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■ Award-winning author Meissner to speak at BWA festival

Award-winning author Bill Meissner of “Spirits in the Grass” will speak at the Brainerd Writers Alliance (BWA) Fall Writers’ Festival scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Central Lakes College (CLC) in Brainerd.

Meissner, director of creative writing at St. Cloud State University, talk is entitled “The American Compass Traveling Road Show” that will feature a reading from his books of poetry and fiction and his first novel. The author will also offer advice about discovering the writer in you, finding an agent and getting your writing published.

Other Meissner’s novels include “American Compass,” “Learning to Breathe Underwater,” “The Sleepwalkers’s Son” and “Twin Sons of Different Mirrors.”More than 350 of Meissner’s poems are published in national and regional magazines and literary journals. His two books of short stories include “The Road to Cosmos” and “Hitting into the Wind” depict the subtlety of relationships and small town life.

Meissner has won numerous awards for poetry and fiction including a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Minnesota Arts Board Grant, a Loft-McKnight Award in poetry, a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Fiction and five Pen/NEA Syndicated Fiction Awards, including one chosen by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

The festival will include readings by BWA writing contest winners and judges’ comments, presentations by BWA members “Inspiration to Publication.” The names of winning contest entries are Elva Schultz of Brainerd received an honorable mention for her entry “April Fool” in the Creative Non-Fiction category. Registration deadline is Oct. 20. Registration forms are available online at or contact

The activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council. Thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Partnering with Life Long Learning at CLC.

Brainerd native’s movie premiers

Brandon Van Vliet, a native of the Brainerd lakes area, who is a filmmaker in Minneapolis, will present a locally Minnesota made independent film called “Problem Solving the Republic,” a political, comedy, action, musical with super heros.

Diviney Pictures and Restraining Hollywood will present the movie premiere at 9:15 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Twin Cities Film Festival in St. Louis Park. On Nov. 7, there will be a DVD release screening at the St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis.

■ Ruttger’s to host Oktoberfest

DEERWOOD — Ruttger’s will host its 27th annual Oktoberfest Oct. 19-21, with the Harvest Buffet Dinner Show at 6 p.m. Oct. 19, featuring the famous Concord Singers of New Ulm. The Alpensterne band entertains for the second dinner show at 8 p.m.

Open to the public, Oktoberfest will include children’s activities, an arts and crafts fair with more than 150 vendors that is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 20, along with entertainment and music running on two outdoor stages. Musicians include The Concord Singers, Alpensterne, the Wendinger Band, Friendly the Clown, the Teddy Bear Band and lcoal blues musician Lee Bone.

The celebrated Oktoberfest Dinner Buffet will be held Oct. 20, which will include your favorite German specialties. Bay Lake Volksmusikkapelle performs in the Bear Pine Bar while Alpensterne is again on stage in the dining room. After dinner, head upstairs to polka the night away with the Wendinger Band.

Reservations are required for the dinner buffets, but the arts and crafts fair and the daytime events are free. For more information or to make a dinner reservation, call Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge at 800-450-4545.

■ Storyteller shares stories

from Ojibwe culture

CROSBY — Ojibwe Storyteller Anne Dunn will appear at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 23 for a Unlimited Learning visit at Heartwood Senior Living Center in Crosby.

Dunn is an Anishinabeg grandmother and elder storyteller. She is author of “When Beaver Was Great,” “Grandmother’s Gift” and “Winter Thunder: Retold Stories.” She will share stories and discuss why stories are so important to Ojibwe culture.

Dunn grew up in northern Minnesota and in Minneapolis. Her mother, Maefred Vanos Avery and grandmother, Frances Vanos, provided the gift of many of the oral legends and fables as she was growing up. She is a mother of 6, has worked as a newspaper reporter, Indian activist and professional storyteller. She currently lives in Deer River and is often seen sharing her gift of storytelling in schools and libraries throughout Minnesota and as far as France.

This program has been made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota Humanities Center, St. Paul, for Unlimited Learning’s “Absent Narrative Series” and is free to Unlimited Learning members. Non-members pay $6.

For more information about Unlimited Learning membership or programs, visit

■ Runberg’s art on display in county building

Artwork by Diane Runberg will be the featured at the Crow Wing County Community Services building. Runberg’s artwork will be on display through the end of December.

In Runberg’s artist statement she said, “I’ve always enjoyed drawing and painting and like experimenting with various media — the freedom and flow of watercolors, the complexity of collage, as well as the more precise rendering that can be accomplished with colored pencils and pen and ink. I enjoy mixing media, watercolor and acrylic and collage.”

■ Loren Wolfe to perform at Broomstick Bash

PIERZ — Harmony House will host its “Broomstick Bash” at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Horizon Health’s Community Room in Pierz.

The event is open to the public, which will feature entertainment by Loren Wolfe. People are encouraged to wear costumes that are black or non-scary.

Wolfe is an accomplished guitarist, singer, songwriter and entertainer and is well-known for his performance of Johnny Cash songs. He is a published author of two children’s books. His musical style covers many genres, from rock and gospel to country and jazz.

Harmony House is a division of Horizon Health, Inc. and is an assisted living for frail elderly and those with memory loss.

For more information about the Broomstick Bash contact Michele Henefin at 320-468-6451.

Pottery event planned

Kevin Matthews Pottery in Brainerd is offering glaze your own pottery piece from 3-8 p.m. Thursdays. The event is geared for women.

A glazing event also is scheduled for children from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, that consists of a “Name the Gnome” contest. The contest runs through Dec. 16.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889