A Literary Event featuring Dessa, Donte Collins, Maggie Ryan Sandford, and Shane Hawley, with host Jana Shortal and mystery musical guest. Thanks to promotional partner, Pollen.
Each will read and perform their own work: funny, smart, and moving short pieces in a range of styles.
Rapper, singer and essayist Dessa has made a career out of bucking traditional genre designations—her résumé includes rap sets at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury Festival, compositions for choir, and a top-200 entry on the Billboard charts for her newest album, Chime. As a writer, Dessa has been featured in The New York Times, Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, and literary journals across the country. In 2018 Dessa traveled with Minnesota Public Radio and the Minnesota Orchestra to document their tour in South Africa. Her newest book of essays, My Own Devices (Dutton Books, Penguin Random House), is available now. More at: dessawander.com
Donte Collins is a Black, Queer American poet. Named the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Saint Paul, Minnesota, they are the recipient of the 2018 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Spoken Word administered by the Loft Literary Center and winner of the 2016 Most Promising Young Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets. They are the author of the poetry collection “Autopsy” (Button Poetry, 2017) a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. Collins is the recipient of the 2016 Mitchell Prize in Poetry from Augsburg University and are an alum of TruArtSpeaks, a non-profit arts organization based in the Twin Cities cultivating literacy, leadership and social justice through the study & application of Spoken Word and Hip Hop culture.
Maggie Ryan Sandford is a writer/researcher/producer/reformed comedian on a mission to make the world more scientifically literate through creative, research-based media projects. She writes and speaks about evolution, neuroscience, science+art, and science culture. She researches how humans learn about and engage with science, and how to help more humans do so.
Her science writing has appeared in Slate, Smithsonian, National Geographic online, Nautil.us, ComedyCentral.com, the Onion/A.V. Club, mental_floss, and on TV and radio. Her fiction has a appeared in publications including Paper Darts, Revolver, the Indiana Review, McSweeney’s Book of Politics and Musicals and earned the semi-annual Richard Hugo House Founders’ Award and first place in Literary Death Match 100 and Write Fight #1. She is currently at work on a book about evolution (Black Dog & Leventhal).
Shane Hawley is a writer and performer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of ABC Death, a hilarious, macabre picture book about the tricky interactions between humans and animals, published by Button Poetry. A fixture in the spoken word poetry scene since 2001, and a 2010 National Poetry Slam Champion, he has spent the past decade focused mostly on humor writing and shouting jokes at people.
Jana Shortal is a reporter and co-anchor of Breaking the News on KARE 11. Jana began reporting for KARE in December of 2003, just in time for the temperatures to fall below her idea of freezing. Before coming to KARE she worked at Fox4 in Kansas City and KRCG in Jefferson City. She has received five Regional Emmys in her career and is a member of the National Association of LGBTQ Journalists. She loves to run, having been in road races for more than 10 years. She’s a writer as well and says she’s working on making her journal into something the masses will read.