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Known by Heart Poetry Performance

Tuesday November 13,  2018, 6:30 pm

Join  poet/performers Donte Collins, Margaret Hasse,  and Naomi Cohn as they answer the question“What does it mean to know something by heart?”  in poetry and conversation. Hear words presented from the heart and join in a conversation about poetry and the things we value enough to remember.


Rondo Community Library

461 Dale St N

St Paul, MN 55104


Brought to you by the lovely folks at the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.

About the Artists:

Donte Collins is a Black, queer American poet. Named the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Saint Paul, Minnesota, they are the recipient of the 2018 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Spoken Word administered by the Loft Literary Center and winner of the 2016 Most Promising Young Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets. They are the author of the poetry collection “Autopsy” (Button Poetry, 2017) a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. Collins is the recipient of the 2016 Mitchell Prize in Poetry from Augsburg University and are an alum of TruArtSpeaks, a non-profit arts organization based in the Twin Cities cultivating literacy, leadership and social justice through the study & application of Spoken Word and Hip Hop culture.

Donte’s words cannot sit still and often embody theatrical recitations. Their work holds a knife to systems of oppression and dominant power structures. They wield poetry to collapse normativity and deliver work that is both alluring and challenging. Often centered around intersections of class, race, adoption, sexuality and social justice, Donte uses rhythm, breath, and the marriage between archive and repertoire to reimagine how poetry can be accessible to those who believe the form is dead.

Margaret Hasse is the author of five books of poems: Stars Above, Stars Below(1985, new edition reissued in 2008); In a Sheep’s Eye, Darling (1993); Milk and Tides (2008); Earth’s Appetite (2013); and Between Us (2016). She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, Loft Literary Center’s Career Initiative Program, Minnesota State Arts Board, and Jerome Foundation.

Hasse leads poetry workshops, mentors writers, and edits manuscripts, emcees a poetry reading series and welcomes opportunities to read, perform, and make presentations about her poetry, as well as to support and collaborate with artists and arts organizations. Her work has been published in anthologies (such as Where One Voice Ends, Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry, and To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women’s Voices from Pre-Territorial Day to the Present), magazines, broadsides, and unusual places such as sidewalks, public art, and in Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Naomi Cohn is a poet, therapist and teaching artist. Through her project, Known by Heart, she leads accessible poetry workshops and experiences and publishes poetry posters featuring the work of older adults and people with disabilities.  She’s also worked as a freelance writer, community organizer, encyclopedia copy editor and grant writer. Red Dragonfly Press published her chapbook, Between Nectar & Eternity, in 2013. Her lyric essay, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Bird,appeared in Hippocampus in 2016 and was  nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Thanks to a 2018 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, she is currently finishing a book-length prose poem, Entries from the Braille Encyclopedia, about the experience of learning braille as an adult. A Chicago native, she now lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she’s proud to be featured in that city’s sidewalk poetry project.


Memory Lane-Past Events



Recent work by, Naomi Cohn, Carolyn Williams-Noren, and Lia Rivamonte

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Location: CoCreatz, Saint Paul

This free reading was a community event made possible by a 2018 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in Poetry. Here’s the official language:

Naomi Cohn is a fiscal year 2018 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Free Summer Writing Workshops

These summer writing sessions were geared toward finding your  writing path.  

Finding Your Focus: Connecting to Your Own Writing Mission

Finding Your Voice; Finding Your People

Finding Your Path as a Writer

Thee sessions were offered at multiple locations. Presented  by Known by Heart  in partnership with  Hamline Midway Elders and Saint Anthony Park Area Seniors and Seal High Rise.

Made possible by the generous s support of the Trillium Family Foundation and Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation.


Poetry Workshops at Saint  Paul’s Merriam Park Library

October 4, 2017
Writing Home: Building Blocks of Poetry

October 11, 2017
Body Language: Writing With and About Our Bodies

October 18, 2017
Haiku and Other Short Poems

October 25, 2017
Meet Your Muse: Staying Inspired to Write

Word Play: Summer Poetry Fun!

St. Anthony Park Area Seniors, Saint Paul

August 7, 2017

A one day poetry workshop with a playful approach to language and d on summer activities and fun.

Thanks to the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation and the Trillium Family Foundation for making Known by Heart Writing Home sessions possible


Poetry and Writing Workshops for Older Adults

Presented in Partnership with Saint Anthony Park Area Seniors

Monday April 3, 2017 – Writing Home: Building Blocks of Poetry

Monday, April 17, 2017-Body Language: Writing With and About Our Bodies

Monday,  May 1,  2017 – Haiku and Other Short Poems

Monday, May 15, 2017 –Meet Your Muse: Staying Inspired to Write


Workshops in the Hamline Midway Neighborhood

Presented in partnership with Hamline Midway Elders and the Hamline Midway Brach Library

May 3, 2017: Meet Your Muse: Get Inspired to Write

May 10, 2017: Writing the World Around Us

May 17, 2017: Writing about Family

May 24, 2017: Body Language

Poetry and Writing Workshop for Older Adults: Writing Home  

Keystone Community Services, Saint Paul.

January 25 to February 15, 2017

Four-session class on the theme of  our bodies as “HOME” through poetry and writing. 


Known by Heart Poetry Performance

Presented by Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

November 16, 2016, 7 pm

St. Anthony Park Library

David Mura and Zoë Bird ask the  question:

What does it mean to know something by heart?

Birchbark Books Reading Series

November 9, 2016, 7 pm

with Donte Collins, William Reichard & Gwen Westerman

Writing Workshops for Older Adults

November 2 & November 9, 2016

Offered by Known by Heart & Hamline Midway Elders & the Hamline Midway Branch Library

Building Blocks of Poetry

Haiku and Other Short Forms

Writing Home, Writing Workshops for Older Adults

September 21 —October 12, 2016

Offered by Known by Heart &  Keystone Community Services

Part of the Known by Heart -Writing Home project, winner of a 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Grant and made possible by

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation

Project partners include:

Hamline Midway Elders, Saint Paul Public Library.Keystone Community Services, St. Anthony Park Area Seniors, and the Creative Enterprise Zone.

Yoga & Writing Retreat–July 24, 2016

Co-facilitaters: Naomi Cohn & Lucinda Pepper

Teen Voices Winona Workshop —February 10, 2016

Half-day workshop for teen poets in Winona, Minnesota.


Springboard for the Arts Workshop
The Big Picture – A Strategy Workshop –October 10, 2015

Half-day workshop on applying business tools to thriving and advancing in our creative lives.

Earth Day & Poetry Month Reading —April 22, 2015

Organized by Dave Healy.
Micawber’s Bookstore, Saint Paul

Known By Heart Poetry Performance –February 2, 2015

Poet Performers: Heid E. Erdrich and Patricia Kirkpatrick

Merriam Park Branch, Saint Paul Public Library

Thanks to the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library for helping to make this event possible.


Reading: Four Poets Poet–March 10, 2014

Black Dog, Saint Paul

Four poets read from four new books:

Naomi Cohn/Between Nectar & Eternity (Red Dragonfly Press),

Margaret Hasse/Earth’s Appetite (Nodin Press),

Mike Hazard/This World Is Not Altogether Bad (Red Dragonfly Press)

Jonas Specktor/reading the late Roy McBride’s Secret Traffic (Nodin Press)

Reading: Spring Hatch: Three Red Dragonfly Poets —May 16,

 SubText Books, Saint Paul.

Three poets read from three new books published by Red Dragonfly Press: Naomi Cohn/Between Nectar & Eternity, Mike Hazard/This World Is Not Altogether Bad and Scott Lowery/Empty-handed.

Red Dragonfly Press Reading. Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts

Friday, September 12, 2014
Readers: Marjorie Buettner, Naomi Cohn & Mike Hazard

Readings by Writers, hosted by Saint Paul Poet Laureate, Carol Connolly. University Club of Saint Paul

September 16, 2014

Sponsored by Public Art Saint Paul/Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk and hosted by Saint Paul’s first poet laureate, Carol Connolly, Readings by Writers presents interesting new authors, poets, and their work at the University Club every month. Readings by Writers is free to members and guests.

Vision Loss Resources Anniversary Event

Minneapolis Central/Downtown Library

September 27, 2014

Midstream Reading Series, hosted by David Shove

Blue Moon Coffee Cafe, Minneapolis
October 9, 2014

Readers: Dennis O’Rourke, Kathleen Jesme, Naomi Cohn and Thomas Dillon Redshaw


Memory Matters Poetry Performance

October 21, 2013

Participants in Memory Matters, a workshop on poetry, memory, and performance, came together for a memorable evening of performances exploring the possibilities of memory. Memory Matters was a collaboration between poet Naomi Cohn and theater artist/performance coach Zaraawar Mistry as part of the Known by Heart Project.

Performers included Judith Coggins, Dawn Gavin, Shanna Gronewold, Becky Hampton, Marlee Leebrick-Stryker, MaryAnn Moenck, Robbie McLaughlin, Steven Marchese and Trish Stachelski.

Thanks to the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library for helping to make this event possible.

Workshop: Memory Matters: Poetry, Memory & Performance

September 30-October 21, 2013

Dreamland Arts, Saint Paul

In this 4-week workshop, partcipants explored the uses of memory in writing, revising and presenting work. Co-taught by Naomi Cohn and Zaraawar Mistry.

Performance and workshop sponsored by Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Known by Heart Performance

September 16, 2013
Hamline Midway Library, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ed Bok Lee and Sharon Chmielarz were pure magic to share the mic with, as we explored porty, memory, and what it means to commit words to heart…poems written this year, poems created thousands of years ago; poems in English, German, Korean and Russian…And Ed’s description of the difference between reading a poem and committing it to memory (Reading a poem is like waving to someone on the street; memorizing a poem is like having sex with it) really got everyone talking…
Thanks to: Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Reading: Summer Celebration of the Arts

 July 13, 2013
Anderson Center at Tower View, Red Wing, Minnesota
Read with Timothy Otte and Christiane Flores Garcia as part of the Anderson Center’s 14th Annual Summer Celebration of the Arts
Thanks to: Red Dragonfly Press & the Anderson Center at Tower View

2 thoughts on “Events

  1. Pingback: Poetry and memory have a heartbeat even in the dead of winter… | known by heart

  2. Pingback: Artists in the News - VSA Minnesota

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