Neal Karlen, a mentor in Augsburg College’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing program, described the unlikely friendship he developed with music icon Prince in a recent Star Tribune column. Karlen is among an elite group of writers granted in-depth interviews with Prince in the mid-1980s. Over time, discussions between the print writer and the songwriter developed into something akin to friendship, according Karlen.
“I always told Prince I knew he really didn’t consider me a friend, but as one of the few people in Minneapolis who was probably awake, like he always was, in the middle of the night, and was ‘Willing and Able,’ as my favorite song of his is titled, to talk about loneliness and death,” Karlen wrote.
“I even rubbed it in, in the opening of my second Rolling Stone cover story on Prince, published in 1990.
‘The phone rings at 4:48 in the morning,'”
Howling Bird Press, a student-run press run out of the Augsburg MFA in Creative Writing program, is bringing out its first book.
“At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody” was launched as part of the MFA program’s publishing concentration. The book-length poetry collection by Los Angeles-based Marci Vogel, winner of the 2015 Howling Bird Press poetry prize, was chosen from a field of more than 60 from across the nation and was shepherded into print by Howling Bird associate editors Amanda Symes ’15 MFA, Ashley Cardona ’15 MFA, and Kevin Matuseski ’16 MFA.
Visit the Pioneer Press website to read, “‘At the Border’ a first for Minnesota’s Howling Bird Press.”
Howling Bird, a student-run press at Augsburg College, is Minnesota’s newest small publisher. Howling Bird will take flight December 1 with the announcement of the winner of the press’ first National Poetry Prize, according to the Pioneer Press.
The honored poet will receive $1,000 and publication by Howling Bird in a trade paperback. That book will be guided through the publication process, from editing and design to marketing and distribution, by three students in the newly established publishing concentration in Augsburg’s low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. To learn more about the MFA program and its students, read “Augsburg’s Howling Bird press ready to take off” on the Pioneer Press website.
Augsburg MFA in Creative Writing mentor Jack El-Hai recently won the Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction for his book “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII.” El-Hai’s book tells the story of the remarkable relationship between Army psychiatrist Capt. Douglas M. Kelley and the elite of the captured Nazi regime, particularly Hermann Goring. As noted in the Star Tribune, El-Hai’s previous Book Award was for “The Lobotomist.” Visit the Star Tribune website to read, “Winners of the Minnesota Book Awards announced.“
Augsburg MFA in Creative Writing nonfiction mentor Jack El-Hai and author David Lebedoff compared writing styles and personal methods on TPT’s Matters of Fact on March 30. El-Hai is the author of “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist,” and with Lebedoff discussed topics ranging from writers’ block to sources of inspiration and working in coffee shops. Watch Matters of Fact on the TPT website.