Poet and singer-songwriter Diane Jarvenpa to perform at the Blue Heron


Diane Jarvenpa will read from her latest book, "The Way She Told Her Story," on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at the Blue Heron Coffee House, 162 West Second Street, Winona, as part of the Laureate Writers Series. She will also perform some of her songs. The event is free and open to the public. Jarvenpa's performance will be followed by a book signing and an open mic. The theme for the open mic is “Spring.”

Jarvenpa is the author of three previous books of poetry and a chapbook. Her book, "The Tender Wild Things," received the Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Award in poetry. As a singer/songwriter, she records under the name Diane Jarvi. Her recordings are heard on radio throughout Europe, Canada, Australia and the U.S. She has been the subject of two film documentaries and is known in Finland as The Minnesota Nightingale. Jarvenpa has been the recipient of numerous artistic grants and awards, including a McKnight MacPhail performing fellowship and the Finlandia Foundation’s Performer of the Year award. All of her recordings blend the artistry of her songwriting with her love of world music and poetry.

"The Way She Told Her Story," her second book from New Rivers Press, is a collection of poems that illuminates the lives of Finnish-­American immigrants, especially women. Largely set in Finland and Minnesota, this collection provides another square in the quilt of this region’s literary and ethnic history. Author Kristen Dierking said, “While this is a book about the Finnish immigrant experience, it’s also the universal story of loss and hope of all who arrived in this country as strangers. As Jarvenpa says, ‘There is a vagrancy in not belonging.’ Diane wraps the hard labor of forging new lives inside an exquisitely lovely language for landscape; this is nature writing that feels entirely new, perhaps because the bones of this story did originate in a different tongue. Please read these poems — I don’t know when I’ve read a book that is so consistently, achingly beautiful, both in language and thought."

This event is co-sponsored by the Blue Heron Coffee House and the Winona Fine Arts Commission.


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