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MN Reads: Duluth's new Poet Laureate in his first interview!

©Gary Boelhower

Duluth's newly-minted Poet Laureate  (not even 24 hours yet) for 2018-2020 shares his thoughts on making poetry "more a part of the everyday fabric of Duluth": everything from replacing new-business ribbon-cuttings with some poetry read to reflect on community, to starting city council meetings with a poem, perhaps, related to one of the agenda items.

HOMELAND POETRY when I become head of homeland poetry or director of the department of natural poetics or czar of the world bank of words I will create an army a loosely confederated slightly crazy army of lyrical liars trying to tell the truth who march out of step question every command give out poems and lunch vouchers at the bus stops wander the streets listening how the tenderness of the heart tells its story we will lurk in the shadows made by the full moon we will have uniforms of every color and cut yellow silk red satin cobalt corduroy tutus and togas short shorts and bell bottoms some will be tunics tailored for star catching or tight jackets of rhyme and meter or long duster coats of leather and thirst all embroidered with the shapes of birds and smeared with the blood of the lost and the found we will have weapons wonder sharpened to the edge of dawn improvised explosive laughter questions strapped to our bodies megatons of ammo metaphor to rearrange reality and demolish the temples of scarcity mushroom clouds of prayers rising

 

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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