anzuldua as to what it means to live in the border lands of culture, race, sex, class and nationality. There is a visionary identity that connects us to the world, ecologically, spiritually, politically, culturally in a new way… Nuevo Mestizos.

About the Performers

Louis Alemayehu
Louis Alemayehu

Louis Alemayehu is a writer, educator, administrator, poet, father, grandfather, performer, and activist of African and Native American heritage. Louis is a cofounder of the Native Arts Circle, the oldest Native American artists organization in the Upper Midwest. In 2003, the Headwaters Foundation gave Louis an award for life-long commitment to social justice. Currently, Alemayehu’s work focuses on teaching, writing, performance, mentorship, community organizing, charter schools, and organizational development. Samples of his Ancestor Energy CD, AllWhere, can be heard online at cdbaby.com. Today, Louis works deeply across multiple cultural communities. Alemayehu is the director of the poetry-jazz ensemble Ancestor Energy and the winner of an Urban Griot Award in 2009.

Emmanuel Ortiz
Emmanuel Ortiz

Emmanuel Ortiz is a Latino writer and community organizer recently returned to Minneapolis after a seven-year absence. He is a founding member of Palabristas: Latin@ Wordslingers, a Latina/o poets collective based in Minnesota and the founder & organizer of Guerrilla Wordfare, bringing together artists of color to address issues of socio-political importance in our communities. He has authored two books of poetry: The Word Is a Machete, and Brown unLike Me: Poems From The Second Layer Of Our Skin. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, and he has performed his work across the country.

Leo Lara
Leo Lara

Leo Lara is a native of Ecuador—of African and Indigenous descent and has played music professionally since 1971. In 1979 Lara began working in Minnesota as a performer and educator of South American folkloric music. Each year, he performs in various venues and conducts residencies in a many Minnesota schools. Lara interprets the traditional songs and rhythms of Latin American countries using a wide variety of authentic instruments, including the charango, cuatro, bombo, quena, panpipes, and many others.

About the Saint Paul Almanac

Now in its indispensable seventh edition, the 2013 Saint Paul Almanac is both a friendly guidebook to Minnesota’s capital city and Saint Paul’s eclectic community storytelling book of record, featuring essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, bars, restaurants, theaters, and other cultural venues within a datebook format. Buy it now.

Available in full color, the 416-page 2013 Saint Paul Almanac includes over 160 photos and illustrations; gorgeous, hand-drawn, poster-size pull-out maps of the City of Saint Paul and Downtown; and pull-out artwork by Ta-coumba Aiken!

A successful experiment in democratic publishing, the 2013 Almanac brought together a multigenerational group of 21 community editors to choose 132 pieces by 114 writers—without the editors knowing the authors’ identities—from hundreds of submissions.

High school students’ work appears alongside writing by grandparents, and first-time writers appear next to Saint Paul literary greats such as Garrison Keillor and Patricia Hampl.

Every person’s story is one unique part of a larger puzzle. When pieced together with all the other stories in the Saint Paul Almanac, the book transforms into a magical overview of Saint Paul’s interwoven cultures and communities, a tapestry of neighborhoods and favorite haunts.

The 2013 Saint Paul Almanac sells for $17.95 online (including S&H) at www.saintpaulalmanac.org and is available for $14.95 in independent and mainstream bookstores everywhere, as well as at libraries and coffee houses throughout the city.

Saint Paul Almanac‘s generous partners and sponsors include the City of Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR program, McKnight Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), Minnesota State Arts Board, Lowertown Future Fund, Saint Paul Foundation, Mardag Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Traveler’s Employee Arts and Diversity Committee, Knight Foundation, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS), Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Black Dog Café, Clouds in Water Zen Center, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and KFAI.

Location & Directions

The “Nuevo Mestizos” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul.