Bao Phi

SHORE: Minneapolis ESSAY by Bao Phi

At The Loft Literary Center, housed in Open Book in Minneapolis, Emily Johnson has gathered poets and writers from as far away as Thunder Bay and as close as Phillips.  They are here for SHORE: STORY, the literary arts segment of her dynamic multidisciplinary project.  There are sons and grandmothers and everyone in-between, reading, and we in the audience are consuming.  Read aloud often enough and you know the audience is a living part of the craft.  While the majority of the poets are Indigenous, there are also other races speaking their hearts and truths.  Everyone’s shoreline is different.  Someone says “sure, why not?” and that attitude strikes me as powerful.  The writers address racial conflicts, talk to their community like a lover, relate a conversation with their child on a bike ride, allude to teaching creative writing to businessmen.