2015 Writer in Residence and Reading Series Curator Selected

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that Katherine Schaefer was selected as the 2015 Writer-in-Residence and Dara Syrkin will serve as the Reading Series Curator in 2015.

After an open application period and a review and interview process, a committee of active Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts writers selected Katherine Schaefer as the Writer-in-Residence for 2015.  A number of very qualified writers applied this year, making the selection process very difficult.  In reviewing applicants the committee looks for strong writing, experience helping writers grow and develop their art, and a personality match for this long standing writing community.  With this position the Writer-in-Residence receives use of a studio in the Banfill-Locke building, a modest stipend, administrative support for her writing projects, and a summative public reading event in December 2015.  Additionally the Writer-in-Residence facilitates the Banfill-Locke NorthWords writers critique group that meets monthly.

Katherine Schaefer’s writing has been published in The Talking Stick, Minnetonka Review, and Digit, and she has received grants and awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Key West Literary Seminar, and Brainerd Writers’ Alliance, among others. Her short story “Auction” was a finalist for the Salem College International Literary Awards and a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee. She is a four-time recipient of writing residencies at Ragdale in Lake Forest, IL, as well as attending residencies at Norcroft: A Writing Retreat for Women and the Lanesboro Art Center, where she conducted a memoir-writing workshop for community members. A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (BFA) and the University of Minnesota (MA), Katherine has worked as a seamstress, artist, art historian, and college instructor while pursuing her writing. She lives in south Minneapolis with her husband, sculptor Norman Andersen, their two cats, and ten thousand real paper books, give or take a few. She is currently writing a series of personal essays and revising a memoir.

Dara Syrkin has been named Reading Series Curator for 2015.  The curator position receives a small stipend and plans and executes 10 reading events throughout the year, inviting interesting and dynamic writers to share with Banfill-Locke audiences.  Dara herself is a writer, editor, and champion for the Twin Cities literary community.  Her motto is: Writing is a team sport and she’s thrilled to play on the team at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. Dara is pretty sure she has “Tell me your story” written on her forehead. Much of her poetry tries to record those freely given jewels—and the awe she has for seeds and blue highways. Dara thanks her lucky stars for living among a community of artists who fill her ears and heart with good words. And she promises attendees of the Banfill-Locke Reading Series will be thanking their stars too.

Bethany Whitehead, BLCA Executive Director, says: “I am thrilled to have both Katherine and Dara with us here at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in 2015 to enhance our literary arts programming.  Those who already participate in the myriad of literary offerings and those who have yet to discover what we provide will be sure to have high quality and inspired experiences in the literary arts at Banfill next year.”