February 13th, 2012—The Saint Paul Almanac is pleased to announce the fourth in its 2011–2012 season of acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams, which celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota’s capital city.

The "Poetry & Comedy" Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Monday, February 13th, 2012 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul. This presentation of the eclectic series, presented by Alexander Wanna, features Marlene Moxness and Andrew Cahak.


For as long as I can remember, poetry and comedy have both shared a large chunk of my brain. In turns, I have occupied the majority of my waking hours with thoughts of stanzas and sestinas, of punch lines and premises — perhaps a fair explanation for my general solitude.What is surprising when I look back is how little these two art forms have come in contact with each other in my life. While both work in that particularly stressful conceit of seeming to require precision and scarcity of language, both are more than happy to allow rambling, trailing language to shine through. Both pay particular attention to rhythm and pattern, and require a dual line of thought toward content and vocal presentation when read aloud. (Other connections, such as the preponderous amount of practitioners of both arts who suffer from alcoholism, are probably coincidental. Probably.)

It is such a pleasure, then, for me to pull from both worlds for my Lowertown Reading Jam. In "Poetry and Comedy," we will be pulling from both the Twin Cities stand-up comedy and poetry scenes (with some crossover of the two) to hopefully gain a further understanding as to why we drop our brows to laugh, raise our noses to appreciate verse, whether or not we really do those things, whether I am simply in the business of building and tearing down straw men, and, I don't know, maybe we'll all get high-fives out of it.


ALEXANDER WANNA is a man about town in these here Twin Cities. He has been published in the University of Minnesota's Ivory Tower and the Saint Paul Almanac.Currently you can see him cutting up bread for you at a local grocery store. Less embarrassingly, you can see him performing stand-up all around the Twin Cities (he does not get paid for this). He lives in South Minneapolis.

MARLENE MOXNESS is a writer, stand-up comic, and trivia hostess from Minneapolis. She earned her B.A. in English at the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in the Albion Review and numerous times in the Ivory Tower. Villanelles make her think of sinister mustaches.

ANDREW CAHAK was born in central Wisconsin and lived in suburban Iowa. He went to college (full time) and had a job (full time) and wrote and made art (part time). In the present: Andrew Cahak lives in Minneapolis, works (full time), and continues to write, perform stand-up comedy, and make art (part time [unfortunately]). In the future: Andrew Cahak may live in different places. He hopes to have a job (part time, if necessary) and will continue to write and make art (full time, if possible).


Now in its sixth edition, the Saint Paul Almanac features essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, bars, restaurant, theaters, and other cultural venues within a datebook format. Available in full color for the first time and—another first—includes gorgeous, hand-drawn, poster-size, pull-out maps of the City of Saint Paul and Downtown!

The 2012 Almanac features 129 stories and 180+ photos. Contributors include literary giants, everyday residents, students, journalists, new Americans, and lovers of Saint Paul who live in other corners of the world. Information on upcoming events, how to make a submission, and other Saint Paul Almanac news is available at saintpaulalmanac.org

The 2012 Saint Paul Almanac sells for $17.95 online (including S&H) at saintpaulalmanac.org and is available for $14.95 in independent and mainstream bookstores everywhere, as well as at libraries and coffee houses throughout the city.

Saint Paul Almanac's generous partners and sponsors include the City of Saint Paul's Cultural STAR program, McKnight Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), Lowertown Future Fund, Saint Paul Foundation, Mardag Foundation, F.R. Bigelow, Minnesota Humanities Center, Traveler's Employee Arts and Diversity Committee, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, SPPS, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Black Dog Café, Clouds in Water Zen Center, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and KFAI.

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