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Teen publishing company Sigma's Bookshelf has been invited to lead a novel writing workshop at Central High School in St. Paul on April 18. In addition to talking about the steps involved in publishing, the event will showcase the work of Henry Mackaman, a Central High School graduate, and the author of The Music of the Soul Lives On. Henry's book includes a collection of stories he had written prior to his death in April 2013 as a result of contracting bacterial meningitis, a rare but deadly disease, while away at college.
Henry's grandfather, David Strand, who published Henry's work, will share his grandson's story with students as part of the event.
Independent Bookstore Day will be celebrated in Hopkins for the first time in a long time this year. As part of the one-day party, which takes place on Sat., April 27, Minnesota Book Award Finalist Maureen Aitken will be reading at Cream & Amber in Hopkins, the Twin Cities’ newest bookstore,
Aitken says she is thrilled to be reading at the new bookstore, which opened this past February inside a 100-year-old refurbished home that was formerly a bridal shop.
“A friend had contacted me to say that she had just been to this amazing new bookstore with a great vibe and a community atmosphere. It was Cream & Amber. Of course I jumped at the chance to support a new, independent bookstore that seeks to build community. I also like that it is owned by two women with a vision. Hopkins is so lucky to have this place. I hope people come out to celebrate.”
Cream & Amber, located at 1605 Mainstreet in Hopkins, is among the hundreds of stores across the country participating in the 2019 Independent Bookstore Day. The first independently owned bookstore to open in Hopkins in more than a decade also serves as a gathering place to enjoy coffee and beer.
The day long party kicks off at 9:15 a.m. on April 27 with a children’s story time, which will include a host of authors that day. At 2 p.m., Minnesota Book Award finalist Maureen Aitken will read from her award-winning book, The Patron Saint of Lost Girls. The short story collection, released in late 2018 by Southeast Missouri State University Press, is set in the Midwest in the 1970 and 80s. The protagonist, Mary, is growing up in Detroit, where the recession hits hard, and jobs are scarce. In a set of linked stories, Mary moves to cities across the Midwest looking for work, all the while learning the healing power of dignity from the true patrons: her community of friends and family who teach her to love better, live fuller, and question power.
Author Maureen Aitken is the recipient of the Nilsen Prize. She has also won the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant, the Loft Mentor Award, an award in Ireland’s Fish Short Story Prize, and a grant from the SASE/Jerome Foundation. Stories in her collection have earned two Pushcart Prize nominations and are widely published. She teaches writing at the University of Minnesota, where she received her MFA degree.
Her most recent essay on grief and writing is in the April issue of Minnesota Women’s Press.
On April 27, Cream & Amber vistors will be able to get a 15 percent discount on all books by Minnesota authors and publishers. The bookstore is one of 29 in Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Passport, which includes bookstore coupons and illustrations by local artist Kevin Cannon.
More information about the Independent Bookstore Day celebration at Cream & Amber is available at CreamandAmber.com/events.