Tag Archives: Poetry

Welcoming a Darker Night

Welcoming a Darker Night

Come celebrate the approaching dark night of Winter Solstice with stories, poems, and songs from Diane Jarvi, Lynette Reini-Grandell and Loren Niemi. Drawing on their Finnish roots and American branches, each of them will share a bit of what makes this fallow time the right moment for gathering kith and kin around a fire. As satisfying as  mulled wine, or plates of herring and cheese on hard crackers, the language of gratitude and celebration fills the room.

To register:

  1. Add the number of tickets you want by clicking the ‘+’ button
  2. Click the ‘Get Tickets’ button.
Poetry Open Mic

Poetry- Open Mic Mondays

This is an ongoing monthly series of poetry & spoken word open mics that will take place on the 4th Monday of the month (There will be no poetry open mic for December).

Here’s how it works:
Up to 15 poets. 5 minutes each. Any form. Sign-up will be first come, first serve.

Doors at 6:30, show at 7pm. Please do not park on Hennepin Ave before 6pm as you will get towed!

Check out our ‘Getting Here’ page for parking information.

‘Don’t Go There’ Poetry Reading

American School of Storytelling is proud to host the October 23 poetry reading for the Cracked Walnut Literary Festival!

Doors at 6:30pm, show at 7pm.
Theme: “Don’t Go There”, an evening of risky & dislocating poetry
Free event!

‘Don’t Go There’ Poetry Reading


Poets: Hal Madderom, Peter Stein, ​Micah Ruelle, Howard Lieberman, & Diane Pecoraro

We will have five readers and an open mic after, books for sale, snacks, and wine. Mary Schmidt from the League of Minnesota Poets will be there!

The Cracked Walnut Literary Festival begins Sunday, October 1st, 2023 and will continue throughout the month of October, with 17 events across the Twin Cities.

For more information visit the Cracked Walnut Literary Festival website.

First Night

So, we did a thing. American School of Storytelling has secured a space for onsite, in-person classes and oral performance. On Friday, August 18th, doors will open at 6:30pm for a “soft” open reception with some stories, poetry, music and cake. Make it if you can make it.


We have a powerhouse performance lined up for opening night at the American School of Storytelling! Storyteller Laura Packer, Poet Sarah Degner Riveros, Singer Monica Cortes, Poet Clarence White, and Storyteller Jim Stowell.

Friday, August 18th 7:00 PM.  1762 Hennepin Avenue S. Minneapolis.

Free but donations to support our performance series, appreciated.

Do not park on Hennepin Ave before 6pm!

A Poetic Quartet For the Blank Verse Reading Series

The American School of Storytelling is curating a poetic quartet of Janna Knittel, Christine Mounts, Loren Niemi and Diego Vazquez Jr. for the Blank Verse reading series at the Anoka County Library (711 County Road 10 NE Blaine, MN 55434) on Thursday, July 20, 2023, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.

Sponsored by League of Minnesota Poets and Cracked Walnut, this evening which is being organized by the American School of Storytelling will offer a diversity of old school and new styles and content from four exceptional performers. The American School teaches narrative forms, both online and in person, as well as producing regular storytelling and spoken word performances.



Diego Vazquez Jr is a poet, writer, editor. On YouTube he is “Trainwreck Poet”. Many videos of train travel, not much poetry: www.youtube.com/@TrainwreckPoet

Janna Knittel is the author of Real Work (Nodin, 2022), a finalist for the 2023 Minnesota Book Award in poetry and the chapbook Fish & Wild Life (Finishing Line, 2018). Janna has also published poems in Blue Mountain Review, Constellations, North Dakota Quarterly, Pleiades, The Trumpeter, and The Wild Word as well as the following anthologies: Waters Deep: A Great Lakes Anthology (Split Rock, 2018); The Experiment Will Not Be Bound (Unbound Edition, 2023); and Broad Wings, Long Legs: A Rookery of Heron Poems (North Star, forthcoming 2023).

Christine Mounts is an IT professional by day and a poet by night. She writes and travels as much as a working schlub like her can manage. She is the author of Book of Snark: Wit & Wisdom for the Angry Professional Woman on the Bus, published October 2020. She co-founded the American School of Storytelling in 2021. She is a winner of the 2022 University of St Thomas Environmental (In)justice in Mni Sóta Maḳoce storytelling contest.

Loren Niemi began as a child fibber but soon realized he was less interested in lying than he was in improving the truth. He is still at it, as a poet, author and innovative storyteller whose work includes a 2020 Midwest Book Award winning story collection, “What Haunts Us”, and two poetry chapbooks, “Coyote flies Coach” and “Vote Coyote!” His new poetry memoir “A Breviary for the Lost” is available now. He is also the founder of the American School of Storytelling and its CSO (Chief Storytelling Officer). More at: www.LorenNiemiStories.com

Jules Nyquist & John Roche @The Briar

May 3- Jules Nyquist & John Roche @The Briar

Doors at 6:30 PM, Performance at 7:00 PM, Free event!
The Briar 1231 Washington Street Northeast, Minneapolis, MN

2021 NM/AZ Book Award WINNER. Atomic Paradise explores the nuclear history and the dawn of the atomic age. This collection of poems focus on the author’s experiences living in New Mexico, a land of incredible beauty, that is in the heart of the nuclear military/industrial complex. Atomic Paradise takes us from the author’s experience growing up in the Cold War, to reflections on the Manhattan Project, and poet/physicist Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. These poems also explore Hiroshima and the dropping of the bomb, the spread of nuclear weapons throughout the world and nuclear tourism, and the fallout of the nuclear industry in New Mexico. The Japanese internment camps in Santa Fe and the Trinity Site are included along with nuclear waste and the environment in the Southwest. Throughout are the author’s personal observations to make this huge topic of the nuclear war and the resulting nuclear industry a bit more human, and very relevant.

Jules Nyquist is the founder of Jules’ Poetry Playhouse in Placitas, New Mexico. Born in St. Paul, MN, she took her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College, VT. Jules reads from her NM/AZ Award-winning Atomic Paradise, exploring the nuclear history and dawn of the atomic age, the Manhattan Project, and growing up in the Cold War. She has been interviewed by NM Entertainment Magazine and MN Reads. More at: www.poetryplayhouse.com

John Roche lives in Placitas, New Mexico, helping Jules Nyquist run Jules’ Poetry Playhouse and edit Poetry Playhouse Publications. He taught Literature and Creative Writing classes for decades at various colleges, and was formerly President of Just Poets in Rochester, NY, member of the board of BOA Editions, chief organizer of the Black Mountain North Symposium, and an instigator of the annual Cloudburst Council poets’ retreat in the Finger Lakes. Along with editing the five-volume Poets Speak series and other anthologies (including Mo’ Joe), his own poetry collections include On Conesus, Topicalities, Road Ghosts, and The Joe Poems: The Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet. His most recent book is Joe Rides Again: Further Adventures of Joe the Poet (FootHills Publishing 2020).

John’s Books at PoetryPlayhouse.com
Poets Speak Series


The Briar

@ The Briar- National Poetry Month

@The Briar April 12 – National Poetry Month Reading

Doors at 6:30 PM, Performance at 7:00 PM Central, Tickets $10 at the door
The Briar 1231 Washington Street Northeast, Minneapolis, MN

April is National Poetry Month! Join American School of Storytelling Co-founder Christine Mounts with poets Wendy Brown-Baez, Sarah Degner Riveros, and Diane Pecoraro as they read original poetry that will blow your socks off!


Poetry Readings as Performance- Free Event!

April is National Poetry Month and you can get ready for it with “Poetry Readings as Performance”, a two hour in-person workshop on reading your poetry (and prose) as if it mattered. The focus is on the orality of spoken words and some simple techniques to help you be a better presenter of your own work.

  • Taught by Loren Niemi
  • Dates: Wednesday March 28
  • Time: 7pm Central Time
  • Format: 90-minute, in-person
  • Cost: FREE!

Birds Nest Poetry

Join The Founder Loren Niemi for the November Birds Nest Poetry as he reads from his newest poetry collection, ‘A Breviary for the Lost: Poems from the During and After’.

What is prayer if not the acknowledgement of one’s relationship to the Divine? What is poetry if not a kind of prayer that rises from the heart in image and metaphor? What is this book if not the poems offered up as testimony to the author’s relationship to the Divine?

From his entry into the religious life in 1965 to the 2020’s pandemic pause, these are intimate prayers, images of life lived in times of transition, and metaphors of how one understands what it means to be human.

Loren Niemi’s newest poetry collection, “A Breviary for the Lost: Poems from the During and  After” from Calumet Editions, is now on sale.

The Briar

@The Briar- Taxi Stories

January 11th – Hardy Coleman, Loren Niemi and Scott Vetsch @The Briar

Doors at 6:30 PM, Performance at 7:00 PM Central, Tickets $10 at the door
The Briar 1231 Washington Street Northeast, Minneapolis, MN

An evening of funny and not-so-funny taxi stories and poems from three guys who have driven cab in Minneapolis. Here’s a  bit about Scott Vetsch followed by a little about Hardy Coleman:

Scott Vetsch has bees in his bonnet, often hearing things wrong, which sometimes makes them right. He’s a carpenter who works in old houses, a child in a man’s body, a soul in exile. He likes a good story, whichever way it comes, loves cats and crows, inhabits worlds of his own making. He’s afraid things aren’t getting better, but hopes he’s mistaken. He burns wood, craves hamburgers, and eats tofu, scoffs at money, envies the contented, and drives a truck. When he’s happy he wants beer. When he’s sad, he wonders why. He knows one thing for certain, he’s a writer in a post-literate world.

Hardy Coleman drove taxi for 8 1/2 years, until Covid and skanky customers forced him to quit.  (He did, however, get his wife driving cab.)  He’s been writing stuff longer than that.  He’s been making up stories since he was in grade school and needed a way to scare his younger brothers and sisters.